Today’s WTF: Keith Olbermann fired? AGAIN?!?!?

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Oops, he did it again.

Word has hit the blogosphere that Keith Olbermann has parted ways with cable channel Current TV, his prime time home since exiting his former position in a bitter dispute with his previous network, MSNBC. The details are scarce at the moment, but there is the hint of some bitterness in the split between Olbermann and Current TV as well. In a statement, Current’s founders, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, said:

“Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”

I know a lot of people on the left love Olbermann. I have enjoyed some of his commentary from time to time myself. But he has always been tough to take in anything but small doses. Apparently, pretty much every organization that has ever employed him feels the same way.

I happen to have a natural aversion to blowhards, whether they are liberal or conservative. I think there’s a place for a certain amount of righteous anger and indignation in our public commentary, but you have to have a really special touch to pull it off well. George Carlin had it, and so did Bill Hicks. The element of humor they added to their rants, dark and biting though it often was, made a huge difference in its palatability. But when it’s straight up and self-important, the way guys like Olbermann do it, I tend to start feeling a bit put off. If I want to hear a sermon, I’ll go to church.

Keith Olbermann is a very intelligent person, and his voice has often been a very powerful force for progressives. I have no doubt he’ll surface again somewhere, but as for how long he’ll manage to stay in whatever new position he may find, your guess is as good as mine.

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8 thoughts on “Today’s WTF: Keith Olbermann fired? AGAIN?!?!?

  1. I liked having Olbermann around on MSNBC because I think it’s important for the left to have their own blowhards. Seriously, we can’t abandon the demographic which responds to that kind of approach! But personally, sure, I much prefer the Rachel Maddow model.

    • Well, I’m not a big fan of the demographic that responds to that sort of approach, either. I usually think of progressives as people who employ at least a bit of reason and restraint in the way they process information. The red meat thing always seems more applicable as a strategy for commentators pandering to the extreme right wing base. But I know there are some folks on the left who have that same extreme take on things, so I suppose Olbermann’s the right guy for that crowd. I just don’t roll like that myself.

    • Actually, his own network is probably the only long-term solution he may have. He’d have to do it out of his living room or something, like Wayne’s World, but if that’s what it takes to ensure he’s free of power struggles with his bosses from now on, he might just go for it. Besides, if he did do a show out of his own home, his production values wouldn’t be that much worse than they were at Current. 🙂

  2. That’s the talk on his Facebook page. But I haven’t seen him post anything. Just a lot of fans commenting that he’s leaving. Personally, I love Olbermann and hate to see him go. But I do agree that he just needs his own show.

    • He’ll be back, no doubt. But he’s got quite the reputation now for being temperamental and the more places he storms out of, the less inclined other places will be to take him on. He may end up doing his own thing simply because he has no other attractive options left.

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