Question: What does it take to be fired from two eight-figure gigs in the space of roughly 14 months? Answer: Evidently, it takes being Keith Olbermann.
In January of 2011, Olbermann was fired from his blowhard gig at MSNBC. News is now breaking that Olbermann has been fired from his $10 million a year job on Current TV. Apparently, Al Gore did not like having a loudmouth rude self-deluded fool as an employee as much as Keith liked having him as his boss. In their message to viewers about Olbermann's firing, Gore and Joel Hyatt, the founders of Current, wrote:
We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet. We are more committed to those goals today than ever before.Ouch. Translation: Olbermann is a talk show blowhard on TV who disrespects his guests and anyone who disagrees with him, his colleagues hate his gut, lacks respect for facts, undermines Current's legitimacy as a progressive outlet (instead setting them up as the mouthpiece of the whiny loudmouth keyboard commandos who claim the Left flank of politics) and we want nothing to do with him anymore.
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.
Some of us knew that something was brewing when Keith Olbermann, Current's now ex Chief News Officer, refused to headline the coverage of the Iowa caucuses back in January. Apparently, his ego was hurt, and $10 million a year wasn't an appropriate enough condition for the Chief News Officer to host the biggest election news coverage to date back in January.
Olbermann, of course, is hurt even more now. The management at Current put a pin to the tremendously oversized ego-balloon, and Olbermann is acting like a 5-year-old. I'm sorry. He's acting like someone who thinks the world revolves around him, and anyone who doesn't worship him needs to suffer. So he is going to sue. Aww.
As someone who made Olbermann's worst persons, and wears that badge as an honor given that my view of the president's debt deal has been borne out and Keith's fell flat, I congratulate Current on their stellar decision to drop this egomaniac. I congratulate Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt on beginning to understand what we, the pragmatic liberals, have known for a long time: that sensationalization makes for bad reporting, that running around with one's hair ablaze calling Barack Obama a 'sellout' irrespective of the facts hurts the progressive movement, and that an authentic progressive outlet is based on the progressive idea of governing, in which progress is a process, made in steps, that it is not about ideological warfare and purity purging.
I thank Current for seeming to recognize that the Left doesn't need our own Fox; we need good, intrepid and fact-based journalism. We need not an aversion of principled compromise, but the courage to explain compromises necessary for governing and making progress. I celebrate this openness on the part of Current. There is no doubt that firing Keith Olbermann is the first step to restoring Current's status as a progressive channel that works for progressives who want to get things done and move our country forward rather than just giving fodder to those who prefer ideological warfare instead.
I look forward to a brighter future for Current.