Well, that lasted all of six months. To be fair, actually it's still lasting. But there might just be something brewing. Since no one watches Current, it went unnoticed that the station's highly paid "chief news officer" did not anchor the coverage for the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night. Well, it went almost unnoticed.
Olbermann, the host of Current's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" and listed on the masthead as the network's chief news officer, was supposed to be on air Tuesday night, assuring a concerned Twitter follower earlier in the day that he was "headed into the office now in fact."Say what? What happened? Did Current not let their Chief News Officer not host the chief-est political news till date this election cycle? Not the way Current saw it.
But a few hours later, Olbermann announced he would not, in fact, be on the air.
"So as not to mislead," Olbermann wrote on Twitter, "I am informed Countdown will not be on tonight. I must defer on all questions to [Current CEO] @JoelHyatt @AlGore and @Current."
According to the network, however, Olbermann informed them.Declined to anchor or even participate. Yikes. I would have some fun speculating why, but suffice it to say Al Gore might now be learning why MSNBC fired Keith. It's that word... what is it, what is it... it's a three-letter word that starts with an 'e' and ends with a 'go'.
"We asked Keith to be the sole anchor and executive producer of our primary and caucus coverage beginning tonight," a spokeswoman said in statement Wednesday. "Unfortunately, he declined to anchor or participate."
Speaking of ego, Keith Olbermann apparently didn't like how his employer phrased why he did not anchor the coverage Tuesday night. He went crying to the Hollywood Reporter:
“I was not given a legitimate opportunity to host under acceptable conditions,” Olbermann said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. “They know it and we know it. Telling half the story is wrong.”Acceptable conditions? What might that be? Olbermann, of course, does not elaborate. So much for telling the whole truth. And just what conditions are 'unacceptable' when you are asked to anchor the most important election coverage to date after being paid $10 million a year? Who knows, maybe it's his way to bargain for a raise.
The Hollywood Reporter story has the full memo from Current's management to the Countdown staff, but it basically says that there would be no stand-alone Countdown program that night, and instead Keith was asked to anchor the election night coverage. You know, the usual way election night coverage works: regularly scheduled programming is pre-empted.
The Iowa-night theatrics may only be the surface of Mr. Egomaniac's troubles with his new employer, though. As The Hollywood Reporter article notes,
And there have been other signs of tension. Despite his chief news officer title, Olbermann has not been quoted in news releases announcing shows hosted by Uygur, the radio host who did a short stint at MSNBC, and former Michigan governor Granholm, whose 9 p.m. show bows late this month.I like Al Gore. But he's made two dumb decisions in his life. One is to distance himself from President Clinton in the 2000 campaign. The other is hiring Keith Olbermann's big, egotistical head at an extremely overpriced $10 million a year.
Well, further developments, if any, should be fun to watch.