Reading between the lines: Keith Olbermann’s departure from Current

While Keith Olbermann was at MSNBC, I was, as a liberal myself, rather fond of his show, especially his willingness to put up an actual fight against the right with little guilt, but I felt that it was entertainment more than anything else and not exactly the most reliable place to get “news” despite Olbermann’s tendency to refer to it as a “news hour”. It was basically a place for Olbermann to bring on his liberal friends to talk about how much those conservatives stink; the real reason I watched the show when I did was for Olbermann’s segments where he could bring his own brand of snark and sarcasm to the stories he talked about, segments like the infamous “Worst Person in the World”. I always felt Olbermann’s real counterpart was more the blustering Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh than the more straight-laced, putting-on-a-front-of-balance Bill O’Reilly (whose own counterpart might be Rachael Maddow).

Last week, Olbermann’s relationship with Current – a network he almost singlehandedly built into a fulfillment of Al Gore’s original vision of a “progressive” news network – abruptly ended as he was replaced in the 8 PM ET hour by Eliot Spitzer, on Friday no less. Much like his departure from MSNBC a year prior, which appeared to have been motivated more by longstanding issues with the brass than by the aftermath of the Giffords shooting, this appears to be one in a long line of departures resulting at least in part from Olbermann’s ego running unchecked (though I hasten to add that I get this only from a line in the show’s Wikipedia article that had a [citation needed] tag on it when I looked on Friday).

And that ego was on full display in his snarky statement on the break-up:

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.

Overdramatic much? I read that and thought that Current itself was shutting down.

It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain.

Really? It sounds to me like all Current needs to do is point to this statement for an example of your lack of “respect” and “collegiality”. Just look at the last paragraph:

In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

Yes, because they wouldn’t do every little thing you said? Where are you going to take your schtick now, “KOTV“?

Should I say it? Keith Olbermann, today’s Worst! Person! In the Woooorrrrrrrlllllllldddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!