Sunday, April 1, 2012

Keith Olbermann Burns Another Bridge – and The Supply of Bridges Left is Dwindling

Why Can’t This Talented Man Just Do His Thing and Get On With It

One wonders if Keith Olbermann, a talented and intelligent commentator whose progressive stances are usually finely tuned to counteract the right wing screeds is really not a Conservative plant. He keeps destroying his career, and with it a source of intelligent counter attacks to babid Conservatism.  Mr. Olbermann keeps moving from job to job, and in the words of one person who knows some of the details, when he leaves Mr. Olbermann doesn’t just burn bridges behind him, he napalms them.

This time Mr. Olbermann has been fired from a cable channel with so few viewers that no one watches it. 

In January and February, Mr. Olbermann continued to miss many days of work, as he himself acknowledged on his popular Twitter feed. He attributed some of his absences to throat problems.

But Current considered some of those absences to be breaches of his contract, labeling them “unauthorized absences,” according to a person familiar with the matter.

For instance, he took a vacation day on March 5, on the eve of the Super Tuesday primary election day, despite a warning from Current that it would constitute a breach of contract, according to the person, who insisted on anonymity.

The decision to dismiss Mr. Olbermann was unanimous among the senior managers of Current, the person said.

And he was replaced by of all people, Eliot Spitzer.  Good Grief.

The problem, of course, is that progressive talk radio and cable television is sorely lacking in men and women who are articulate enough and entertaining enough to carry the swords into battle.  The Rev. Al Sharpton, you must be kidding.  Ed Schultz’s TV show on MSNBC is better than his radio show, but he still sounds like a left version of Rush Limbaugh.  Rachel Maddow is the best of the lot, but her show needs “punching up”, some features to make it entertaining and interesting in addition to its being intelligent and informative.  Lawrence O’Donnell is like that boring Poli Sci professor who droned on and one.  Chris Hayes looks like that kid who delivers the newspaper and throws it in the bushes.

Mr. Olbermann was both watchable and listenable, but his self destructive behavior has damaged not only himself but his causes as well.  He is so counter productive in his personality and actions that the comment above, that he is a right wing plant designed to discredit progressive talk may not be that far from reality. 

It is unlikely Mr. Olbermann will find anyone else to put him on the air.  After all, if a cable station that is shown on no cable outlets and has no viewers will not permit him on the air, who will?  One must hope Mr. Olbermann will clean up his act and somehow get back on the air, but those hopes occupy the same likelihood as the hope that a rational and intelligent Conservative will emerge in the Republican party.  Slim and none, and Slim has left the building.


  1. A key point the DPE misses is that when KO tells someone to go F... themselves, he has a legion of supporters. I am one. Al Gore fires Keith? Who is the real joke? ( Clue: "Client-9" is not the name of a reality legal show.) Mr. Olbermann will be back because he has the gonads to say what so many people believe. Some bridges should be napalmed.

  2. I too also am a supporter of Mr. Olbermann as I hope this post indicates. His bridge burning is not because of what he says or the positions he takes, but because he apparently cannot accomodate the people he works for in a reasonable manner.

    I don't think he will be back on the air in a mainstream cable outlet because I don't think anyone will hire him.

    1. Your post did indicate your support of Mr. Olbermann. My rant was part frustration over his tendency to shoot himself in the foot as well as the seeming invisibility of a liberal protagonist of his heft on the horizon. The national discussion needs KO.