Friday, March 30, 2012

Keith Olbermann has been fired: My take

Quick!  Can you even name the network he was on?   The Current Network has apparently dismissed Olbermann and he is pissed.  He claims the termination was baseless and plans to (a) sue, and (b) name Current as the worst network in the world.

His tenure there has always been stormy.  On the other hand, you hire Keith Olbermann you know you're not getting an Eagle Scout.

Personally, I think he's a very talented guy and really has only one legitimate enemy -- himself.  Okay, maybe George Bush and himself. 

Anyway, no future plans for Keith have been announced.   Although the door is now open for him to star in a syndicated sitcom. 

31 comments:

Ray Barrington said...

If Olbermann was on Cartoon Network, he'd be erased in six months.

Mike Barer said...

I find Keith to be entertaining and enjoy his commentary, but anymore, he seems like a Liberal Rush Limbaugh, a them vs us style where they is no reasonable ground.

Anonymous said...

How about a reality show?

Mike Barer said...

Celebrity Aprrentice, anyone?

Mitch Phillips said...

I felt Keith was more effective, more comfortable, more entertaining, more clever and an overall better fit as a pure sports guy. Political talk seemed to unleash his Kraken.

casual observer said...

You know, he really needs to chill out. At some point, the petulance act wears a little thin. You get the sense it's always him against the world and only he is sufficiently worthy to bear the mantle of Murrow. Olbermann comes across as someone who has little time or patience for those he deems to be less smart than him. What does he have to show for all his angst except a stream of shattered career stops and a legendary reputation for being difficult. Several reports said the entire executive staff at Current voted to give Keith the boot -- that speaks volumes. All these people can't be wrong all the time.

Mike said...

Someone much funnier than me tweeted earlier today that an news of an unemployed Olbermann made them afraid his next job would be coming over to yell at them face-to-face.

Elliott Trout said...

Dunno. Have a hard time rooting for the diva rooting for equality.

DwWashburn said...

I enjoyed Keith on MSNBC but could not get Current on our cable system. The Current website would only show 2 minute snippets of his program on line so I don't think they had a lot of confidence in him from the start.

KO is running out of options of where he can have a broadcast show. He may have to follow Dan Rather and have an internet only program.

BTW KO will be on Letterman Tuesday to "tell his side of" the story.

Cap'n Bob said...

Keith who?

Mike Schryver said...

Olbermann's bombastic and a blowhard, but the people comparing him to Limbaugh are ignoring one thing: Olbermann's rants are factual, where Limbaugh makes up many of his out of whole cloth.

Mark Evanier, in a post over at his site, said something that's also true for me. Shows like Olbermann's seem to want me to get more outraged, but I'm already at full outrage capacity, so I have little incentive to watch.

Larry said...

Both Olbermann and Limbaugh are good at what they do, but they are editorialists--and ranters--not newspeople. Whenever someone says one is more truthful than the other, all it tells me is what political side they belong to.

Anonymous said...

Olberman seemed fine at the beginning of his msnbc run, but he just slowly turned nasty and petty. Just like bill maher. Sad to see.

Anonymous said...

DwWashburn, FYI, "Dan Rather Reports" is not an internet show, it's on HDNet, an actual channel. It's 306 on DirecTV.

I'm With Stupid said...

I'm pretty sure I read that Olbermann is consulting and maybe doing some writing with Aaron Sorkin for the new show he's doing for HBO.

And I'm pretty sure that will end just like every other job he's had.

Jay

Mike Barer said...

To Mike Schryver. I made the comparison, but I see your point. Keith is very visceral and passionate. Rush is just a rebel rouser. On second glance there is really nothing in common between the two of them.
What I had meant is that Keith had really adapted a war path that was much more strident than my own views, and may have gotten to the point where he was much more destructive than constructive. I hope you can see my point, shed in that light.

Michael said...

Olbermann does a blog for MLB.com that is a great pure baseball commentary, no politics at all. He's opinionated there, but he's really knowledgeable and fun to read.

I share many of his political views, but I tired of watching him on MSNBC and don't get Current. Eventually, he reminded me of the line from a Supreme Court justice, Robert Jackson, who said of attorneys in oral argument that a justice does not like to be addressed as if he were an ox. That's how Keith wound up talking to us.

Dave Creek said...

I've always liked Olbermann on the air, and generally agree with his opinions, but I think other posters are correct that he's become increasingly strident.

Plus, what are his qualifications for his commentary? I much prefer to listen to someone such as Thomas Friedman when he's a guest on other people's shows. If he talks about the Middle East, I know he's been there and talked to the big political players as well as regular people. I may not always agree with him, but I know I'm getting an informed opinion from someone who function as a journalist.

I'm tired of people who affect the aura of a journalist without really being one. I've never seen Olbermann report from anywhere.

Plus, unlike some people, I don't require that much validation of my beliefs by hearing someone else parrot them.

pumpkinhead said...

Difference between ranters Rush Limbaugh and Ken Olbermann: Olbermann's rants cater to his own passionately-held opinions. Limbaugh's rants cater to his target audience's ignorance, fear, and prejudice.

Famous! said...

1. Y'ever notice that most negative comments about Keith are a reaction to his Left-ism and his effectiveness? And that subsequent comments about his well-known problem personality are usually used as "proof" of the unacceptability of his ideological viewpoint?

I never had the slightest problem with the way he nightly kneecapped the bastards who richly deserved kneecapping. The Pollyannas who found him "shrill" are not of my tribe, anyway, so I haven't the slightest interest in how unseemly KO seemed to them. I LIKED IT. And you know, I truly don't think ONE two-fisted commentator, on a sixth-string cable channel, was really too much for the American dialogue to handle.

2. THAT SAID... whatever it's like to work with KO internally, apparently does not compute. Ever. And as a person who really enjoyed what he did and what he stood for, am I mad as hell at KO, and frankly, I'm through defending him to teabaggers, trolls, and "centrists".

We in the lower echelons of the entertainment biz know what it's like to accept a low-rent gig, where maybe the catering consists of a vending machine that hasn't worked since the Carter Administration; the equipment is a second-hand console from Stockton; and the staffers around you have as much experience in broadcasting as your mom.

BUT SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO TAKE THOSE GIGS AND MAKE THEM WORK. Because sometimes your career needs the check mark; and sometimes, a greater Good must be acknowledged.

In KO's case, both those factors were in play. He not only needed a personal career "win", but the barely-visible progressive media in the U.S. sorely needed that kneecapper in its corner.

I certainly am aware that "civilians" generally don't know what it's like for people they enjoy watching or listening to in media to have conflicts with their employers (well anyway, I've heard that this happens [g]). But having seen this type of incident go down with him every single time he's got a 7-figure gig, it's clear that KO failed America, by not eating whatever shit he needed to eat, in order to work for the greater Good.

Clearly, he felt that his job at the low-rent Current was all about him. His followers... like me... believed otherwise. How rich does this man need to be, before careerism is no longer his prime motivation for doing what he does best?

My prediction: Tuesday night on Letterman will come and go, but don't expect him either to rehabilitate himself, at this juncture, or to rebound with a high-profile position equivalent to anything from his glorious past.

Johnny Walker said...

Olberman is not always factually accurate. The comparisons with Limbaugh are not so off the mark. KO often seems to cater to those who like watching people rant, no matter how far off the mark they may wander... And I've seen Olberman wander into some poor territories.

I don't think the airwaves need any more bombastic personalities, myself. How about some substance for a change?

Mike said...

Ben Affleck on SNL and Jon Stewart both did hilarious sendups of his schtick.

Kirk said...

I'm willing to cut Olbermann, whatever his flaws, a lot of slack. For a long time there he was one of the few public figures willing to take on the Bush administration and the right-wing noise machine. Sometimes you have to fight noise with noise.

Dan Tedson said...

Batshit insane. Bottles his own poo, probably.

Is this the closest we're going to get to a baseball post? I looked for broadcasts of yours on the mlb.tv archives today with no luck. That's the blog reading equivalent of tying your arm off with the mouse cord and flicking a vein.

Ken Levine said...

Dan,

You can also go to the radio archives. Go to March 15, Giants at Mariners. I do that game. You can hear what I sound like there. If you dare.

Dan Tedson said...

Ooo, I'll do that, thanks. Strange spring for you guys. Didn't realize you'd still be playing spring training games after you'd started the season.

Lou H. said...

Around 10 years ago, I used to listen to Yankees games on WABC every night, and I caught some of their talk radio shows before and after. They had some shrill right-wing hosts, much like Olbermann, to whom every single thing the opposite side did was wrong. There was one host who went off on long harangues about the Clintons, and this was in 2003! I truly wondered who could listen to these shows every day - presumably their audience was not just Yankees fans like me who were too lazy to change the station.

But a few of the shows featured pairs of hosts, one right-wing, one left, and with the right combination these were a terrific balance. You not only heard both sides of an issue, but the fire-breathing was toned down because the hosts respected each other. I'm specifically thinking of Steve Malzberg and Richard Bey.

And maybe that's what Olbermann needs. He's extremely smart and quick, but he's a megalomaniac who wants complete control of the show even if it means all the listeners can fit into the Meadowlands with room to spare. Reminds me of the last season of Roseanne. He needs a boss to rein him in, and a partner who can be viewed as his equal.

cadavra said...

Jeez, did any of you people even WATCH Keith? This phony image of him as a shrieking, raving madman was perpetuated by the same wingnuts who edited that Howard Dean tape to make him look like a screaming lunatic. Yes, Keith gets angry, but it's a controlled, gritted-teeth anger; he virtually never raises his voice. Go watch some of his Special Comments (easily found online) and see if he actually yells during any of them.

Dan Tedson said...

Good broadcast, Ken. I especially liked the innings where there was some back and forth between the two of you. That's where you shine, though I don't think you get a lot back from your partner imho, maybe because he's more used to doing a Vin Scully type one-man broadcast. I lined up the video with your announcing and I'm glad I did, because Zito's curveball was SICK in the early innings.

Dan Tedson said...

Lou H, I don't think it would help Olbermann, but I'm totally down for that type of show you describe. The people I'm most scared of are those who believe what they believe TOO strongly.

Stephen Ambrose verbalized it well, saying that when he was going to school, his teacher would chastise him for papers he'd written, saying historians weren't there to write editorials. He taught him that each side of an issue has a genuine, legitimate argument and it's the historian's job to present them both. If more people got that, we could get out of the sandbox and peeps could debate each other with goodwill.

Chrispy said...

Yes, I've watched Keith. He goes around calling people who have differing political opinions "The Worst Person of the World". He is a hateful, vile, disgusting person. And anyone who follows him or defend him is also hateful and disgusting. If you are one of these people, please get your head examined.