Monday, November 15, 2010

Olbermann

It's hard to overstate just how egocentric this guy is. According to this insightful article that just came out on the Daily Beast, Keith is a man on an island at NBC. Everyone in management, and in the news department, can't stand him. Rachel Maddow is, not surprisingly, the exception here.

It's interesting how some pompous liberals insist on playing right into stereotypes. Just in case you think he's playing a role on TV, that his "I'm-smarter-than-you" shtick is put on and not genuine, well, not so much:

"Even those who admired Olbermann’s broadcasting skills felt that his behavior, such as making his staff leave notes outside his door rather than speaking to him, had gone too far....

Willingness to throw colleagues under the bus, with disinformation, to save his own hide:

"The sniping grew worse. Olbermann’s side asked why he was being penalized when Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman who hosted Morning Joe, had given $5,000 to a state candidate in Alabama the previous spring. Griffin checked and Scarborough provided the bank record showing that his wife had made the donation to a friend..."

Even among his liberal colleagues he's a bridge too far:

"Network staffers use phrases like “scorched-earth policy” and “totally narcissistic response” to describe how Olbermann has dealt with criticism of his political donations...The word hypocrisy has frequently been aimed at Olbermann."

Repeat offender:

"Olbermann quit MSNBC once before, in 1998, after openly criticizing his bosses. He is, today, a far bigger star. Management doesn’t want to turn him into a martyr, but no one will be shocked if he winds up leaving again."

He similarly burned bridges at ESPN. From his wiki:

... he referred to Bristol, Connecticut (ESPN's headquarters), as a "'Godforsaken place." Olbermann abruptly left ESPN under a cloud of controversy, apparently burning his bridges with the network's management; this began a long and drawn-out feud between Olbermann and ESPN...

...in an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, he said: "If you burn a bridge, you can possibly build a new bridge, but if there's no river any more, that's a lot of trouble." During the same interview, Olbermann stated that he had recently learned that as a result of ESPN's agreeing to let him return to the airwaves, he was banned from ESPN's main (Bristol, Connecticut) campus.


From a piece in Salon:

Amid chatter that Olbermann might seek a return to the network in 2001, ESPN P.R. officer Mike Soltys famously said: "He didn't burn bridges here, he napalmed them."


Later in the same article:

In 1999, after leaving MSNBC, Olbermann joined the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox Sports Net, where he anchored "The Keith Olbermann Evening News," which was in direct competition with "SportsCenter." The new program proved unable to beat its ESPN rival's ratings, and his contract with Fox was terminated early, in the spring of 2001. Murdoch later said he "fired" Olbermann because "he was crazy," to which Olbermann replied: "As to the 'crazy' part, he had to pay me $800,000 for the rest of 2001, and lord knows how many tens of millions I’ve helped MSNBC take out of his pocket ever since -- so: who’s crazy?" Murdoch and his empire became one of Olbermann's favorite punching bags as he developed "Countdown" at MSNBC.


Um, really? You're taking money away from the most dominant name in cable news?

It's amazing that he's not just a know-it-all on TV. The man is just a bad human being, someone whose professional douchebaggery flows naturally from his spiteful and self-obsessed personality.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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