“We hope Mr. Olbermann understands that when it comes to the legal process, he is actually required to show up.”
Olbermann Versus Gore | FrontPage Magazine
Mark Tapson On April 17, 2012
Prior to falling off the radar of cultural relevance when he left MSNBC, political commentator Keith Olbermann featured a segment on his nightly Countdown with Keith Olbermann called “The Worst Person in the World.” This was a mean-spirited label he invariably awarded to targets on the right, such as his Fox News ratings nemesis Bill O’Reilly, with whom he had a longstanding feud, or such formidable political threats as Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol. Now his latest boss, Current TV’s Al Gore, may be considering applying the label to Olbermann himself.
Olbermann was once MSNBC’s point man for the spewing of progressive lies and hate speech. Even among that network’s stable of leftist attack dogs like Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, the silver-haired Olbermann was notable for his angry, hyperbolic partisanship. Journalist and former Nightline host Ted Koppel called him “the most opinionated among MSNBC’s left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts,” who “draws more than one million like-minded viewers to his program every night precisely because he is avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan.”
That was then. Olbermann left MSNBC at the end of 2010 for reasons that have never been made clear. Less than 24 hours later, his friend Al Gore reached out to him, and the next February Olbermann brought his – at the time – star power to the Current TV network, run by founders Joel Hyatt and Gore, former U.S. Vice President and tireless promoter of his lucrative An Inconvenient Truth book and documentary. Current envisioned the new Countdown as a valuable primetime “tentpole” program. Olbermann was appointed chief news officer and given an equity stake in the progressive channel that was originally launched in 2005.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodwin deemed this a questionable move, calling Current “Al Gore’s Channel That Nobody Watches”: “Olbermann may be going to a cable channel that is in 60 million homes, but roughly 59,975,00 of those homes don’t know they have Current.” And indeed, Olbermann went on to attract an average of only 177,000 viewers – a steep decline from his MSNBC reign.
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