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A. Whitney Brown, former Saturday Night Live cast member/writer and former/current star in the Air America galaxy, has removed a post to his Daily Kos diary in which he claimed to have inside knowledge of what really transpired with the now infamous Keith "kill yourself" Olbermann emails leading to this exchange among Kos commenters:
What happened to AWhitneyBrown's diary? by bumblebums
My guess/Probably for fear of exposing his/her source by PsiFighter37
Her?/I noticed he changed the title to 'What happened in this Diary', but he'd already canned it when I clicked by bumblebums
too late - damage was already done/by someone in the comments who put the pieces together -- Â I will not repeat it here, but I am sure someone will be able to pull it up from something that was archived by teacherken
I think I read it before there were comments/So, I missed the good stuff by katiebird
Too bad/...I posted some GREAT comments in there. I was witty, funny, insightful, yada yada. Or maybe not... by DemfromDaBronx
Wondering the same thing!/It was there when I went to sleep/passed out last night, now it's gone. I love that awhitneybrown guy! by Joes Steven
I was about to commission an inquiry among the OlbermannWatch faithful to dig out the post from the cached archives when Becky at Relevant Torture tipped me off that the OlbyLoons had saved us all the trouble by posting what purports to be the text of the original post over at Democratic Underground:
What really happened at Countdown
Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:45:46 PM PDT
I commented on this in an earlier diary, but it was pretty late, so I thought I'd make it a diary. This is rumor, but I totally trust the source, and I can't see why he/she would make it up.
KO does answer some of his e-mail, but not a lot. It's a pretty funny picture thinking of him sitting at his keyboard banging out flame letters to all the assholes who e-mail him, but it's kind of a stretch when you actually think about it. The way it actually works is that interns, AP's, and assistants read and answer the e-mail.
MSNBC, like all companies, is very sensitive about their employees being courteous to viewer complaints, no matter how profane they are.
So here's what I heard happened. Take it or leave it.
Those e-mails (and a bunch more besides) were actually written by a low-level AP, Intern, WA, assistant, I won't say which. That person (I heard there was more than one, on top of everything else) would be fired instantly for doing that.
So Keith stepped up and took responsibility himself so no one would get fired. I also heard that absolutely no one in management believes him, and they know it had to have been one of three people, but they can't fire them all without knowing which one it was.
For anyone that low on the food chain, it's a firing offense - but being above the line does have privileges!
I still think it's a funny image of Keith banging out flame letters to Jethro out in Bumfuck, Idaho, but like management, I'm sorry to say it's pretty unlikely.
So that's what I heard, make of it what you will.
For those not familiar with A. Whitney Brown's work, he is a comedian who worked with Al Franken as a writer and cast member at SNL during the "lost years". He later worked on The Daily Show and, I think, at CNN briefly. He holds the unique distinction of being fired from Air America Radio BEFORE the network launched in March 2004. He was apparently brought back to Air America Radio (although I was unable to document that beyond a claim made on Wikipedia). Although originally from Michigan, I believe he lived in New York and Connecticut.
Given his background it would come as no surprise that he would know Keith Olbermann and that Keith might just be his source. It's also conceivable that Al Franken is his source. There are at least enough dots here to start connecting them: Brown (I think) worked at CNN (as did KO), he lived in Connecticut and New York (as did KO), he worked at NBC (as did/does KO), he has strong ties to Air America directly and via having worked with Al Franken as an SNL writer (where KO has made numerous appearances). I would not be surprised if more connections between KO and Brown were to emerge. Brown also has an admittedly "unstable" history and it would not be hard to imagine that he spoke out of school when he wrote his Kos post which would explain why he took it down. Someone purporting to be Brown made a claim along these lines on DU in the comments section below the DU post on the Brown/KO/Kos post:
Something like this happened at the Daily Show
If this is Brown, he is now claiming that he was about to be fired by Comedy Central for leaking information about Jon Stewart replacing Craig Kilborne (ironically, to The New York Daily News) when another Comedy Central employee took a bullet for him: Brian Unger. Yup! The same Brian Unger who is KO's fill in on Countdown, suggesting that Unger is also a candidate as Brown's supposed source.
I have already said that I was genuinely shocked when I read the unexpurgated emails posted by "Joe". Like others I found the emails to be abusive and obscene. So, I would not have a tough time believing that what Brown posted turned out to be true.
So, is KO really a hero for falling on his sword to protect a low-level AP, Intern, WA, assistant? I imagine there are going to be quite a few current and former colleagues of Olbermann who will find that hard to believe but in OlbyLoonLand anything is possible.
Even if we were to accept Brown's claim, doesn't this also mean that KO's first dealings with the new management team at MSNBC (Griffin/Abrams) was to LIE. And isn't this just the kind of thing that can only pour gasoline on the the firing of former MSNBC President Rick Kaplan.
there is a problem here.
While we will never believe anything but this story (now that we have heard it), KO's enemies will believe it was all a fabrication, designed to get him off the hook. They'll never believe it. The most it's done is poke a possible hole in what they thought was an airtight case against him.
They will still claim that because he apologized in public, he must be guilty; if he can admit that, why can't we? In short, they'll try to make this into his Loofah/Falafel incident, in which nothing can be pinned on him for sure, but for which he will carry the scars forever. That's what they wanted, and that's what they created.
And because we know KO has a temper, the story was, to some extent, believable. It was only the other parts of it that didn't add up, such as the idea that after 25 years in the business he wouldn't know how to deal with crappy feedback, would have no filter between it and him, or would have tons of time to reply. His enemies would believe that with ease...his fans, with more difficulty.
It's a toss-up. The good news is, it all turns out to mean a whole lot of nothing as far as we're concerned, and makes KO more aware of how formidable his enemies are so he's more careful. The bad news is, it gives his enemies an argument they can use against him to make him look terrible and us look like idiots for believing the "farfetched fairytale" described above (just like we don't believe Bill O'Reilly didn't do what he did to Andrea Mackris simply because she accepted the money to drop the charges).
However...there is one last piece of good news...which is that, just as we find it consternating that Bill-O remains on the air despite the Mackris flap, KO's enemies will find it just as consternating that HE remains on the air.
Will some people just throw up their hands and say "A pox on both their houses"? Sadly, yes. Will everyone on both sides go on believing what they want to believe? Yes.
But that was going to happen anyway...right?
The sad news for us is that they still drew blood.
Here's what we get: KO still on the air. Which we already had.
Meanwhile, here's what they get: a scandal they can throw up at us every time they need something to use against KO. Even if it doesn't hold water, they will never believe this "crap" about how he "took a bullet for someone lower on the food chain." Never.
And they'll keep looking for ways to finally do him in.
Of that, we can be sure.
NOTE: This post was updated a few hours after posting after OlbyWatch Contributor Brandon Coates sent me a link with the fuller version of the DU version of the A. Whitney Brown post that was taken down from Daily Kos. I elected to note the change here rather than above so as not to make the post too hard to read/follow. I will also add a note in the comments about the change.