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We all know Olbermann doesn't burn bridges at every place he works; he napalms them. Could Current TV be the latest venue for an Olbyplosion? The NY Times seems to think so, based on the fact that the infamous, deplorable one has been noticeably absent from recent special reports and is not scheduled to participate in the first big news night of 2012, the Iowa caucuses:
These absences suggest that there may be new tension between Mr. Olbermann and the managers at Current, who are trying to create a progressive-oriented cable news channel.
In the television industry, Mr. Olbermann is well known for fights with his bosses; stories abound about his refusal to speak to managers and executives. At Current, this behavior has continued, according to four people with knowledge of the situation, one of whom described Mr. Olbermann as "disgruntled."...
On Dec. 22, Mr. Olbermann's last live program of the year, he did not acknowledge his expected absences.
"We'll be bringing you Best of 'Countdown' each night from tomorrow through Monday, Jan. 2, and then back -- live, live, live -- on Tuesday, Jan. 3," he told viewers. "Congratulations on getting through another year of this crap. Good night and good luck."
In fact, Current is planning to pre-empt "Countdown" on Jan. 2 for a two-hour caucus preview hosted by Mr. Uygur, according to its schedule.
Uh oh. What's notable about the above is that it is written by Brian Stelter, so pro-Olbermann that he was seen as an apologist for Bathtub Boy, going so far as to alter or delete posts to conform with the wishes of Olbermann and MSNBC.
Meanwhile, while Twittermann has exploded at news articles that were unfavorable toward his highness, he has remained uncharacteristically silent since this piece hit the web. Things that make you go: hmmmmmm.
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UPDATE: Oralmann has changed his twitter page to remove the statement that he is 'Chief News Officer' of Current tv. And he has still said nothing about the NY Times exposé. Hmmmm.
UPDATE UPDATE: Well it took him over 24 hours, but the infamous, deplorable one has finally come up with a response to the NY Times. It is not very substantive, addresses none of the scheduling changes around his appearances, and says nothing about him removing 'Chief News Officer' from his twitter profile. But this is as close to a response as you'll get from Edward R Olbermann:
Well, that clears that up, eh Keithy?
When it comes to the Great Divide between the 1% and the 99%, there's no doubt where Al Gore, impresario of Current TV, and his partner in crime Keith Olbermann stand. The New York Times reports that Current is dumping practically the entire staff of Vanguard. This documentary series, once regarded as the flagship program of Gore's media machine, was described by 'Chief News Officer' Olbermann in the most glowing terms. Bathtub Boy noted that Vanguard was "a skeleton -- in the most complimentary sense -- of an outstanding international news operation".
Yeah, well, so much for that. The lucky Vanguard staffers are being reassigned; the rest are getting their walking papers. They're out the door, and here's why:
A person who worked on "Vanguard" for years said that Current, while profitable, seemed unable to afford the documentary unit and the new shows. "If you're committed to boots on the ground journalism, there are just fixed costs you can't get around," he said. "And Current isn't exactly flush."
Really? Whatever could Current be spending money on that it can't afford to keep a few lower-level staffers on their payroll? We know the answer to that, don't we?
Keith Olbermann is not in the witness protection program, but he might as well be. His show on Al Gore's Current TV (America's least watched network) has lost nearly a third of its viewers in four months. Pretty impressive result for $10 million a year. That's just his salary.
Even back then, media writers knew that the facade at Current TV couldn't sustain Oralmann's King Midas salary. It was inevitable that all those lower level jobs would be jettisoned in order to make it possible to pay Olby and keep his bathtub full:
Al Gore, Current's chairman and co-founder, is also whistling a symphony past this particular graveyard. He told Crain's New York: "We're going to be creating a lot of jobs for people who are not afraid to speak truth to power." We can only hope this isn't the former vice president's solution to the unemployment problem.
However, some people are getting good jobs at good wages. In addition to recently hiring Bohrmann, former head of CNN's Washington bureau, it has also picked up Shelley Lewis as executive vice president of programming. Lewis' previous experience includes co-creating the Air America Radio network. Well, that certainly turned out well. The network's other new employees include former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm.
Where Current gets the money to pay these people or even stay in business is anybody's guess.
So Edward R Olbermann and his 1% pals settle into their cushy leather chairs in their Current tv penthouses, while the people who do the real labor of producing documentaries--the hard working 99%--get shown the door. All by command of Current's Chief News Officer: the infamous, deplorable one himself.
Keith Olbermann, thy name is hypocrisy!
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