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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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