Former Vice President Al Gore has been actively involved in the promotion of a new public affairs cable channel, Current TV, in the past year and a half, and it looked as if he might have scored a victory with the coming of former MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann a year ago.
Olbermann was supposed to be the beginning of a channel to compete with MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel, and signs seemed to show that it was working until recently.
The addition of Cenk Uygur and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm a few months ago, and then the addition a week ago of Bill Press and Stephanie Miller, boded well for the new network.
But underlying the surface was a bitter dispute between Olbermann and the management of the Gore cable channel, with Olbermann, always a difficult and prickly personality, becoming what was clearly a prima donna, who had a horrible and explosive personality that led to his firing from ESPN and MSNBC, and now has led to his firing from Current TV, because of his refusal to cooperate on conditions and work rules, including refusal to share anchor duties on the night of the Iowa caucuses, constant absences on a level much more than would be considered normal, and complaints about petty things that any employee would ordinarily accept as part of being an employee for any company.
Olbermann is now threatening to sue, and the situation does not make him look better one iota! For a man who reportedly was on a contract worth $50 million, and a lot of input to the development of the channel, one has to wonder why he has so much trouble getting along with management now at THREE channels!
The man is not a positive force for journalism anymore, and his ego and obnoxious personality makes him the news, instead of his ability to be perceptive about the personalities and issues of the news.
This is a major factor in the decline of journalism as a profession. The selfish, self centered Olbermann has worn out his welcome in cable journalism, and it is hard to imagine any other channel hiring him in the future.
But don’t feel sad for Olbermann! His total earnings over the years are something only the top one percent that he constantly attacks, but is a member of, would possess, and he can just write, rather than speak, and will NEVER have a problem paying his bills like most of us in America!
What Olbermann has done is NOT good for the progressive movement, but Al Gore looks ever the better, since he tolerated the temperamental nature of Olbermann, until he finally had to put his foot down and decide to fire him.
The sooner any lawsuit is resolved, the better for those who observe, and feeling sadness of what the dispute does to those of us who advocate progressive values, but have to be embarrassed at the spectacle that has developed!
Meanwhile, former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was dropped by CNN, even though this author thought he had done an excellent job, has now replaced Olbermann, and despite criticism of Spitzer’s sex scandal a few years ago, which led to his resignation from the governorship, he has redeemed himself in the author’s mind, and will be a positive force for Current TV, which hopefully will continue to develop and overcome this disgraceful dispute between them and Keith Olbermann!