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Apparently Olbermann took unauthorized vacation time – working only 19 of 41 business days in January and February – and refused to work on Current’s U.S. presidential caucus and primary election coverage as he was asked to do. A Current spokesman said that the facts are on the channel’s side in this dispute and Olbermann is merely “pounding the table.” He added, bitingly, “We hope Mr. Olbermann understands that when it comes to the legal process, he is actually required to show up.”
The loose cannon Olbermann’s diva behavior hasn’t earned him many, if any, supporters. A former (but anonymous) staffer at MSNBC described him as “the walking definition of a hostile work environment.” A Baltimore Sun critic labeled him “an arrested adolescent.” An article at The Wrap entertainment website entitled “Good Riddance, Keith Olbermann” denounced him for his “self-aggrandizement” and said that, instead of delving into gritty, street-level reporting practiced by PBS’ Frontline or even Current’s own Vanguard, “he kept doing what he did on MSNBC: delivering petty attacks on people he didn’t like, while occasionally feuding with his bosses at yet another network”:
What does it say about Olbermann’s devotion to the liberalism he espouses that he can’t even get along with Gore, a boss who praised him up and down and promised him the freedom to do whatever he wanted? If you have a string of failed relationships, you have to consider, at some point, that perhaps you are the problem – and not all of your exes.
What else does this say about Olbermann? That, thanks to this latest career self-immolation, the leftist firebrand seems to have been reduced to a smoldering ember, if not actually cold ashes. Perhaps the same can be said of Gore, whose global warming hysteria has been exposed as precisely that, and whose fledgling network initially tried to run on user-generated content from the youth market, until, as THR’s Tim Goodwin puts it, Current “realized that the youth market had better things to do – like illegally download HBO and just released movies.” So these former progressive icons, like lumbering monsters in an old Japanese science fiction film, have little left to do but begin battling each other.
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