You just can't keep a liberal maniac down.
Keith Olbermann, the biggest thing on Al Gore's teeny, tiny cable network Current, was offered the opportunity to host the network's Iowa Caucus show on Tuesday night but apparently turned them down.
Why? It seems the Olby was miffed that he would be broadcasting from his ticky tack studio in New York.
"I was not given a legitimate opportunity to host under acceptable conditions," Olbermann said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. "They know it and we know it. Telling half the story is wrong."
But an internal memo from Current TV president David Bohrman obtained by THR contends that Olbermann was asked to lead primary coverage.
Cenk Uygur, Jennifer Granholm and network co-founder Al Gore have been helming the network's election specials, called Politically Direct. And Tuesday, Olbermann's Countdown was pre-empted for live coverage of the Iowa caucuses.
Olbermann said all along that he had planned to anchor his 8 p.m. program on Tuesday. And early in the evening he tweeted that he was "headed into the office now."
Later, he tweeted: "So as not to mislead: I am informed Countdown will not be on tonight. I must defer on all questions to @JoelHyatt @AlGore and @Current."
Apparently, Bohrman, upon learning that Olbermann had assembled his staff for a show that would be pre-empted, sent a memo to Countdown staffers to clear up the "misunderstanding."
"There will be NO stand-alone Countdown tonight. For those of you at work who might be preparing a program, I apologize your managers did not communicate this to you. See you back on the air tomorrow night," wrote Bohrman.
A few weeks ago, the lights went out in Olbermann's stuido, prompting him to bring a candle to the next evening's show. This is apparently what Olbermann means by "acceptable conditions."
Allah has an interesting take:
How can it be that the staff thought they were doing a show last night when the entire world, thanks to that NYT story, believed days earlier that they weren't? Surely management would have stepped in to clear things up between last Thursday and Tuesday; did a certain someone "forget" to pass along their instructions to the "Countdown" team? And who leaked Bohrman's memo to the Hollywood Reporter? Was it one of the staffers, annoyed at the confusion and/or brinksmanship between Olby and management, or was it management itself as a way to counter Olby's fingerpointing? Hard to believe Current would have let the staff operate under the impression that they were going to do a caucus show up until the very last minute, only to pull the plug. Maybe "someone" decided to call everyone in despite management's orders, start putting together a show the way he wanted to do it, and then dare the brass at Current to tell him he couldn't go on the air with it. Or maybe this is yet another case of tyrannical cable-news execs trying to tell a genius how to practice his craft and then besmirching him when he insisted on doing it his way. It happened at Fox and MSNBC, right?
This is a guy who mistakes his own towering ego and arrogance for integrity.
And then there's this from HR:
Countdown is the highest-rated show on Current by far. On Dec. 15, the program averaged 52,000 viewers among news' target demographic of viewers ages 25-54. The network's two-hour post-Iowa GOP debate analysis on the same night had 4,000 viewers in the demo, while the 2 a.m. rebroadcast of Countdown pulled in 11,000.
Olby used to be MSNBC's top prime time show, reaching a million viewers a night.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. And he can't stand it.