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Jewish World Review
April 10, 2012/ 18 Nissan, 5772
This Just In: War Breaks Out --- Thank You, Lord
Every now and then a war breaks out that is actually fun to watch. The kind of war where you're hoping both sides lose. Thankfully, such a war has now erupted, and right here in the United States of Entertainment. On one side is a man who gives the term "nut job" a bad name. On the other, a man who gives the term "Al Gore" a bad name.
Yes, fans of chaos, this is the war pitting Keith Olbermann against Al Gore; a war between the biggest name on Current TV (which is like calling somebody the tallest midget in the room) and the Nobel Peace Prize winner who co-founded the left-wing network. If this were a movie it would be called "Dumb and Dumber, the Sequel."
Olbermann worked for Current TV until a few weeks ago when he got fired for, among other things, not showing up to work. Hey, give the poor guy a break. He was making only $10 million a year. Not one to tolerate injustice, he sued Current TV seeking as much as $70 million for lost wages over the life of his contract and for an equity stake in the company that was part of the allure to get him to sign.
Just the other day, thing got interesting. Current TV fired back. It counter-sued Olbermann, claiming, as one news report put it, that, "he failed to perform his duties for the progressive television network and saying it does not owe him 'a dime' of the millions Olbermann claims he is owed."
Before we move on, let's remember that Gore (and Current TV's co-founder Joel Hyatt) hired Olbermann knowing full well that he was a time bomb with horned rimmed glasses, that he was an escapee from a mental institution - that institution going under the name MSNBC. So Al Gore makes a chuckle-headed move like that and we're supposed to trust him when he says global warming is going to destroy the planet? Forgive me if I'm skeptical.
One of my favorite pastimes is watching progressives get ugly. I mean, they're so compassionate most of the time, right? And that's the best thing about the Olbermann-Gore War - the pure, rotten nastiness of it all.
After he got dumped, Olbermann fired a broadside against Gore and Hyatt saying in his lawsuit that there were so many technical problems at their network that it looked like "an unprofessional cable-access show." Ouch!
Here's what the network's lawyers put in their counter-suit against Olbermann: "Current seeks a determination that it is no longer obligated to pay a dime to Mr. Olbermann who, having already been paid handsomely for showing up sporadically and utterly failing to keep his end of the bargain, now seeks to be paid tens of millions more for not working at all."
Olbermann apparently got so sick of the Mickey Mouse operation at Current TV that he went AWOL. According to the lawsuit against him, he worked only 19 of 41 business days in January and February and refused to work on the network's primary election coverage. Question: Why should he have to work on election coverage? After all, he was only in charge of NEWS at Current TV.
But Olbermann's lawsuit says, "After being on the air for nearly eight months long after all 'growing pains' should have ceased Current still couldn't manage to, literally, keep the lights on."
Maybe, but the counter-suit says that Olbermann was a giant pain in the ass, that he rejected seven limousine companies, that he refused to cooperate in promotional discussions and that he took vacations with little notice. The suit also claims that Olbermann got especially annoyed one time and threw a glass mug on the set.
After reading the charges and the counter charges, I came to a conclusion: There is a G0d. And He likes me. He really, really likes me! Why else would he let this show go on?
One more thing: Each night, Keith Olbermann, the biggest star on Current TV, attracted 177,000 viewers.
I had more people at my Bar Mitzvah.
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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.
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© 2011, Bernard Goldberg
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