Keith Olbermann On Getting Fired From Current: “I Screwed Up”
Keith Olbermann, who recently and very publicly lost his gig on Al Gore’s Current TV network, did a sit-down with David Letterman on Tuesday night. And while he said the whole mess was his fault, the admission may not be as contrite as it sounds.
“I screwed up,” Olbermann told his longtime friend. “I screwed up really big on this … It’s my fault that it didn’t succeed in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.”
He said the budget problems at Current had him rethinking accepting a job there not long after his show went on the air.
“I didn’t say, ‘You know, if you buy a $10 million chandelier, you should have a house to put it in. Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good, and it’s not going to do any good to the chandelier. And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house on to put the chandelier in, or a building permit, and I should have known that.”
A comically stammering Letterman asked, “You’re … you’re the chandelier?”
“I’m the chandelier,” Olbermann wryly replied as the audience laughed. “You are always pointing out how big my head is, so I think it’s a suitable analogy.”
Olbermann was less than a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with Current TV when the network parted ways with him. He’s now hired the same attorney who represented Conan O’Brien when NBC famously cut the redheaded host loose from ‘The Tonight Show.’
Money aside, Olbermann got pretty emotional when he talked about his staff, many of whom followed him to Current from his previous gig at MSNBC: “They put their careers at risk for me and I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to them or thank them for the work they did with me and I’m … you know, I’m so proud of them because the show editorially was never better but I let them down because it didn’t continue.”
The man conservatives love to hate has become almost as famous for his firings as the jobs he’s held. In addition to the fiasco at Current TV, he’s also been unceremoniously shown the door at ESPN and MSNBC. He has a notoriously big heart, but when it comes to how he earns a living, it seems sometimes his worst enemy isn’t the far-right — it’s himself.
Watch the interview below.