Yesterday, Current TV anchorman Keith Olbermann was fired by his bosses Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Olbermann had been working for only about a year of his 5-year, $50 million dollar contract -- and he's pissed. Shortly after Currant made the news of Olbermann's forced departure public, he took to Twitter (where else?) to vent in a weird barrage of 140 character tweets that ended up being akin to a short speech.
Based on what he said, there will likely be a lawsuit and whether you want to or not, we'll all be seeing a lot more of Olbermann for months to come. He's already set to appear on the Late Show With David Letterman next week and our burning "what went on behind the scenes" questions will likely be answered. There's one question I don't think we'll ever have answered though, and that is:
What the heck was Current thinking when it hired Olbermann's "replacement" -- especially in the context of why they fired Olbermann?
Current wrote an open letter to its viewers explaining that it was dismissing Olbermann and said, in part,
Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.
It went on to say:
We’re very excited to announce that beginning tonight, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will host 'Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer' at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.
Ah, Eliot Spitzer -- he's that bastion of virtue who slept with hookers behind his pregnant wife's back and stepped down in disgrace from his position as Governor of New York. Hey, it's great that his wife forgives him and that he's moved on and can still get a well-paying job. But to fire one man because he's not meeting up to the company's standards of "respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty" -- and to hire another, who has clearly demonstrated that he takes all of those values pretty darn lightly, is a little bizarre wouldn't you say?
Is Current TV hoping prospective viewers actually buy into those words as an apt description of Spitzer? It's pretty darn disrespectful for Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to try to cast Spitzer as a man among men. But then, it's not that surprising. Gore is the guy who won the presidency back in 2004 and couldn't stand up for himself against George W. And Hyatt was found guilty of illegally firing an employee (Clarence B. Cain) after learning he had AIDS. (The incident was the basis for the Tom Hanks' movie Philadelphia.)
All I can say is, thank God for Rachel Maddow.
What do you think of Olbermann's dismissal and Eliot Spitzer's new gig on Current TV?
Image via Freedom to Marry/Flickr