It appears that one of the only men that I have any respect for on cable news is about to be on his way out. Is it due to low ratings? No (he seems to be carrying the network on some nights). Is it because he seems to be the same type of anchor as the other “talking heads” on cable news? No Way!! It was because, he decided to tell the story about his own personal health and how smoking/tobacco has impacted him. Especially touching after the death of Peter Jennings.
For those of you that did not watch the Monday (8/8) episode of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”, let me fill you in. From the New York Daily News –
“…after [Keith] eulogized lung-cancer victim Peter Jennings with a graphic rant about his own cancer scare. Olbermann – a former pipe and cigar smoker – is said to have looked stunned as Kaplan raced onto the set and shouted at him after he signed off.
Olbermann had urged viewers to quit smoking and repeatedly mentioned “spitting blood” and “spitting globs of myself into a garbage can” while discussing his bout with a benign tumor in in his mouth. I’m told that Kaplan erupted angrily and at length, calling Olbermann “out of control” and “not to be trusted,” and accusing him of driving away viewers from the 9 p.m. debut of Kaplan hire Rita Cosby’s show, “Live and Direct.”
Kaplan – a friend and former ABC News colleague of Jennings, and a frequent cigar smoker – apparently got even angrier when Olbermann suggested that the reason he was upset was that ‘this is about you.’ I’m told that the anchor quietly asked the news exec to move the discussion to a private location, but the enraged Kaplan wouldn’t hear of it. ‘I don’t care if you don’t come to work tomorrow,’ Kaplan told Olbermann”
Now of course, Keith returned back to the show Tuesday. According to TVNewser, it was worst that that –
According to an anonymous tipster, the situation is even worse than the one described in the Daily News. There have been “four or five separate explosions,” the tipster said, calling them “childish, embarrassing, and insane.” Here’s the interesting part: “Witnesses against him being interviewed by management.”
But, maybe it is not Keith Olbermann that should be worried about his job –
Rick Kaplan has enough to worry about (read: Don Imus, Tucker Carlson, Rita Cosby .. can we stop now?) without crowd favorite Keith Olbermann raising his blood pressure.
So maybe I should not be concerned about this. I have sent my email of support to Keith, because I think that his talk about his own health problems and concerns (both on the show and on his blog) will convince others to stop using tobacco products. I seems that Mr. Kaplan may have just pulled a Novak. He is under a lot of pressure to get MSNBC out of the ratings basement. Attacking one of, if not thee, leading show’s host with lots of loyal followers may not be the brightest thing in the world.
I encourage others to write to Keith. His email address is KOlbermann@msnbc.com
This has been cross posted at “Six Degrees of Aaron”