The Worst Persons in the World: Highlights from the Olbermann-Current Lawsuit

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 6 2012 9:03 AM

The Worst Persons in the World: Highlights from the Olbermann-Current Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Television personality Keith Olbermann visits 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on June 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Michael Calderone has posted the full 43-page lawsuit filed by Keith Olbermann against his old employers. If you want the short version: Olbermann is owed between $50m and $70m, and he'd like it as soon as possible, please. The longer version: Olbermann wants the court to know that he tried to save the network from a gaggle of complete incompetents. Today's Worst Persons in the World:

5) Al Gore, who courted the cable star then ruined his reputation. "Keith Olbermann was disheartened to discover Al Gore, Joel Hyatt, and the management of Current are no more than dilettantes portraying entertainment industry executives."


4) Joel Hyatt, who ruined the show by not understanding ratings. "In reality, the Program's premier had higher ratings than both CNN and MSNBC in the key demographic for advertisers. The incorrect ratings purchased and disseminated by Hyatt, because they did not contain statistics for same day viewing through DVRs and other such methods, did not reveal that the Program had outrated MSNBC."

3) Cenk Uygur, who brought his "Young Turks" show to the network even though Olbermann thought it would stink. "Olbermann told them that he did not think Uygur would be a good choice. Olbermann opined to Bohrman that Uygur had difficulty separating facts from things he wanted to be true… when Uygur appeared on "Countdown," the day after Ugyur's much publicized departure from MSNBC (at the height of his perceived popularity), the ratings on the Program had actually gone down during Uygur's segment."

2) Jennifer Granholm, who hosted another show, "The War Room," that Olbermann couldn't stand. "Current unilaterally used Olbermann's likeness without approval for advertisements for 'The Young Turks' and 'The War Room,' because Olbermann believed they were low quality programs... The ratings for 'The War Room' and 'The Young Turks' proved Mr. Olbermann's assessment correct."

1) Van Jones, who almost hosted a show. "Bohrman had asked Olbermann's opinion about a prospective show to be co-hosted by Granholm and Van Jones. Olbermann advised against it."

There couldn't be a brighter contrast between these people and Olbermann himself, who just wanted to make the damn network successful, like Current hired him to do. "Olbermann even offered to reduce his salary to help pay for two journalists with whom Olbermann had previously worked."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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