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

116603406
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."

Advertisement

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. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.