When most high-profile anchors lose their jobs, they don't immediately talk about it. Keith Olbermann is not one of those people.
Olbermann, who was fired last week by Al Gore's Current TV, appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman" on Tuesday to talk about his new unemployment. He was clearly engaging in some reputation rehab by appearing self-deprecating on the show, although he refrained from going into much detail about what went wrong. He said the nasty, abrupt split with Current—reminiscent of his falling out with MSNBC a little over a year ago and with ESPN before that—was, in part, his fault.
"I screwed up really big on this," Olbermann said. "It's my fault that it didn't succeed, in the sense that I didn't think the whole thing through."
Olbermann, who had a reported $50 million contract with Current, compared himself to a $10 million chandelier. "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."
"You're the chandelier?" Letterman said.
In effect, Olbermann was implying that a guy of his stature and fame shouldn't be joining a sub-par, under-the-radar network anyway.
The former "SportsCenter" anchor hinted he would sue Al Gore's network. "Up to last Thursday, I got my money,'' he said. "The nice judge will decide whether or not I get more of my money.''
Current announced on March 30 that it was letting Olbermann go.
"Current was founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers," Gore and Current co-founder Joel Hyatt wrote in a letter to viewers on the network's website. "Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann, and we have ended it."
Current replaced Olbermann's show with one hosted by Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal.
Olbermann quickly fired back from his Twitter account: "It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently."
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