It’s You, Keith.

The news that The Angry Man of the Self-Righteous Left, Keith Olbermann, was fired by Al Gore’s Current TV was hardly news at all, since most of us had entered a pool on when Olbermann would get jettisoned from his latest gig. The predictable episode does have an ethics lesson for all of us, however, that involves the virtues of accountability, humility, honesty and contrition.

Olbermann, true to form, attacked his former employers and blamed them for his exit, writing  via Twitter…

“…I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. 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. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain. In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.”

This, of course, is not really an apology. It’s not an apology when your message is, “I’m sorry my employers are unethical slobs who didn’t appreciate the excellent job I was doing.

Keith Olbermann has either been fired or quit under acrimonious circumstances in engagements with, count them, five broadcast organizations: ESPN, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and now Current TV. This, despite being obviously talented and often getting excellent ratings. Olbermann is a smart guy, and yet even now, his reaction seems to be, “Why, oh, why, do people keep treating me so badly?”

It’s you, Keith! Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Keith Olbermann

Welcome back, Keith!

Keith Olbermann, the talented, arrogant, self-righteous progressive scold whose “Countdown” show on MSNBC managed to make Sean Hannity look fair and balanced, returned to the tube yesterday on Al Gore’s nascent, and apparently shameless, new TV news commentary channel, Current TV. Olbermann, who despite his rhetorical gifts is unwilling to brave dissent or ideological balance on his show (something that cannot be said, for example, of Fox News bloviator Bill O’Reilly or even Hannity), did manage to make himself seem reasonable by comparison by welcoming and fawning over guests Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, neither of whom ever met a progressive agenda-bolstering lie they didn’t like.

But never mind: Keith locked up his Ethics Dunce by re-introducing his “Worst Person in the World” segment, which he had solemnly, if unnecessarily, jettisoned on MSNBC to demonstrate his new commitment to civility in the wake of Rep. Giffords’ shooting in Tucson. Continue reading