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MSNBC's Bad Blood

NY Daily News gossip scribe Lloyd Grove reports that MSNBC president Rick Kaplan had a meltdown over "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann's closing commentary Monday. Here's a bit of from the transcript:

OLBERMANN: To that point, the story now of somebody who quite probably should have been in Peter Jennings's shoes, except for dumb, undeserved luck. Me.

So, I thought as I was hunched over, spitting blood into the garbage can in my office half an hour before the newscast, this is it. This is cancer. It gets uglier, I understood that, so ugly that those who have survived it can't even describe how much uglier it gets.

Still, that imagery that I want to have stick in your mind is pretty good. They've just had to cut something out from inside your body because they think it's cancer, and because it doesn't heal up right away, every couple of hours, the coagulation breaks and your mouth fills up with blood, and all of a sudden, hunching over a garbage can spitting it out is the best available option.

I'm not doing some sort of bad taste "What if" on the passing of Peter Jennings. I have had a tumor removed from the roof of my mouth. It was benign. That makes all the difference in the world, of course, except for the part where it doesn't make any difference because I was in that position, spitting globs of myself into a garbage can in Seacaucus, New Jersey, entirely through my own doing, my own fault. [More]

Grove claims Kaplan raced onto the set and 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,"

Grove claims that Kaplan told Olbermann,"I don't care if you don't come to work tomorrow." For the record Olbermann did come to work Tuesday...


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Comments (23)

Olbermann sucked beyond bel... (Below threshold)

Olbermann sucked beyond belief on ESPN and he's an even bigger jerk now. Not just because I disagree with his politics but it's just his smarmy smart ass delivery that is like nails on a chalk board to me.

If Oblermann's ratings fell... (Below threshold)

If Oblermann's ratings fell in the forest...
Like the above poster, I've never liked Olbermann. Snide, smarmy little punk. That he would take the Jenning's story and make it about him, no shock. Kinda like a certain AAR radio host that took the time to whine that he too, had money taken from his pocket, not just the alzheimers patients and poor children of NY.

Kieth who?... (Below threshold)

Kieth who?

As a former 17-year smoker,... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

As a former 17-year smoker, I can see Olbermann's somewhat discombobulated point. I think there's nothing worse than an ex-smoker. The righteous indignation ("you shouldn't be doing that") and overly sage advice ("listen to me, I've been there") from ex-smokers like Olbermann consistently fails as a tactic in getting current smokers to quit smoking. The message ultimately comes across as preachy and demeaning and sounding like a harping and carping mother.

Yes, smokers know they are doing is wrong; in fact, they hate their habit more than ex-smokers. But to berate, belittle and otherwise torment them only serves to alienate them more from society and forces them to be alone with their habit where, if they want it, they receive no support and help from friend, and only delve into their habit more. I've been there, I've felt it and heard it from other smokers. And I can tell you for a fact, not ONE of these tactics ever works. (Which is why I've always found gov't anti-smoking programs such enormous wastes of money—they're always very preachy and are rarely proven to actually decrease smoking rates.)

While Olbermann is trying to bring a personal example of how bad smoking is and what it can put you through, my only disagreement with his presentation is exactly that: his presentation. It's just all over the map, instead of being simple, honest and sincere. But I guess Olbermann felt he needed to present his case in his "style", however scatterbrained that style may be. Personally, I liked the whole spitting-up blood into a garbage can in Seacaucus, NJ angle; it is a vivid image. However, he just should've kept in the first person and not obtusely talk of himself.

The producer, obviously grief-stricken over the loss of his friend, missed the point entirely. Maybe that's because he's a smoker and is more upset by his own shortcoming (aka: smoking). But I disgress...

P.S. Want to quit smoking? Here's a great trick. When you get the courage to put the packs down, drink water. I mean lots and lots of water. I drank nearly 2-3 gallons a day to flush out my system, and, by God, it works. That, and think of all the state "sin" taxes that are placed upon cigarettes to pay for liberal dead-end programs and that'll mnake you angry enough to quit!

Argh! It's Secaucus, one a.... (Below threshold)

Argh! It's Secaucus, one a. It's a Delaware Indian word, it has nothing to do with the sea. Actually it probably means The Place of the Black Snakes or Black Snake Hill, I have heard different interpretations.

"I have had a tumor removed... (Below threshold)

"I have had a tumor removed from the roof of my mouth. It was benign. "


I can't stand K.O. for all ... (Below threshold)

I can't stand K.O. for all the reasons everyone listed. But Kaplen sounds like a real jerk. This is one of the only topics that I'll give Keith a break on. Maybe a few of his viewers will actually stop smoking because of this. I'm just wondering though if he advocates the same approach to contracting AIDS?

Perhaps the world will get ... (Below threshold)

Perhaps the world will get lucky and Olbermann will elope to Air American... 'twould be a better place.

ITS NOT A TOOOOMER!!!!... (Below threshold)


Yup, he's a jerk. But in a... (Below threshold)

Yup, he's a jerk. But in a strange way I think he likes it. At least it's got us talking about him, and that's probably more valuable to him than contributing to the poinent and touching tributes to Peter Jennings. Remember; it's all about Keith.

Rove did it.... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Rove did it.

yeah, right Keith.. its all... (Below threshold)
beth cardone:

yeah, right Keith.. its all about YOU!!
what is this the Keith-o-centric theory of the universe?? everything revolves around Keith Olberman???

Keith is the man!! I love ... (Below threshold)

Keith is the man!! I love him. I can't think of anyone else on Cable "news" (and I use the term lightly) who has the balls to tell it like it is and the fall-out be damned.Many, many stories-not just this one. Am thrilled to know yours was NOT cancer. Mine was - breast-type - but all seems to be A-OK for now. Lucky just like you. I could empathize with every word you spoke of the fear of waiting and worrying and wondering (like if I was gonna live to see my 15 year old daughter become an adult.) Scary, scary stuff. Good for you for making people a little sick with your descriptions - that is exactly what it is like - so get scared you smokers! Quit.

They're trying to make Pete... (Below threshold)

They're trying to make Peter the Red a hero now...NBC news with Brian Williams tonight had a story on "the Jennings effect"- how people are quitting smoking in droves because of the shock of seeing an anti-semitic America hater die from smoking.

On a related note, I was at the gym watching that broadcast, and they played the clip of Jennings where he said "I'm a smoker. I quit 20 years ago but started smoking again over 9/11" to which some guy behind me said "I didn't know joy could make you take up smoking again"

Peter the Red's legacy is safe....

I like Keith, for once some... (Below threshold)

I like Keith, for once someone who gets on the air, points out the stupidity of the day and says for all of us of the Majority a collective "duh!"

I happened on this blog, and think people who hide behind their monitors to attack others no matter what the stance is, and do so viciously are the cowards of the world who wouldn't have the guts to say such things to the particluar person's face.

Keith doesn't give us the "talking points" of either side, except when it's so ludicrous it merits mention. Of either side.

I suspect that the posters here that claim hatred for someone that they don't know personally are doing so out of fear. What fear you ask? The fear that Americans are finally waking up to the schoolyard bullying that has taken over this nation thanks to hate and fear mongers like rove, bush and cheney.

The proof? That bush refused to comfort the mother of a fallen soldier who is simply asking a simple question in response to bush's "explantion" which was weak and non-responsive.

If bush were half the man these people claim he is, then he would have made it his priority to walk down the lane and comfort Cindy. But his behavior and lack of common decency is glaringly obvious. Hell, even if it were used as a photo op he could have still come off as a caring human beinjg. Now he has proven by his own actions that he is the same coward that took the oath during Vietnam and then ran. When you have a clueless selfish man running the country, he will do what we all learned in grade school: Learn from history or it will repeat itself.

WE can't leave now, but that doesn't absolve him of his accountability for the lies he told when he diverted attention away from those that attacked us and those that protected the terrorists by invading Iraq.

IN fact, let's not forget Pat Tillman, the All American Boy who went to the country that attacked us, Afghanistan and died because there was not enough support where it is needed; and then to add salt to the wound, he was killed by friendly fire.

And while the rightwingnuts keep diverting attention away from those facts, and realizing that Americans are finally waking up and calling for accountability for the lies told, people like Cindy and the rest of us MODERATES who are fed up with extremists on both sides running the show, and give our Nation back to We, The People. We need to save our Constitution which has been the biggest victim in this whole debacle. That is our Constitution duty as citizens.

Thank you, Keith. You are ... (Below threshold)

Thank you, Keith. You are an oasis in the desert of "journalism".

Congratulations to Keith, a... (Below threshold)

Congratulations to Keith, at least someone has the balls to describe things in reality. Peters loss was an incredible one to humanity. For those of you who don't like Keith maybe you don't like South Park either. Too bad it makes one uncomfortable to hear the reality of one's own destructive behaviors. Pay attention America we are in a crisis, no more sugar coating like your cereal was in your high chair. God bless Keith and if you don't like his style change the channel!

Peter Jennings was a second... (Below threshold)

Peter Jennings was a second-rate prettyboy who, along with Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, presided over the decline of network news operations into obscurity and irrelevance.

As for Olbermann, his mouth has gotten his a** in trouble (and fired) at every network he's ever worked at. MSNBC will be no different.

To BGalpin: Actually, after watching Olbermann on MSNBC, I didn't just change the channel; I threw away my television.

To ShyOne: Have you taken yours meds today?

Applause to Keith for givin... (Below threshold)
Janice G.:

Applause to Keith for giving us the real deal on the ugly side of disease, especially one that's preventable!! In fact, many diseases are self-inflicted through drug dependence, poor eating habits and lifestyle choices!! Wake up America --it's time to quit pigging out, loafing and gaining weight and using drugs that bring us to early demise!!

I LOVED HIS COMMENTARY. I ... (Below threshold)


I like Kieth & I wouldn't w... (Below threshold)
Bill Wellman:

I like Kieth & I wouldn't watch Rita Cosby for anything. Her voice drives me crazy. She must have slept with the jerk who hired her

The person who responded "D... (Below threshold)

The person who responded "DAMN!" to Keith's statement that his tumor was benign should be ashamed.

Whether or not you like someone or agree with his politics, wishing actively for his death--especially a slow, painful one--is sick, sick, sick.

As for me--as a survivor of cancer--I can't thank Keith enough for speaking truth to power. I didn't even smoke. Why in the hell would anyone want to smoke and possibly help bring on what I had to go through?

At least we're talking abou... (Below threshold)

At least we're talking about something other than Cindy Sheehan today... Keith did at least THAT much right!






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