The Olbermann Suit: Top 10 'Under The Bus' Moments
When he was fired from Current last week, Keith Olbermann suggested he would
be filing a lawsuit against his employer. Thursday afternoon Olbermann
followed through on his threat:
According to the 43-page, eight-count complaint, filed Thursday
afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Patty
Glaser of L.A.'s Glaser Weil firm, Olbermann was terminated without
cause a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with the left-leaning
TV network. He claims he is owed between $50 million and $70 million in
damages based on breach of contract and other causes of action.
The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a copy of the complaint
and it paints quite a picture of the situation behind the scenes at Current.
As you'll see, a lot of people were thrown under a lot of buses over the
last year at Current TV.
10) Olbermann throws Current's senior management under the bus.
After being enticed to leave MSNBC and come to Current with
promises of editorial control, freedom from corporate influence, and the
professional support to produce a high-caliber political commentary show of
the type his viewers have come to expect, Keith Olbermann was disheartened
to discover Al Gore, Joel Hyatt and the management of Current are no more
than dilettantes portraying entertainment industry executives.
9) Olbermann especially throws Joel Hyatt under the bus. He's clearly the
worst person in Olbermann's world.
Hyatt also attempted to isolate Olbermann from his professional
representatives in an awkward attempt to form a close personal relationship
with his new star. When Olbermann did not reciprocate Hyatt's advances,
Hyatt reacted by withholding necessary production resources, disparaging
Olbermann in the press, denying him his contractually guaranteed editorial
control...and directing Current's attorneys with vague and spurious claims
8) Current threatened to throw Olbermann under the bus before the first
episode of Countdown even aired.
Less than two weeks before the premiere of the Program on
Current, [CEO] Hyatt summoned Olbermann to his office for a one-on-one
meeting at which Hyatt identified that he was speaking on behalf of himself
and Gore and threatened to cancel the program based on an unconfirmed and
inaccurate suspicion that Olbermann's manager had leaked information
regarding the Agreement to the Hollywood Reporter.
7) Olbermann rather amusingly throws Al "invented-the-internet" Gore under
Stunningly, Al Gore's network was not interested in establishing
a strong internet presence.
6) Olbermann threw Cenk Uygur under the bus before he was hired.
Prior to launching "The Young Turks," Hyatt and Bohrman asked
Oblermann about the possibility of hiring Cenk Uygur. Olbermann opined to
Bohrman that Uygur had difficulty separating facts from things he wanted to
5) Olbermann threw Cenk Uygur under the bus after he was hired.
Olbermann Did Not Promote Cenk Uygur's Show Because It Was
It was, therefore, reasonable for Olbermann to decline to be associated with
a host with a questionable journalistic standard and a show that was not up
to the standards expected by the "Countdown" audience.
4) Current threw Olby's hand selected fill-in-host David Schuster under the
On January 26th, Shuster was preparing to serve as guest host of
"Countdown" when Bohrman abruptly informed him that he would not be serving
as the guest host and would be replaced by [Bill] Press.
3) Olbermann tried to throw Jennifer Granholm and Van Jones under the bus.
On or about October 12, 2011, Current announced that Jennifer
Granholm would host a show which would be broadcast weekdays at 9:00 p.m.
This is the "lead-out" time slot for the Program. Olbermann was not
consulted, meaningfully or otherwise, about the show to be hosted solely by
Granholm. Olbermann first found out about this show when Bohrman informed
him that Current had hired Granholm. The month prior, Bohrman had asked
Olbermann's opinion about a prospective show to be co-hosted by Granholm and
Van Jones. Olbermann advised against it.
2) Not afraid to punch down, Olbermann threw the Current social media team
under the bus.
The only group that Olbermann asked to stop discussing
"Countdown" was Current's "social media" team after they repeatedly put out
releases promoting segments and guests that were not going to be on the
Program. Olbermann asked them to stop confusing and angering his audience by
promoting the wrong segments and guests...Olbermann's request was a
reasonable and appropriate response to Current's continual
1) Current started throwing Olbermann under the bus back in November.
It is now clear that since at least November 2011, when Current
began negotiating with Eliot Spitzer to replace Olbermann, Current has been
looking for ways to get out of its contractual obligations to
And with that, all that's left to say is "Good night and good luck."