Keith Olbermann, who may be the person most responsible for turning MSNBC into the shrill and blatantly partisan network that it is today, will reportedly be contractually barred from talking about politics when he returns to ESPN this summer.
ESPN is expected to announce on Wednesday the two-year deal with Olbermann for a late-night show that will debut this summer to try to blunt the buzz surrounding Fox Sports 1’s debut.
On his new show, Olbermann will be free to discuss matters other than sports, including pop culture and current events, but not politics, the two-year pact specifies.
Especially since sports fans will have an alternative with Fox Sports 1, ESPN is cognizant of how toxic the thin-skinned and partisan anchor will be when straying away from topics, like baseball, he knows best or injecting politics into them. The network knows Olbermann’s vitriol may turn away viewers from ESPN.
Though Olbermann may not be specifically able to comment on politics, viewers will be on the lookout for how cleverly he may try to work in his views about politically relevant current events and politics by discussing them in the context of sports. Olbermann will be presented plenty of opportunities–and temptations–to do so since sports is often upstream from culture, which is often upstream from politics.