The Olbermann Suit: Top 10 'Under The Bus' Moments

The Olbermann Suit: Top 10 'Under The Bus' Moments

When he was fired from Current last week, Keith Olbermann suggested he wouldbe filing a lawsuit against his employer. Thursday afternoon Olbermannfollowed through on his threat:

According to the 43-page, eight-count complaint, filed Thursdayafternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney PattyGlaser of L.A.’s Glaser Weil firm, Olbermann was terminated withoutcause a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with the left-leaningTV network. He claims he is owed between $50 million and $70 million indamages based on breach of contract and other causes of action.

The Hollywood Reporter has obtained a copy of the complaintand 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 thelast year at Current TV. 

10) Olbermann throws Current’s senior management under the bus.

After being enticed to leave MSNBC and come to Current withpromises of editorial control, freedom from corporate influence, and theprofessional support to produce a high-caliber political commentary show ofthe type his viewers have come to expect, Keith Olbermann was disheartenedto discover Al Gore, Joel Hyatt and the management of Current are no morethan dilettantes portraying entertainment industry executives.

9) Olbermann especially throws Joel Hyatt under the bus. He’s clearly theworst person in Olbermann’s world.

Hyatt also attempted to isolate Olbermann from his professionalrepresentatives in an awkward attempt to form a close personal relationshipwith his new star. When Olbermann did not reciprocate Hyatt’s advances,Hyatt reacted by withholding necessary production resources, disparagingOlbermann in the press, denying him his contractually guaranteed editorialcontrol…and directing Current’s attorneys with vague and spurious claimsof breach.

8) Current threatened to throw Olbermann under the bus before the firstepisode of Countdown even aired.

Less than two weeks before the premiere of the Program onCurrent, [CEO] Hyatt summoned Olbermann to his office for a one-on-onemeeting at which Hyatt identified that he was speaking on behalf of himselfand Gore and threatened to cancel the program based on an unconfirmed andinaccurate suspicion that Olbermann’s manager had leaked informationregarding the Agreement to the Hollywood Reporter.

7) Olbermann rather amusingly throws Al “invented-the-internet” Gore underthe bus.

Stunningly, Al Gore’s network was not interested in establishinga strong internet presence.

6) Olbermann threw Cenk Uygur under the bus before he was hired.

Prior to launching “The Young Turks,” Hyatt and Bohrman askedOblermann about the possibility of hiring Cenk Uygur. Olbermann opined toBohrman that Uygur had difficulty separating facts from things he wanted tobe true.

5) Olbermann threw Cenk Uygur under the bus after he was hired.

Olbermann Did Not Promote Cenk Uygur’s Show Because It WasDemonstrably Substandard.It was, therefore, reasonable for Olbermann to decline to be associated witha host with a questionable journalistic standard and a show that was not upto the standards expected by the “Countdown” audience.

4) Current threw Olby’s hand selected fill-in-host David Schuster under thebus.

On January 26th, Shuster was preparing to serve as guest host ofas 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 JenniferGranholm 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 notconsulted, meaningfully or otherwise, about the show to be hosted solely byGranholm. Olbermann first found out about this show when Bohrman informedhim that Current had hired Granholm. The month prior, Bohrman had askedOlbermann’s opinion about a prospective show to be co-hosted by Granholm andVan Jones. Olbermann advised against it.

2) Not afraid to punch down, Olbermann threw the Current social media teamunder the bus.

The only group that Olbermann asked to stop discussingreleases promoting segments and guests that were not going to be on theProgram. Olbermann asked them to stop confusing and angering his audience bypromoting the wrong segments and guests…Olbermann’s request was areasonable and appropriate response to Current’s continualincompetence.

1) Current started throwing Olbermann under the bus back in November.

It is now clear that since at least November 2011, when Currentbegan negotiating with Eliot Spitzer to replace Olbermann, Current has beenlooking for ways to get out of its contractual obligations toOlbermann.

And with that, all that’s left to say is “Good night and good luck.”