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Suddenly off the air: Olby and me January 21, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV.

Shortly after 9PM, I learned that Keith Olbermann had done his last show with MSNBC.  At first, I was in denial.  Without knowing the details, I figured he wouldn’t be gone long, as was the case when he was suspended in November.  But there won’t be a reprieve for him this time.  This is really the end.

It came as swiftly as my end came at WCWP last August.  On a Wednesday afternoon, August 4, hours before going on the Spirit of New York’s Smooth Cruise, it was Rick Braun and Richard Elliot that week, I got an e-mail that stopped me in my tracks.  Long story short, six days later, I wrote the following:

Effective immediately, I am stepping aside from “Evening Jazz” on 88.1 WCWP.  I wish the best of luck to those involved with the format.  It was a privilege to be on board for the first seven months.  It was equally an honor to be considered as a host when the format was proposed a year ago.

I stand by what I said then.  I will admit that I’ve had bitter moments since the decision.  No one likes to step away from something they love, but that’s the business of media.  I wouldn’t have been part of “Evening Jazz” had it not been for Martin Phillips, who I trust has done a fine job in my place.

There is one glaring difference between Olby and me: I didn’t use my show to lob personal attacks at my competition or people I disagreed with politically.  For that, I did not like Keith, after loving his work at ESPN and Fox Sports earlier in his career.  I’ll never forget how listening to the audiobook for The Big Show by Keith and Dan Patrick got me and my family through the car ride to Florida in December 1997, or how listening to the same audiobook got me through an hours-long power outage in September 1998 (though not days long like last March’s Nor’easter).  That made it hard for me to suddenly dislike him beginning in 2006 when he took liberal blog-inspired shots at Bill O’Reilly.  Then, I discovered Olbermann Watch, where Keith’s misinformation and embellishments were questioned and debunked.  It dulled the pain of the personal attacks, unless I witnessed them while recapping segments for the site.

To the chagrin of his fans, to recap what I said at the top of this post, tonight was the end of the line for Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.  You can watch his farewell here.

I don’t know where either of us will end up next, but for my sake, there must be some place out there for me.  I hope I don’t regret posting this.

11:32 PM UPDATE: Here’s a supportive tweet from Johnny Dollar:

@MikeChimeri Yin and Yang. A good guy loses a job, and, tho it takes a while, a villain gets his comeuppance. You’ll find work B4 he does.

I replied by thanking him for the support.  Check out his site’s links for today.  Since the announcement, it’s been Olbycentric.

1/22, 12:55 AM UPDATE: J$’s weekend thread has more Olbycentric links.

1/22, 5:39 PM UPDATE: The final Olbermann Watch post…for now.

1/23 UPDATE: J$’s Fox Haters Week in Review closed with a segment on Olbermann.  Here’s a preview:

The End of an Error?
A few words about Keith Olbermann, possibly the biggest, loudest Fox hater on any news channel. We first dealt with Olby back in 2004, and still recall how his behavior then served as a template for so many smears that were yet to come. It was one of Olby’s trademark O’Reilly attacks, and this one was about ratings: …

1/24 UPDATE: The Olbermann reportage carried over to today, as documented at J$P.  Included in the links is this video:

From NewsBusters, it’s Keith Olbermann’s greatest hits.

Greg Gutfeld: Olby’s Exit.

Despite Keith’s departure from MSNBC, Bill O’Reilly still won’t mention his name on the air, as we saw tonight on The O’Reilly Factor in the Weekdays with Bernie [Goldberg] segment.  Jeff Poor elaborated on that move at The Daily Caller.  It’s a good move because Olbermann still has Twitter to snipe back on and rally his base.  The new #FOK, or “Friends of Keith,” hashtag is one way that base is rallying.

1/25 UPDATE: Today’s round of links

The Red Eye version of Greg Gutfeld’s commentary (Gregalogue):

1/26 UPDATE: Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel replied to Goldberg today.

1/30 UPDATE: Phil Mushnick: The real reason Olbermann lost his show

Fox News Watch on Keith’s dismissal:

2/8 UPDATE: Keith is headed to Current TV.  With that, attacks on everyone he disagrees with will resume.


3/30/12 UPDATE: Keith Olbermann was fired by Current TV earlier today.

4/1/12 UPDATE: From Howard Kurtz: Keith Olbermann’s Angry Email Trail Traces Breakup With Current TV

4/2/12 UPDATE: John Gibson weighed in at the end of his Fox News Radio show this afternoon:


1. Grammie - January 22, 2011

You’ll do OK, Mike, b/c, as Johnny said, you are a really good guy and there are many people pulling for you.

Good luck to an all around good guy who deserves every good thing that comes his way.

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