Producers at Current TV say today’s firing of well-known and popular liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann is part of a larger strategy: Irrelevance and unwatchability.
Current insiders said Olbermann’s “Countdown” flew in the face of the channel’s programming strategy, running long, drab shows about miserable social issues halfway around the world, as well as programming showcasing America’s drug trade, and bride trafficking. And “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“The big boss was becoming concerned that there was one hour per day when people were actually watching the network,” said channel producer Lou Grant. “There’d be meetings where Al [Gore] was like, what are we going to do with this Olbermann and people actually watching us? The next thing you know, we’ll be expected to sell advertising.”
Olbermann’s visibility also detracted from others of Current’s strategies: To hire every former Air America Radio host to put them on TV while still being annoying and unwatchable even to liberals who walk around frothing at the mouth.
“Liberals were used to tuning in to Countdown for 8 p.m. for years. It was a time-tested program with a guy who had consistently shown that he could deliver the audience,” said another producer. “Liberals adore Olbermann and remember him fondly as the lone broadcaster who first stood up to the rogue tyranny of Don Rumsfeld and the Bush administration. Why in hell would we want to have anything to do with that?”