Keith Olbermann: The $10 million chandelier


CBS was kind enough to send out highlights of David Letterman’s chat with Keith Olbermann from tonight’s “Late Show.” Funny that Olbermann’s visit to discuss his latest messy exit from a job would come the same day Letterman announces a new contract with the network that has been his broadcast home since 1993.

Here’s the CBS transcript:

“Now, tell us your story,” Letterman asked.  “How much time have you got?” Olbermann joked.  “How long ago did you leave MSNBC to go to the Current TV show?” Letterman asked.  “It’s over a year, right?”  “I don’t know,” Olbermann said. “I have to consult my notes because after a certain point, I can’t keep track of where I’m working. I don’t have any idea.”  “Well, that’s why we had this made up for you,” Letterman said. “This is – right here, this is an adjustable business card,” with rotating employers, which Letterman then handed to Olbermann.  “Oh, that’s brilliant!” Olbermann exclaimed. “…Thanks, Dave, I’ll treasure it always.” 

 “But, you know, not that anybody cares,” Letterman said, “but when you said you were going to Current TV, I think a lot of people were skeptical because I still don’t know where Current TV is, I don’t know what they do at Current TV, and we all thought, ‘This is going to be fantastic or it’s just going to be nothing,’ and it turned out to be – ” “Nothing,” Olbermann whispered.  “Nothing, yeah,” Letterman said.  “First of all, do they know what they’re doing over there, because you know what you’re doing.”  “Thank you,” Olbermann replied.

“All right, so do they, the Current TV people know what they’re doing?” Letterman asked. “It’s former Vice President Al Gore.  Does he know what he’s doing on TV?”  “I screwed up, “Olbermann said.  “I screwed up really big on this.  Let’s just start there.  I thought we could do this.  It’s my fault that it didn’t succeed in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.  I didn’t say, ‘You know, if you buy a $10 million chandelier, you should have a house to put it in. Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good, and it’s not going to do any good to the chandelier.’  And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house on to put the chandelier in, or a building permit, and I, I should have known that.  And it is, it is my fault at heart.”  “You’re the chandelier?” Letterman asked to audience laughter.  “I’m the chandelier,” Olbermann replied. “You are always pointing out how big my head is, so I think it’s a suitable analogy.”

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  1. Stan Chaz says:

    Hey, when they say “Keith, you’re gonna be half-partner at Current” and they offer you 10 mil a year, it implies you’ll have SOME control over your work environment, your new home… no? Ahhhhh Yes: But we must contrast those nasty angry egotistic Liberal commentators (like Keith Olbermann) with…..the quiet, humble, self-effacing, ego-less, almost Budda-like qualities of Conservative commentators…..who, no doubt, bicycle to work, so that they might not offend THEIR limo drivers. Chill out Right Wingers, and just take two more Viagras. But do me a favor- and DON’T call me in the morning ?. The real question we should be asking is : Did CurrentTV simply USE Keith to gain attention and higher ratings? They KNEW what they were getting! Did they lure him with big bucks, and then drop him when they were done? Yes, we all know that Keith injects emotion and passion into his commentary, into his intelligent and incisive reporting, and into his humor….all of which makes his program interesting, as well as informative. He’s forceful, honest, and direct: you FEEL his pain, you FEEL his anger, and you FEEL his heart-felt sincerity when he covers a story. And he covers it well. He’s NEVER just another talking head! If Keith is absent from CurrentTV, then I too will be absent from CurrentTV. For Keith is one of the best – hands down- as evidenced by his outstanding coverage of OWS during the past year. I wish him well, and hope that he is back on the air soon. We need his unique voice and viewpoint!

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