Keith Olbermann Gets Revenge on Rachel Maddow, Publicly Airs Her Dirty Laundry and Goes Scorched Earth on MSNBC

Keith Olbermann has gone scorched earth and took revenge on Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, Comcast, and various media outlets by publicly airing their dirty laundry.

Olbermann seems quite bitter he is not back in the game but he has a sordid story to tell about how the media really works.

And it is interesting.

He unloaded on social media, saying:  “A thread about returning to MSNBC.A) I’m not. B) Yes, there were talks. C) Yes, they were serious. D) Yes, NBC lied through its teeth denying them. E) Yes, NBC blamed the talks’ failure on @Maddow. F) I left in Jan. 2011. Comcast first reached out about my returning in Sep. 2011.

“There’s suddenly a LOT about this, floating around.

“The most accurate is this @dailybeast report from Monday. I don’t know if it’s still behind a paywall so here’s a tiny little screenshot and TDB can bill me if they are displeased.

“Puck’s report is filled with origins but misses key stuff and gives some plausibility to the @NBCUniversal gaslighting that CEO Jeff Shell + News Chair Cesar Condé had no real interest in my returning but kept talking to me for 2-1/2 years…just cuz

“This is an ok re-telling of the 4TH SEPARATE SET of negotiations to bring me back to NBC (two instigated by them, two instigated by me) since 2011.

“But what’s missing is the meeting between Condé and one of my reps last October 19 to discuss a joint strategy to get around what Condé was quoted as describing as the roadblock to a redux: Rachel Maddow’s ‘ill will’ towards me.

“They agreed that a proposal I made – to have her production company own part of the show and have her be its Executive Producer, even in absentia.

“To broach this, Condé and my rep turned to Phil Griffin, my 1st producer in TV (CNN – 1981) producer of my 1st MSNBC show in 97-98, president of MSNBC from 08-21, now somehow Rachel’s business partner even though he was one of the execs desperately opposed when I wanted her to become my guest host.

“Anyway, a week later he reported back – to NBC – that Rachel did not approve. The end.

“(Incidentally, I probably started the disharmony between us with some dumb strategic moves when I took Countdown to Current TV. But I never did anything like this shit)

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“Maybe the biggest flaw in the @puck piece is this one word ‘jonesing’ to describe my attitude towards returning.

“If I’d been ‘jonesing’ I would’ve accepted the 2016 offer from then NBC News Capo Andy Lack to do a 10 PM show (with a conservative cohost and no commentaries).

“BTW I turned this offer down because even though I could see 30 Rock from my balcony Lack wanted me to prove I was ‘serious this time’ by moving to LA! I told him he needed to prove he was as serious as I’d been in my previous tenure, so I’d go, but only on an 8-year contract.

“I was also more than a little worried that Lack had chosen a name for the show: ‘THE LAST WORD WITH KEITH OLBERMANN AND KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON’ (btw to this day I have no clue if she knew any of this).

“I said ‘you HAVE a show called ‘Last Word.”

“Lack replied ‘not for long’

“So that possible return died because I turned it down.

“Then in December 2019 my agent called to say an old friend I worked with at Fox Sports was to become the new CEO of NBC.

“I emailed Jeff Shell and he replied 2 hours later and said if/when he got the job, we should talk.

“And for 2-1/2 years…we talked.

“Dinners scheduled and postponed by the pandemic.

“Breakfasts with the new news guy, same. 2 sets of agents talking.

“And then Maddow announced she’d be sunsetting her nightly show, and then came the idea I might succeed her (or even fill-in) which crashed and burned as described above.

“Incidentally, the @nypost’s commitment to deliberately NOT getting the facts right is eternal, but this is special even for them.

“I never suggested @msnbc replace @chrislhayes (although I love the picture)

“What I said about Chris, who to his eternal credit refused to fill-in for me the night in 2010 that NBC tried and failed to suspend me and cost themselves ~$11m (but that’s another saga), was that the ratings proved his show was on at the wrong hour.

“I mentioned that Comcast upper management reached out in 2011 about my returning, then cooled because they had a crazy NBC News president who apparently threatened to quit (they later supposedly fired him for telling his boss he wouldn’t work for any woman, especially her).

“The 2nd overture was from HIS boss, Pat Fili, in 2014. She and I and Griffin were on our way to a return when the Brian Williams Disaster hit, and she was replaced by the aforementioned Lack.

“I believe I launched that 3rd set of discussions, but maybe it was them.

“I’m not exactly sure why an MSNBC spokesperson – proudly anonymous as you see – flat out lied to @Puck on behalf of CEO Shell and Condé.

“At the October meeting, Condé said nobody could know HE was negotiating for/with me.

“You can probably guess whom he wanted to not know.

“Now that you’ve invested an hour, I’ll wrap this up with the note that AFTER it all collapsed I wrote a note to Rachel, a full apology for the divisions that have seen us not speak since 2011.

“It was hand-delivered and she confirmed she got and read it. She never replied.

“During all this I was reminded that when Rachel was a contributor to Countdown @msnbc told me they’d pay her.

“One 2008 primary night I discovered to my horror that they’d lied and when Larry King offered her cash to be on HIS panel she accepted. $250. I believe I blacked out.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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