So the Post has posted the Page Six item Keith Olbermann was so worked up about yesterday, and it does indeed say Hardball host Chris Matthews "seemed" to be talking about a strategy for landing Tim Russert's job at a memorial event for the NBC personality, and that Olbermann is threatening to quit if he doesn't get Russert's Meet The Press job. (On Countdown, Olbermann denied issuing an ultimatum for Meet The Press and said Matthews shut down talk of him replacing Russert when an acquaintance brought it up.) But the gossip item also quotes a source, ostensibly from the traditional broadcast side of NBC News, who claims that Russert himself wanted NBC News political director Chuck Todd as his own replacement, and that the network will never install someone from MSNBC on the show:
The insider said, "They're cable. They're far too partisan. They have no gravitas. If gravitas is eight letters, they're about seven letters short."
Even more than the opinionated Matthews, Olbermann, with his long "special comments," has forced open a wedge at NBC News between the cable and broadcast side. (The division was explored, among other places, in this week's New Yorker profile of Olbermann.) It appears as though Meet The Press is the latest battlefield in this civil war, which in turn implies that, though Olbermann lashed out at longtime enemies Murdoch and Page Six over the Russert memorial gossip, the stories may very well have originated not with anyone from News Corp. but from a fellow denizen of 30 Rock, the NBC headquarters.