Pathologically self-destructive ego-vessel Keith Olbermann is launching a new show on Al Gore's Current cable network in two weeks, so it's time to start the passive aggressive media tour!
Olbermann sat down with the Hollywood Reporter, which put him on the cover to herald the earth-shattering arrival of a cable news show that absolutely no one will watch on account of it being on one of the least-watched cable networks extant, to talk about himself and his new show. Like how Current is a tiny little obscure television venture: "He is now at a small network, one that he himself characterizes as a 'startup.'"
If by "startup" he means a business that is currently in its seventh consecutive year of operation, then sure, Al Gore is still starting up the network he purchased in 2004, three presidential elections ago. Just getting started!
The rest of it is devoted to what a crackpot Olbermann is, like how he didn't inform his own staff ahead of time that he was quitting his MSNBC show, so they learned that their jobs were up in the air live, as Olbermann announced it.
That sort of classiness will earn him $10 million a year from Current, the Hollywood Reporter says (though Current disputes the figure), on top of the $7 million a year MSNBC must continue to pay him under their contract through 2013. To repeat: Olbermann still draws a $7 million-a-year check from MSNBC, and will continue to do so for a year-and-a-half, while Current pays him $10 million to reach a vastly diminished audience. Plus he owns a chunk of his new network, in the unlikely event it becomes valuable.
Olbermann claims that CBS honcho Les Moonves met with him for two hours in 2005 to discuss offering him Dan Rather's anchor chair before Katie Couric got the nod. Moonves denies that, claiming they met for one hour to talk about a non-anchor role. Either way, it's almost heartening to know that Olbermann, who has demonstrated himself over and over again to be essentially unemployable, can wring $17 million a year and consideration for one of the most high-profile gigs in the land out of the idiots who run TV. Enjoy him while he lasts, Al.
[Image via Getty]