Keith Olbermann Stories: The Good, The Bad, the Ugly ShoesS

Yesterday, we brought you a former Keith Olbermann employee's tale of how shitty it was to work for Keith Olbermann, as well as Keith Olbermann's multiple responses. Naturally, all of this inspired more Olbermann associates to write in. We now bring you one detractor, and one defender. [Bolding ours]

First, memories from someone who worked at Olbermann's MSNBC show:

I was on the Olbermann production staff until the bitter end. Here are a few things you should know.

Nobody on the production staff found out about Olbermann's decision to leave the network until halfway through his last show. I remember being called into the executive producer's office at 8:30 pm on a Friday and being told, along with people who had devoted eight years of their working lives to his program, that Keith's agents had come to an agreement with the network and that he would announce his resignation on air in about twenty minutes.

After the show and a seemingly never-ending meeting with MSNBC's top brass, Keith gave the entire production staff a long, sad-sack speech about his personal happiness and how it was being affected by the big meanies at the network who were mistreating him. In turn, one of the senior producers gave him the reaming out of a lifetime—nothing hysterical, mind you, but he definitely let him know what an abusive dick he had been. In fact, I remember the distinct words from that speech, "Keith, you have damaged people. You have caused severe damage to people who have worked very hard for you."

So yes, Keith's facts stated in self-defense are true—most of the production staff who was there on the last day had been with him since the beginning—but that doesn't mean anything.

Finally, your original informant must not have worked for Keith toward the end of his tenure at the network, because his account of Keith's sartorial gaffes fails to mention that he developed a horrifying, unforgivable affection for wearing THESE.

Orange, mary jane-looking Vibram FiveFingers. And he wore them on air too. So whenever you see him bloviating on air in his ill-fitting suits, just know he's probably tapping his toes in a pair of these (ok, sometimes he wears big white chunky tourist/dad sneakers).

Second, input from an NBC electrician who once watched the Super Bowl with Keith. He liked him:

I worked with him on Countdown at MSNBC for 2 ½ years, and the whole time he was on FNiA. I am an NBC employee, so I didn't work FOR him, I work for NBC. Keith is mostly right, we had very little turnover in the studio over the years I was there. Same stage manager, same camera people. He had nothing do to with the stage crew. There was one incident where he asked a stagehand not be hired back, because the guy came into the small studio when Keith was on the air. That was a bit unfair, because the guy was sent in to look for something, by his boss, but that was it.

On FNiA, one night he accused a sound guy of stepping on his foot, and asked that he not be back. The guy swore it wasn't him. He was given the next week off, with pay, and then was back on the show after that.

Keith's a bit weird, but I like him. We sat on the pirate ship in Tampa, and watched the Super Bowl together the last time it was on NBC.

I don't know how he was in the offices, just in the studio, but your informant isn't being truthful.

Bob Friend

Studio 8G Head Electrician, NBC

If you have ever worked with Keith Olbermann and have any interesting stories to share, email me.

[Photo: Getty]