Keith Olbermann and MSNBC are strongly denying reports that the lefty talker threw a huge temper tantrum, and took off for three days last month, after Ben Affleck decided to appear on Rachel Maddow’s show instead of his. Last night, Olbermann used a segment on his show to explain that he was grieving for his dead mother.
Cityfile reported that, According to a source at the network, Olbermann was livid when he learned that Rachel Maddow had booked Ben Affleck as a guest on her show. Olbermann, it turns out, had been interested in having Affleck on his show, too, and when he heard that Maddow’s producers had secured the actor instead, he demanded that the interview be switched from Maddow’s nine o’clock broadcast to his own an hour earlier.”
Cityfile claimed this is was another example of Olbermann’s large ego at work, “It’s much more likely that Affleck’s role in this latest bit of drama didn’t matter all that much, and this was just Olbermann attempting to once again force MSNBC to give in to his demands and satiate his ego. In which case, it was just another day at MSNBC.” Olbermann himself admits to his ego and temper, but his WTF segment to refute this gossip last night.
Olbermann also said in a statement, “That was my first opportunity to take even a long weekend to mourn my mother’s death and deal with the many sad logistics subsequent to her sudden passing. The source of this story is a liar and those who spread it without seeking confirmation or refutation are beneath contempt.”
Olbermann has butted heads with plenty of people at MSNBC, most famously Chris Matthews, but on this one I think that he deserves some slack. His mother had just passed away a couple of weeks earlier. Olbermann is no saint. There is a reason why he has bounced from network to network. He was famous for his difficulty to work with at ESPN, but all of these primetime talkers have egos. The divaish behavior is also common with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity among others.
MSNBC is famously dysfunctional. There are always rumors of feuds between the on air talent, and in the case of David Shuster and Joe Scarborough, some very public incidents, but anyone who has lost a close relative can understand hitting the emotional wall.
If Cityfile, didn’t take the time to get a comment from the network or Olbermann, shame on them. If there was any doubt about the story, post it, but label it a rumor. It may be true. It may not, but without multiple source confirmation, it sure sounds like a rumor.