On the night when it was announced that the biggest star on MSNBC would no longer be doing his show, Bill Maher just happened to have Rachel Maddow on his HBO show Real Time, and he wasted no time calling bullshit on the idea that decision for Olbermann to leave was mutual.
Here is the video from Mediaite:
Maher said, “Right before I came out they told me that Keith Olbermann is quitting.” Rachel Maddow said, “Yeah, it’s been a big day at MSNBC, at least it’s been a big 15 minutes. Keith announced at the end of his show tonight that he and the company made a mutual decision that Countdown is done.” Maher shot back, “Well that’s always bullshit.” Maddow continued, “The thing is, well I know very little about it. All I know is that it was between Keith and the company, and it didn’t involve any of the rest of us, and he was really gracious and nice to the rest of us when he left.”
Maher gave his diagnosis of the exact moment when Countdown went downhill, “Once he started backing off worst persons in the world, you know, it really is downhill…It came back with like a parenthesis. I don’t really mean it. You know what? Stop organizing life around the people who don’t get the joke. Fuck them, if they don’t get a joke. Alright, well I always enjoyed his show. I hope he comes back.”
The mutual decision excuse is always a load of BS. It is right up there with creative differences on the garbage reason scale. Something happened, and we will probably find out very soon what it was. I don’t think MSNBC would fire him, because then they would have to still compensate Olbermann, but if Olbermann quit he would probably get nothing. It sounds like a mutual decision was reached that allowed them to work out a deal where maybe MSNBC gets out of some of the financial obligation, and Olbermann gets to leave and gets paid something too. I would be shocked if MSNBC reduced or waved his non-compete clause.
Nobody calls BS out quite like Bill Maher, but if you believe that Rachel Maddow knows nothing about this, I’ve got a nice bridge to sell you. She knows, but she most likely is not allowed to speak about it. Maher was right. Countdown definitely changed when Olbermann took worst persons away. Even in its amended form, it was not the same. Maher is also correct that Olbermann will be doing another show somewhere. He is too much of a professional not to get hired by someone, and if we know one thing about Bill Maher he definitely knows bullshit when he hears it.