When last we heard from Keith Olbermann, he was standing by the freeway offramp with his “WILL HOST FOR FOOD” sign. It doesn’t matter who you are: if you have a TV camera, he will sit in front of it and say words.
And the response has been resounding:
So, what’s next for America’s favorite former broadcaster? Just how desperate is he?
Keith Olbermann was in Los Angeles on Friday being deposed for a reported $70 million lawsuit he filed against his most recent employer, Current TV, with the trial expected to begin in May. Whether the court rules in favor of Olbermann or the network, the verdict will put an official end to a one-year stint at Current that was supposed to last at least five.
But as one door closes, another has been quietly approached. At various times over the last year, Olbermann and his representatives have expressed interest in his return to the employer that made him famous: ESPN.
Olbermann’s expressions of interest included dinner at New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant with John Skipper, ESPN’s president.
“Keith Olbermann, both personally and through a couple people I know, reached out to say, ‘Gee, I would love to have dinner,’” Skipper said. “I agreed to dinner with Keith because I assumed he’d be provocative and witty and fun to have dinner with, and he was indeed lots of fun. We talked sports and politics, and we had a nice chat. He is very interesting.”
“Very interesting”? Ouch. That’s not something you want to hear after a first date. Trust me on that one.
“After the dinner, at that point, there was no real appropriate place for Keith to come back, nor did I feel like I was prepared to bring him back,” Skipper said.
I’m surprised ESPN isn’t more eager to bring him back into the fold. What’s the worst that could happen? What, is he suddenly going to run around screaming about how inept they are, and then sue them for tens of millions of dollars? This is Keith Olbermann we’re talking about.
How humiliating this must be for poor Keith. He’s spent the last couple of decades sneering about how awful ESPN is, boasting that he’d never work for them again in a million years. And now he’s sniffing around their garbage cans out back, looking for scraps.
I missed it when Larry King interviewed him a few months ago, probably because it was Larry King interviewing Keith Olbermann. But I present this glimpse now, mainly because I really like what Keith has done with his face: