DC Trawler

In honor of Al Gore’s love of the Earth, Keith Olbermann calls him a “clod”

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Get it? Earth? Clod? Never mind.

The Hollywood Reporter has this whole big 3,700-word piece on our pal Keith, most of which is incredibly tedious because, well, it’s Keith.

But here’s the fun part: His feud with Al Gore.

Although Olbermann’s position at Current became rocky less than two months after Countdown bowed in June 2011, he was blindsided when Gore and Hyatt pulled the trigger and fired him March 29 for what they characterized as “serial, material breach of his contract.”

“When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.” Olbermann countersued, asking for $50 million in damages, and the case slowly proceeded to a confidential settlement in March; three months earlier, Qatari-based news organization Al Jazeera bought Current for $500 million, in all likelihood hastening the settlement. (Asked whether he is happy the Current chapter of his career is over, Olbermann quips, “Let’s just say I bought gifts for my lawyers.”)

Olbermann saw Gore at the arbitration meeting in San Francisco on March 12. Asked whether that was awkward, he smiles ruefully: “Two days before, I’m standing at Phoenix Municipal Stadium with my friend Bob Melvin, the manager of the Oakland A’s, talking about pitching depth. Two days after that, I’m in a mediator’s office, hearing myself described as, you know, akin to Stalin. We are in the middle of a legal proceeding involving large sums of money and contracts. Of course it was awkward.”

But the experience with Current, he says, crystallized his desire to remake his image as something other than “this intense, belligerent, political polemicist,” he says. “I left ESPN as a sportscaster mostly known for humor and insight.”

Hey, Keith’s delusions are his own business. I’m sure his old bosses, once more his current (ahem) bosses, are glad to see him returning to that tone of “humor and insight” by calling his previous boss a clod. I mean, that’s as good a word for Gore as any, but just imagine what Keith is going to say about his ESPN bosses when he gets fired this time.

I choose to remember the happier times:

This will be different, though. Hang in there, Keith. The sixth time’s the charm.