New Clinton Doc: Olbermann Once Apologized For Committing Journalism

Alex Griswold Media Reporter
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Among the revelations from the newly released documents from the Clinton Presidential Library is this gem: Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann once wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton apologizing for doing his job and covering the biggest news story of the day: the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The White House memo quotes Olbermann as apologizing for “whatever part I may have played in perpetuating this ceaseless coverage (of the Lewinsky story)… I’ll be heading back to my previous career in sports as quickly as possible…” At the time, Olbermann was hosting a primetime show on an infant MSNBC called “The Big Show with Keith Olbermann,” but he indeed soon left to join Fox Sports Network. (RELATED: Keith Olbermann’s next ex-employer will be ESPN)

Olbermann has been open about his physical anguish at having to report on a major political scandal that nearly unseated the U.S. President. In his 1998 commencement address at Cornell, he spoke about having “dry heaves,” and how it would “make me ashamed, make me depressed, make me cry.” But the fact the Olbermann went as far as to actually apologize for committing an act of journalism was hitherto unknown.

The kicker is that the White House might have responded to his insipid genuflection with a simple form letter. “Here is our generic text for support letters to the President,” the memo reads, “Could you take a look at it and let me know if it is sufficient or should we be saying more [or less] to him?”

But Olbermann can rest easy knowing two things: First, that President Bill Clinton apparently personally read the letter (“I’ve set this up for the President to see…” the memo reads). And second, that the full letter may never see the light of day.

The newly released memo can be read below (h/t Michael Calderone)

Clinton memo

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