Gore Fires Olbermann, But the Real Show’s on Twitter

Al Gore

As I write this, Keith Olbermann is typing out and publishing his response to his firing by cable channel Current—140 characters at a time.

After several months of bickering between the host of Countdown and Current founders Al Gore and and Joel Hyatt about the technical quality of Olbermann's show and his apparent reluctance to commit to additional hours of election coverage, Gore and Hyatt fired their star on the afternoon of Friday, March 30. They posted an "open letter to the viewers of Current" on the Current Web site, saying, "Current was...founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it."

At about 5:30 p.m. ET, Olbermann tweeted, "I'll be putting out my statement in two ways: 140 characters at a time, and then in one fell swoop via Twitlonger."

That was quickly followed by a succession of tweets from Olbermann, including this one: "Current's statements are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently."

The tweets have been coming in rapid succession, making it hard to look away. Current was probably unprepared for such a savvy series of public volleys, which is guaranteed to sway public sentiment in the direction of Olbermann.

Then again, how does one prepare when one's adversary is a professional broadcaster whose personality comes across as loud and clear in 140 characters as it does in 30-minute telecasts?

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI


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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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