Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Report: ESPN Set To Muzzle Olbermann?

According to an article in today’s Hollywood Reporter, if Keith Olbermann hopes to sign an extension of his existing, two-year contract with ESPN, he will have to agree to stop engaging in commentary on his ESPN2 program.

Olbermann has come under repeated fire for ill-informed and inflammatory comments, including a tirade earlier this year when he mocked both sides of the domestic dispute between NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and his former girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll; mistakenly identifying Kurt as his younger brother Kyle and referring to Driscoll as Busch’s wife, rather than his ex-girlfriend. Promptly called on the carpet by NASCAR fans, Olbermann characterized his mistakes as “typos,” urging NASCAR Nation to, “Settle the eff down and be happy something interesting happened in your simplest of sports.” 

Days later, he named Jeff Gordon his “Second Worst Person in the World” after Gordon took part in an exhibition tricycle race at halftime of an NBA basketball game, to promote the upcoming Daytona 500.

Olbermann’s hair trigger and intolerance for opinions other than his own have consistently landed him in hot water with his employers. He has come under fire for comments aimed at the National Football League’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, and earlier this year, he served a four-day network suspension for a series of hateful tweets directed at Penn State University students. 

As he often does, Olbermann immediately backtracked on his comments in an attempt to save his job, correctly categorizing his comments as “stupid and immature.”

Is it any wonder than ESPN wants Olbermann to stop swinging his verbal arms?

After all, this is the same Olbermann who was dismissed – okay, fired -- from MSNBC’s presidential election coverage in 2008, after donning a mask of rival Bill O'Reilly and delivering a Nazi salute at a television critics' convention.

This is the same Olbermann who was canned by Current TV in 2012 for what the network called “a failure to honor the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers.”

The same guy who castigated Jeff Gordon for “demeaning the sport” in an effort to promote the Daytona 500, despite appearing no less than 10 times on Hollywood Squares over the years, to promote himself and his show.

Olbermann's current contract expires in August. Short of handing him his walking papers, ESPN would do well to muzzle any future “commentaries” and force him to simply report the news, rather than trying to be the news.


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    "Keith who?" (If we really want to scare him).

  2. Olbermann has no right to have a TV show anymore. His opinions are not just disagreeable, they are malicious and belligerently inaccurate; when he insists on attacking the Confederate Flag and the use of Redskins for the Washington Redskins he never gives an accurate history of either and consistently fails the logic test. I used to be a fan of his because of his engaging SportsCenter performances in the mid-1990s, but his malice has shown no bounds and he has earned his way off the air.

  3. Anonymous9:52 PM

    When Olbermann speaks, he is most of the time right. Nascar is a joke, and everybody connected with Nascar is a joke. I have put it one step below the WWE. I love the WWE and hate Nascar. I did like it until the flag issue came up. It is the only true southern sport around, and Brian France wants to ban our flag. He needs to move up north with the rest of the yankes that have ruined out sport. Yes Moody, I am talking about you and the rest of the clowns from the north. Nascar was great till they started sticking their nose in it and ruined it. I do not listen or watch anything that has to do with Nascar. After I post this, I will unfollow Moody. When they go back to old time racing, I will come back. Old time racing,Petty, Person, and people that made Nascar. When they get back to that type of racing, I will come back. No back up cars. Run what you brung. You wreck,take it home fix it,try again next week. So long Nascar. The biggest joke in sports.

    1. To Anonymous - while I don't necessarily disagree with your larger point, what specifically qualifies as "old time racing?" You cite the Petty-Pearson era, unforgettable an era no doubt, but back then NASCAR had the tightest rules box in racing as well as today; the difference primarily is in the technology arms race.

      I ask only because I hear such criticisms yet they never seem to be supported by specifics. Old time racing, as in what? My idea of old time racing is bias-ply tires (i.e. tires that require drivers to race the car hard throughout the track as opposed to catching the car a la sprint cars), allowing push-drafting, not penalizing passing below the yellow line, the lead being an actual prolonged battle (such as the finish of the Truck Series 200 at Charlotte), and some form of cost/spending controls given the sport's economics. Banning backup cars really doesn't make any sense. "Run what you brung?" That was outdated thinking in the 1970s.

  4. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Euthanasia would be more appropriate.

  5. Apparently you don't know very much about this show. It was in fact created for Olbermann to give his take on sport stories of the day, if ESPN just wanted him to read straight news, they would have put him back on Sportscenter. Your little Hollywood Reporter story makes no sense. ESPN isn't going to create another Sportscenter to compete with it's own Sportscenter.

    A little more research into the subject matter would have been helpful.

  6. Word now is ESPN has officially fired Olbermann yet again.

  7. Dwayne in Memphis12:35 PM

    Here's some research. ESPN just told him to pack his junk and get out. Disagreeable commentary on topics is one thing (e.g, Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith). Torching Rome just to watch it burn is psychotic. Keith Olbermann has been nothing more than an internet troll with a television show for quite some time. The best way to handle him, like all internet trolls, is to just ignore him. Much easier to do now that ESPN has decided he's not worth the headache (again).