Those two words can cause the dander to rise up in many folks. Say what you will about him (and plenty have), but the guy understands TV and PR, and he knows how to push that envelope to the very edge without hacking off the boss.
Take his personal beef with Penn State University. When the news broke about Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, and all that their names imply, the guy attacked with some sanctimonious venom that inspired headlines. While the angst was more than justified in that case, his latest rant against the Happy Valley institution was not so much.
As noted by our more mature sister site TVNewser, it all started with the university raising more than $13 million for pediatric cancer and this tweet:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2015
Sure the brand was under an scrutinizing eye, even PSU alums would admit that, but what about the children? The “pitiful” event is called THON, which is an IFC/Panhellenic dance marathon at Penn State. As quiet as it’s kept, THON has raised more than $127 million for the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Since 1977. But back to Olbermann’s bully pulpit:
And so, ESPN did this earlier today:
We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN. We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday. The annual tradition of THON and the efforts of the students of Penn State to fight pediatric cancer should be applauded.
Apparently, Olbermann isn’t one for separating cause and effect.
You have to give it to the guy — when he advocates for something, he’s all in.
I apologize for the PSU tweets. I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 24, 2015
But maybe he should step out of his own way when news like this comes up. You know…for the children.