Washingtonian Editor-at-Large Carol Joynt has had the distinct pleasure of brushing up against and perhaps resurrecting ESPN’s Keith Olbermann fiery online temper.
In 2010 he actually suspended his Twitter account to cut down on the negativity regarding the way he handled the rape allegations swirling around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In 2012, he banished his “Worst Person in the World” segment. The following year he brought it back.
Many Washington journos have encountered Olbermann’s online anger issues and frequently think of the encounters as more a badge of honor than anything else. This was Joynt’s virgin fight with the sportscaster.
What set him off?
Last week, Joynt posted this story about ESPN’s Olbermann blasting MLB and the Washington Nationals for their stance on wearing blue and gold baseball caps as tribute to the victims of last Monday’s tragic shooting during pre-game ceremonies but not during the actual game. Olbermann went on to say, “The caps, the irrelevant, no-magic-powers-to-them caps, unify people” and “Shame on the Nationals; more shame on the MLB.”
Olbermann’s comments not only struck a nerve with Joynt, but with the Twittersphere. In response, the twitterati called Olbermann insufferable, a knucklehead, and a jerk. Olbermann remained relatively tame during the backlash, but when Joynt tweeted her story in response to Olbermann’s rants, he replied with a snarky jab.
Apparently he just can’t stop himself. The timing of the tweet was just moments before his show began. She replied “Good one!”
Joynt told FishbowlDC, “Seriously. The guy is reading Twitter shortly before air?” You’d think that the guy would have some P.A. to humiliate for fun somewhere on set. Joynt went on to say, “Nonetheless, I watch him every night.”
The fight paid off. In her interest, she says the story was among the mag’s most visited stories last week. “A good example how web world works,” she said.