Olbermann and Milbank Respond

By SteveK Comment

olbermanntv_8-5.JPGKeith Olbermann responds to Dana Milbank’s statement to TVNewser that his departure from MSNBC, “predated” a column he’d written about Barack Obama and that “nothing occurred along the lines Keith described.”

Olbermann tells TVNewser:

Dana appeared with us the night before his column appeared with the truncated Obama quote — and did so under the terms of his contract which both he and MSNBC obviously considered still in force. After the column, he contacted us, joking he was glad I hadn’t put him on the “Worst Persons” list, and then discussing with the producers coming on to clarify or explain what he wrote. Out of appreciation for his work for us, I had delayed a permanent decision on whether he should again appear on Countdown. Dana used this time to make another deal, which he told us about the day before he appeared on another network.

Milbank also responded to FishbowlDC’s Patrick Gavin, and seems to take a swipe at Olbermann: “The CNN contract was negotiated long before the Obama column. It’s just that CNN’s a better fit for me and my philosophy of holding all parties to account.”

A CNN spokesperson confirms Milbank’s hiring as a “political contributor.” Milbank will appear on Campbell Brown: Election Center as well as during special election coverage.

SVP of programming and Washington bureau chief David Bohrman tells TVNewser: “Dana not only brings an amazing breadth of political reporting to the table but often a different and intriguing perspective, with an alternative view to the staid commentary. He’ll be a great addition to the CNN political team.”