Countdown: Gloves Come Off in Olbermann-Grove Showdown

It’s a few notches below, say, Tim Robbins‘ infamous spat with the then-Washington Post columnist (“If you ever write about my family again, I will f*cking find you and I will f*cking hurt you”) but close. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann used his blog, Bloggermann, to take some roundhouse swings at Daily News‘ gossipist Lloyd Grove, who had recently thrown some “egregious” and “disgraceful” punches of his own at the Countdown host and MSNBC brass.

If you’re into this sort of stuff, pull up a lawn chair, perhaps a glass of iced tea, and revel in some well-groomed venom, Olbermann-style:

Lloyd Grove, his assistant Katherine Thomson, and their employers at The New York Daily News … are guilty of taking quotes out of context in such an egregious manner — and ignoring an extraordinary conflict of interest for Ms. Thomson — that what they published wouldn’t have gotten past the editor of my 4th Grade Class Newspaper.

The quotes in question were from a CSPAN spot in which Olbermann says he was praising MSNBC boss Rick Kaplan for not letting the political ideologies of MSNBC brass hinder his show. Grove reported selected comments under the subhead “BLOOD FEUD?” in yesterday’s Lowdown.

Olbermann also accuses Thomson, an ex-MSNBC employee, of feeding Grove dirt on the explosive report regarding two married NBC Nightly News producers who had been having an affair.

Grove’s lackey, Katherine Thomson, used to work here at MSNBC, and her departure did not exactly bring tears from her ex-colleagues. Last week, an awful item appeared in the column in which she helps Grove shovel manure about the personal lives of two producers at another NBC broadcast. The producers aren’t famous, they aren’t public figures, and a freshman student in J-School somewhere would question why they were subjected to public scrutiny. But they were. In a column partially written by a woman who recently left the company for which they — and I — work. So, on top of disgraceful de-contextualizing quotes, there is the issue of a bald-faced conflict of interest.

And finally, the kicker:

We’re naming Thomson and Grove tonight’s Worst Persons In The World. That is scarcely sufficient for their journalistic recklessness. They should be fired.

We’d love more Lowdown on this showdown, for those of you who might have it.