Keith Olbermann: ‘I Screwed Up. I Screwed Up Really Big on This’

By Chris Ariens Comment

A contrite Keith Olbermann took the blame for failing viewers and his staff after the abrupt cancellation of his show and his firing from Current TV last week.

“I screwed up,” Olbermann told David Letterman. “I screwed up really big on this.”

“It’s my fault that it didn’t succeed in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through,” said Olbermann. Letterman ticked off the recent reports about Olbermann’s brief time at final days at Current: the car service, the Super Tuesday no show, the money left on the table. (On that last point, Olbermann says he’s hired the lawyer that represented Conan O’Brien during his separation from NBC.)

Olbermann revealed he’d thought about leaving just days into his show going on the air. “I was thinking about that as early as last July,” he said.

Olbermann got emotional talking about the staffers who’d followed him from MSNBC, and other networks, for his job as host and Chief News Officer at Current.

“They put their careers at risk for me and I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to them or thank them for the work they did with me and I’m… you know, I’m so proud of them because the show editorially was never better but I let them down because it didn’t continue.”

Letterman gave Olbermann a business card with interchangeable networks while Olbermann presented Letterman with a button that read: “Better watch now because things could go wrong in a hurry,” a line Olbermann delivered during a Top 10 list last Fall.

“Where will you go now?” asked Letterman. “Well, I think you guys still have a car for me afterwards. I think I’ll just go home,” Olbermann joked. “I did notice there’s some nice lines out here in front of the theater every afternoon and this would be a good place to set up a shoe shine stand.”

A clip after the jump…