Keith Olbermann Lawsuit Advances, Gore Keeps Deflecting Current Criticism

By Alex Weprin 

The Keith Olbermann-Current TV dustup continues to move forward. Olbermann gave testimony earlier this month about his deal with Current, and why he believed the channel was in breach of contract. Deadline has the (heavily redacted) filings, but there are still some things we can glean.

Olbermann argues that Current disparaged him to his staff and the press, and revealed confidential contract information. He also claims that his likeness was used in an ad for AT&T without his approval, and that he was not given control of the politics specials. He also blames Current for not letting “Countdown” stream online (though carriage agreements with cable operators prevented it) and for not seeking permission when naming guest-hosts for the program.

Meanwhile, at SXSW, a digital conference in Austin, Texas, Current founder Al Gore was interviewed by AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg about the Current TV/Al Jazeera deal. Things got testy:

You sold your network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a government that’s a big oil producer,” asked Mossberg. “How could you do that?”

While hemming and hawing about that, Gore then came back with a good one: “I don’t ask you why you continue working for Rupert Murdoch.”

This meant war. “Last I checked, he’s not in the oil business,” countered Mossberg.

“He’s also not strictly in the news business, either,” said Gore.