So last night, I tune in to "Countdown With Keith Olbermann", only to find someone else
sitting in his chair.
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
This doesn't shock me.
He's been in that seat before.
What does shock me is that the name of the show has been changed.
It is now called "Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer".
No reference to why the change.
To once again paraphrase Chico Marx, I unnerstan' "Why-a-no chicken, I unnerstan' "Why-a-no horse".
I no unnerstan' "Why a change?"
And they no tell-a you.
There is no reference in the entire hour as to why it's no longer called "Countdown"
I didn't need much explanation as to why Keith Olbermann wasn't there.
For much of it's run on Current TV, Olbermann was NEVER there.
More often than you would expect, there was usually some substitute host.
Particularly for a new network just starting out, trying to find it's sea legs, and counting on
Olbermann to serve as it's anchor.
I watched the show every night.
No one ever explained Olbermann's absences, including Olbermann on the nights he returned.
As a viewer, I felt entitled to more information than I was getting.
I heard rumors of ill-health, throat problems.....
But if that was the case, it would be easily explainable on the air.
No, this sounded much more like intrigue, and possibly sabotage.
You know, the kind of thing that Olbermann claimed was happening to him at MSNBC before he left.
Later that night, I found a press release on the Internet from Al Gore and his partner,
who both own Current TV, that they had canned Olbermann for breach of contract.
The statement sounded pretty rancorous.
What had Olbermann done to piss off a nice man like Al Gore?
Al Gore has a history of being nice.
Keith Olbermann has had a history of pissing people off.
Even the Supreme Court, when denying Gore the Presidency, didn't seem to piss him off.
But Olbermann did.
Olbermann retorted that promises were made to him, like his having control of who preceded
and succeeded him on the air, and that he wouldn't have a simple black background behind him like Charlie Rose.
These seem to be the kinds of problems that one creates for oneself when you only have a fraction
of the audience you used to have.
It certainly didn't matter to me as a viewer.
Whenever I've been asked why I don't write about politics more often, I've usually replied
"Whatever I have to say about politics, Keith Olbermann says it better"
But there is no question that the man is a hothead, and there are plenty of folks on MSNBC who also express my political thoughts better than I do.
I hope Olbermann lands somewhere.
Somewhere where they make him show up every night.
He's still quite entertaining when he does.
He's appearing on Letterman Tuesday night, and I'd love to hear his side of things.
Why is all this happening?
I am at a loss to explain it.
My book,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you like one, contact me at email@example.com.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."