Since his return to ESPN, Keith Olbermann has not backed away from the combative nature he displayed during his cable news days. In less than a year, he has seen his fair share of juicy media feuds. Certainly the most noteworthy feud was his week-long engagement with Mike Francesa and WFAN that produced a number of memorable moments for dopes like me that care about and follow these things.
Now Olbermann has turned his attention to the New York Daily News in what may be an even nastier dispute.
It started with the tragic death of comedy legend Robin Williams. The Daily News was thrashed by Olbermann for its cover of Williams with the word “HANGED” and reporting graphic details of his death. Olbermann called the paper’s staffers “heartless bastards.” An internal memo was also released from within the NYDN callously celebrating the paper’s SEO when it came to Williams’ death.
That video naming the Daily News Olbermann’s worst person in the world launched a Twitter War between the newspaper and the ESPN2 host.
Before we get to the rest of the tweets, this makes no sense whatsoever. Olbermann is on the air at night. Dan Patrick hosts a morning show. Swwwwwwing and a miss. Let’s see if the Daily News can recover…
That was ugly. I do have to give the New York Daily News staff credit for coming up with Keith LOLbermann all on their own during this battle. It’s pretty clear though that Olbermann won this round of the proceedings with his more consistent punching power and accurate, targeted blows. Olby’s Twitter account is mostly him battling with trolls, naysayers, and those who generally disagree with the cut of his jib so he’s well prepared for these kinds of scraps.
Clearly Olbermann’s comments touched a nerve at the paper because not only did they launch the barrage of tweets above, they sent media writer Bob Raissman out to deliver a hit piece blasting Olbermann for hypocrisy and irrelevancy.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ethics of a newspaper sending its media writer to write the editorial defending the paper in a media feud. Nevertheless, Raissman came out swinging for the fences:
Back in April, Olbermann morphed into the patron saint of ink-stained wretches. On his show, he trashed Hermann for cavalierly calling for people to lose their jobs, adding: “You want what’s left of New Jersey’s free press to vanish. Who are you, Vladimir Putin?”
Four months later, Olbermann now sounds like he’s reciting directly from the Book of Hermann. This provides concrete evidence that Olbermann, creepy and condescending as ever, is a stone hypocrite.
ESPN boss John Skipper, who brought Olbermann back to Bristol despite the yakker having burned bridges and insulted colleagues, should immediately have him examined by a doctor. That line about him forgetting the “Daily News was still in business” is a symptom of selective amnesia.
Like a lover scorned, Olbermann is obsessed with the Daily News. And when he rips us, viewers actually awake from their slumber and listen. Olbermann needs to keep his base engaged. His audience has shrunk by 21,000 viewers since the end of April.
If Olbermann is so surprised we are still in business, how does he explain why so many Daily News back pages are prominently displayed on “SportsCenter”?
I have to say it’s remarkably humorous to see a media feud centering on two parties choosing to use the “I didn’t even know you were still around” diss to bash one another. If Olbermann and the Daily News are as irrelevant as the other claims to be, then why are they fighting with one another?