Shortly after Keith Olbermann was fired from Current TV for "material, serial breach of contract," Olbermann sent a statement challenging Al Gore's ethics and his plans to sue him.
Olbermann's political commentary slot at 8:00 pm will immediately be taken over by Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer plans to keep Olbermann's staff, crew and film from the same Manhattan location as Olbermann.
Current TV claims Olbermann missed 19 working days through January and February. Olbermann also asked for the day off before the GOP Primary, called Super Tuesday, on Feb 27. Current TV told Olbermann that he could not have the day off and would be in breach of contract if he did not show up for work. Despite the warning, Olbermann did not show up for work but showed up the next day for the Super Tuesday transmission.
Read Olbermann's letter below.
I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.
Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I've been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.
It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain.
In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.
Editor's Note: Clarence Cain won a discrimination lawsuit against a business owned by Joel Hyatt in 1990. The court sided with Cain, who claimed he was fired when management learned he had HIV.