Apparently Keith Olbermann has given up feuding with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. In fact, Olbermann, whose new “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” program launches on Current this Monday (and will go up against “The O’Reilly Factor”), claimed in a conference call with reporters that he never butted heads with the conservative commentator in the first place. “Since twice he tried to use my name on the air and only once did he succeed in pronouncing it correctly, he chose therefore to never again mention it on the air. It’s not a feud if the other guy won’t use your name. But I never viewed it as a feud or some sort of back and forth.”
That’s not to say he won’t take O’Reilly to task in the future, however. “The reason I mentioned him on the air in the past are the reasons I would mention him on the air again, when there’s something so outlandishly untrue, negative, against democracy, against free speech that it merited analysis.”
One thing Olbermann won’t be doing is checking in to see what his previous workplace is up to. “I haven’t watched more than five minutes of MSNBC since I left, since I don’t watch a lot of cable news.”
As to how things will be different from MSNBC at his new job, Olbermann points to the “purity” of Current TV
. “Every decision will be a half monetary, half news decision," he says. "When you get into an operation that’s too big to isolate its news operation, you run into a self chilling effect. You wonder as you sit there and type and if what you write is going to honk somebody off. When we say we are independent, that’s the practical implication. Even in writing the practice shows, I’m stopping myself from stopping myself.”
Olbermann will only have to stop himself to let his regular contributors speak. Joining him on a regular basis will be such names as former Nixon counsel John Dean, comedian and activist Maysoon Zayid, actor Donald Sutherland and astronomer Derrick Pitts. Pitts, like previously announced “Countdown” contributor Ken Burns, will steer clear of political commentary. Unless, of course, there’s a planetary invasion that needs to be addressed.