Accuracy in Media

Keith Olbermann jumped on the Rupert Murdoch is evil bandwagon Tuesday night on his Countdown program by revealing that he was blackmailed by Murdoch when he worked for Fox Sports.

Olbermann spends most of the segment recounting his experience working for Fox Sports and then reveals something that he has never spoken about before in public.

In June of 2000 Olbermann said he got sick and was advised by his doctor to slow down at work or risk being treated for heart disease within the decade.  Olbermann said he told Fox that he needed to cut back and they promptly took him off the air and demanded a letter from his doctor stating that he was well enough to work.  He then accuses Fox of using that letter to blackmail him into accepting a new contract.

“They offered an alternative. They would cut my work schedule not to five days, but to three, and they would cut my salary by 60%. And they expected an answer overnight. They got it. I took the deal. I had no choice. They were blackmailing me about my health, and Fox blackmail works. And that’s the way it works. Lord only knows, if it works so well against someone with resources and a high profile like mine, how often was it used against lesser figures in the company?”

Olbermann then went on to say that Fox “will do anything to you like blackmail you about your own health to get you to do what they want.” and predicted that when the truth is allowed to come out there won’t be anything left of News Corp, Fox News or Rupert Murdoch which would undoubtedly please Olbermann to no end.

While Olbermann may gain some sympathy from his liberal viewers others will be left to ask why Olbermann caved in to Fox if as he says he was so high profile and had resources which one would assume he could use to fight back?  Also why wait 11 years to tell this tale?  Olbermann certainly hasn’t been shy about his hatred of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News and has had ample opportunity to talk about being blackmailed.

Olbermann may be ready to dance on News Corps’ grave but Murdoch is far too smart to let his recent setbacks derail his media empire and so any calls for its demise is extremely premature.


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