TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

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Marie
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TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Marie » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:34 pm

Obtained this scan at a new Keith site:
http://olbermannarebelongtous.wordpress.com/

The floating head makes me think of Leno's "Beyondo." :lol:

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby SusieQ » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:23 pm

Nice blog. They recommended this site too. :grin: I have got to remember to go to our front page more often. BTW....I feel like the title of the blog, "Olbermann are belong to us" just doesn't sound right. :P
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Marie » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:51 pm

I feel like the title of the blog, "Olbermann are belong to us" just doesn't sound right

I think I once posted something like "All your Keith are belong to us" (forget the occasion), and it drew a resounding :-s .

It's a reference to a bad Japanese translation of an animated sci-fi thing. The invading aliens were cats. It was one of the first viral videos I recall seeing.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby dejapig » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:19 pm

I was one you had to explain it to :lol: but now I get it! Watched the video, All Your Base Are Belong to Us. There are various versions on YouTube. The blog author also explains it in the first post.
Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind. --Dr. Seuss
Keith Olbermann rocks! --dejapig

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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby misslindagene » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:32 pm

KO with anger management problems? Who would have guessed.
Thanks for posting article.

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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Marie » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:23 pm

He says when he was at ESPN, he used to get very upset when there were technical problems. Now he sort of goes with the flow. I notice he even makes a joke out of it. Saves wear & tear on him and the crew.

You probably will never hear him yell, "F#*% it -- we'll do it live!"

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Conditional_Id » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:37 pm

Interesting article. I must be exactly opposite of Keith in this regard. I do a very slow burn, it takes near forever for me to get worked up over anything, especially technical crap like that which is usually no ones fault or due to stupid mistakes people make. Equipment is hard to deal with if you're not a gearhead, and I don't think KO is whereas I am. It goes without saying that if someone made something, it's going to break when you need it to work the most. Murphy's law.

Needless to say after this election I felt like I'd been drug through a wringer. I think I must still be recovering. He may have anger management problems, but sometimes anger is what is needed...I don't know if anyone really hits the perfect balance all the time between aggression and self-defense. If you're highly opinionated and in the public eye, it's worse. If he were not so prominent, no one would probably even notice any swings of emotion. We all have them to varying degrees. It must be like living in a glass cage.
There are cases where doubt is unreasonable, but there are others where it seems logically impossible. And there seems to be no clear boundary between them. LW/OC/454

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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Marie » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:34 pm

Conditional_Id wrote:He may have anger management problems, but sometimes anger is what is needed... I don't know if anyone really hits the perfect balance all the time between aggression and self-defense. If you're highly opinionated and in the public eye, it's worse. If he were not so prominent, no one would probably even notice any swings of emotion. We all have them to varying degrees. It must be like living in a glass cage.

LOL, esp. since he wrote out a full confession and published it. Image
http://www.salon.com/news/sports/col/ol ... print.html

But he couldn't have done that without having gone through a long process if introspection, resulting in a better understanding of himself and how he was relating to others. "I will confess, admit, announce and gleefully endorse therapy," he has said -- although, ironically, he's described working in television as a form of mental illness.
http://nymag.com/news/articles/shortlist/startherapy/

Even more ironically, people now write to Keith and credit him with saving their sanity!

-Marie-
Image Herewith presented in full, because Salon makes it so hard to get at --
ESPN: Mea culpa
The story behind my tumultuous departure from the sports channel.
By Keith Olbermann
Salon
Nov. 17, 2002

A LONG, LONG TIME AGO, one of my bosses at ESPN told me that during times of contention, I always showed too much backbone.

Well, he was damned right.

A whining sacroiliac sent me to the chiropractor's last week and the X-rays proved my old boss literally correct. I am part of that hidden minority, the spinal mutants, who have six lumbar vertebrae instead of the customary five. I do have too much backbone.

This was the final sign that it was time to do something that for months has been crystallizing out of the gauzy haze of the unconsciousness that surrounds us all: I need to apologize to ESPN.

This began to become evident weeks ago when the deputy mayor of Indianapolis attacked Chris Mortensen, one of my reportorial role models. I once watched Mort protect a source who not only publicly denied what he'd told Mort in private but also questioned his ethics. Just this month, Mort went on the air and criticized the thoroughness of his own reporting on a story. Mortensen is the gold standard, and this hack politician slashed him and said ESPN was "a sports channel first and a news organization fifth." I was amazed to find my hackles rising and myself rushing to defend my old employers on my radio sportscast.

It all became remarkably clear after that. This isn't about my skeletal freakiness, or Chris Mortensen, or even, particularly, the primary area of wounded feelings for my former bosses and colleagues, Mike Freeman's book about the network. This isn't even about specific events or people, although nearly everybody at ESPN merits an apology from me, and I give it willingly and with great sadness, but with some hope that it will explain if not erase my actions, and might even be of some inspiration to any who might be afflicted in the same curious way I've come to learn I am.

This is about not knowing why you do things -- literally, not knowing for years and years -- and then suddenly beginning to scratch the surface of understanding. That earlier imagery about the gauzy haze is almost factually precise: It feels as if I've been coming out of a huge fog bank.

Enough preamble. After five and a half years there, I left ESPN at the end of June 1997. My decision inspired a lot of head-scratching, everything from graffiti on a wall in a syndicated comic strip, to shouts of "traitor" from a viewer at a World Series game. There have been a lot of explanations conjectured, by myself and others, but heretofore I have never definitively stated why I left -- in large part because until recently, I didn't really know. In point of fact, I couldn't handle the pressure of working in daily long-form television, and what was worse, I didn't know I couldn't handle it.

Not the broadcasts themselves, mind you -- I've rarely had as much fun in life as I used to during those hours on the air with Dan Patrick. I'm talking about an inability to digest all that led up to those hours, about which I had no clue at all. And unless somebody at ESPN had the insight to look for a big-picture pattern, nobody else had any clue at all. I think some executives, most notably John Walsh, had a sense that something was wrong. But whatever any of them said about "insecurity" or "perfectionism," I know I just took it as an attack and stiffened my extra-long spine.

On top of everything else about it that can destabilize the soul, television is fraught with a million commonplace things that can go wrong. A surprisingly large number of things can go wrong even when everybody involved is giving their all. It's the nature of a medium so complex it would've made Rube Goldberg blanch.

But I didn't see it that way.

I have lived much of my life assuming much of the responsibility around me and developing a dread of being blamed for things going wrong. Moreover, deep down inside I've always believed that everybody around me was qualified and competent, and I wasn't, and that some day I'd be found out. If you think that way, when somebody messes up, you can't imagine that it just "happened." Since they're so much better than you are, how could they not complete a task successfully? They have to be not trying hard enough -- and when they don't try and the show goes to hell, who gets blamed? You do.

In other words, you start thinking like George Steinbrenner, circa 1977.

Mix that in to the very public nature of the field, and especially the high-profile nature of a job like hosting "SportsCenter," and you have a combustible combination.

The results can probably be summarized by this conversation I recall from the weeks after the infamous launch of ESPN2 in 1993. After three hours of live shots failing, news breaking, entire 20-minute segments of the show being swapped during commercial breaks, tapes physically falling apart, and production assistants wiping out as they ran through the snow to try to get us information, the producers, my co-host Suzy Kolber and I somehow managed to cover Michael Jordan's first retirement professionally and entertainingly.

Afterwards, the coordinating producer, Norby Williamson, greeted us like the survivors of a World War I foxhole at Ypres. "Great job. Great show," he said.

"The hell it was," I said.

Wrong answer.

You suspend -- no, let's be exact about this, I suspended -- the whole human part of the equation. It never occurred to me that most of the problems were the result of mere events. Even the chaos that surrounded the entire launch of the experimental show "SportsNight" was merely the inevitable result of the fact that it was experimental.

And it never, ever occurred to me that if it failed, I wouldn't be found out, fired, banished, finished.

The oddest thing about all this, is that even when I left -- and in six weeks I will have been gone longer than I was there -- executives like Walsh and Howard Katz underscored that I was welcome to return at some distant future date, despite all the Sturm und Drang. And, man, I was usually producing both the Sturm and the Drang. Months later, Katz even approached me about contributing to ESPN Classic, shortly after the company had bought that network.

Of course, I could not know that the major bone of contention, the veritable sixth lumbar vertebra of contention, still awaited: Freeman's book. I should herein point out that none of this should reflect on Mike: He did an exhaustively thorough job, and more to this point, he didn't misquote me, not once, nor did he use anything I said out of context. Nor did he cajole or sweet-talk me into discussing topics I didn't want to discuss. Also, this isn't some kind of loudspeaker confession from George Orwell's "1984." I'm not going to renounce most of my criticisms of the place. I did not consort with Goldstein. I don't think I was wrong on the issues -- I think my methodology was wrong. Outstandingly wrong.

My answers to Freeman constituted the ultimate act of somebody who lived in terror of being blamed. After I left for NBC in 1997, I was unprepared for a question I would literally hear daily -- on the street, at events, even on the air on MSNBC: "Why'd you leave 'SportsCenter'?" If you make a decision in your life, even one as eminently logical and self-improving as "Why'd you start washing your hair every day?" and you start getting questioned hourly about it, you're going to start second-guessing yourself. I eventually got up to about my millionth guess.

So. The logic was impeccable. To answer that question, I couldn't take the blame (responsibility) for the disaster (career growth) about which I was being persecuted (sympathetically asked about). Why did I leave "SportsCenter"? Obviously, because it was a medieval torture chamber (fairly typical television workplace providing a high level of ego gratification and creative freedom).

There's a lot in Freeman's book that I regret. I won't inundate you with details, but a few require specificity. Referring to ESPN's executives, I told Freeman that "other than Steve Anderson, I don't think any of them are any good." Well, that was ridiculous then and it is ridiculous now. Without even judging how good they were, just to keep a monolith like ESPN on the air every day requires as many good executives as they have at NORAD.

As suggested earlier, I don't regret my stances on the work environment there, but to say that some actions management took were merely "covering their ass legally" was to subtract the humanity from the equation. It never dawned on me that some of these guys had been thrown in at the deep end of the pool, or would have to expose, prosecute and fire friends and colleagues who themselves had done things that until a decade before had been standard operating procedure at every corporation in America.

I now read with horror of my ESPN2 co-host, Ms. Kolber, sequestering herself in the women's bathroom and weeping over how I treated her. She told Freeman that as things deteriorated, I wouldn't talk to her. She's wrong: I couldn't talk to her. I pumped up some small-scale complaints into a scenario in which she was at fault for everything ESPN2 hadn't become. I wasn't completely obtuse back then, and if anything would have cut through my neuroses, it would've been a colleague's tears. If I had known, I think I could've jumped over the fence I'd built around myself and said what the inner guy always knew: No TV show is worth crying over. Suzy: I'm sorry.

There are lots of little gratuitous shots in there that also reflect an insensibility to parts of reality. I get queasy at all of them, but one stands out as representative. Freeman accurately quotes me as complaining about how a labor-intensive participatory field piece I did in 1996 about what the first-base coach does and says during a game, got little airtime. A year later, ESPN ran a similar piece in which the coaches of the Anaheim Angels wore microphones. I complained to the relevant coordinating producer, Jeff Schneider, and he replied that the new ESPN-Disney-Angels connection explained why one piece ran and the other didn't. It is almost certain that Schneider was joking, or tweaking me, or, most probably, protecting me from a fact I could never have admitted to myself or have survived hearing from him or anybody else: My coaching piece just wasn't that good.

Several ESPN folks suggested to Freeman that I was trying deliberately to violate the rules -- appearing on other networks and writing for publications without notifying them just to tweak management. That was almost right on the money. But it wasn't as simple as merely trying to annoy ESPN or John Walsh or whoever else. It was me trying to give myself an excuse to get out from under the pressure of working in an environment of my own creation in which I daily expected the blame ax to fall. It was prepackaged sour grapes.

Oddly, I did figure some of this out then, which is why, even after we'd finalized my departure I went back and proposed to them that I do one show a week. That really was instinct cutting through all of these neuroses. That was, should've been, and remains my ideal TV schedule: one or two days a week, and the other five or six to remember that I'm not going to be blamed for everything by anybody -- even myself.

So, I'm sorry. It should have been done differently. It wasn't. Then again, I'm only finding out now about that extra vertebra and the extra steps I have to take to learn how to be, well, flexible.
-Keith Olbermann
Last edited by Marie on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Conditional_Id » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:18 pm

Hi Marie:

You wrote: "Even more ironically, people now write to Keith and credit him with saving their sanity!" And now for my unasked for and unsolicited analysis. Put your nickel on the table, this is Lucy and I'm now rendering an opinion, Charlie Brown. Make of it what you will. This is a long post, so people -- if you are not interested, stop reading now.

I'm thinking KO must be one of those types of people who naturally gravitate toward leadership positions in about whatever they do. The phrase "I want to get things right" is important to them even if they never seem to come close in their own minds to whatever "right" is. They are life's natural administrators, and whether they come early or late to the role, they never shirk what they perceive as their responsibility to the truth as they see it.

How they appear in the workplace: They can be outgoing, gregarious, usually quite direct, maybe even see the world in terms of hands-on practical realistic situations. They are objective, nonpersonal, and quite capable of analytic decisions; and freely impose those upon anyone within earshot...and they can manage stuff, I mean really manage -- twenty balls in the air and so forth. They can also turn on a dime and get very much into themselves, excluding the world around as they piece together whatever it is they are picking up. They are good at seeing in the dark, so to speak. And, because of those traits, can remain completely opaque to anyone in a twenty foot radius, who will just look at them in wonder or horror and go "What the hell is he doing now???" What they say often comes off as abrupt, sarcastic, and to the sensitive, just plain incomprehensible.

The dark side of the force: They have a highly developed sense of extroverted judging, this orientation can alienate others and they can argue like the dickens, which of course, can always make enemies of someone higher up. (I read all of that in the Salon article). Coming down off the taking names and kicking ass posture is always at variance with "what they would like to be doing vs. what they "should" be doing". Several levels going on at once, always.

These are "take charge types" with high control needs and a severe sense of accountability, mostly to themselves, and they do not cope well when things don't go as planned (hence the previous frustration with tech problems). IMHO their pathway to professional growth, and this is echoed in the second article exactly, is to learn to be less hard-charging by listening to and allowing alternative viewpoints. These guys can turn reading into a competitive sport, fer chrissakes, if they let themselves.

The good part for these folks: as they get older, they can mellow themselves by exploring areas contrary to their everyday styles and experiences, for example the soft sciences like psych and sociology, literature, art and music. These areas can provide inspiration that enable them to at once respect the points of views of others and to allow that there is more to life than compulsive deadlines or the feeling that there is never enough time. Art, in particular, can become alive to them...it would be more about the artist speaking through the painting or sculpture than an examination of the aesthetic of the piece itself. They can come down from evaluating their ongoing agendas, too, to exhibit particularly deep and often poignant positions on issues, as we saw in the Prop 8 comment, and can develop very rich emotional structures as well. I don't see this as often in these folks, but they do tend to get better at emotional control as they age.

It's all about balance. I'm glad he is finding his path.
There are cases where doubt is unreasonable, but there are others where it seems logically impossible. And there seems to be no clear boundary between them. LW/OC/454

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Marie
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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Marie » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:28 pm

I'm glad you were able to access the Salon article, Conditional_Id. It does give you an insight, doesn't it?

I think he would agree that at the end of the day it was about balance. Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, as the saying goes. And the show probably turns out right most nights, despite his not worrying as much about it! His staff knows their business and they adore him, so he must have worked very hard to change the way he used to look at things.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: TV Guide: Keith says "sleep on it" before sounding off

Postby Conditional_Id » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:52 pm

I believe you have the right of it, Marie. That Salon article was a good one, for certain. So much of what we think of as change in life really is just self-integration. Not a term one hears much anymore, but valid nonetheless. If my perceptions of KO are correct, he would fall into the category of "shadow self" for me -- very opposite in many ways -- one can always learn a great deal by observing one's shadow. Certainly I learn much from the Countdown or I wouldn't have been watching all these years. It has only been this year, and in particular this election cycle, that I have been "driven" to blog, just to keep sanity. You have a great site here.
There are cases where doubt is unreasonable, but there are others where it seems logically impossible. And there seems to be no clear boundary between them. LW/OC/454


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