Keith Olbermann Returns From ESPN Suspension, Calls His Penn State Tweets ‘Stupid and Immature’ (Video)

“I was not a victim. I brought this on myself,” says anchor as he apologizes for accidentally calling fundraiser for pediatric cancer “pitiful”

Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN2 on Monday after being suspended by the network last week over a heated Twitter exchange with Penn State University students.

The spat started Feb. 23 when a student tweeted the “Olbermann” host a link to an article about the school’s fundraising efforts to fight pediatric cancer, including the school’s rally cry “We Are…” to which Olbermann responded “…pitiful,” sparking angry responses from tweeters who took it as a criticism of the school’s philanthropy efforts.

In his typical in-depth and analytical style, Olbermann compared the scandal to baseball in a longwinded on-air apology during Monday’s show.

“This is batting practice … on the other hand, this is not batting practice. This is Twitter, social media … they are people’s opinions, meaningful, malicious or otherwise. And more importantly, they are people. And people are not designed to be swatted over the nearest outfield fence like a screaming baseball in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon,” he said.

“Last week, I deftly turned myself into one of those screaming baseballs and entirely through my own stupidity I let countless people — many of them correctly indignant — send my little Bugs Bunny baseball head screaming over the fence again and again and again,” he continued.

During his 6-plus minutes of commentary, Olbermann went on to say that “trolling or even cyberbullying is far more dangerous than just self-inflicted damage to somebody’s reputation or one’s ego. It can make it seem that you have just attacked, bullied, marginalized, trivialized or joked about or called pitiful a cause that has been for years as close to your own heart as your lungs are, namely cancer, specifically pediatric cancer.

“I was not a victim. I brought this on myself. This is my fault,” he said.

As to why he called the charitable cause “pitiful,” the anchor said it was a simple rushed mistake, while saying social media is used as an alternative to “Wild West saloon brawling.”

He did a commentary in January slamming part of the Penn State community in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, he has been publicly barraged by them since, Olbermann claimed: “I have swung back as fast and as hard as possible.”

When one Penn State critic tweeted “We are …” he decided to retweet it without clicking on the link attached and end the sentence with “pitiful.”

Unfortunately, the link Olbermann had ignored was “about Penn State students conducting a fundraising drive for pediatric cancer … raking in $13 million.”

Under ordinary circumstances if he had come across that on Twitter, he would have been retweeting it with congratulations “and then my donation,” said Olbermann.

“But this is a batting-practice world now,” he said, “and there’s no time for anything good, only everything fast and resonant of the smack of the ball hitting the bat.”

Olbermann lost his mother to cancer in 2009 and his father in 2010, and because of their deaths, two of his favorite charities to donate to are St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he said, stressing that since 2008, he’s made over 200 donations to the cancer-related charities.

“I am sorry for the Penn State tweets — stupid and immature — but I am much more sorry about batting practice, so for me, batting practice ends,” he said.

Watch the video here.

Read a selection of outraged messages that Olbermann retweeted and his original apology below.