Just a day after ESPN announced that it will be parting ways with Keith Olbermann when his contract runs out on July 31, the outspoken host was back on the airwaves planning his next career move — along with some not-so-subtle digs at both the media and his employer.
“Next year is an election year … I can’t imagine an election year without Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann. What are you going to do?” guest stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan asked the host on Thursday’s episode of “Olbermann” on ESPN2.
“I am going to become Donald Trump’s campaign manager,” Olbermann replied, laughing even in the face of impending unemployment.
When asked if he was going to write the presidential candidate’s speeches, he replied: “No one can write those, as you know, because you have to have a stream of consciousness mixed with hair dye dripping into your skull.”
Ironically, Olbermann revealed that he lives in one of the real estate mogul’s Manhattan buildings and deals with him on a “you owe me money” basis. “He is a surprisingly realistic and reasonable man, then you see this stuff and think ‘maybe there’s two Donald Trumps.'”
The recently ousted host didn’t spare his former bosses from some sneaky digs. When Gaffigan dished on how the isolated ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, is full of the biggest sports buffs, Olbermann said: “Thank God that’s what you said when you said it was ‘full of the biggest …’ I thought, ‘Well what can happen to me now?'”
Earlier, during his bitter monologue to open Thursday’s show, Olbermann blasted the media for its coverage of his latest high-profile departure, while discussing ESPN reporter Adam Schefter’s handling of NFL player Jason Pierre-Paul’s finger amputation following a 4th of July firework accident.
“If you think ESPN was wrong to disseminate this cellphone photo of hospital records detailing the amputation of one of Pierre-Paul’s fingers rather than simply reporting the amputation, you do not understand the level to which reporting has sunk, where the journalistic requirement to supply whatever proof you have that whatever you’re saying happened — happened,” he said.
“This is a requirement that has gradually been worn away by the unyielding tidal ebb and flow of gossip, rumor and people pretending that its OK to report something demonstrably not true, simply because somebody told them it was true, and they have mistaken the fact that somebody told it to them for ‘truth,'” Olbermann continued.
“If there is a moment where you should defer to me on the merits of having hard evidence to separate reporting from repeating — having something like a hospital document — it’s now,” he said. “I speak to you as something of a sports news story myself just at the moment.”
The “Olbermann” host split with ESPN for the second time on Wednesday, when the network announced that it was not renewing his contract after two years. “While the show’s content was distinctive and extremely high quality, we ultimately made a business decision to move in another direction,” the network said in a statement. “We wish Keith nothing but the best and trust that his skill and ability will lead him to another promising endeavor.”
After first joining ESPN in 1992, departing in 1997 and returning in July 2013 with a one-hour nightly show on ESPN2, Olbermann has been suspended or scolded by the network on multiple occasions.
He earned network ire for an unauthorized appearance on “The Daily Show,” blasting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and getting into a Twitter argument with Penn State students who were fundraising for pediatric cancer.