Keith Olbermann Did Not Particularly Enjoy Working With Chris Matthews

Kyle Koster
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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Keith Olbermann has pivoted to politics once again, a move noticed mainly by a very flexible Sen. Mitt Romney in a back-banding routine tsk tsking both sides of the aisle. The quick-writing, quick-thinking broadcaster spoke about that experience on a recent episode of The Press Box (I think that's right) before being teed up to blast a Bryson DeChambeau-like drive by co-host Bryan Curtis, who asked about the experience of doing political commentary without one Chris Matthews within arm's reach.

Olbermann took out the metaphorical driver and put one on the fairway about 320 yards away with a satisfying ping.

"Well, there is the sense that you have no longer to worry about whether or not the toddler has just turned on the stove and burned that part of the house down," he said. "And then come back to you and said, 'I didn't know that the fire would burn down the house.'"

"I've worked with everybody," he continued. "I've never seen anybody who combined this 'I don't know what I'm doing, I've never been on TV before' vibe combined that with the ability to then use that seeming incompetence as an excuse for stealing other people's interviews, scripts."

After opening the door for six to eight hours of Matthews stories, Olbermann settled on a single one that seems to sum up the whole experience quite neatly: anchoring with Matthews around Election Night 2008. John Kerry had agreed to come on MSNBC as long as he would be talking to Keith, not Chris, only to have Matthews blow through the teleprompter like Miguel Cabrera encountering a stop sign from his third-base coach. To hear Olbermann tell it, he wasn't able to get in with his own planned questions until the fourth try.

"There's so many of these journalists who are very well aware of the facts but really don't know how the facts add up to the truth and Chris was certainly one of them. It was not a relationship like me and Dan Patrick, let's put it that way."

Really interesting stuff here. I think I speak for all media nerds by saying I want all the stories. All the dirt delivered in perfectly acerbic and cerebral calmness. Maybe The Ringer will explore this very niche but also not particularly lucrative premium platform for the 22 of us out there craving more.

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