This is a little embarrassing for Keith Olbermann, but perhaps he’s getting used to it after his recent “annus horribilis”, which included getting fired from Current TV. Recently, he’s been claiming that both Sports Night and The Newsroom, shows created by Aaron Sorkin, were based on him. Well, sorry Keith, but both Sorkin and Newsroom star Jeff Daniels are now saying that it isn’t true (the latter in the Good Morning America clip above). In all fairness, Sports Night has always been claimed to be based on SportsCenter, a show co-hosted by Olbermann on ESPN, and Sorkin paid visits to real-life cable news shows as part of research for The Newsroom, including Countdown with Keith Olbermann. But Sorkin is vehemently denying that Newsroom has anything to do with Olbermann.
Should Keith nevertheless choose to believe that the shows are in fact based on him, he probably also thinks that the circle is complete. After his initial success on ESPN, he launched himself as a political commentator on MSNBC. In all honesty (I do sympathize with Olbermann’s politics and his infatuation with the early icons of American television), he has yet to prove that he’s someone worth working with; he’s now been fired from Fox Sports, MSNBC and Current TV. He needs to get his shit together – but if he does, he’s a compelling presence on TV. The icon Olbermann has idolized the most fervently is the man in the clip above – Edward Murrow, the legendary newscaster in one of his most famous appearances, not only denouncing that rat Joseph McCarthy but also ending with “Good night, and good luck”, which became the title of George Clooney’s 2005 film about Murrow. It was also a catchphrase that Olbermann was happy to reuse in Countdown.
So, Olbermann imitating Murrow being imitated by Sorkin… well, perhaps not. But Sorkin might be happier to acknowledge Olbermann’s influence if the former sportscaster stopped being such a nuisance to every company that hires him.