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Keith Olbermann admits he screwed up

Danielle Adams

Keith Olbermann

Compares himself to $10 million chandelier

Keith Olbermann appeared on CBS’s Late Show With David Letterman Tuesday night in his first public appearance since being fired from Current TV.

“I screwed up really big on this,” Keith Olbermann told Letterman, “It’s my fault in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.”

Current TV fired Keith Olbermann last week, citing a lack of “respect” and “collegiality” in its relationship with him, following months of publicized conflict between Olbermann and Current executives in the press.

Olbermann was hired by Current just over a year ago as part of its plans to build its new identity as a more progressive alternative to MSNBC around him.

In an open memo to viewers regarding Olbermann’s termination, Current founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt wrote, “Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”

Olbermann told Letterman that he had gotten a sinking feeling shortly after signing the deal with Current. “I was thinking about that as early as like last July,” he said. “We’d been on the air about 10 days and they fired the guy who knew what he was doing who I worked for and I went, ‘Uh-oh.’”

Olbermann also compared himself to an expensive chandelier. “Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good, and it’s not going to do any good to the chandelier,” he said. “And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house on, to put the chandelier in, or a building permit, and I should have known that.”

He will be replaced by Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who had been a frequent guest on Olbermann’s Countdown since its earliest days on Current. Spitzer’s show, Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, launches Friday at 9 p.m.

“Where will you go now?” Letterman asked him at the end of the conversation.

“I think I’ll just go home,” said Keith Olbermann.

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