Al Gore looking beyond Keith Olbermann spat at Current
"He's an extremely talented man, and we're fine," the former vice president and Nobel laureate who cofounded Current told The Times in an interview at the TV press tour in Pasadena on Friday.
Olbermann, the cantankerous liberal host who joined the upstart network last year, was a conspicuous no-show during Current's coverage of the Iowa caucuses. Speculation that he was on the outs with his bosses increased after he tweeted and made public statements seeming to criticize the network.
Gore, who started Current with legal entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, dismissed such talk: "He also tweeted that any reports that he's disgruntled are inaccurate." Earlier this week, Olbermann said he would appear on-air for Current's future election coverage, although not for the New Hampshire primary, which was held Tuesday.
"He has been absolutely essential to our transformation to a 24/7 news and information network, looking at the news from a progressive point of view," Gore said. "We're very happy about that."
Asked if he regretted hiring Olbermann — who famously tangled with bosses during stints at MSNBC, ESPN and Fox Sports Net — Gore replied: "No."
Gore and Hyatt visited the press tour to tout "The War Room," a new Current program hosted by former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm that premieres Jan. 30.
— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Former Vice President and Current co-founder Al Gore is flanked by Current President David Bohrman and Gore's business partner Joel Hyatt. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times.