Former Vice President Al Gore on Friday weighed in on the recent dust-up between Current TV and Keith Olbermann, saying the network’s star personality is “fine.”
Olbermann didn’t participate in the network’s Iowa or New Hampshire political coverage, reportedly refusing to do so amid ongoing production problems.
“He’s fine,” Gore said according to the Associated Press, dismissing rumors that the famously difficult Olbermann was looking to leave the network. “He has been the key to our ability to pivot and develop our whole network as a progressive news and commentary network.”
Gore, the chairman of the network that reaches 63 million U.S. homes, participated himself as a pundit in Current’s Iowa and New Hampshire coverage.
Gore also touted his network as being more consistently liberal than MSNBC: Current has former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, as a prime-time personality. Her show “The War Room” will debut Jan. 30.
“They’ve got a few progressive shows on MSNBC in prime time,” Gore said, according to the AP. “But they’ll start the day with a conservative show in the mornings, and then they’ll get the prison channel on the weekends. They’ll be all over the lot in the middle of the day. We’re consistent.”
Joel Hyatt, Current’s CEO, also attacked MSNBC’s political leanings, charging that they only became liberal after Olbermann’s political show became a success. Olbermann left MSNBC last year.
“There is no authenticity to the MSNBC brand,” Hyatt said.
A report issued Friday by the cable analysts SNL Kagan suggested Current needs to keep Olbermann in order to survive, according to the AP.
“The potential is there, but Current will need to get its programming act together or it could face the possibility of being dropped by some distributors,” wrote Kagan analyst Derek Baine.