CityFile’s story, picked up on a variety of other blogs, quoted insiders who described a booking battle, which Olbermann lost, between Rachel Maddow‘s staff and Countdown’s over Ben Affleck, who was promoting his movie, “State of Play. But Olbermann said his absence was not due to the Affleck booking but because he hit “an emotional wall about my mother’s passing,” and took a long weekend off, before hitting “another kind of wall over the weekend and by Monday I was in bed with flu or something like it.”
Olbermann also mentioned former MSNBC anchor and GM Dan Abrams, brought up in the CityFile story as an example of a previous Olbermann grudge. “Considering Mr. Abrams’ irrelevance to the rest of the story, and indeed now to MSNBC, it does rather point a finger towards a small group that could be the ‘sources’ of this sad, and sadly out-of-touch, gossip,” said Olbermann.
Abrams tells TVNewser, “I have no idea why my name came up and knew nothing about Keith’s schedule until now. This must be a difficult time for Keith and during these times, we sometimes say things we come to regret.”
As for what actually happened with the Affleck booking, Olbermann said: “Ben Affleck had been tentatively booked for Countdown, then wound up on Rachel’s show due to some really shoddy work by a fill-in publicist for his latest movie. This double booking stuff happens. It was resolved internally and quickly.”
Universal Pictures spokesperson Megan Bendis tells TVNewser, “We have no comment on this matter.”
All caught up? Click continued to see Olbermann’s segment last night…