Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Keith Olbermann: 'Protecting Themselves From Assassination Threats'

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM

In this week's Rolling Stone, Keith Olbermann talks about leaving MSNBC and giving money to Arizona Democrats Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. You can read the entire interview here.

Why did you give money to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two other Democrats when you knew there was a rule against it?
People say, "Why did you think you could get away with donating to Democrats?" Nobody ever asks me why I donated to those three Democrats. I discovered from a friend of mine who knows Arizona politics really well that all three had spent a lot of money, and I mean a lot of money, protecting themselves from assassination threats. To me, as a small-d democrat, as a member of a democracy, it pissed me off. I thought, "I'm going to help defray their expenses." That's all it was.

Does it bother you that your departure from MSNBC came the same month as the shooting in Tucson? It seemed like the network felt they needed to tone things down.
Number one, I was the first guy to go on the air and say we should all tone things down. If the network felt that pressure, they were feeling it from me. Number two, I had begun to remove things from my office, the valuable stuff, and take them home in October.

Really? Were you worried they were going to lock you out?
No. There are just some things you don't want to have misplaced. They throw out a box by mistake, and suddenly a photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson at the 1919 World Series taken by a fan is gone forever. So I'd pick it up and put it in my bag and take it home. Members of my staff would go, "What happened to Shoeless Joe?" I'd say, "I'm just using him at home now."

So that far back...
Right, 2008 was the first time I thought, "Maybe I should take some of this stuff home."

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