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Shocked? Keith Olbermann Dropped by Current TV, Says Joining Network Was "Foolish"

Keith Olbermann Virginia Sherwood/NBC

The clock has run out on Keith Olbermann once again.

Current TV has pulled the plug on the outspoken host, who brought his Countdown With Keith Olbermann to the fledgling cable network barely a year ago following his swift, unexpected ouster from MSNBC.

So, what happened? And guess who's replacing him?!

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"We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet," the network, which was started by Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt in 2005, said in a statement.

"We are more committed to those goals today than ever before. 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."

As you might have guessed, Olbermann's version of events differs more than slightly.

"I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV," he tweeted this afternoon.

"Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I've been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.

"It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt's 'values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,' I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee's name was Clarence B. Cain.' "

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After being sued in 1990 by Cain, who claimed he was fired when his bosses found out he had AIDS, Hyatt Legal Services settled the lawsuit and admitted it may have "mishandled the matter."

"In due course," Olbermann continued, "the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it."

Current, apparently looking to make the transition swift and painless (on its end, at least), already has Olbermann's successor waiting in the wings: Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer premieres tonight.

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