Keith Olbermann Pulled From Air for Penn State THON Tweets

After arguing with Penn State students he called "pitiful," Keith Olbermann has been yanked off the air for the rest of the week.

ESPN has suspended Keith Olbermann for the rest of the week after a series of tweets he directed at Penn State students last night.

ESPN and Olbermann have both released statements. ESPN avoids the words “suspension” in its statement, but it’s clear it’s a suspension even if both sides agreed to it.

We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN. We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday. The annual tradition of THON and the efforts of the students of Penn State to fight pediatric cancer should be applauded.



How’d this start? It stems from the deal state officials made last month with the NCAA that restored Joe Paterno’s vacated wins. Olbermann went on his show and blasted the NCAA and Penn State, essentially saying they cared more about Joe Paterno’s legacy than the lives of children Jerry Sandusky molested.

He went after Penn State again a few days later. Onward State’s Kevin Horne fired back in a long open letter aping Olbermann’s style of argumentation (perhaps accidentally) and defending Joe Paterno.

Then, a month-long detente. But Penn State’s annual THON took place last weekend; it raised more than $13 million for the Four Diamonds Fund, a charity that assists childhood cancer patients at Penn State’s medical school in Hershey.

Complex has compiled a listing of the tweets Olbermann sent. It began after an enterprising Penn State graduate baited him into it by sending him a note about the money Penn State had raised.

Things continued from there.

(Complex has more.)

ESPN hired Olbermann, of course, to court this type of controversy. He wasn’t suspended when he said Flyers fans are not literate. Of course, Flyers fans are Flyers fans — and THON raises money to comfort childhood cancer patients with 96% of contributions going to the Four Diamonds Fund. And if he meant “it’s pitiful that you think raising money for charity offsets the actions taken by the Penn State administration in the past, I think” or a similar comment — well, he didn’t say that.

6 ABC streamed THON on the web this year, and several of its anchors were swift to condemn Olbermann.

Olbermann should return to the air next week. Penn State’s men’s hockey team, once singled-out on air by the ESPN anchor, won the THON dance competition.