Following his suspension for a barrage of tweets aimed at Penn State students and fans, ESPN host Keith Olbermann returned to the air Monday and offered an apology — sort of.
In the long-winded “apology” which opened his show, Olbermann made a bizarre comparison between social media and batting practice in baseball.
Last week, Olbermann, who sent out several tweets aimed at Penn State supporters, called Penn State students “pitiful” in response to a link which detailed Penn State's annual fundraiser THON, which raised over $13 million for pediatric cancer.
Olbermann said he did not click on the link before sending the tweet.
Here’s the full thing in all of its bizarre glory:
“Under ordinary conditions if I had come across that fact on Twitter or elsewhere, I would have been retweeting it with my congratulations or retweeting it with my congratulations and then my donation,” Olbermann said. “But this is a batting practice world now. And in this batting practice world there is no time for anything good – only everything fast. Fast and resonant of the smack of the ball hitting the bat. That’s the position this can put you in.”
Olbermann then went on to point out his previous charitable donations (over 200, he says) to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and that he does not publicize those offerings. He encouraged others to make donations to those two charities, but did not mention THON.
He also made reference to the “wild, wild west of social media” and went back to that weird batting practice metaphor, seemingly placing at least some of the blame for his initial uninformed comments on social media itself.
“In my haste to win batting practice on Twitter, I’ve attached the word pitiful [to charity]. As I tweeted last week, I’m sorry for the Penn State tweets – stupid and immature. But I’m much more sorry about batting practice. So for me, batting practice ends, and as quixotic as this may seem to you, I hope you will join me in trying to end it for all of us, so we can get back to what matters.”
Oh, and for the record, Olbermann did not announce whether or not he made a donation to THON, despite a challenge from Penn State.
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