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Keith Olbermann Benched by ESPN For Comments About Penn State

by on February 24, 2015 3:45 PM

ESPN's Keith Olbermann is in hot water after an emotional rant on social media that essentially demeaned Penn State students and that many took as a personal attack on THON -- the student-run charity which has raised millions of dollars to battle pediatric cancer.

Now, he's on the outside looking in.

ESPN has suspended the controversial talk show host for the remainder of the week, calling Olbermann's remarks "completely inappropriate.

The drama began Monday with an exchange of several Tweets in which Olbermann called Penn State students “pitiful” in response to an article about THON raising more than $13 million this year.

Here's the full statement from ESPN along with a Tweet from Olbermann apologizing for his comments:


"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." -ESPN

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The back-and-forth sniping between Olbermann and irate Penn State supporters was the subject of an Onward State report that generated a huge response.

Here's a sample of the Tweets that ignited the furor.

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Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.20.40 PM readers responded with indignation when a link was posted on our Facebook page. One reader wrote, "I think we all know who is pitiful...and pathetic." 

Another, who says her son was a THON dancer, had a few choice words for Olbermann. "You know what's pitiful? A 56-year old "man" sitting behind a computer baiting 18-22 year old college students on Twitter. That's a class act right there."

This isn't the first time Olbermann has attacked Penn State culture. Last January, Olbermann lashed out at the university after players on the men's hockey team added "409" decals to their helmets when Joe Paterno's wins were restored by the NCAA.

In a piece called "Penn State is The World's Worst in Sports, Olbermann said the hockey team's action was proof that "football is still more important than saving kids," a reference to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. You can watch the entire video clip below. The Penn State comments begin at the 2:31 mark.

That report was followed by a widely-read commentary by Kevin Horne, the former managing editor of Onward State, illustrating that there is no love lost between many Nittany Lion fans and Olbermann.


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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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