Keith Olbermann insists he isn’t a tyrant.
Olbermann — who’s just getting over a spat with his Current TV bosses over Iowa caucus coverage — was put on the defensive Tuesday after Gawker posted stories about Olbermann from an anonymous source who claimed to be a former employee.
Accusing Olbermann of “abusive behavior toward his staff,” the source complained, “He doesn’t have reasonable reactions to missteps, he gets angry and finds ways to take his anger out on people.”
The source claimed to have worked at “Countdown” when it aired on MSNBC and said that the show had “a 75 percent staff turnover rate in the time I was there — high even for the cable news business.”
The source also got personal, saying Olbermann was a terrible dresser but that no one could address it because he was “traumatized” by a childhood shopping trip in which his mother made him try on wool suits in the summer.
Olbermann unsurprisingly took issue with the claims.
“This is hilariously inaccurate,” Olbermann wrote on Twitter. “Among other things @Gawker’s source got wrong: staff turnover was closer to 7%. Of top 20 people on show in ’03, 17 still there day I left.
The famously outspoken television personality followed up with an email response to Gawker.
“[Y]our ‘source’ is easily proved as a fake,” Olbermann told the site, adding that three of his “Countdown” staffers followed him to Current — not exactly a sign of ogre-like tendencies on Olbermann’s part.
Olbermann goes on to assert that his employment record speaks for itself.
“As to the overall characterization of my conduct as an employer and employee I would point out again: prior to my Current gig I’ve had nine full time employers. Three have rehired me later in my career (CNN, MSNBC, ESPN) and three others asked me to come back but we couldn’t work it out,” Olbermann told the site.
He added: “I will admit the traumatic shopping story is very, very funny. But you’ve been seriously punked here.”
Gawker’s source stands by the story, telling the web site, “Keith’s reaction is par for the course — even given what I experienced and shared with Gawker, I will always remain stunned by the depths of his denial about his behavior and his lack of self-awareness.”