Keith Olbermann, whose MSNBC contract was renewed for four more years yesterday — at an estimated $7.5 million per year (or $30 million over four years) — spoke to TVNewser's Gail Shister about Chris Matthews, women in cable, and what it's like to be on "The View" (watch his appearance here).
On Chris Matthews
Olbermann — who explained to "The View" that he does not vote, said he would vote for Chris Matthews if he runs for Senate in Pennsylvania (no matter that he is not a Pennsylvania resident):
"I would definitely suspend my symbolism and vote for him....I like Chris. I think he approaches his job like a public servant. He has a genuinely naive 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' commitment to making good things happen in this country."
On "The View"
Olbermann said visiting "The View" is like "sitting in a blender for 10 minutes, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Five people were asking me questions at the same time."
He called Barbara Walters "just a delight" and reminisced fondly of his boozy lunch with Whoopi Goldberg in 1999, when she was hosting "Hollywood Squares"
On women in cable
Olbermann praised colleague Rachel Maddow: "Given the lack of success of women as anchors in prime time, it may not be far from true [that Rachel Maddow is the Queen of Cable, as Stephen Colbert suggests]. There are only two: Greta [van Susteren of Fox News Channel] and Rachel. It's been made more difficult for women, mostly through the actions of men."
As Shister notes, he notably leaves out his 8PM competition on CNN, Campbell Brown, who he has recently started referencing on his program.
On Bill O'Reilly
Olbermann challenged Bill O'Reilly to an arm wrestling match, and is sure that he would win:
"He'd never do it, because every time we're in the same place, he keeps himself 25 feet away, but I'm ready to go. I do yoga, work out three times a week. I think I could take him if it comes to that."