Did Rupert Murdoch Kick Al Gore’s Television Station Off The Air In Italy Because Of Keith Olbermann Hire?

Rupert Murdoch

Here’s a fun little story: According to Al Gore, Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp. is punishing the former Vice President’s Current TV network for its hire of Keith Olbermann by forcing Sky Italia to drop the channel.

Gore says that three weeks ago he received the news that the Italian conglomerate would remove Current, which came as a “complete shock.”

Through back channels, Gore and his executive team learned the decision came from New York and was a result of Olbermann’s hire.

“News Corporation is an international conglomerate with an ideological agenda,” Gore told the Guardian. “It seeks political power in every nation they operate. They wield that power to shut down voices that disagree with the agenda of Rupert Murdoch.” 

Olbermann, the former ESPN and MSNBC anchor who joined Current in February for an equity stake, will host Countdown With Keith Olbermann. In the past, he has been extremely critical of Murdoch, News Corp., and Fox News.

According to a News Corp. spokesman, however, the decision to end Current TV’s run in Italy had nothing to do with politics.

“The non-renewal of Current TV’s carriage agreement with Sky Italia is purely commercial,” he told the British paper. “Current TV asked Sky Italia for double the carriage fee when prime-time viewing had fallen by 40% in the past year. Sky Italia’s offer was in line with the market and reflected the performance of the channel. It had nothing to do with politics.”