LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Keith Olbermann suspended his Twitter account on Thursday after receiving a barrage of angry tweets in the wake of an interview with Michael Moore two days earlier.
The MSNBC host of “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” was speaking to Moore about the filmmaker’s decision to contribute $20,000 to bail out Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder accused of sex crimes.
Moore told Olbermann that Assange is a “pioneer of free speech” for posting thousands of secret Pentagon documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq onto the Internet.
Then Moore suggested that Assange’s arrest was a government plot to smear him. “This whole thing stinks to the high heavens,” Moore said.
“The charge is his condom broke during consensual sex,” Moore added. “This is all a bunch of hooey as far as I’m concerned.”
Assange was arrested in Sweden after two women accused him of rape. In both instances, the women said the act began as consensual but that they changed their minds, one after a condom broke, the other after a condom “was no longer in use,” as the New York Times put it.
The exchange between Moore and Olbermann caused a firestorm of angry tweets suggesting Olbermann and Moore were too flippant when discussing the accusations that Assange raped two women.
Many of the tweets were no doubt courtesy of Tigerbeatdown.com, which started an online campaign to shame Moore for his “rape apologism.” It also takes Olbermann to task for re-tweeting a link to a story that identifies the women who accuse Assange of raping them.
Olbermann blocked the Tigerbeatdown tweets, then unblocked them, then said he was done with Twitter, for now, anyway.
“I’ll thus unblock all blocks, wish you all a Merry Christmas and I’ll suspend this account until/if this frenzy is stopped,” he tweeted on Thursday.
Olbermann didn’t respond to a request for comment.