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Keith Olbermann Fires Back at Pat Sajak

Following the former 'Pat Sajak Show' host's apology for introducing the MSNBC personality to America in 1989, Olbermann responds: 'I think if he needs to apologize for anything, it needs to be that talk show.'

Pat Sajak apologized for introducing Keith Olbermann to America.

But now Olbermann says that Sajak taking blame -- or credit -- for helping to raise his national profile is ridiculous, especially since the show in question, The Pat Sajak Show, stunk.

The war of words began Wednesday when Sajak wrote an article for right-of-center website Ricochet.com that carried the headline: "Mea Culpa: I put Keith Olbermann on national TV."

The subhead of the article is: "I was the person who introduced Keith Olbermann to America."

"He didn't," Olbermann said in an email to The Hollywood Reporter, because he was on CNN as early as 1981 while Sajak had him as a guest on his late-night talk show for the first time in 1989.

Olbermann also made appearances on CBS Evening News and guest-hosted on ESPN prior to his Pat Sajak Show appearance, and Today profiled him in 1986.

The Wheel of Fortune star's Pat Sajak Show ran for 15 months in 1989-90.

"I think if he needs to apologize for anything, it needs to be that talk show," Olbermann said.

Then the MSNBC star talker dragged recently deceased Stephen J. Cannell into his feud with Sajak.

"When he was canceled, he was replaced by a crime-and-skin series called Silk Stalkings, for God's sake. Obviously, we guests must've really stunk."

Cannell created Silk Stalkings and it ran from 1991-99, first on CBS then on USA Network.

Olbermann's harsh reaction to Sajak suggests that the latter might have struck a nerve with his critical article Wednesday.

"I'm not sure how he morphed into the bitter-sounding, hate-mongering name-caller he's become, but I'm sorry he did," Sajak wrote about Olbermann.

Left-leaning Olbermann and conservative Sajak are political opposites. While Olbermann's views are displayed on TV often, Sajak prefers the written word, and his articles appear at Human Events and elsewhere.

Sajak also acknowledged in his piece Wednesday that he enjoyed Olbermann's show on MSNBC when it first started seven years ago but that recently Olbermann has "dumped more than his share of venom into the water."

"I'd like to think he knows that," Sajak writes. "I liked the Keith Olbermann of 1989."

The Olbermann of that year was a sportscaster at the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, presumably why Sajak wasn't aware of his national TV work.

When Olbermann was on Sajak's show back then, the two talked about the upcoming Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals, and they joked about how irritating the "Ickey Shuffle" was.

For the record, the 49ers won that game on a Joe Montana pass in the last 35 seconds.

Sajak liked Olbermann so much that he put him on his show several times, a decision he now regrets, apparently.