The Penn State alumna who sent the tweet that provoked the tirade that got Keith Olbermann suspended from ESPN for the rest of the week says she was hoping to get Olbermann to “lighten up” on the university when she sent him a link to a story about the school’s pediatric cancer research fundraiser.
“I certainly didn’t send my tweet to him in the hopes of getting him suspended,” Lisa Aiello Deleon told me over email. “I sent it to educate him in hopes he would recognize the good that Penn State does and has done, and in hope that he might lighten up on us a bit in the future.”
Aiello Deleon tweeted at the ESPN host the partial Penn State slogan “We are!” with a link to a story about the THON student body fundraiser, and Olbermann responded by “finish[ing] her sentence” and calling Penn State students “pitiful.” Olbermann apologized for the remark and ensuing back-and-forth on Tuesday.
“I hope that he reflects on the comments that he has made to and about the entire Penn State community,” Aiello Deleon said.
The Twitter beef between the 1982 Penn State graduate and Olbermann actually goes back to January, when Aiello Deleon sent him a link to a story that defended former Penn State coach Joe Paterno against charges that he covered up child abuse by defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Olbermann, a fierce critic of the NCAA’s January settlement with the school to restore the Paterno wins it had vacated after the Sandusky scandal, responded that he was not convinced.
“His response, I found appalling,” Aiello Deleon said of the original exchange.
She says she later decided to send him the article about the fundraiser because she wanted to show him what “true Penn State culture” was about.