Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Now....Where Were We? Olbermann's Return


Caricature above from THE NEW YORKER, June 2008

It only took a petition with 300,000 plus names attached demanding the reinstatement of Keith Olbermann by his bosses at MSNBC, but he did return on Tuesday night, first disclaiming that the suspension was a publicity stunt, and closed the show talking about the events, and offering both thanks and apologies where he saw fit.






One of the more interesting aspects of Olbermann Suspension Affair was the demand by many petitioners  that Keith's boss, Phil Griffin, be fired for suspending Olbermann because of his contributions to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates in last week's midterms. On further review, it should be said that Phil Griffin and Keith Olbermann go back a long, long way, nearly thirty years. Griffin and Olbermann first worked together at CNN in the early days of the first 24 hour news channel. Griffin, it seems, was an early supporter of Olbermann in those days, a producer who saw his talent when others had doubts about the young eccentric sportscaster turned newsman.

An interesting portrait of Olbermann and his relationship with Griffin, and others in the world of broadcast news, was published by The New Yorker on June 23, 2008. Titled One Angry Man; Is Keith Olbermann Changing TV News? the piece by Peter J. Boyer gives a warts and all look at Keith Olbermann and his brutal honesty that some might find over the top and even hurtful- co-worker at ESPN Suzy Kolber was said to have locked herself in the ladies room to cry on occasion after run ins with Olbermann.

Years later, Olbermann's brief tenure at Fox Sports was ended by none other than Rupert Murdoch himself. A few years ago Murdoch was heard to say "He's crazy", regarding Olbermann.

It's an interesting but lengthy read; and it's fairly objective. It won't change your opinion of "KO" if you're a friend or fan, but it will give you a clear portrait of a very complex guy, maybe even a slightly mad genius.

To progressives like me Keith Olbermann is one of the good guys fighting the good fight. Having said that, one can be one of the "good guys" without necessarily being a "nice guy" in the true sense of the word. And to be candid, after reading the New Yorker piece it's clear that KO has moments when he is not a nice guy. And in today's political climate that's not necessarily a bad thing.

For too long progressives whined after they were slapped around by the Righties. Olbermann punches back, and hard. And maybe that's why the Right detests.... and even fears him.....as much as they do.

2 comments:

Sue said...

I think the wingnuts DO fear the liberals. They have to know the liberals are taking over with our social policies.

good to have Keith back. He's not my favorite MSNBC host but he's enjoyable...

I can be mean sometimes too, I hate to admit that personality flaw! :-)

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue, don't worry about being "mean sometimes".

Better to be mean than to suffer fools.

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