John on June 16, 2011 at 4:45 am
Keith kicks off his transplanted talk show on Al Gore’s Current TV this Monday. It’s still called Countdown and it’s still, apparently, the same basic format as his old show. So yesterday the NY Times did a story on Keith and it’s interesting that, while the reporter clearly wants to write a puff piece, he can’t ignore his subjects massive ego:
Even in a business full of divas, Olbermann, 52, is his own special case: unpredictable, incapable of managing up and hypersensitive to the least hint of criticism. But his audiences love him for it. Olbermann is a pure broadcast id. At both ESPN and MSNBC, he parodied the role of the all-knowing anchor, projecting a winking sense that the hostage had taken over the video.
Got that? Keith’s rants are cool because it’s only meta-rage. Only it’s not as the author of the piece admits later:
Olbermann is himself an ideologue, a man who never met a shade of gray he liked and who believes his opponents are evil. He all but smacks his lips when he considers the coming presidential race, anticipating what he calls a “demolition derby” on the Republican side.
Where’s the wink in that exactly? If anything, this piece makes you fear for Olbermann’s sanity:
“Switch seats with me,” he said pleasantly. “I want to be in the Fox Sports shot of home plate. They usually cut it off right here,” he said, indicating the arm of the seat between us. “It’s fun to mess with them.”
Not only were we inches away from the field, but Olbermann was on television, messing with the heads of his sworn enemies at Fox. It was a wonderful place for him to be, second only to that lone seat in front of the camera. He has missed it.
He’s at a baseball game and he’s still trying to a) get on TV and b) stick it to Fox. Again, this is supposed to be a puff piece, I think:
Olbermann is perpetually aggrieved. Rarely does an e-mail, a story or a comment about his work go unanswered. Say anything he doesn’t like, and he will fill you and anyone near you with all manner of weaponized rhetoric.
His hostility toward criticism made him a joy to work with at MSNBC:
There were times when he threatened not to come to work because of something someone said at his own station or in the press. It made for some tense moments, with substitute hosts on standby and very senior people spending hours talking him off a ledge and into the Town Car that would take him to the studio. And when he wasn’t threatening not to show up, he was threatening to quit…“Night after night, there would be this huge struggle just to talk him into sitting in the chair,” said one longtime executive at NBC, who asked not to be named because of the nondisclosure agreement.
Funny, when he was on MSNBC we were told that the network had no political bent. Now that he’s no longer on MSNBC, the NY Times is willing to point out that Olbermann is a touchy, liberal ideologue with an fixation on Fox that seems almost irrational. Would have been nice to see that in print about 4-5 years ago.
Category: MSM & Bias |