Calvin Freiburger

Why is Sean Hannity the “Worst Person in the World”? Prepare to Be Underwhelmed

Posted on January 19 2010 5:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

We all know what a petty, juvenile clown Keith Olbermann is, but his latest attack on Sean Hannity really sets a new low for both qualities.  Yesterday, Hannity won Olbermann’s coveted “Worst Person in the World” award, which would indicate that the Fox News star has done something really beyond the pale.  I mean, ol’ Keith wouldn’t waste such language on the small stuff, right?  Perish the thought!  Sean must have, say, claimed a political foe didn’t deserve free speech.  Or maybe he lied about somebody.  Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

[The relevant passage begins at the 2:57 mark.]

OLBERMANN: These are three clips about the Massachusetts Senate race, the first is from last Tuesday, hours after the Haiti earthquake, the second is from last Thursday, two days after the Haiti earthquake, and the third is from last Friday, three days after the Haiti earthquake:

HANNITY: …this would be a political earthquake [if Scott Brown won]…what a political earthquake that would be…if Republicans win this, a political earthquake, 9.9.

OLBERMANN: Three tasteless uses of the word ‘earthquake’ since the Haitian earthquake, including an imaginary reading from the Richter scale.  Mr. Hannity, have you checked, is your head by any chance made out of cheese? Sean Hannity, today’s worst person in the world.

……what?  That’s it?

Yes, the Haiti earthquake was terrible.  Jokes about it would certainly be in poor taste.  But merely using the word “earthquake,” not jokingly, to describe a major change to the status quo?  Really?  It’s such a common, innocuous metaphor that one struggles to imagine how it could be construed as callous, even in close proximity to the tragedy.  Would somebody who has actually lost somebody in this (or any) earthquake even have batted an eye?

Granted, not all of us have as deep an attunement to human suffering than Keith Olbermann, who clearly knows better than to invoke great horrors in describing lesser events.  Oh, wait

While I suppose it makes conservatives’ jobs easier when Olbermann wastes time with such meaningless, irrelevant drivel rather than concocting more elaborate lies that take more effort to debunk, the sheer banality of his latest missive (cheese head?  Really?) and the fact that MSNBC actually pays him for it, head-shaking and facepalm-inducing.  Often, one gets the distinct impression that the Left and the media don’t even care whether their content is very convincing or interesting, that they’ll settle for any old dreck, just as long as they’ve got a lot of it.

That might not make Keith Olbermann and the leadership of MSNBC the worst people in the world, but it certainly makes them among the most embarrassing.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

12 Responses leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010

    He and Schultz are two of the most pathetic………

  2. January 19, 2010

    I can’t wait for Scott Brown to get elected!!! Keith’s head will probably explode during his rant on that!!

  3. January 20, 2010

    Keith Overbite is truly psychotic. Using the word "earthquake" is tasteless because of the situation in Haiti? Kind of shakes your belief in free speech.

    You need to change your photo of Mr. Overbite. I saw him on the pre-game show for the Dallas game Sunday. He actually knows less about football than he knows about politics, if you believe that. Anyway, change the photo. He's a lot fatter now.

  4. January 20, 2010

    Calvin, haven't you grasped yet that Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" isn't supposed to be LITERALLY the worst person in the world? He's already explained where the idea came from lots of times — for instance, in the intro to the book:

    THEY AREN'T REALLY the worst persons in the world, of course.

    Somewhere somebody’s ending freedom, or sticking a shiv into a witness, or defrauding an orphan, or bombing a home. And there’s almost nobody in this book who—in any kind of empirical analysis of the worst person in the world at a given moment—could truly hold a candle to any of them.

    But my guys and gals have all, in their own ways, tried.

    Orphans may have nothing to fear, and freedom is more likely to hurt itself laughing at them than to be hurt by their Rube Goldbergian machinations. But these Worsts (if you’ll permit the term) are the mortal enemies of honesty and dignity, of selflessness and class.

    In short—they’ll do.

    The epithet tracks directly to three of the great influences of my late childhood: George Carlin, Bob Elliott, and Ray Goulding. They were classified as comedians, yet each—Carlin in his remarkable solo career and Bob & Ray in their nonpareil tandem work—was a social commentator.

    It was Carlin who startled me decades ago by the simple but irrefutable argument—the astonishing observation hidden inside the safety of a joke—that by the process of ranking, there truly had to be, somewhere, the worst doctor in the world. More terrifying still, he noted, “somebody has an appointment to see him tomorrow!”

    Bob & Ray proclaimed themselves political neutrals (while allowing me a visit to their New York radio studios in 1974, Ray told me they didn’t do political humor because “how could we top Watergate?”). Yet twenty years before, they had wrung Joe McCarthy’s neck every morning by mocking the Army-McCarthy hearings. Ray could do a perfect imitation of McCarthy’s manic tone of “I’m just about to go crazy so better put some newspaper on the floor,” and Bob captured the artificial self-deprecation of attorney Joseph Welch, giving him the priceless catchphrase “I’m just a simple showbiz lawyer.”

    They made McCarthy into a building commissioner in the fictional town of Skunkhaven, Long Island, and inserted him seamlessly into their unending and ad-libbed mock soap opera, “Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife.” They utterly erased the politics of the equation and left only the absurdity. Morning after morning—when this was still dangerous stuff—their McCarthy and their Welch battled it out on one of New York’s most-listened-to radio stations, over a plan to build a 30-story-tall private home.

    When I heard them two decades later, “Mary Backstayge” was still running. The McCarthy and Welch vocal doppelgangers were long gone, but in their place was an ominous character, the W.P.I.T.W.—the Worst Person in the World—who made no comments but was limited to a series of crunching and slurping sound effects. He invariably turned up while the other characters were dining.

    “Look at him,” Ray would say in the gummy voice of Calvin Hoogevin. “He’s eating the sandwich right through the wax paper.”

    Soon after the W.P.I.T.W.’s appearance, his true identity was revealed, on the air. He was John Simon, the venerable reviewer of New York magazine — who had given Bob & Ray’s Broadway show the only bad review it ever got.

    So there are the primogenitors of my “Worst” lists—complete with Carlin’s touch of amazed terror, the Bob & Ray conviction that no weapon succeeds like satire, and that little extra soupcon of revenge, personal and egotistical, and somehow cleansed of both characteristics by the stark admission that it *is* revenge. . . .

    • January 20, 2010

      I'm well aware that the clown's Worst Person shtick isn't meant to literally denote the worst. But it still suggests somebody who has actually done something….what's the word I'm searching for?…oh, that's it: wrong. Indeed, his own explanation betrays the absurdity: they've all, "in their own ways, tried" to end freedom and con orphans, and they "are the mortal enemies of honesty and dignity, of selflessness and class."

      Get real.

      • January 20, 2010

        I should also emphasize that, as I mentioned in the post, Olbermann himself is guilty of far worse than what he routinely claims makes somebody a "mortal enemy of honesty and dignity, of selflessness and class."

  5. January 20, 2010

    OOOOOpsie Olberman!! The HUGE difference regarding your reference about Glenn Beck's disclosures and "Croakley's", is very simple….HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR CONGRESS YOU JERK!!!! OOOOOOOOPSIE!!!!

  6. January 20, 2010

    Polarized politics is part of what is wrecking this country. It's people like Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann who really do nothing more than contribute to this polarization. Neither one is intellectually honest and only present the 'facts' as they see them. Both political parties have contributed to the mess we are in now, it didn't just happen overnight. Until we voters throw out the incumbents we will continue to keep getting what we have been getting regardless of whether it is from the Democrats or Republicans. Our government has been dysfunctional for the last 30 years!!

    • January 20, 2010

      Hannity does tend to be too conciliatory toward the Republican Party, but to suggest that he and Olbermann are comparable is way off the mark. For all of his faults, Hannity does not deliberately lie to his audience on a nightly basis, nor does he routinely demonize large segments of the American people as evil based on no evidence whatsoever.

      • January 22, 2010

        Thanks for your reply Calvin. But I have to disagree that Hannity does not deliberately lie. Misinformation and the omission of all the facts does not, imho, accurately present the true story. I try to listen to him (as well as other opinion hosts) but after about 10 minutes I have usually heard enough. Why should Sean Hannity tell the entire story when he can make so much money pandering to the far right?? This makes him no different than the others who do the same pandering to the far left!

  7. November 8, 2011

    The geiuns store called, they\’re running out of you.

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