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Mea Culpa Maybe: Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Part 29

Posted on January 25 2010 2:01 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Last week, we covered Keith Olbermann’s perhaps ultimate meltdown over first the possibility, then the actual election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

To summarize, Keith began with this little gem on election eve:

OLBERMANN:  In Scott Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.

The next night, in response to the minor furor this created, Keith, no doubt offended that he hadn’t made the front page or lead story—well, ANYWHERE–  made another bid for attention:

OLBERMANN:  I need to apologize for comments made here last night about the Republican candidate…. I‘m sorry.  I left out the word “sexist.”

Then the next night, Keith decided to do what any man in a hole should do—he kept digging.  This led to a hilarious takedown by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, which went borderline viral:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Special Comment – Keith Olbermann’s Name-Calling
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

So, for his last story of the week, Olbermann apologized.  Not to Scott Brown for slandering him, or to his audience for insulting their intelligence (that ship has, I guess, sailed long ago)—but to Jon Stewart—sort of, maybe…

OLBERMANN: I have been a little over the top lately.  Point taken.  Sorry.

Here is Keith’s full response, the supposed “Number One Story of the Day” starring—himself.  Hey, nobody else will call it that, so he might as well…

And here is some commentary on the (ahem) highlights—to use the broadest possible definition of the word:

OLBERMANN:  Into each life, some rain must fall.  You‘ll often here Rachel Maddow and I lumped in together with Jon Stewart of the “Daily Show” as the only truth tellers in mainstream television.

Now, this week, Mr. Stewart was critical, first, of Rachel, and last night, of me.  So, the old truth telling list has gotten shorter by one name or maybe two or, I guess, maybe all three.

Yeah, right.  Despite some early attempts in the newsmags to pump up Rachel Maddow– both for Air America and for MSNBC– the only people who “lump” the three of you together as “truth tellers” as though you have any similarity in reach or influence, are within your earshot, Keith.

While I think Jon Stewart is over rated most of the time, and filled a niche for smartmouth callowness left by the sudden demise of the even more over rated Bill Mahr, he is certainly far more influential—and watched—than Olbermann (unless you count NBC’s Football Night in America).

But Keith couldn’t quite do this without taking some cheap—and really goofy—shots at the man who dared call him out, for merely completely losing it on national television and slandering an affable, honest guy in the crudest possible terms.

First, at the top of the show…

OLBERMANN:  Two, I think it should be noted when Affleck did this, he didn‘t have a teleprompter.  That guy is a technician like Rembrandt was a technician.

Said Keith, reading into the teleprompter…

Then to end the segment:

OLBERMANN ABOUT STEWART:  Fetid swamp you say, sir—it‘s from a guy who reached his professional apex when he was the host of short attention span theater, 1991?

Huh?  Say WHAT?  Like I said, there are bigger Jon Stewart fans than me out there, but while I might quip that he peaked in some hilarious parts on Gary Shandling’s superb television satire The Larry Sanders Show; not many people have a longer IMDB page than this.  Not to mention all the “most influential commentator on television” hype of the last few election years.

OLBERMANN: I have been a little over the top lately.  Point taken.  Sorry.

Yeah, Keith, like in the sentence before that one?  If you were any more jealous of Jon Stewart, people would be furiously punching buttons on their remotes, trying to adjust the green balance on their picture.

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