Essay: Keith Olbermann needs to get back to nature

Yes, Keith: Shhh! Quiet. Be a mouse.

A couple of years ago, when I first started watching him, I really liked Keith. He was one of the few mainstream journalists willing to directly challenge Bush/Cheney on various issues. And he did it cogently, with verve and humor. It was compelling and entertaining to watch.

But then his Special Comments started coming two at a time, it seemed, each one more frothy than the next. I started getting really agitated by the way his mouth purses downward as he gets more and more self-righteous. The Countdown "stories," Worst Persons, and Special Comments all started to seem like one single amorphous mass of content/criticism/yelling and all bore the same tone: outrage. Whether it was deserved or not, one note is one note, and it gets boring.

Break it up. Do more interviews. Go out onto the street. Use animation. Something.

The problem here is that Keith has started to take on the possessed vivacity of his nemesis, Bill O'Reilly, apparently without knowing it. MSNBC in general is a bit too much, I guess. Is "bias" even a word worth introducing here? I still admire Chris Matthews' insane, careening, wonkier-than-thou intelligence and wit. But the constant parade of the same 8 talking heads (anchors showing up as commentators and vice versa) smacks of the same incestuous newsey thought process reflected in Keith's increasingly-overbearing tone.

Keith was once a shining star of sorts, but now he's just another annoying douche on TV. Get it together, my friend. Take some Murrow pills. You are good at what you do. Just do less of it.


  1. i don't know that you necessarily hit this one out of the park but he does need to go back to the play book and try to start getting people on base and worry less about going for those hail mary passes. if he can't pitch a shut out at least he can walk the top of the order and maybe pull out a win after all.

  2. Very appropriate usage of baseball metaphors.