Salon’s Rebecca Traister agreed Olbermann regularly displayed his contempt for women. “Olbermann has a terrible record of going out of his way to talk about young, attractive women he believes to be stupid in grotesquely dismissive and oversexualized terms.”
Traister had written the same thing in her columns for Salon, for instance calling Olbermann out when he “felt free to call [Paris] Hilton a slut on air and speculate about whether anyone had ever ejaculated in her face.”
Blogger Lindsay Beyerstein said maybe the time was now to take down Olbermann. “When we liberals were fighting for political survival after 9/11, it was important to be disciplined and to pick our internal battles very carefully. Now that the Democrats are in charge and progressivism is ascendent, we can afford to demand more from our leaders.
“We can certainly afford to smack down Keith Olbermann when he spouts misogynist garbage,” she said.
University of Chicago Professor Harold Pollack said at the end of a long hard day, the last thing he needs is an hour with someone like Olbermann.
“KO can be smart and funny, but I’ve basically had my fill. My life is full of shtiky and rude blowhards already. Why add another?” Pollack said.
That day, even Olbermann’s defenders damned him with faint praise.
“To say that he’s an O’Reilly on the left is also wrong. He has good guests and both he and Maddow tackle stories that get left off networks,” said playwright and freelancer Rich Byrne. “Do I wish there were no Special Comments? Yes. Do I wish that he was less pompous at times? Yes. But Olbermann has been an overall plus in the cable news universe.”
David Roberts said that Olbermann played an important role in providing liberal views to the masses. “Even if all Olbermann and Maddow are doing is mirroring Hannity and O’Reilly from the other side (which is utterly preposterous, by the way), that’s a far better situation than before they came along. It’s empowering to hear that your views are legitimate, that they are part of the national conversation.”
Or, as then Harper’s editor Luke Mitchell put it, “Olberman is irritating and his obvious sexism is reprehensible. But yes, someone going on TV and saying that torture is bad is a net positive.”
Olbermann did not respond to a request for comment.
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