Keith Olbermann is a humorless national security threat: We watch because we’re paid to

Ruth Graham Contributor
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Ah, spring, when a lonely middle-aged man’s fancy turns to thoughts of impotent rage. Let’s take a look at the week in Keith Olbermann.

FRIDAY, MAY 7: Tonight, Olbermann equated Republicans with terrorists, lamenting “how often they have tried to scare the American people in the same way that terrorists try to scare the American people.”

He probably doesn’t mean that literally! But the fact is, Olbermann never gives anyone the benefit of the doubt on this kind of thing. Just a few days later he spent a segment excoriating a California Congressional candidate for declaring “hunting season” on liberals. So I’m not inclined to give him an inch on this, either. Hey, Keith Olbermann: Stop equating Republicans with terrorists.

While we wait for that to happen, however, here’s your out-of-context Olbermann quote of the week: “I literally was up with Mr. Dimblebee until 8 o’clock in the morning.”

MONDAY, MAY 10: Tonight, a terrible joke about Tiger Woods’ “bulging disk,” then, during a segment about Miranda rights, this zinger: “Miranda’s flexibility? What is this, ‘Sex and the City?'” That is sub-Borscht Belt material. I think I like him better when he’s accusing his political opponents of terrorism.

TUESDAY, MAY 11: We’ve established that Olbermann has a terrible sense of humor. Usually he’s only blabbering to himself and his 17 viewers, but occasionally he drags a guest into this hellish spiral. Witness poor Howard Fineman floundering during this exchange:

FINEMAN: Barrasso of Wyoming, Murkowski of Alaska—they are jumping down in there to try to slow the horses because there‘s a going to be a lot of sentiment on the Hill to greatly restrict offshore oil drilling, even though President Obama proposed it.

OLBERMANN: Do you have video of that?

FINEMAN: Of him proposing it?

OLBERMANN: No, of Senator Murkowski jumping down on the horses?

FINEMAN: Not yet. But you never know. It‘s early in the process.

OLBERMANN:  Check with some of your “Newsweek” colleagues.


I would pity Fineman, but he appears on the show what feels like eights nights a week, so he’s gotta know what he’s walking into by now.

Olbermann also got his extra-large panties in a twist over Fox News host Bryan Kilmeade’s  musing “Do media outlets like the New York Times aid and abet terrorists by leaking national security secrets?”

But that’s not all. Check out this other Fox report from last week: “The virtually wall-to-wall coverage of the Times Square bombing investigation was a problem for investigators trying to solve the case.” It certainly appears that Fox is declaring journalism “a problem,” right?

Oops! That was actually known conservative patsy NPR. I eagerly await a “Countdown” segment in which Keith self-righteously declares NPR a traitor to America. In fact I’m going to hold my breath until he does, and within just a few minutes I should have just about as much oxygen flowing to my brain as Keith does.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12: Tonight Olbermann ripped into Sarah Palin’s newly announced second book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,” an anthology which will be released in November. “Perhaps she was inspired by her own disastrous one-time Fixed News TV guest hosting gig,” he sneered. Ah, yes, the “disastrous” evening last month in which Palin drew more than 2 million viewers to Fox, while 575,000 people watched “Countdown.” How embarrassing for her.

Then he called in political analyst Richard Wolffe to make more fun:

OLBERMANN: It occurs to me, listening to all this, this sounds like a giant, like, iTunes play list that she‘s going to publish. Is this what this sounds like to you?

WOLFFE: What it actually sounds to me like is, you know, she did quote from her resignation speech from her parents’ fridge magnets. It actually sounds like this has been—you know, that write-your-own-poetry by fridge magnets. They only use the F words, of course: the faith, family and flag. I‘m told the other F-words she had on her list were Facebook, fruit flies, fish and fridge magnets. That‘s the next book.

Ah, yes, only a true “idiot,” as Olbermann regularly refers to Palin, would include alliteration in a book title. In unrelated news, keep an eye out for “Keith Olbermann’s Hall of Shame: The Worst of the Worst, from Beck, Bill, and Bush to Palin and Other Posturing Republicans,” available at a clearance rack near you in October.

It’ll be fun to see how its sales compare to Palin’s, won’t it?

THURSDAY, MAY 13: This week must have worn him out, because Olbermann spent six full minutes of Thursday’s show replaying an entire segment from “The Daily Show.” Literally, he just introduced the clip, pressed “play,” and abandoned ship. How lazy can he get? Do you know how long six minutes is in television time? It’s a full 10% of an hour-long show, and a much higher percentage when you don’t count the commercials for Cialis. I hope Jon Stewart is getting royalties from this.

Maybe Olbermann can pass along the proceeds from his book this fall if Stewart has change for a $20.

Olbermann also spent some time ranting against Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales, calling for the paper to “terminate” him. Shales’s crime was making an admittedly crude comment about PBS host Alison Stewart: he wrote that it “looked as though she would have been much more comfortable in [guest Bill] Clinton’s lap.” But the indignant hypocrite accusing Shales of unacceptable sexism has a long history of it himself. Remember these shining moments from the Keith Olbermann archives?:

2006: Olbermann quips, “Paris Hilton claims she was punched in the face yesterday morning at a nightclub in Hollywood. ‘Course she’s had worse things happen to her face.”

2009: He calls Michelle Malkin “a big mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”

And what about the time he mercilessly mocked a 4′ 9″ tall, 18-year-old girl for messing up a ceremonial baseball pitch. Oh, hey, that was just tonight!

It reminds me of that time the pot accused the kettle of having a suspiciously dark hue. I just wish the pot didn’t have its own television show.

More Olbermann:

Keith Olbermann’s sugar eating grin

Keith Olbermann has a mean streak

Keith Olbermann is a giant baby

Keith Olbermann is highly literate

Keith Olbermann says, ‘Follow me’

Keith Olbermann, lather up

Keith Olbermann is back. Hallelujah!