Politics

Kryptonite can’t harm Keith Olbermann: We watch, because we’re paid to

Ruth Graham Contributor

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8: MSNBC debuted a new advertising campaign directed by Spike Lee this week. Very exciting! The tag line is “Lean Forward,” a command we can hope Keith Olbermann takes literally next time he’s on the edge of a cliff.

An Olbermann-specific version features Keith earnestly tapping away at a computer writing one of his consistently over-written Special Comments. Stop typing, Keith! You’re only making it worse! (Better minds, namely Jon Stewart and the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher, have already skewered it beautifully.) At one point he smiles to himself at something he’s just written. At another point, he thoughtfully deletes the word “liberate” and substitutes the word “emancipate.” Not shown: Keith muttering to himself, “Remember, self, count the syllables in every word you use, and if you can find a similar word that’s longer, that will make you sound like a great orator.”

As for tonight’s show, it was a typical mess. At one point guest Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, the activist group founded by Ralph Nader, went on a tear on the Chamber of Commerce: “Why does the chamber oppose regulation? Do they really believe it‘s about jobs? No. They believe it‘s about the bottom line for the big multinational corporations they represent.”

Remember, on “Countdown,” jobs are something created when nice grandmothers think happy thoughts about butterflies. Jobs smell like cinnamon and their favorite thing in the world is hugging under a rainbow. They have nothing whatsoever to do with “the bottom line” at “big multinational corporations.”

Olbermann then asked, hilariously, “Is it not just nation versus nation, but it‘s the rich global multinational jet-setters versus the rest of us?” To be fair, Keith Olbermann is afraid to fly and refuses to drive, so he’s not actually a “global multinational jet-setter.” But he’s sure as hell rich. In fact, he makes $7.5 million a year! He’s really, really rich!

Meanwhile, Olbermann continues to mock Republicans and Tea Party activists for supposedly voting against their own interests, even as, as a man in the top tax bracket, he continues to vote against his. News flash, Keith: Many Americans vote based on not just their tax bracket, but on who they want to be, or what they think is best for the country. You do it, too. So stop being such a condescending creep when others act in that same spirit.

Finally, because it wouldn’t be “Countdown” without the humiliation of a nice young woman, the recurring “Oddball” segment featured a bride in her wedding dress getting peed on by a dog. Out on a high note!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 11: Tonight, Keith wore a tuxedo throughout the show; he explained it was because he “didn’t have time to change” between the show and the ceremony for the Edward R. Murrow awards, which coincidentally gave him the chance to accept congratulations from his guests on air. This is like Michael Phelps wandering around Times Square in a Speedo wearing all his gold medals around his neck lamenting that he simply didn’t have time to change, but, yes, now that you mention it he DID win a bunch of gold medals. Anyway, how long does it take to change clothes? At least this proves once and for all that Keith Olbermann is not Superman.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12: Tonight Keith got himself in a huff over New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino over “his shouting and his tone,” which is pretty rich coming from the president of Shouters Anonymous. Then he mocked the guy who threw his book at President Obama as a “self-admitted neurotic” (*cough cough*) and plugged his own book. Good god.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13: Tonight Olbermann played a clip of a Republican candidate for Senate in Wisconsin saying that the Chamber of Commerce should disclose its funding sources as proof that Republicans don’t care about whether the Chamber of Commerce discloses its funding sources. Apparently the guy didn’t sound enough like he meant it? Seriously, I think that was the whole point. Keith Olbermann demands weeping and gnashing of teeth in discussions of organizational finances. This is an issue that the American people are on the brink of getting fired up about. I can feel it. It’s definitely about to happen.

Meanwhile, here’s your Out of Context Keith Olbermann Quote of the Week: “There’s been some skepticism about whether anyone cares about this.”

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15: “Countdown” is a one-hour show, and when you subtract advertisements the actual length of the show is less than 50 minutes. Tonight, the first 12 full minutes of “Countdown” were devoted to the debate between Delaware Senate candidates Christine O’Donnell and Chris Coons, a race which one recent poll found Coons leading by 19 points. Awesome use of time, Keith.

A good part of the segment was devoted to mocking O’Donnell’s answer when asked to name a “recent” — yes, “recent” — Supreme Court she disagreed with. She couldn’t name one, but vowed to answer the question on her website. How embarrassing! Then Olbermann smirked and suggested she should obviously say Plessy v. Ferguson, the case that upheld segregation in … 1896. How embarrassing! But then, that’s “Countdown,” folks.