Home / Yes, he did just call the president a Fascist.

Yes, he did just call the president a Fascist.

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I’m going to hazard a guess that most of the readers of this blog watch Olbermann over ORLY. I base this on the fact that Farley does, and he invited me here to get on everyone’s nerves while he’s off in the Holy Land trying to recruit for the Bluegrass chapter of Hamas or something.

I’m probably fairly late to the Olbermann party; I wasn’t in the country for his Sports Nigh…, er Sports Center days, and I guess I just assumed that all the talking heads on TV were as atrocious as those found on Fox and CNN. But anyone who calls Bush a fascist on live TV is OK in my book, and it’s even better if they’re not a 17 year old covered in tattoos and piercings, minutes before getting billyclubbed by riot police.

The New Yorker has a rather interesting piece on dear Keith, and why he’s our favorite left wing demagogue, which you can read online. It details how he developed his monologues to those in power, and the Suits reactions:

At MSNBC, the feedback was slightly more cautious. Olbermann’s original script identified the “cold-blooded killers” as everyone at the Pentagon and in the Bush Cabinet; when a colleague noted that that would include such relative moderates as Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Olbermann modified the line. Phil Griffin, the senior vice-president in charge of MSNBC (“Phil thinks he’s my boss,” Olbermann says), raised the matter of tone. Why did Olbermann need to end his commentary by telling the President of the United States to “shut the hell up”?

“Because I can’t say, ‘Shut the fuck up,’ that’s why, frankly,” Olbermann responded. The line stayed in.

I really wish they’d let him swear.

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  • Gabriel

    I really wish you would go ahead and spell out Sports Night.

  • yeah, it looks a little to close like short hand for another very offensive word. I did a double take when I came upon it.

  • Edited to prevent any misinterpretation…

  • Mike

    The right way to do that double take is
    Sports Nigh…, umm, Sports Center.
    No need to thank me; glad to be of service.

  • Jonathan

    Oops, sorry.

  • I hadn’t read that article yet but this is a helluva good teaser

  • Is Olbermann a liberal or simply Not An Asshole?

  • Uncle Kvetch

    I really wish they’d let him swear.
    I really wish he’d left in the reference to St. Colin the Moderate as a “cold-blooded killer,” given the fact that Powell is no better than any of the rest of them. But ya can’t have everything.

  • Well, I think Olbermann is a liberal *and also* an asshole. He’s got one of the biggest egos in the world–not that there’s anything wrong with that–and even I get tired of his labored lapidary phrases and want to shout “oh just get the fuck on with it”. He gave a very funny speech at the Bill of Rights dinner here, which I’m sure he repeats all over the place, about looking out the window the day after the first Bush outrage and thinking “where are all the people with pitchforks and torches” and then realizing that if there was ever going to be an a bas les aristos moment (he didn’t say that) then “he would have to bring the pitchforks.
    aimai

  • I really wish they’d let him swear.
    Because then the Federal Censorship Commission would fine him half a billion.

  • Err, let me clarify, the Suits won’t let Olbermann swear because the FCC would fine him.

  • Jonathan

    “Because then the Federal Censorship Commission would fine him half a billion”
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but they have no jurisdiction over MSNBC, since it’s not broadcast over publicly-owned airwaves.

  • Jonathan

    “Because then the Federal Censorship Commission would fine him half a billion”
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but they have no jurisdiction over MSNBC, since it’s not broadcast over publicly-owned airwaves.

  • Jay B.

    I’m with aimai — Olbermann’s pomposity is staggering. I mean it’s one thing when you’re the brave voice finally — someone finally — speaking out forcefully against Bush. I give him all the points in the world for that. But then he does the shtick against Hillary for saying the primary process is long — same tone, same forcefulness, a nothing issue. Then, finally, while he speaks out against Bush, he doesn’t lift a finger, or adopt his pose, to speak out against the idiots in his own news division.
    Used sparingly, an Olbermann is good company. But the well’s running dry.

  • Aaron Baker

    I enjoy Olbermann a lot of the time; but he is often overheated and pompous. And his denunciation of Hillary Clinton for her ham-handed Bobby Kennedy comment was just awful. With no evidence of any evil intent on her part, he went into the same high dudgeon that he uses for Bush or Rumsfeld. The unpleasant taste of it still lingers.

  • Walt

    “Bluegrass chapter of Hamas” is pretty funny.

  • ThresherK

    Anyone catch Phil Donahue being interviewed by Bill Moyers recently?
    Donahue said that in the arithmetic of “balance” his mere presence as MSNBC host counted as two (yes, TWO) liberals. So if he wanted to have another deemed-by-the-suits liberal guest, he’d need three conservatives to even it up.
    If MSNBC hadn’t booted him in an act of sheer cowardice, they might not have had Olbermann on air. It’s great now, as Olbermann’s natural tendencies have been much more in link with the public (on Bush and Iraq) before the rest of the MSM tacked course.
    Part of wonders how much MSNBC deserves to be launded and if they knew what they were getting.

  • JoshA

    I’m sure he has a high opinion of himself. Heck, he should. Risked his job with a bold liberal take that was being heard over an actual news broadcast. The risks have paid off, to the point where he’s starting to beat O’Reilly in demo.

  • Jay B.

    Heck, he should. Risked his job with a bold liberal take that was being heard over an actual news broadcast. The risks have paid off, to the point where he’s starting to beat O’Reilly in demo.
    It wasn’t that much of a risk. And the market basically needed an antidote to O’Reilly.

  • jon

    Bush is more a garden variety authoritarian in thrall to big money (their own as well as their ‘base’).
    Of course that telecom illegal wiretapping could be his play for the big leagues. Same w. Cheney, even though he shows a lot more spirit and dedication.
    Too bad they just can’t think big.
    As a consolation, their military strategery has outstripped those pikers whose bid was only to march their armies to Moscow for the Winter Games.

  • namvetted

    I love it when they call me the “Angry Left” like that’s a bad thing.

  • aimai, he may not be a hero to the soundbite generation, but to an admirer of Swift, he is.

  • And guys, political correctness antennae are fine tools, but “Sports Nigger” just doesn’t even make any sense for fuck’s sake.

  • DocAmazing

    Actually, there’s a good book that may as well be called that–it’s called What’s My Name, Fool? and I think it’s by Dave Ziring. (Confession: I had to give it back befoe I’d read more than half.)

  • Dr. Zen,
    uh…I’m not actually a member of “the soundbite generation” and prolixity is the only thing Olbermann and the Dean have in common.
    aimai

  • I love Olbermann’s willingness to be indignant and self-righteous instead of going all meta and process, like Kinsley or one of those guys — explaining the bad guys’ strategy, and speculating about how it will play with the audience. Too many liberals have had the righteousness drilled out of them in college. That’s what college is for, and for many, that’s what liberalism is.
    I’ve been told that Olbermann’s career stalled or nosedived during the Clinton impeachment because he wasn’t willing to play. No link or concrete evidence.

  • greg in ak

    olbermann has been quoted many times saying that he hated the clinton impeachment crap. he lost any joy he had in his work since he wanted to do something serious.
    It’s good we have some self-righteousness on our side. he is pompous but strong and he BELIEVES in what he says. how he says things is important for people to see. Projecting strength and belief matters more then what you say sometimes. And he brings a cool factor that liberals need.

  • Aaron Baker

    I don’t want to be misconstrued about Olbermann: I agree with 99% of what he says, and like him I certainly prefer Obama to Clinton. Though Olbermann’s heavy-weather rhetoric is not entirely to my taste, I love to see it directed at those who deserve it.

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