Keith Olbermann, I Love You

It took her over a year, but my friend Laura kept sending me transcripts of Keith Olbermann’s editorial pieces on his MSNBC show, “Countdown,” and she’s finally done it. There’s been a breakthrough, folks. Keith has just jumped over several people who are lined up in my head for me to carouse with. He’s passed Colin Farrell, Will Smith, and Dean Winters completely, ending up behind Joe Perry of Aerosmith (who has the coveted #1 spot in line) and just barely ahead of Bill Clinton.

I’m a complicated person. I like strange people.

Anyway, Olbermann…

I’ve been clicking onto MSNBC a lot lately, mostly at 8 o’clock when Food Network’s “Good Eats” is a rerun (will they ever have a new season?). Watching Olbermann is a lot like I imagine it would’ve been to have a crush on one of my professors. He’s older than me, although not prohibitively so, and clearly smart as hell, and I love the way his eyes almost twinkle behind those strangely attractive glasses, like he’s got the infectious good cheer of Santa Claus. I could use some infectious good cheer — it’s an election year and I’m already chewing my nails down to the skin.

And he goes off on diatribes that make me downright jealous.

I rant fairly well, thankyouverymuch, but Keith puts me to shame. That great voice is part of it — my vague southern accent often serves to soften whatever it is I’m saying, even if it’s “I’ll shoot your sorry ass if you don’t get the hell out of here.”* Also, Olbermann’s voice picks up speed as he goes on, like the words are just building and building inside his chest and he has to get rid of them NOW.

I’m kind of surprised that MSNBC lets him go off on the kind of rants he does. The man has no use for the Fool-in-Chief or his suckups, yes-men, cronies, “advisers,” or anyone else who mouths kind or excusing platitudes about our current president. He also has some kind of ongoing feud with Bill O’Reilly, and I gotta tell ya, if I were O’Reilly I’d drop it, because you’re not going to win. Bill O’Reilly is neither bright enough nor eloquent enough to mount anything like a defense against someone like Olbermann, yet he keeps trying to pick these fights, like the neighborhood bully yelling at the other kids while hiding behind his daddy’s legs. He can’t win. Why doesn’t he just go home and play with his loofah collection?

Last night, with the heading “SPECIAL COMMENT” onscreen beside him (MSNBC was taking no chances here), Olbermann took George W. Bush’s latest foolishness apart for a fascinating 5 or 6 minutes, calling him out on his incessant shrill yapping about “this good bill” and “we are still in danger” and the need for AT&T to keep my phone (I am a proud and registered Democrat, which is about all it takes) jacked into some poor bastard’s monitor. The fact that I almost feel sorry for any schmuck who has to listen to me making hair color appointments or dithering with John about recipes seen on “Good Eats” (even the reruns) doesn’t change the fact that the leader of this country is about as interested in keeping it free as I’m interested in going on paying nearly $3 a gallon for gas so some Exxon exec can buy another fucking Jaguar. Olbermann called him out with information I’m just too lazy to string together into a rant, because who would listen? (I don’t get nearly as much traffic here when I go political, although it doesn’t seem to stop me.) He came right out and called the wiretapping a fascist tactic — I bet there are more wires jacked into Olbermann’s phone lines than there are on a phone sex business — and called Bush out for fearmongering. Called it contemptible. Laid into the man, and his grandstanding fellow party members in Congress, for suggesting that terrorists were coming for us if this bill didn’t pass with the provisions he wanted in it.

You know what this reminds me of?, and I half-waited for Olbermann to say this too — it’s like Oral Roberts, twenty years ago, telling the entire damned country that he’d die if he didn’t get more money. Bush is just as shameless. Everyone who’s looked up from their PlayStation once or twice during the past 7 years knows if the man had done his job well enough to scan an FBI report, the World Trade Centers might still be standing, and that he’s used the nation’s greatest tragedy to slap down every civil liberty he can get his nose-picking little fingers on.

And Olbermann is clearly just as disgusted with this as I am, and he has a TV show on which he can stand up and say it.

This alone is proof that GWB hasn’t managed to stamp out every civil liberty yet, or at least hasn’t been able to reach every cable network yet to remold it into Fox Lite. It’s a little bit of relief at the end of a long day of being threatened by my president and repeating myself over my clicking phone. There aren’t a lot of people I’d trust to speak for me, but my new man, Keith Olbermann, is clearly one of them.

*This may or may not have been something I’ve actually said. You’ll just have to wonder.

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10 Responses to “Keith Olbermann, I Love You”

  1. I adore Keith. Especially when he does his Special Comments.

  2. jojovtx1800 Says:

    He is a pretty witty fellow.

  3. TheOtherIvy Says:

    It’s reassuring to see these pockets of shared sensibilities. I think you’d like Henry Giroux’s article, Double Speak and the Politics of Dissent at Dissident Voice.

  4. Hanging my head in shame. I don’t even know who this guy is. Do I watch MSNBC? Nope. I don’t watch any NBC at all.

  5. Quill Gordon Says:

    Olbermann is there to take a little heat off MSNBC for some of Chris Matthews’ nuttiness. It’s like, if someone complains that Matthews is out of line when he talks about Hillary, they can say “Yeah, but we have Olbermann” and when the right-wingers complain about Olbermann they can say “Yeah, but we have Matthews.” It works for me because Olbermann comes off as at least sane. Matthews is bug nuts.

    I have started recording Olberman which, for a guy with Luddite tendencies, is really something.

  6. Ivy — thanks for the link. I’m going to check it out.

    Quill, I spent a chunk of last week watching him on YouTube after this rant. I’m trying to catch up to all the people who have known about him for years.

  7. I keep confusing him with that other conservative guy. Glenn Beck? I know they’re polar opposites ideologically, but I can never remember which one I’m supposed to hate. Maybe I’ll bookmark this post.

  8. Keith is the one who’s hot. Silvery-black hair, little round glasses. Glenn Beck is the one who’s looked like an asshole since he was a baby.

  9. pandemonic Says:

    I don’t know. He’s not as hot as Colbert… just saying.

  10. You don’t think so, Pan? I think he’s got Colbert beat, but it might just be the cooler glasses…

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