Tuesday, June 17, 2008

He Liked Me, He Really Liked Me

One of the sad television spectacles of this past weekend was Keith Olbermann's desperate, ongoing attempt to hitch himself to the Tim Russert wagon, as if the two were so close that he was in the habit of sitting between Russert and Russert's son at Buffalo Bisons ballgames.

But one column reminds us today that only days before his death, Russert was actually distancing himself from Olbermann. The column cites a New Yorker profile of Olbermann which chronicles the incredibly long string of former colleagues who utterly hate the guy. Indeed, long before he became the host of "Pravda" (or whatever they call it) on MSNBC, Olbermann was primarily known in my former industry of sportscasting as a pompous, utter tool who usually got fired from jobs in six months.

Anyway, in the New Yorker story, Olbermann's close, personal friend, confidant, and mentor Tim Russert is quoted as saying, "What cable emphasizes, more and more, is opinion, or even advocacy. Whether it’s Bill O’Reilly or Keith Olbermann or Lou Dobbs, that’s what that particular platform or venue does. It’s not what I do."

The article also makes clear that Tom Brokaw thinks Olbermann is a nutcase who's a long-term detriment to NBC's news division. Whether or not Olbermann's on-air behavior is a detriment to NBC, I'll leave to others. But I will say this: the guy's toupee definitely is a detriment.

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