Saturday, January 22, 2011

Obligatory Olbermann post

I confess I am not a Keith Olbermann fan. While I admired his work for the most part, especially during the Bush years, I've always found his style abrasive. I found his delivery as arrogant and smug as Chuck Todd. Pure nails on the blackboard. Even when I still had cable I didn't watch the show, but I did make it a point to read the transcripts of his Special Commentary segments and often linked to them.

I'm not that shocked to see he's been dumped. And contrary to some of the speculation I've seen that this was a mutual decision, I don't think that's true. It's telling that he was suspended on that bogus political contribution thing just after Comcast and NBC struck a deal to merge and now the day after the merger went through, he's suddenly out. Also, if you read the transcript of Olbermann's abrupt farewell, this line stands out:
I think the same fantasy popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I have been told -- "this will be the last edition of your show."
Maybe he did choose to quit because the management told he had to tone it down or something, but this still looks and feels like a direct result of the merger to me.

But for whatever reason, he's gone. I won't necessarily miss his voice, in the literal sense, but I will very much miss his words and his insights. Even when I disagreed with him, he was a thoughtful analyst and a courageous commentator. So yeah, he will be missed.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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