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Yes, it's been all of what two or three weeks since the last fawning mainstream media article appeared on Keith Olbermann. We're long overdue for another gushing profile of Mr. Olbermann. And New York Magazine doesn't disappoint, although it's fairer than most and does reveal some more of Olbermann's, how shall we say.......eccentricties?
Author Stephen Rodrick does note that Olbermann has his own version of Rush Limbaugh's "Dittoheads" but misnames them "Olberites". We here at Olbermannwatch known the correct term is of course, Olbyloons. He goes on to describe Olbermann Revelation #1:
When it's time for the show to begin, Olbermann sits alone on the Countdown set. Tonight, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter is in the studio for a conversation, but he's tucked into an auxiliary room (Olbermann doesn't share the Countdown stage with anyone).So let's get this correct, Jonathan Alter trekked all the way to Jersey and Olbermann wouldn't let him share the set with him? Yeah, that Olbermann is a real man of the people huh?
And then there's the usual mockery of co-workers:
It's a couple of hours before his nightly broadcast, and Olbermann is looking through boxes of mail in his Secaucus office. "Maybe this one contains Chris Matthews' eyebrows." he says, referring to his fellow MSNBC host. "You see them last night? Did he borrow them from Joe Pesci?"Olbermann making fun of someone else's eyebrows? Nah, he's not a hypocrite, he just plays one in every interview he ever gives.
But at least Rodrick got this part right:
Bill O'Reilly has liberal guests on so he can skewer them. Olbermann's visitors are affable yes-men providing can-I-get-a-witness nods to the latest gem proffered by their all-knowing host.Yeah, Olby is all-knowing in the sense that the local "psychic" is all-knowing.
And of course, there's the usual Olbermann lie that he's not biased:
Olbermann says he doesn't vote, and he insists his Bush bashing isn't ideological.
And then it's time for Olbermann Revelation #2, which may shed some light on his, uh, difficulties with women:
It probably won't come as much of a surprise that when Keith Olbermann was a kid, he got the tar kicked out of him on a regular basis. And not by the football team. "I got beat up by girls all the time." says Olbermann.
Olbermann Revelation #3:
Graduating at 16, Olbermann shipped off to Cornell as the school's youngest freshman. It wasn't much fun. His parents went to extreme lengths to make his dorm room the only one in Ithaca with cable TV. Between tearful calls home, Olbermann sat alone and watched the tube. "Thank God for Monty Python's Flying Circus" says Olbermann. "Or I might not have made it."Wow, Olbermann a crybaby? Who would have thunk it, right?
Olbermann Revelation #4: His colleagues at ESPN hated him.
Still, where some saw a brash breath of fresh air, others saw a self-righteous gasbag. . Along the way, he won a reputation as a miserable jerk. "Of all the people I've known inside and outside of the business, he was the unhappiest." recalls a SportsCenter staffer. "Sometimes, at the end of the night, I'd leave early just so I wouldn't have to give him a ride home. And it wasn't out of my way."But what about all those poor women he helped with their sex-discrimination cases at ESPN (a frequent defense of the Olbyloons.) Hmmm. No mention of that in this article.
And what's this? Olbermann Revelation #5! It seems that the MSNBC execs knew Olbermann was a bit, uhm, unstable(???) before his first show on MSNBC ever-aired. Seems when word of Princess Diana's death in a car crash in Paris became known, Olby was kicking back in the Hamptons with Jeff Zucker and Phil Griffin. And how did our intrepid newsman, the Edward R. Murrow of his day react?
In quintessential Olbermann form, he was ready to quit the show before it started. That Labor Day weekend found him in the Hamptons along with then-Today show producer Jeff Zucker and Phil Griffin, a longtime Olbermann friend and soon-to-be producer of his MSNBC show. According to a source familiar with the situation, Zucker and Griffin began dialing their cell phones furiously while Olbermann panicked, alternately chanting, "We've got blood on our hands" and "I'm not going to be able to do the show."
And then there's this, a recounting of a dream that Olbermann once had. Make of this what you will:
He moved back to New York, and was working on a novel when he had a dream in which JFK appeared before him on a bus, his head wound dressed with plaster of Paris. In the dream, JFK had just one question for Olbermann: "Why did you leave Sportscenter?"(The novel was never published.)JFK's ghost appearing in dreams? You know, I've had some strange dreams in my life but never has a dead president shown up to ask me why I quit a job.
The interview finally closes, mercifully, with Olbermann, predictably, going off on those he perceives as threats, this time, Anderson Cooper, again, where he repeats the strange accusation that
when they send you overseas and you do a report that consists of your voice-over and pictures of you in a custom-made, blue-to-match-your-eyes bulletproof vest, looking somberly at these scenes of human devestation-like a tourist-and that's your report."Hey Olby: At least Cooper steps foot out of a studio and isn't afraid to share his set with others when he is in the studio unlike other egocentric egomaniacs we know. And one more thing: Brian Williams must have got the name of Cooper's bulletproof vest designer because when he was in Iraq last month, he too was sporting a blue bulletproof vest. But then, Olbermann never lets the facts get in the way of his latest conspiracy theory now does he?