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The Cable Gamer argued, earlier today, that liberals were turning against Keith Olbermann--perhaps because they find him excessive in his lefty partisanship, perhaps because he is simply not cool, in the way that, say, Barack Obama is cool. After all, back in 1960, John F. Kennedy and his Rat Packing New Frontiersmen didn't have any time for such un-cool liberals as Adlai Stevenson or Eleanor Roosevelt. Sorry, Keith, you served your purpose, but now we are moving on.
So these days, Olbermann is being pushed aside--more precisely, laughed out of town.
This morning I noted that GQ was slamming Olbermann, and now I see that The Huffington Post is trumpeting an anti-Olbermann item that appeared in The New York Post's "Page Six." Now it's no surprise, of course, that the NYP doesn't like Olbermann, because the Post is mostly conservative, and also because the paper is a sister property alongside Fox News.
But why would Huffpo pick up this nasty item in a rival publication and play it big? (See screen grab, above--the Olbermann headline is right in the middle.)
What motivates Arianna & Co to diss Keith? Now that's an interesting question. As noted, TCG thinks that the left has come to regard Olbermann as too cartoonish to be tolerated as the leading lefty on TV. So the left is marginalizing him, to make room for a more normal liberal discourse under an Obama presidency.
Here, btw, is the item as it appeared in HP, under the headline "Page Six: Olbermann Went Nuts Over First Class DC Train Ticket, Ketchup Packets At Kennedy Center; Olbermann Denies." TCG wasn't there, of course, but it seems to me that if Huffpo really believed Olbermann's denials, it would have spiked the story, instead of giving it this big play:
The ongoing feud between Keith Olbermann and the New York Post's Page Six continues. The gossip column ran an item in Wednesday's paper reporting that Olbermann threw a tantrum because there were no first-class train tickets available to bring him from New York to Washington, where he would anchor MSNBC's coverage of Tim Russert's memorial. Later, when he arrived, he "went apoplectic because there were no ketchup packets at the Kennedy Center." From Page Six:
The source said Olbermann was screaming into the phone on Tuesday because there were no first-class train tickets available for that day, and he wanted to make sure he would ride first-class on Wednesday. According to the source, Olbermann berated a staffer who was coordinating Wednesday's Kennedy Center memorial by yelling, "You better hope to God there is a first-class train ticket tomorrow."
Our insider elaborated, "MSNBC was dealing with who could come to the private ceremony Tuesday and who couldn't, among the hundreds of people who worked with or for Russert - and Keith was ranting about not getting a first-class ticket."
We're told Olbermann didn't get to Tuesday's ceremony, and went to Washington by car to broadcast from outside the Kennedy Center the next day. An aghast witness there said, "As guests were making their way into the memorial, Keith went apoplectic because there were no ketchup packets at the Kennedy Center."
Olbermann was heard saying outside the service, "this place is going to hell," because his Washington staff couldn't find ketchup packets for lunch at the Center. An NBC insider claimed, however, "Keith did not have lunch at the Kennedy Center and was not eating on the set because he was anchoring a broadcast."
Continuing his new tradition of preemptively disputing Page Six items about him the night before they air, Olbermann used Tuesday's "Countdown" to name Page Six's Corynne Steindler one of his "Worst Persons in the World" (she got the bronze, while her News Corp cousin Bill O'Reilly nabbed the top two spots). Olbermann called the story "fictional" and insisted that he took a car both ways to and from DC and only drank a Starbucks at the Kennedy Center (which meant he needed no ketchup).
"You guys, you're kind of embarrassing yourself now," Olbermann said to Page Six, echoing his rep's statement: "Since whatever you're going to print is an outright lie, you can go ahead and write whatever you want. That's on the record and applies to all future items you might make up."
Once again, if HP thought the story was bogus, it wouldn't have printed it--or have retracted it by now.
So here's a question: How long will it take before Arianna Huffington is "the worst person in the world."
It might take awhile. Although by then, Arianna won't care: She'll be appointed Ambassador to Greece by a grateful President Obama, while KO will be ranting on the radio somewhere, alongside Randi Rhodes and defeated US Senate candidate Al Franken.
Cross-posted from The Cable Game