Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

What to Expect from Lawrence O’ Donnell

Monday, January 24th, 2011

As noted below, Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC and his time slot will now be taken by Lawrence O’ Donnell.

Here’s an interesting clip which gives you an idea about how he might be as a host.

In this discussion with Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com, O’Donnell proclaims that he is “a socialist” but that he brings practical experience to every political issue and understands that the only way for liberals to exercise any power in the system we have is to get votes from the broad middle. It’s an interesting dichotomy for the Democrats (as well as for Republicans): on the one hand, you need the moderates to maintain power, but on the other, needing someone like Lieberman or Ben Nelson inherently indicates that the policy is going to be significantly watered down once it’s passed.

More on this idea later, but the point I was making here is to illustrate the combination of left wing politics and pragmatic knowledge of how the system works that O’ Donnell will bring to the table.

Keith Olbermann Out at MSNBC

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Keith Olbermann is out at MSNBC.

The details on why are still sketchy and promise to remain so for the next few months since Olbermann has most likely signed a confidentiality agreement that (among other things) may prohibit him from discussing his dismissal for a number of months.

Details are here, and the clip of his final show is below.


I Tivo’ed Olbermann’s show almost every night for the past few years since it was the closest thing that MSNBC has to a nightly news show, but I have to say that he was increasingly hard to listen to. I am a total partisan, and Olbermann’s show was always a good way to see what outrageous things the Republicans had said on any given day, but sometimes the constant vitriolic attacks just wear on you.

He had an unlikely career path, bouncing around from sports journalism on ESPN and other networks to jobs as news anchor and commentator for MSNBC and NBC News. In 2007, while he was hosting countdown on the weekdays, he was hired to be an anchor for NBC’s Football Night in America along with another ESPN alum Dan Patrick. I was always amused watching him on NBC, knowing that just days before, he was on MSNBC savaging the President of the United States for one thing or another. I wondered how long NBC would let this go on. This year, he was cut from the show. Unclear whether his politics played a part in the decision, but it couldn’t have helped.

One thing that is clear is that MSNBC will be different without him. Olbermann was very much in the mold of the Fox News pundits that he loudly raged against every night: bombastic, angry and consistently stoking the fires of partisanship. The guests that he had on almost always agreed with him and he seemed to avoid having people on that he could argue with.

His replacement, Laurence O’ Donnell, is also a partisan, but although he has a fiery Irish temper, he has much experience working with people from all sides of the aisle and will be able to point to the same contrasts with the Republicans, while not being as bombastic as Olbermann was.

In the meantime, fare thee well Keith, we look forward to the next chapter in an already noteworthy career.