I continue to enjoy Countdown with Keith Olbermann every weeknight. There are a few bugs in the show that I would fix — for example, there’s way too much talk about American Idol — but overall, it’s a very refreshing hour and an entertaining downshift from the hyperventilating absurdity of daily TV news.
Olbermann is beginning to enjoy more deserved success. He recently renewed his contract with MSNBC for four more years on the strength of steadily rising ratings (up 85 percent in the last year), he’s profiled in the current issue of Rolling Stone (“The Most Honest Man in News”), and he has appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning (since posted on YouTube) and Late Night with Conan O’Brien in the past week.
As I wrote previously, one of the propellents behind Countdown‘s surge is the occasional “Special Comment” segment that Olbermann writes and delivers at the very end of his show. These brilliant, biting editorials have attracted a strong, sustained buzz on “the Internets.” America (and his MSNBC bosses) can’t get enough of them.
This creates a bit of a dilemma for Olbermann, because as he himself explains, the “Special Comment bell” in his head must be triggered by something extraordinary. A time or two recently, he has delivered Special Comments which seemed slightly less inspired than usual.
Last night, however, his maniacal incredulity was as keen as could be. When, eyes glinting, he presented Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comparing the Bush War to World War II, my own jaw dropped open. I’m a very poor student of that period, but even I had the words “Marshall Plan” forming on my lips. To think that a Secretary of State would whip out such a deformed analogy was breathtaking. I have not heard anyone else in the news media even questioning it.
Here is Keith Olbermann’s text and video:
Kids in school may think that there’s nothing to be gained by studying history, but Olbermann was reportedly seeking $4 million a year in his new deal.