Although I agreed with much of what Keith Olbermann had to say, I can’t say I’m going to miss him. Frankly, progressives, liberals, or just open-minded people can do better when it comes to media spokespersons for their cause. My first introduction to Olbermann came about when I was living in Los Angeles in the mid 1980s-early 1990s. Olbermann was then a snarky sportscaster for an area TV station and I just didn’t like his style. I don’t think he’s particulary clever and don’t find him funny in the least. He does strike me as someone who really believes he is funny and clever. Who am I to say he’s wrong about himself? Whatever his style, it has made him rich and famous. I could go on about what little appeal a celebrity has to incorporate anymore to make one a celebrity: the presence of that Snookie character is all too much proof that any schnook can now get to fame quite easily.
Back in Los Angeles, I remember changing the channel when Olbermann came on to make his attempt at comedic sportscasting. I’m not one to even watch a particular TV channel because of any anchor, they all seem so alike. Local TV, no matter what city you’re in, is very homogenous: the stupid patter between on-air personalities, and the always jocular, jock sportscaster. There’s a formular to broadcast TV news and it’s long worn out.
I appreciate what Olbermann had to say, but I just didn’t care for him as a messenger. He seemed to dislike the right people, but his attempts at being some sort of modern-day version of Edward R. Murrow just didn’t wash. Check out Youtube for Ben Affleck’s funny spoof of Olbermann…it’s pretty much on target. Olbermann just comes off as what he is…a blowhard. He’s too pompous. He was also MSNBC’s biggest ratings winner which again has me wondering about this country. Speaking of wondering about our fellow men and women, Fox News beats both CNN and MSNBC. All three, as far as I’m concerned, are weak when it comes to personalities. I realize Chris Matthews can also be a blowhard, but I’d have to admit to preferring his show to anyone else on any of the three networks I’ve mention. I do think Chris Wallace has a decent show on Fox News Sunday. He tries for a left/right mix, and to an extent, that format works. I would prefer to see more of that in broadcasting and have always wondered why more don’t utilize that concept. I simply don’t like always listening to someone I agree with. I’d rather see a combative panel or a mix of ideas and beliefs: isn’t that more interesting? When it’s just one host, that person has to be compelling enough to carry the show. Being a big mouth can’t always get the job done. Olbermann knows his stuff, but his persona just never worked for me….in sports or news commentary. He won’t have to worry anyway, MSNBC is paying him not to work: now that’s a good career move.