Is Keith Olbermann Finished?

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Ordinarily, a story at Redstate with the title “How Does Keith Olbermann Have A Job?” would be about as noteworthy as a Megan Fox story at Asylum.  There’s a little twist to this one, though, as conservative gadabout Caleb Howe had an unexpected tag-team partner on this one.  Perhaps this is a sign of the Apocalypse, but the Redstate mainstay sourced HuffPo’s Jason Linkins, and the two teamed up for a convincing trouncing of Olbermann.

The host of Countdown has had a very bad week.  Caleb and Jason lay out the case against Olbermann with lots of tasty sauces and seasonings which I recommend you sample, but it boils down to this: Olbermann got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and now he’s trying to put the cookies back in the jar.  The problem is, they’re all chewed-up and spit-covered.  GE and Rupert Murdoch made a deal to silence the feud between Olbermann and O’Reilly, said deal to commence on June 1.  Now that the deal has become public, Olbermann is trying to erase the cowardly way in which he complied with the deal.

On June 1, Olbermann delivered an emotionally impassioned speech about how he was going to retire his Billo feud, impressions and all, in order to make the world safe from O’Reilly’s murderous talk show.  At the time, it struck me as the oddest, most overwrought thing I had seen Olbermann do.

The fact that he allowed his corporate masters to rape whatever journalistic integrity he had was bad enough, but to cover it up with an announcement from atop such an altitudinous mare turns walking this back into a journalistic Bridge to Nowhere.

That’s not the least of Olbermann’s problems, though.  His whole “I’m shocked, shocked to find that there are lobbyists hosing my show!” act when banishing Richard Wolffe from the show holds about as much water as a paper shot glass.  Again with the mushy, partially digested cookies.

While Caleb wonders how Olbermann still has a job, Linkins thinks he will pull through this episode.  I agree with Linkins that this incident won’t end Countdown, but it hurts, and there are other not-so-good signs.  Rachel Maddow bested her Countdown lead-in for the first time this week, perhaps a signal that the angry liberal niche is being overtaken by the chilled-out one.

I hope that Olbermann does adapt and survive.  Despite his flaws, I remain a fan.  I’ll take Howard Beale over Ted Baxter any day.

Going forward, he ought to stick to what he does best, which is everything but delivering  journalism lectures (how stoked do you think Dana Milbank is about this?).  When you’re serving up (admittedly tasty) Hot Pockets, you shouldn’t act like you’re Jaques Pepin.

To the liberals who are skipping Keith to watch cool-kid Rachel Maddow at 9, I suggest making room for both.  Sure, everything looks great now, but if the GOP makes a comeback in 2010, we’re going to need Keith around to spit a little fire.