Whoa. There goes that Presidential Medal of Freedom for Keith Olbermann. Take a look at this two-hander from last night’s show on MSNBC:

Olbermann has been pointing out that George W. Bush is a dummy for years, but even for him, this was turning up the heat. Sure, it is open season on Bush, especially now that he is a lame duck leader sidelined by one of the most stirring presidential elections in memory. But you can’t accuse Olbermann of simply piling on with the pack. He, along with PBS veteran commentator Bill Moyers, have consistently been outspoken critics of the Bush administration.
Still, I can’t recall anyone else on a U.S.-based all news channel ripping into Bush with phrases like “bone-headedly wrong,” or basically telling the president of the United States to “shut the hell up.”
What set Olbermann off if you haven’t screened the clip (and you’ll need to set aside 12 minutes, but it’s worth it) is a recent interview where Bush told a reporter he gave up golf out of respect for the U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. It’s a statement Olbermann calls “ludicrous, infuriating, holier-than-thou.”
The one time ESPN sportscaster was at the last TCA tour in July of 2007, where he took questions from critics. When I caught up with him at the NBC after party I suggested he seemed out on a limb over some of the anti-Bush rants he had done up to that point. Olbermann said the real guy with guts was that commentator up in Canada at the CBC–meaning Rex Murphy! Olbermann said Murphy was saying things about the war in Iraq and the Bush administration that no U.S. commentator would dare express.
Olbermann may be a fan of Murphy but he is a disciple of Edward R. Murrow. It goes way beyond the shared “good night, and good luck” sign off, Olbermann’s obvious homage to the master CBS newsman. In an era when Dan Rather is history and Walter Cronkite ancient history, it is good to see somebody like Olbermann give props to the past.
For my money, however, the devotion goes a little too far. Look at how Olbermann mimics Murrow’s mannerisms, right down to the head down pauses between reads to the camera. All that is missing is the cigarette haze.
More admirable is Olbermann’s careful use of language, another Murrow hallmark. Olbermann’s rants are precise and well crafted, smart and fun at the same time. This one is punctuated with genuine anger and fearless rhetoric. It is good to see, especially coming from a network owned by a conglomerate which profits from Bush’s ramp up of the industrial military complex. Olbermann may be borrowing stature from Murrow, but he is clearly also earning it on his own.


  1. With all the talking heads out there bloviating endlessly, what does it say that the guy with the delivery, eloquence and visceral honesty to put it all out there in a cathartic expression of the 71% of Americans who think W. is a disaster, that give him the highest disapproval ratings of any president since they started measuring that last century — what does it say that the one guy who dares to speak the truth came from sports?

  2. wow yeah, 55% increase since 2006, 1 million to Bill’s 2 and falling, all the juice versus impotent rage that goes nowhere…

    …and a Republican party heading for the collapse of four decades. Yup. Olbermann sounds worried.

    Funny how O’Reilly’s scared to mention him by name on air anymore…that’s a change.

    Fox Noise is circling the bowl. Hahhahahaha!

  3. Clearly suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome, Olbermann comes across as an out of control lunatic.

    Maybe Tony Burman, a 35 year veteran of the CBC and former head of their news department, can hire Olbermann to work for Al Jazeera along with former CBCer Avi Lewis – because MSNBC won’t be around much longer, not with the kind of ratings that they have. Kind of reminds me of that “if a tree falls in the forest” routine. Olbermann can act psychotic and repeat lies about the Bush admin but nobody’s watching – the O’reilly Factor literally gets TWENTY TIMES THE VIEWERS as Olbermann.

    And I love the way DMC uses the word “bloviating”.
    Bill O’Reilly sells t-shirts with his popular “no bloviating” line. Maybe DMC is a closet neo-con?

    Great blog site Brioux – how much do they pay you to engage in your Bush-bashing routine? Maybe you’re looking for a gig with Al Jazeera? Good luck.

  4. dmc 10:24 AM

    “the 71% of Americans who think W. is a disaster”

    Actually President George W. Bush has an approval rating of 33% which is actually quite encouraging when you look at the approval rating for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi which hovers in the single digits.

    As for Olbermann, who cares, nobody is watching except for a handful of misfits and anarchists.

    Nice to see that all of the far-left Canadian bloggers are watching American cable news as opposed to their own state funded al jazeera training broadcaster. Nice.

  5. Geez BB, at the very least you should get on Olbermann’s Christmas card list(oh! that’s if he believes in Christmas??) after that steaming pile. Sheeeeeesh!

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