Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly
Change of topic.
One of my absolute favorite TV shows is Countdown with Keith Olbermann. (MSNBC, 8/11 pm Eastern). Keith is a sportscaster and as such (or so I was taught in journalism class, a couple of eons ago), he’s allowed to be a bit ... uh, *looser* in his broadcasts. Keith is both funny and pretty darn liberal (though he’s got a clear bias against bad drivers, which actually I share). Once you get used to him, his biases can be great fun. He loves odd video, especially from overseas, and he strongly dislikes the various hate-filled neo-con broadcasters. Especially Bill O’Reilly, whom he often calls The Big Giant Head.
I don’t know exactly what started the problem with O’Reilly. I get the feeling at least some of it is personal. But it’s pretty clear O’Reilly doesn’t like him much, either.
During the last few months, one of Keith’s bit is called The Worst Person in the World, wherein he awards bronze, silver, and gold level awards to all sorts of people who’ve done bad or really, really stupid things. (Only he called ‘em worse, worser, and worst.) Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter (with her picture wearing an eye patch?), and Bill O’Reilly often make the list, frequently as the Worst. One evening O’Reilly even earned a trifecta, getting all three levels for three different things. He’d clearly had a good day.<g> Whether it’s this part or something else, Keith has clearly gotten under O’Reilly’s skin. Or scales. Whatever.
A couple of weeks ago O’Reilly launched a petition drive to bring Phil Donahue back to MSNBC, because he’s “so concerned about MSNBC’s poor ratings”. (Yeah, this from a No-Spin Zone? Ha!) He didn’t mention that Donahue’s time slot is now being occupied by Keith. He even flat-out lied that Keith’s ratings are down from Donahue’s. Not true. Now, I love Phil Donahue. I always have. But I love Keith there and really don’t want to see him go. Clearly, Keith is not worried. He began his segment on the petition drive by breaking into song: “Happy days are here again/the skies above are clear again”. Then he gleefully reviewed clips of times he’s “mentioned” O’Reilly. Then he filled out the petition himself. Then he showed various MSNBC staffers, including Dan Abrams, lining up in the studio to fill out the petition, too.
All this has evidently caused O’Reilly to lose even more of his tenuous grip on what he laughingly calls reality. On Friday, Keith covered O’Reilly on his radio show not only hanging up on a caller who mentioned “Keith Olbermann’s show”, but actually threatening that caller with “Fox Security” and possibly a visit from the authorities in wherever. Then he went on to tell his callers that if you call his show, he has your phone number and “if you say anything untoward, obscene, or anything like that, Fox security then will contact your local authorities, and you will be held accountable”. It’s not clear whether mentioning Keith’s name is merely “untoward” or possibly “obscene”, according to O’Reilly.
If you’d like to read a transcript or hear the clip, you can do that here.
If you’d like to read what the guy making the phone call has to say, you can find that here. He did actually hear from some guy at Fox, who said he was “harassing” O’Reilly. Mentioning another program (not even a direct competitor, if I read the schedule right) is harassing?
Tune in to Keith tonight and see if there are any updates! Maybe O’Reilly finally imploded today? (We can only hope!)