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February 11, 2005

Olbermann goes Olber the top.

Poor Keith Olbermann. I think he's finally lost it.

It's been a long, sad road to this unhappy destination. I began to feel his sanity was slipping when I was flipping around the channels on New Year's Eve. It seemed he was devoting about half of his year-end review to O'Reilly's sex-harrassment scandal. I kept flipping away, then flipping past again, and Olby seemed really stuck on the topic. I guess there's not much archival footage relating to the scandal; at one point, he was showing footage of O'Reilly getting into a car. Truly one of the most significant events of 2004, one that must have an honored place in any year-end video rundown: O'Reilly gets into a car. This was interspersed with months-old footage of Olbermann's "Save the Tapes!" campaign. (Guess it was just a slow news year, huh, Keith?)

I turned to the EtherHub and said, "Is it just me, or is there something borderline homoerotic about this guy's obsession with O'Reilly and the tapes?"

Well, I guess it wasn't just me, and it wasn't really borderline either. Olby's cracked up. He's lettin' it all hang out. Olbermannwatch has posted the video here. (Warning: He screams like a little girl, over and over again, pretending O'Reilly is attacking him with a loofah. It'll take more than a loofah to scrub that mental image out of my brain, that's for damn sure.)

It's a paradoxical thing, Olby's O'Reilly obsession. As his ratings have slipped to about one-tenth of O'Reilly's, he fixates more and more on his rival. But consider the messages this sends:

  1. Everything O'Reilly does is newsworthy, even things he did (or didn't do) in 1970. Gee, he must be one of the most important people in the world. He's so gosh-darn important, you should probably be watching him right now!
  2. If you're watching MSNBC at 8pm, it's probably because you don't want to watch O'Reilly. So here he is! Here are some films and photos of him to set the stage for today's rundown of news about the guy you didn't want to hear about to begin with, or else you'd be watching his show in the first place! Hey, why are you changing the channel to CNN?
  3. I, Keith Olbermann, can no longer disguise my quasi-homoerotic obsession with the cruel ratings-master who dominates me. The thought of hearing him discuss his purported tawdry and frankly unimaginative sexual fantasies titillates me to the point of madness. I will now proceed to fixate on my image of him as a college jock, obsessively dissecting minutiae until he notices me. (Oh, why won't he notice me, dammit? Why won't he say my name? It's as if I don't exist! ~sob!~.)

Disturbing update: As I scanned Technorati looking for references to this story, I noticed that I'm not the only one who's picked up on Olbermann's barely-veiled tendencies. Keith Olbermann / Anderson Cooper slashfic,* anyone?

And it's not just Olby, either, update: Al Franken is still fixated on the guy, too. I can't imagine publicly obsessing so unabashedly over anyone, personally. I'd feel like a 13-year-old fan club member. I especially can't imagine giving my rivals so much free publicity. But then, I don't have the sizzling media savvy of the unbeatable Franken/Olbermann Big O-bashing teamup. Perhaps after the show O'lby and O'Franken put their heads on each other's shoulders for a good, manly cry about how mean Fox and O'Reilly are. Poor li'l dudes.

Update: Johnny Dollar has more.

Posted by EtherPundit at February 11, 2005 08:42 PM   Category: Media , Mockery , Television

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I did a spit-take on this line....

"my quasi-homoerotic obsession with the cruel ratings-master who dominates me"

- Keith Olbermann

Posted by: Robert Cox at February 11, 2005 11:17 PM

Hey, I just calls 'em as I sees 'em...

Posted by: EtherPundit at February 13, 2005 05:36 PM

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