Stuart Schwartz serves up a massive helping of schadenfreude over Keith Olbermann’s increasingly tenuous position at ratings-impaired MSNBC. The liberal news channel is experiencing such a trouncing at the hands of Fox News that speculations are being heard that MSNBC may go the way of Air America, Al Franken’s bankrupt liberal AM radio outlet.
“As the Spittle Flies” is nearing the end of its run.
This cable news soap opera — a.k.a. “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” — is alienating viewers as quickly as the angry and demanding diva has pushed away friends, family and colleagues over the course of his tumultuous career.
When will the show end? Hard to tell. But the increasingly wild-eyed Keith is drawing rubberneckers in the same fashion as a six-car crackup beside the interstate. One media columnist observes a “creeping mania” brought on by plunging ratings and terminal jealousy.
According to TV by the Numbers, the foam-at-the-mouth commentator seems determined to do to his audience what a bio-toxin does to a small town in Iowa in the recent hit zombie movie, “The Crazies” — empty the homes. February saw ratings plunge beneath last year by 43% among 25-54 viewers and 29% in total viewership.
At the same time, FOX News continues its “mammoth growth.” Olbermann’s envy of all things FOX is palpable, screaming “I loathe fox,” Fox News President Roger Ailes deliberately attempts to “(inspire) fear” in people, he claims, and is out to get me!
And that’s just the beginning of the rant-whimper-scream-sob-sob that daily spills from Keith’s fourth floor corner office and permeates the oh-so-Manhattan headquarters that MS-NBC shares with parent NBC. He is typical of our progressive political and media elites, whose cardinal rule is simple: I do what I want, and you do what I want.
And so he does. And when NBC executives and others seek to remind him of life’s little burdens (you can’t verbally abuse women in the office, you can’t verbally abuse women out of the office, etc.) he sometimes hides under his desk, as progressive men are wont to do.
At other times he sits, gnashing his teeth at a view across Sixth Avenue marred by a FOX News headquarters where Bill O’Reilly continues to attract viewers; how dare O’Reilly exist, whines Keith, continuing an obsession that has been variously called “creepy” and, by FOX host Greg Gutfeld, “homoerotic.” …
The on-air anger sprays from the television. Crude sexual hand gestures. Crude sexual slurs. Crude sexual graphics. Meanwhile, the viewers disappear. And so Keith Olbermann continues this week to experience death by a thousand clicks, the sound of remotes switching from MS-NBC to…well, anywhere, but mostly FOX.
And the rage builds. Even the Los Angeles Times, its editorial offices a haven for aging leftists sympathetic to his rants, noted his increasingly visible “frustration and anger and volume and core meltdown.”
Core meltdown, indeed. The rants have grown increasingly vicious and disconnected from reality, causing even long-time allies to wonder whether, in fact, Keith’s mother was right: her son may be a few pixels short of an image.
Even a progressive brother-in-arms, Comedy Channel’s Jon Stewart, sees him as devolving into “baseless name calling” while a growing number of NBC executives complain that he is “out of control and causing increasing problems.” They see him as “a loser for the network,” his increasingly erratic behavior, both on and off the air, “ratings poison.”