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FDL Book Salon Welcomes Keith Olbermann

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(Keith Olbermann is joining us in the comments today to discuss his new book, The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders, which blogospheric denizens took to #4 on Amazon as a way of saying thanks for his stirring editorial on Donald Rumsfeld.  Please join us in the comments to say hi, and oh yeah, if you haven't done so already, buy the book.) 

I had the pleasure of appearing on Keith Olbermann's show recently.  Having been blessed by the Creator with an abundance of elderly wingnut relatives who conform perfectly to the Bill O'Reilly demographic and who rarely escape the nutrient agar of the Fox News petri dish (where the binary fission rate of disinformation seems both boundless and inestimable), I was called upon to explain exactly what Olbermann's show was.  My initial response — "Well, imagine what the news would be like if it wasn't read every night by Baghdad Bob" — probably wasn't going to fly so I had to work a little harder. 

In the modern era We Are All Howard Beale, in that most persons of modest intellect have a hard time listening to what is considered wise, reasonable and prudent by those tasked with keeping us informed.  When Rush Limbaugh tells us that Michael J. Fox simply isn't popping enough pills or Drudge says those wanton kids lured poor Mark Foley into temptation, czars of sagacity like Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, John Harris and Howard Kurtz quickly follow to tell us that these men are "centrists" who "rule our world."  The steady drip, drip, drip of irrationalilty takes its toll, and those of us who aren't card carrying members of the Bush cargo cult are reduced to tearing out large kidney-shaped patches of our own hair just to get through the day.

Keith Olbermann has made it his baliwick to restore both common sense and a measure of good-natured, wry detachment to the discourse, and his nightly feature of "The Worst Person in the World" is a place where the currency is absurd, brutal stupidity and Bill O'Reilly hits the jackpot almost every night.  Although Olbermann rewards both those who engage in garden variety incongruous folly (the thief who tried to escape house arrest by fleeing to a church full of police attending mass) and the religious hypocrites who always seem to be propositioning some genus of male prostitute, the gold medal is frequently reserved for the right wing punditocracy as they y short-circuit rational thought in their race toward reptillian brain excess.  Ordinary people just have a hard time keeping up with that kind of professional lunacy, so it's nice that Keith goes out of his way to acknowledge the pernicious effect that the O'Reilly-esque mindset has in everyday life.

My wingnut relatives are very comfortable in a world where the right wing has crafted "spin" into a worldview, the dialog is reduced to he-said-she-said and there seems to be no place for a reporter willing to acknowledge that there is such a thing as objective fact.  But for the rest of us, Keith Olbermann — his book, his show and his affection for common sense — restore a measure of calm to the Howard Beale those of us who don't find it quite so comfortable in a world of compliant relativity. Since I like my hair and would very much like to keep it,  I want to welcome him to FDL offer him my thanks from the bottom of my heart for the nightly tonic his show provides.

(graphic by Monk

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FDL Book Salon Welcomes Keith Olbermann

keith_fdl.jpg

(Keith Olbermann is joining us in the comments today to discuss his new book, The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders, which blogospheric denizens took to #4 on Amazon as a way of saying thanks for his stirring editorial on Donald Rumsfeld.  Please join us in the comments to say hi, and oh yeah, if you haven't done so already, buy the book.) 

I had the pleasure of appearing on Keith Olbermann's show recently.  Having been blessed by the Creator with an abundance of elderly wingnut relatives who conform perfectly to the Bill O'Reilly demographic and who rarely escape the nutrient agar of the Fox News petri dish (where the binary fission rate of disinformation seems both boundless and inestimable), I was called upon to explain exactly what Olbermann's show was.  My initial response — "Well, imagine what the news would be like if it wasn't read every night by Baghdad Bob" — probably wasn't going to fly so I had to work a little harder. 

In the modern era We Are All Howard Beale, in that most persons of modest intellect have a hard time listening to what is considered wise, reasonable and (more…)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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