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Keith, Stick with the Hooker Jokes, I’m a Friend – Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Part 45

Posted By Mark Meed On May 13, 2010 @ 5:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

I used to think the subtitle of this series should be “We watch Olbermann so you don’t have to,” except, as the numbers demonstrate, you’re not going to watch him no matter what we do. Let me go a step further and postulate that if you eliminated all the people like me who trawl through the wreckage merely looking for comedic opportunities, Olbermann’s ratings would drop below his counterpart on the British Lawn Bowling Channel.

This may yet happen if Olbie doesn’t pick up the pace a little.

Consider last night’s “Worst Persons in the World” segment which featured an angry assaultive hooker, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. I know, I know, that sounds like the beginning of a really good  joke, but unhappily they were separate stories and, trust me, the needle on the laugh-o-meter never moved.

The only apparent point of the escort-from-hell story was to highlight the name of the hotel where the incident occurred—the “Valley Ho” (get it “Valley… HO,” I think Keith is still chuckling about that one).

I think anyone who watches the entire show will agree that was the high water mark. I am also confident few people will endure such pain just to prove me wrong.

Olbermann pulled himself together long enough to deliver some obligatory and largely pointless swipes at Limbaugh and O’Reilly, presumably praying one of them would respond and remind the universe of his existence a little while longer.

Tip to Keith: You have to give them something to respond to. Sifting through the droppings for minor inconsistencies then cackling like Madame Defarge when you find them will not normally provoke a response, except perhaps from local law enforcement.

Ditto the obsession with Sarah Palin.

The next segment, ostensibly about Palin’s new book, was really an opportunity for Olbermann to give the writers the night off and—just like your Uncle Frank at every family gathering since you were born—recycle the same sneering jokes he’s been telling forever.

[…]  Our number one story, a second helping of Sister Sarah‘s famous word salad “Going Rogue,” the sequel.  But instead of her stories about snow machining and moose stewing, the book will feature other people‘s stories and speeches and sermons and letters.

[...]

The book‘s inspiration stemming from, you guessed it, Palin‘s strong faith in the importance of family, faith and patriotism.  And also by some of the people met last year while she was promoting her first book.  Hundreds of folks paying for “Going Rogue,” and waiting in line for hours, truly inspirational.

As for the actual content, it will be drawn from, to quote Sister Sarah‘s self-proclaimed newspapers habits, “a vast variety of sources, including the nation‘s founding documents, to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature, and poetry, biography, and even some her favorite songs and movies.”

“America By Heart” priced at 25.99 until, that is News Max buys up hundreds of copies and practically gives them away.  Although perhaps a more appropriate title for the book would be “America by Hand.”

Just to précis the remainder of the segment:  “She’s so stupid, she’s such a hick, she is so fake. I on the other hand am wickedly funny, urbane and articulate–and cannot account for lack of a larger audience except perhaps for interference from the planet Twilo. Did I tell you the one about the hooker in the hotel?”

It is a measure of just how ineffectual this shtick has become that monologues that once might have evoked outrage now elicit a sort of embarrassed pity (… that’s great Keith, the writing-on-the-hand thing … again … good one …).

Olbermann is merely the most obvious canary in the MSNBC coal mine, and is not alone in his predicament. The entire network, and arguably the larger MSM itself, is increasingly finding itself reciting the same one-liners to an increasingly skeptical, rapidly diminishing audience. Informative and entertaining is best, but you’ve got to be at least one.

So pick it up Keith, it’s one thing to be pompous and wrong-headed, quite another to be all of these things AND boring. Sometime soon would be good. I live in daily expectation that otherwise the whole thing will crumple into dust before our very eyes like the Nazgul in Lord of the Rings—presumably as Maddow shrieks “I am no man!”


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