Keith Olbermann's Patronizing, Disingenuous Response to Jon Stewart's Olbermann Takedown
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart slammed Keith Olbermann in a Daily Show "Special Comment" for Olbermann's patently mediocre, ridiculous, immature, hyperbole-strewn commentary-cum-namecalling as of late. And last night, Olbermann responded in typical Olbermann fashion: like an asshole.
A timeline, for those of you who don't want to sit through the entire thing:
-8:17 to -7:28: Olbermann notes that Stewart called him out for being an asshole, that Stewart also recently called Maddow out for being over-the-top with her Haiti crusading as an advancing of her own ideological talking points, and that he's going to show Stewart's clip in full. He then makes the not-at-all-subtle suggestion in a frivolous-but-not-really manner suggesting that Stewart's being assy over Olbermann because Olbermann turned down an invite to The Daily Show once. He then, pre-empting Stewart's ragging on Olbermann, makes a reference to Ben Affleck's Olbermann impersonation, but noting that Affleck didn't get a teleprompter.
-7:28 to -0:34: Olbermann plays the entire Daily Show clip of Stewart impersonating him in full.
-0:33 to -0:19: Olbermann goes for "hip-dig" points by calling Short Attention Span Theater the "professional apex" of Jon Stewart.
-0:18 to 0:00: Finally, the apology: "Eh, you're right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry."
This isn't the first time Olbermann's found himself apologizing, but for a guy who calls on others to do it so often, you'd think he'd do it more, and somewhat sincerely? Right, not so much.
Olbermann instead chooses to prove Stewart's point by trying to get a yuk or two out of his audience by calling Stewart out for an obscure 90s show he was once on, crediting Ben Affleck's impersonation of him, and then giving a snide, quick mea culpa, without explanation or any plan for course-correction. Stewart had a point: Olbermann is not a comedian; he's someone who uses strong political rhetoric to drive talking points about passionate issues. For all the calling-out he does of other politicians and commentators, if Keith Olbermann actually cared about anything other than the ratings he's earned by being a sensationalist blowhard, he'd do something about the level of political discourse in the world by starting with his own. Starting with this moment!
But this is Keith Olbermann we're talking about: Jon Stewart is, at the very least, a self-aware clown. Keith Olbermann, on the other hand? An assclown by any measure, but particularly this one. He ended his show by playing seven minutes of Jon Stewart's routine, and took less than a minute and a half to actually try to manage the issue—which he didn't—in toto. Especially fun was the noting that Olbermann didn't go on Stewart's show, which is practically begging for an invitation back, which will naturally prompt Olbermann to ask Stewart to come as a guest on Countdown. Olbermann gets press for a feud, press from his Daily Show appearance, and ratings from when Stewart inevitably goes on Countdown. If this happens, we can only hope Stewart does what he did to Tucker Carlson and to Bill O'Reilly, which is: eviscerate him on his home turf. If anything, to echo a sentiment widely held to Keith Olbermann's face, which would go something like, You, sir, are an asshole. And nothing but.