Good Night, and Good Luck
January 22, 2011 1 Comment
I’m sure the details of just what the hell happened with Keith Olbermann yesterday will come to light eventually. But the hows and whys really aren’t what’s on my mind right now. What’s bugging me is the “Good riddance” reaction of a lot of people who’d probably be dancing in the streets if this had happened to Glen Beck or Bill O’Reilly.
Yes, Olbermann could be pretentious. He could be over-blown. He could be a little too in love with the sound of his own voice and the turns of his own phrases. In other words, he could be just as good — if not better — at the game as Beck and O’Reilly. And the left needs someone who won’t simply shake their head and fret over the spew coming from Fox News and the right. Who won’t simply say, “They’re nuts,” and dismiss them as kooks. We need someone who’ll fight fire with fire, who’ll not just point out the ridiculousness, but give it a thorough dissection, and continue to hold those who speak it accountable for its spread.
Because the important thing about Olbermann wasn’t how he said it, it was what he was saying, and that he was saying it at all. Look through the verbal gymnastics, and at its heart, what Olbermann was saying was that lies, half-truths and outright deceptions cannot simply be shrugged off as politics as usual. Someone has to turn the light on and send the roaches scurrying. And if that’s a sight you don’t necessarily want to see, and if that light is a little too bright or not quite the color you like, well, it’s for your own good.
I’m sure Olbermann will land on his feet. I’m sure he’ll find a way to keep fighting the good fight. And I’m sure people will still complain about how he chooses to fight it. But we need that stubborn bullhorn right now. Because the Becks and O’Reillys sure aren’t getting fired any time soon.