Lawrence O'Donnell paid extended tribute to Keith Olbermann as he took over his old timeslot on Monday night.
"The Last Word" host O'Donnell became MSNBC's 8 P.M. host after Olbermann's shock exit from the network last Friday. On Monday, he reintroduced himself to an audience used to seeing "Countdown" in the timeslot, and then spoke for nearly five minutes about Olbermann and the show--as well as, in some ways, the network--he created. He lauded Olbermann, first and foremost, as a writer:
"Consider what Keith invented and taught us to do: op-ed TV...I marveled, as any writer must, at what Keith was doing: five op-eds a week, each of them much, much longer than the standard 800 words...I saw exactly how exhausted the great Aaron Sorkin was after delivering 22 episodes a year of 'The West Wing.'Well, Keith delivered 20 a month. 20 A month. Hundreds of episodes a year. Hundreds of op-eds a year. Year in and year out. For eight years. I have no idea how he did it. None of us do. No one in television history has ever done anything like it. No one knew it could be done before he did it. And in doing it, he took MSNBC to new heights."