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Mike Sheehan Headshot

On the Waning Days of Madmen in the Media

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So some Hollywood insiders are sick of the decidedly liberal MSNBC, according to a report. One "liberal Democrat" actually said at a Beverly Hills luncheon "that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann." Egad. I wouldn't eat lunch with Sean Hannity unless it involved dining on his freshly-excised heart in front of him, though given its smallness I doubt it would make much of a meal.

But this woman's not alone, apparently. A very liberal friend of mine hates Olbermann too, saying "he's too brash," while another colleague has grown tired of the pontificating. I'm seeing the complaints piling up in the lefty blogosphere.

There's been a backlash against Olby steadily brewing and it's hard to argue that he hasn't brought it on himself, between his feverish channeling of Edward R. Murrow, the on-air catfights with fellow commentators, and the never-ending petty putdowns of hapless Republican morons.

Still, I'm cool with the big 'Mann; despite the ego, he's delivered memorable commentaries on the sad state of the nation and, most pointedly, the outrageous impunity with which the loathsome Bush White House has acted.

I will say this: Olbermann's gonna have some trouble with an Obama administration. He'll have difficulty, at least at first, finding things to get smug about and will harp on the littlest shit.

Picture his squinting eyes and puckered lips sourly delivering such lines as, "No chief executive in the history of this great nation has ever snubbed the assistant to the assistant ambassador of Guinea-Bissau. How dare you, Mr. President. Nobama, indeed!"

Unfortunately, Olbermann's already been booted from anchoring election night coverage on MSNBC because of perceived bias. That's unfortunate, because it would have made for some interesting television viewing, especially if FOX was daring and stupid enough to have Bill O'Reilly anchoring their election coverage at the same time.

I would've worn out my remote flipping back-and-forth on such a televised, partisan debacle. But while Olbermann's failed attempts to rein in his own vicious sarcasm would be fun, O'Reilly would be a scream... literally.

Imagine Papa Bear, trying desperately to contain his rage as state after state falls into the Obama column... pushing the FOX "they cheated!" line as red states go blue by the tiniest of margins... finally snapping in a silent TV studio as he awaits any good news for the right.


They'd make him stay on all night, well into the morning. He'd be bleary-eyed, disheveled and alternately lashing out and sobbing piteously.

"THESE EXIT POLLS ARE BULLSHIT! Augh... I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen but-- but-- WHY, ZOGBY, WHY?!? AIEEEEEEE!!"

Finally at around two A.M. he'd throw his papers in the air and walk off the set, revealing that he hadn't been wearing pants the whole time.

Alas, it's not to be, and the days of craziness I fear are numbered. There'll be less misogynistic slobbering by Chris Matthews, less brain-dead blather from Steve Doocy, less fat-faced foolishness from Glenn Beck, etc.

Yep, with the sober and purposeful first 100 days of the Obama Age, I think we'll see the wild depravity of the media madmen we've been subjected to for eight long, hellish years begin to finally fade away, becoming as anachronistic as a print newspaper in an Internet café. The nation has grown tired of round-the-clock propaganda, spinnery, and idiotic shouting matches between professional antagonists. What will replace it is anyone's guess, but it can't get any worse.

Can it?