Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Final Countdown?

Maybe he IS crazy.
He's at it again. 

Keith Olbermann, the liberal firebrand who is considered extremely bright but extremely insufferable, just got fired.


If I'm correct, this is the THIRD time Mr. Olbermann has been requested to clear out his desk and not let the door hit him on his way out. 

There was ESPN.

Then there was MSNBC.

Now there is Current TV.

Now, I can only look on this with my sad, working-class eyes, but I think on how extraordinary it is that someone paid so well (I understand $10 million per year--not bad for someone who speaks for the 99% while being part of the 1%) could be so cavalier about his job.  He got the job in part because he delivers the goods (a sometimes wild-eyed caricature of a leftist but with a sharp mind), but Mr. Olbermann should be the first to know that sometimes, even the most powerful person in broadcasting has to play by the rules, even if he doesn't like them. 

In short, it's not All About Keith (actually, that might make a good parody movie--I copyright that title). 

What exactly IS it about this man that makes even people who agree with him so desperate to get rid of him?

Olbermann I imagine has feelings, and as such, I imagine that it must hurt to be fired yet again (basing that on my own experiences--never happy moments).  However, as I reflect on Mr. Olbermann, I can't help but think that he is the author of his own destruction.

The phrase "doesn't play well with others" comes to mind.  The consensus is that Mr. Olbermann is an extremely bright person, one who is a delight to watch debate someone.  On the flip side, he doesn't appear to understand that he isn't entitled to anything because of virtue of his existence.  If someone pays me $10 million per year to offer my opinions, I sure am going to appreciate what I've been given.

Sadly, I do this for free (and still get pilloried for it, but now I digress).

One thing I wouldn't do is complain about my car and driver.  Imagine: you get someone to drive you to and from work, and you get all huffy because the driver dares to speak to you.  It's here where I imagine Mr. Olbermann saying, 'doesn't he know WHO I am?  I am not to be spoken to by 'the staff'.'  I'm reminded of the stories I've heard about Diana Ross: how she always had to be referred to by everyone around her as "MISS ROSS" and how you were not to look at her. 

However, it makes me wonder whether there is a strange disconnect: if these stories are true, are not the drivers part of the group Olbermann believes himself to be championing?  That being the case, he should embrace his fellow proletarians, not look down on them as peons who do not exist outside his own realm.

On a certain level, if all this is true it all sounds terribly silly to me.  I'd be thrilled to have my driver speak to me...really, I'd be thrilled to have a driver to begin with, but we'll let that go.  You get paid $10 million a year, you show up, do your thing, and go home. 

A primary lesson I learned long ago is 'you don't bite the hand that feeds you'.  There is something in Mr. Olbermann that stops him from comprehending this concept. 

It brings to mind Peter Lorre in M: he can't help himself!

Being fired once is something almost everyone will face.  Being fired twice, well, that still could be a series of unfortunate events.  Being fired THREE TIMES, for basically the same reason (no one could stand working with you), and it's time to look at yourself.

Mr. Olbermann is a very bright man.  I imagine he could out-debate me on almost anything (except, of course, if he were to say that The Hangover Part II is on the same level as Citizen Kane, then I would win that argument). 

However, he has to accept that not everyone will see things his way, and that even he, Keith Olbermann, is beholden to someone higher than him (and I don't mean God, however he defines Him to be).  Sometimes you have to work with what you have and make the best of it; you know, lemons into lemonade and all that.  If the sets weren't to your liking, trust me, they could be modified, but on the whole, that's not a big issue.  If you don't want to promote the network you are at, well, as my supervisor once told me, "tough luck".  You'll just have to man up and get on with it.

Priorities and perspectives, Keith.  Priorities and perspectives.

Believe me, there are things at my job that I'm not too thrilled about doing.  I think that's true of everyone.  Some of us, however, don't have the fortune to get paid $10 million a year.  Some of us wouldn't make $10 million in our lifetime, and to insist that one get their way every day is to my mind, sad, depressing, and quite foolish. 

One wonders how he will get hired again, given his unfortunate reputation.  There are only so many bridges one can burn before finding himself upstream without a paddle (I think I'm mixing my metaphors, but those are the non-sequiturs I can be relied on to make).  He might: after all, M. Night Shyamalan continues to make films despite being responsible for a series of flops both critical and commercial which are some of the most despised by the public.  Controversy sells, as does a train wreck (or the hopes for one).

Olbermann is doing more harm to not just himself, but to the progressive/liberal movement.  I don't think anyone would call me a progressive (in particular the Occupy Wall Street frenemies I have who continue to think I'm stupid on matters both political and cinematic, often for not seeing things their way.  Whether it's drivers licenses at the polling stations or my inability to declare The Hunger Games a work of genius...sorry, another digression).

I, though, would be embarrassed to have Keith Olbermann as my standard-bearer.  It's not because he wouldn't be good in a debate; it's because he appears to go out of his way to antagonize even the most die-hard Occupier by his behavior public and private.   

I'm sure Mr. Olbermann doesn't care one bit about my opinions (especially if they don't concur with his).  However, I would offer this simple bit of home-spun wisdom:

Seriously, man.  Get some therapy.


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