I've always had a soft spot for Keith Olberman, despite the fact that he's both cantankerous and self-righteous about being cantankerous. Perhaps it's because I've always admired former sportscasters (where have you gone, equally smarmy Craig Kilborn?!). Perhaps because it's nice for left-wingers to have access to a bright blowhard who's not Michael Moore.

Pardon me while I engage in a tangent that will in the next paragraph (or so) prove to be brilliantly, commendably relevant. It was an established fact of my youth that on a regular basis, three-foot tall, spotty boys would give reasonably attractive girls a complex about not being hot enough. It's just how things were done. In today's world (after using that phrase, it will come as no surprise that I'm busily planning a sixteen-part series about how Facebook may be bringing us closer together virtually, but is in "reality" driving us farther apart), young girls, having seen boys with abdominal muscles in unfairly fanciful films, are beginning to subject their grade nine beaux to a similar kind of scrutiny.

Part of me thinks that's wonderful and hilarious. And part of me, the better and less likable part, thinks that all this means is that more men will learn to be more insecure at a younger age and then grow up to be worse husbands to their tragically insecure wives.

And now for the brilliant tie-in, the moment I relate Keith Olberman to teen dating without leaving myself open to charges of libel. Olberman, although he has spoken out against conflicts of interest and other people being biased and stuff, was recently suspended for contravening NBC rules by donating money to three Democratic candidates for Congress. Liberals everywhere rallied to his defense. "FOX is worse!" they cried. "But it's different when someone I agree with!" they exclaimed. I absolutely agree that Olberman is an individual and not a news organization and that he doesn't in any way or at any time claim to be fair and balanced. I agree that Fox is worse, and that's not just because I suspect all the women on the network are Christian hooker robots. But just because Fox news is REALLY bad doesn't mean that a liberal should get to be kind of bad without being criticized for it by other liberals. 

Just to make sure my analogy has been understood: teenage boys (the mean and judgmental ones) = Bill O'Reilly; insecure teenage girls from twenty years ago = painfully upstanding and morally correct liberals; mean and judgmental girls of today = Keith Olberman. There. Analogies can be convoluted things. Mine might have been convoluted, but at least it also had the virtue of being protracted. You're welcome.

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11/13/2010 03:23:41 am

I have something of a stake in learning who the insecure teenage boys from twenty years ago would be in this analogy. Jim Lehrer? Hopefully so.

But I do certainly agree with the Catastrophizer on Olberman.


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