You know The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper when the big splashy figure on the front of Friday’s Style section is…Keith Olbermann. The man whose career has now “evolved” into ranting in obscurity for a fashion magazine? Yes.
One can tell someone who runs the Post website is embarrassed. I couldn't find it on the Post homepage today, not even among the headlines on “Lifestyle.” Click on “Lifestyle”….and you can’t find it on that page either….except as the #4 Most Read.
The headline is "Olbermann Is Eager to Lead 'The Resistance.' A liberal flamethrower reinvents himself as an online voice for the Trump era."
Political reporter Ben Terris is clearly not thrilled with this assignment. He will clearly wound Keith’s massive ego by proclaiming late in the piece “Some of Olbermann’s commentaries are infused with a frenetic energy akin to the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.” There is no conservative critic in this feature. But that’s a nice point. All this rage against Impending Hitler Trump is a gigantic conspiracy theory, right down to titling your movement (or your commentaries) “The Resistance,” like your Republican neighbors all read Mein Kampf.
Terris also had a conspiracy-theorist first paragraph:
“If you’re going to travel with me, you cannot precisely characterize the area I live in,” Keith Olbermann wrote in an email. “Nothing more detailed than ‘midtown’ . . . I get death threats and, in the past, fake anthrax, and take as many precautions as I can to keep my address secret.”
Terris theorized that what makes Olbermann suddenly relevant again is how he exemplifies the current wave of leftist panic:
Olbermann may have claimed “The Resistance” as his show’s title, but it’s also fashionable shorthand for the emerging, amorphous community — career Democrats, masked anarchists, Hollywood liberals, conservative Never Trumpers — working to topple, or at least rein in, President Trump. Not working together, mind you: The movement has only the barest organization and no true leaders. But plenty of people are looking to fill that void and, in some cases, pave their own path back to relevance.
Dear Never Trumpers: once you've been lumped in with Keith Olbermann, you may want to reassess your ideological location. Terris went light on the actual quotation of Olbermann’s lunacy, with the insistence that Trump be impeached before inauguration:
“This is about a man not in his right mind who now has nuclear weapons,” Olbermann says in one video, staring directly at the viewer.
“Donald Trump has branded himself a traitor to everything this country has stood for,” he declares in another. “We will remove him.”
The Post thinks Olbermann deserves publicity because he can draw 2 million clicks per episode, and that he works for billionaires at Conde Nast. But GQ is not MSNBC, just as Current TV wasn't MSNBC. And MSNBC typically isn't in the same ratings league as Fox News. What matters is the liberals still have "frenetic energy" worth mentioning.
This is the kind of warmed-over enthusiasm that the Post seemed to force Terris to muster:
“Permit me to apologize on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America for the unforgivable actions of the man who has assumed power here,” Olbermann said. “I speak for those unlike Trump, unlike the sycophants who surround him, unlike the hate-filled souls and the conscious [sic?] optional bigots who applaud him, unlike the Russian puppeteers who may be manipulating him.”
Yes, Olbermann can be hacky and pompous, but he’s always had a knack for connecting with an audience. His monologues have a writerly touch, and he at least appears to truly believe what he’s saying.
At least he appears to believe his "hacky and pompous" words about Impending Hitler Trump. Talk about setting the bar for relevance low. "Mainstream" media outlets that claim to speak for civility and public decency and moderation can't promote Olbermann and hope to be taken seriously.