I don't usually watch the convention coverage on PBS because Jim Lehrer could make a housefire boring. So I indulge in the cable news creeps, who sometimes entertain between the speeches.
Of course, I've long dismissed Fox News as comforter of morons—gee, I think it and so does a feller on TV, so it must be true!
And CNN is the Corporate News Network, so determinedly down the middle and robotically even-tempered that I always imagine Wolf Blitzer announcing that "the missiles [pause here for weirdly timed breath] will hit New York in three minutes. And you're [weirdly timed breath] in the Situation Room."
And now MSBNC, the channel I always turned to desperately during the primaries when my beloved Obama was losing on CNN—maybe he'd be winning on MSNBC!—now these goofs have gone completely off the rails.
MSNBC ranchorman (that's ranter/anchorman) Keith Olbermann has always been a lefty windbag, but he's awfully intelligent and some of his commentaries, humorless as they are, have carried valuable truth and rhetorical power, to my way of thinking.
As with all people who make their living on hyperbole and bombast, the danger is they lose their loose moorings and become caricatures of their own caricatures. Last night in "analyzing" Michelle Obama's speech, Olbermann lost me, and so did MSNBC.
Look, it was a fine speech. I think Michelle Obama's the bee's knees. I hope she and her husband rule the land for eight years. For Godsakes, I spent $300 and seven hours and on a train to catch a glimpse of Obama on Saturday. But even I could not have turned to my wife (who feels the same way about the Obamas) and said with a straight face what Olbermann said last night:
"That could not have done better for them. That could not have done better for them. Right to the point of the little girls taking the mikes away and suddenly turning out to be hams. It’s wonderful. It really was terrific. And notice, did you notice throughout that, especially as it built towards its conclusion, the woman in that convention hall the ones we saw at leastwe can’t say every one but there were tears throughout among the women. And it was not a maudlin speech, it was not a salesmanship speech. There was just a—I know, I’m beginning to sound borderline sycophantic on this. So I’ll stop. You start."
And with that, he turned it over to Chris Matthews, who didn't do what he ought to have done, which was to throw a cold glass of water in Olbermann's face and slap his cheek.
Enough of this clowning around. Jim Lehrer it is.
Post script. 9/8: Now see this. Not discussed in the story is the impact this particular blog post had on the demotions of Olbermann and Matthews.