Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann drew national attention for his award-winning work on ESPN's SportsCenter with co-anchor Dan Patrick. He has since worked for MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, and is now doing daily commentaries for ABC Radio, writing for Salon, and hosting a nightly news show on MSNBC. A comprehensive archive of articles by and about Olbermann.
Interview with Keith at
Reviews of Keith's "Countdown" on MSNBC from Slate and the Washington Post
Keith returns to MSNBC
Keith to anchor MSNBC 2004 Olympics coverage
Keith's "Mea Culpa" to ESPN and my take
Earlier: Keith to CNN
Keith joins
Keith at Ground Zero on Sept.11
Cornell commencement address 1998
Click here for more from on Keith as what's right with broadcasting.

From, July 1999:
Keith Olbermann is spotlighted in on my home page not only because he is a role model as I steer into the perilous waters of modern journalism, but also because he is a significant contrarian influence in media. This is the age of the video clip, and although he made a name for himself narrating video clips, Olbermann remains one of the finest ambassadors of the written and spoken word to the world of television. 

Olbermann is a sportscaster, which is tantamount to introducing someone as a rap artist -- eyes roll, reputations are threatened. But imagine e.e. cummings recording a rap album, and you get the idea of how Olbermann has helped elevate sportscasting to a major form of social commentary.

He is first and foremost a writer -- probably the best writer among television anchors anywhere, news or sports, and his radio commentaries among the best minutes news radio has to offer. Both they and his television lead-ins are crisp and unique in their content and delivery. If you believe as I do that it is harder to write a meaningful paragraph than a meaningful essay, Olbermann's succint and cogent writing ranks among the best anywhere.

After his confrontation with ESPN that drove him to news at MSNBC, Olbermann is nowback in sports at Fox. He anchors "National Sports Report," hosts Fox Saturday Baseball, writes a column for, and does daily radio commentaries.

Though the number one anchor, rebuilding a reputation at Fox is like trying to rediscover honesty by becoming a lawyer. Fox's disgraceful blanketing of billboards with Olbermann's smirking mug is below him, and chillingly reminiscent of CBS' ad campaign for former SportsCenter co-host Craig Killborn.

Olbermann took some heat for flipping from sports to news to sports again. But I say more power to him. The insultingly monotonous Lewinsky case sorely needed his refreshing writing and healthy cynicism, and his exit led us to the realization that if one of the most creative minds in television got burned out by the Lewinsky case, we should all have better things with which to occupy our minds. Besides, would that more news and sports anchors -- who often come across as having an I.Q. somewhere around the unemployment rate -- would expand their minds as Olbermann did, and did very successfully. 

Hard to believe it's coming from Fox, but Keith Olbermann provides some of the best television today.

Olbermann sez: 
I'm very flattered, and, c'mon -- a guy whose face is on half the unmoving objects in the country making fun of same -- is that not consistently countercultural enough for you? 
Seriously, I'm very flattered. Go looking for Bill Hicks stuff if you want some REAL thinking, though.

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Copyright 2003 Nathan Bierma