I interviewed Keith Olbermann back in the fall of 2006. At the time, his "Special Comments" were just beginning to get a lot of attention, and given their success, he was a little cautious about doing them too often. "Sometimes I have to turn to [MSNBC executives] and say, 'No. I know you like this and I know you think this is going to do real well for you in the ratings, but just don't pull the gun out of the holster every 35 seconds,'" he told me.
It was good advice. Too bad he's long since stopped taking it.
A colleague e-mailed me Thursday night to say that, because he had gone so far overboard, I should watch Olbermann's latest "Special Comment," about former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent interview with Politico. True, the MSNBC host's habit of equaling or surpassing his nemesis Bill O'Reilly in self-righteousness isn't a recent phenomenon, and has made the show increasingly difficult to watch. Even by that standard, though, this was a bit much.
There was, obviously, plenty to criticize about Cheney's interview. Still, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought his "I Have a Dream" speech in at under 17 minutes, John F. Kennedy's inaugural address lasted less than 14 minutes and the Gettysburg Address is only 10 sentences long -- you'd think Olbermann could manage to wrap up the "Special Comment" in under 10:53.