Another colleague, Mike Soltys, has said that when Olbermann left the network, in 1997, “he didn’t burn bridges here—he napalmed them.”Olbermann was glad enough to be leaving the grind of full-time sportscasting behind.
The biggest issue we face is—it’s bigger than Iraq—it’s this ideological struggle against cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created includes ‘cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives’? “They are those in—or formerly in—your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes.”The denunciation hit the high notes of the most fevered antiwar rhetoric, accusing Bush (he of the “addled brain”), his alleged puppet master (“the American snake-oil salesman Dick Cheney”), and the “tragically know-it-all minions,” “sycophants,” and “mental dwarves” who serve them in the Administration of perpetrating a “panoramic and murderous deceit” on America and the world. Olbermann turned to Bush’s golf remark, which he called the “final blow to our nation’s solar plexus.” He wrote: Mr. Why did Olbermann need to end his commentary by Phil Griffin is a compact, nearly bald man with the intensity and the revved-up metabolism of a TV-news field producer, which is how he spent his early career.
Bush, I hate to break it to you six and a half years after you yoked this nation and your place in history to the wrong war, in the wrong place, against the wrong people, but the war in Iraq is not about you. He speaks in quick bursts, and his conversations tend to the elliptical.
President, turning to the biggest issue of all, Iraq. President, you haven’t been golfing in recent years. I feel I owe it to the families to be as—to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead. The jeremiad against Bush was a signature Olbermann effort, the sort of stylized, mocking tirade that has lately made him a cable-news sensation, the Edward R. Olbermann was pleased with the script, and the next day, before going on the air with it, he posted excerpts on the liberal blog Daily Kos, which is a fairly good representation of the Olbermann fan base. (“You excoriated the bloodyhanded, warmongering imbecile.” “This country cannot survive without you.” “Dude, you’ve got a pair of steel ones!
Various people and various candidates talk about pulling out next year. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal. And, sir, if you have any hopes that next January 20th will not be celebrated as a day of soul-wrenching, heartfelt thanksgiving, because your faithless stewardship of this presidency will have finally come to a merciful end, this last piece of advice . ” “I’m gonna print it out, hang it up and memorize it.”)At MSNBC, the feedback was slightly more cautious.
But he lay wide awake, overcome by an urge to get up and move about.
He has been given a diagnosis of Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, also known as “restless-legs syndrome” (and also “the kicks,” “Jimmy legs,” and “jitters”), a neurological disorder that produces a prickling, itching, or crawling feeling in the legs, profoundly disturbing sleep.
(He says he loses depth perception at speeds greater than fifteen miles per hour.) He also hates flying, and that made it difficult to follow the local teams, but it was just as well; Olbermann firmly resisted the chumminess that often develops between sports journalists and their subjects.
Wald says that the only argument he had with Olbermann came when Olbermann refused an assignment to cover spring training.
When he was twenty-three, he told Bill Mac Phail, the former CBS Sports executive who had overseen the introduction of instant replay, that Mac Phail didn’t know anything about television sports.
In an argument with one of his supervisors at UPI, he so forcefully advocated his position (“God damn it, this is the minor leagues here,” he said, “and it’s things like this that are keeping us the minor leagues’’) that he was fired that afternoon.