Last night, “Olbermann” debuted just after 11 PM on ESPN2, following live coverage of the US Open. It marked a return to nightly television for Keith Olbermann, the former anchor for MSNBC, Current TV and, yes, ESPN, who had been off the air since a very public split from Current last year.
It was also a return to the Olbermann of the 90’s, with a lighthearted tone and a focus on sports. Yes, “Worst Persons in the World” was there, as was a long monologue about the New York Jets, a topic close to this writer’s heart, but it was decidedly unlike his politics and news programs.
Olbermann also got meta, playing old clips from his first run at ESPN, and talking a good deal about the state of sports journalism. No, the ESPN/”Frontline” controversy didn’t come up, but he did talk about a NY Daily News item about the Jets that he felt was drummed up in the name of controversy.
“We need somebody watching the watchers,” his first guest Jason Whitlock said. “It needs to happen to us, so we have more empathy for the celebrities that we are covering.”
“Every reporter should spend one day as the only story in the world,” Olbermann responded.
He would know.