Keith Olbermann Suspension Ending: The Reactions

By Alex Weprin Comment

Last night MSNBC announced that “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann would be allowed to return to his program on Tuesday.

Since then, the reaction to the suspension–and the subsequent suspension of the suspension–have been pouring in.

In The New York Times, David Carr examines the incident, and frames it as an issue caused by both the “Foxification of the cable universe” and a modrn problem, one that old-school news outlets have not had to address:

If MSNBC were really worried about coming off as impartial, don’t you think it would have chosen somebody besides Mr. Olbermann, one of the most rabidly partisan figures in national news, to anchor its election coverage? Even Fox News knows better than to do something like that.

In Forbes, Jeff Bercovici calls Olbermann “The Brett Favre of MSNBC,” comparing the host to the aging Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

The entire situation reminds me of what’s been going on with the Minnesota Vikings, where  Brett Favre has taken the utmost pains to make it clear it’s he, not head coach Brad Childress, who’s really in charge of the team. It’s a parallel the sportscaster in Olbermann would appreciate: Just as Childress was tempted to bench the headstrong and underperforming quarterback last week but ultimately decided he couldn’t risk it, so Griffin sought to make a point by benching Olbermann, only to end up demonstrating the opposite of what he intended: that Olbermann is the most powerful man at MSNBC.