Olbermann’s “Smug Histrionics,” O’Reilly’s “Wacky Views”

By Chris Ariens 

The LATimes’ Howard Rosenberg asks, “Is Olbermann’s snide act on MSNBC the future of TV news?” Without fulling answering his question, Rosenberg sums up Olbermann this way:

The leer, the smug histrionics, the relentless needling, the shameless self-puffery, the accusatory rants excoriating Bushies and other Republicans as well as cable competitor Fox and its temperamental bully, Bill O’Reilly. And, of course, the comedy.

Then Rosenberg wonders…

But is his ends-justifies-means credo good for the news biz? The answer is no, even if you dislike the president and his policies as much as Olbermann does. I do, and can still testify that watching Olbermann collect Republican scalps like baseball cards is only marginally more rewarding than watching his favorite foil, O’Reilly, batter guests who don’t share his wacky views.

But at least O’Reilly invites dissenters to his lair (if only to disembowel them), whereas “Countdown” is more or less an echo chamber in which Olbermann and like-minded bobbleheads nod at each other.