Olbermann’s SOTU Before Bush’s SOTU

By SteveK 

All weekend MSNBC has been running ads promoting Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight. The ad says, “Before the President’s address Keith answers America’s all-important question: What is the State of our Union?” A graphic saying, “Keith’s verdict,” is shown on the screen.

Olbermann’s interview with Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources yesterday gave a pretty good indication of what the tone of his SOTU will be. Olbermann told Kurtz, “I’m an American citizen. I think this has been a disastrous presidential administration. I would have given what I have, in terms of broadcasting success and the nature of this newscast…if I was given a choice of this or some responsible presidency in the last four years or eight years, I would have taken a responsible presidency.”

But another point brought up in the Kurtz interview was regarding Olbermann’s dual role with MSNBC, as “opinionated” host of Countdown and “neutral anchor” during news coverage, and his ability to separate the “collision of roles.” Never will that be as evident as in tonight’s prime time line up. Directly following Olbermann’s SOTU, he will switch studios and serve as co-anchor, with Chris Matthews, of MSNBC’s SOTU coverage.


An MSNBC spokesperson said, “Keith has proven himself to be the consummate broadcaster both on election night coverage and on previous SOTU coverage.”