Book Trailer The Noble Train

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good Night and Good Luck-Olbermann Leaves MSNBC

Edward R. Murrow who Keith Olbermann obviously modeled himself after said these words every time he signed off from his broadcast. Good Night and Good Luck. It is irony at it's best, but Murrow meant it. He wanted people to have the luck it would take to fight the corporate powers, government, the natural tyranny of men. His job was to poke holes in these forces and shine light into the dark corners of human chicanery. He eventually took on McCarthy in the darkest days of the House on Un-American Activities and did what no man in the news had done up to that point--he took on the underside of American democracy that destroys people while hiding under the flag.

Now Mr. Olbermann has left MSNBC for reasons unknown, but we can guess. If you watched Keith at all he was the one of the few who took on the dark side of American politics and American business. He was the underdogs dog and barked at anyone who came near. Many times he slipped into bombast and of course his show was hopelessly one sided with his triumvirate of Chris Hayes, Howard Fineman, and Eugene Reynolds to comment and mostly back up Keith's latest thesis. As time wore on Keith did become predictable, but he was always heartfelt and always unafraid.

Sometimes we cringed when he really got on a roll, but like a good novel you had to listen closely to the prose. Keith was a thinking man's  liberal cable show. He was no slouch when it came to mixing history, liberal theology, and politics, throw in the Olbermann anger and indignation and you had a cocktail of  talk show bravado that could knock your socks off and many times did. Sometimes, you just wanted to stand up and cheer when he finished his Final Comment.

But he has left the network and we don't know where he will land. Keith did what Maddow and now Lawrence O'Donnel can't. He did have an Edward R. Murrow touch that had a moral indignance and gravitas that lent credibility to his charges against the nightly villains. Keith Olbermann does care about people and he does want to be the voice of those who cannot defend themselves. And so when he signed off with his customary Good Night and Good Luck at the end of his show, he said, look I know the cards are stacked, but le'ts keep trying anyway. We can only hope he lands somewhere and continues the fight. So back at you Keith.

Good Night, and Good Luck.
Rocket Man will Blast off in April.

Books by William Hazelgrove