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Why Keith Olbermann blocked me on Twitter

TNH Columnist

Published: Friday, September 30, 2011

Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 00:09


For those of you who are unfamiliar with the personalities MSNBC puts on primetime television every night (and those personalities who have moved on to smaller and more insignificant things), Keith Olbermann hosted a show on MSNBC called "Countdown" from 2003 to earlier this year. 

In the context of his show, Olbermann routinely presented biased political commentary as factual reporting, labeled people he disliked as the "Worst person in the world," and catcalled the Fox News Network.

The show was everything an egotistical, quick-witted fifth grader would produce if you gave him a camera and told him to create a news program; this is assuming that said fifth grader was being raised by Barney Frank.

In January of this year, Keith Olbermann abruptly left MSNBC under mysterious circumstances. Olbermann later revealed, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, that he had been forced to leave after the death of Tim Russert ("one of his only allies at NBC") and after he had been caught gossiping about Jeff Zucker's fate following the Comcast merger. These are the reasons Mr. Olbermann gave us for his departure  from MSNBC, one wonders if it has more to do with MSNBC's desire to be taken more seriously as a news source.

Then again, if that was the case, why would they have kept Chris Matthews? 

After involuntarily leaving his show at MSNBC, Olbermann joined Current TV as their Chief News Officer. Current TV is a media venture undertaken by former Vice President Al Gore and Democratic businessman Joel Hyatt.

If having Al Gore as your founder and Keith Olbermann as your Chief News Officer isn't an obstacle in itself, consider the fact that the channel occupies a smidgen of high-numbered stations on a handful of satellite TV providers.

Additionally, since its 2005 launch, Current TV hasn't really gone anywhere in terms of being anything more than a mediocre alternative news channel with three digits. Among the company's crowning achievements are scrapped plans to launch an IPO and a failed business venture with Yahoo! Naturally, the channel was the perfect place for someone like Olbermann.

Since the beginning of his time on MSNBC, Olbermann has had a near neurotic obsession with attacking Fox News and its contributors. He enjoys attacking Bill O'Reilly in particular.  This, I suppose, is understandable given the fact that they were both, theoretically, competitors for the 8 p.m. primetime cable news network slot.

I will not dwell on the fact that Olbermann's ratings never approached O'Reilly's or the fact that, while Olbermann made lambasting O'Reilly's name a near nightly gig, O'Reilly never mentioned Olbermann except to respond to Olbermann's attacks.  With his departure from MSNBC, most observers were under the impression that Olbermann would ease up on his attacks against Fox News and O'Reilly, but delusions of relevance die hard.

Last week I was reading the Huffington Post (a further demonstration of the fact that my life is becoming increasingly sad) when I stumbled upon an article entitled, "Keith Olbermann Begs Bill O'Reilly To Quit Over Taxes."

The article outlines how Bill O'Reilly responded to a speech by President Obama calling on taxes to be further raised on the wealthy. O'Reilly opined, stating that he may quit his show if his taxes continue to increase.

O'Reilly's statement, of course, was little more than an example of how increasing taxes on the rich will discourage them from investing in the economy (O'Reilly employs quite a few people in the various media-related businesses he owns).

In response to O'Reilly's anecdote, Olbermann responded by ranting about how happy he would be to see O'Reilly leave his show. Perhaps Olbermann was under the impression that O'Reilly would join him in the realm of alternative

news media. Do conservatives have anything equivalent to Current TV? 

After reading the article, I thought I'd have some fun with Olbermann by tweeting the link at him. I tweeted: "@keitholbermann thinks he's still's adorable." I then logged out of Twitter expecting nothing to happen. After all, I routinely tweet Chris Christie

demanding he run for president and that never seems to do any good. Thanks to Olbermann's neuroticism and what I would diagnose as a self-image problem, he responded: "@nickmignanelli Not as adorable as ‘Communications Director' of the College Republicans having only 72 followers. A pat on your head, Son."

Apparently Mr. Olbermann was under the impression that I am the communications director of the College Republican National Committee rather than the UNH chapter, so I tweeted back: "That's the ‘UNH College Republicans.' We have a large Agricultural College here, similar to the one you attended at Cornell @KeithOlbermann."

I think it was that tweet that really got under his skin. As

conservative political commentator Ann Coulter once pointed out, Olbermann often brags about having an Ivy League education, but rarely

reveals the fact that he did not, in fact, go to the Ivy League school

at Cornell. Rather, Olbermann "went to an affiliated state college at Cornell, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences."

I do not bring this up to insult UNH's agricultural program, which I have the utmost respect for, but rather to point out what a hypocritical snob Olbermann is.

Does anyone else find it ironic that Olbermann's Cornell degree appears on every brief and obscure biography that he has floating around, yet he never quite addresses what department and school he studied under?

Olbermann blocked me on Twitter after that, but it was fun while it lasted. It's always entertaining to bully a bully and it's not every day that you get to cyber bully a former MSNBC primetime host – emphasis on the word "former."

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Sat Oct 1 2011 14:48
WIth everything else going on - American Jobs Act, Supreme Court thinking of taking up DOMA and the Affordable Care Act, immigration laws, the economy, 2012 election, etc - this seems like a really strange choice to write about. Can you make your opinion articles relevant next time? I would like to hear some real news, please.
Fri Sep 30 2011 03:02
Mr. Mignanelli: Cornell has weighed in on Ann Coulter's theory. Their official answer wouldn't please you. Since you yourself are a student you certainly understand that within universities are various colleges focusing on various fields; none is considered more prestigious than the others. The right wing isn't doing itself any favors by insulting generations of Cornell graduates, just to try and diminish the value of one opponent's undergraduate degree. Think about it: if you were less elitist, out of all those thousands a few might actually be persuaded to join you. (You wouldn't have to socialize with them to accept their membership dues. ;-)

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