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Suspended Keith Olbermann is irreplaceable on 'Countdown' -- or *is* he?

Keith Olbermann suspended Keith Olbermann, the host of MSNBC's "Countdown," has been suspended indefinitely after reportedly breaking company policy by donating to a few political candidates without getting an OK in advance. Though news anchor Thomas Roberts is taking his place Friday night, we're sure that in many hearts and minds, Olby is pretty much irreplaceable.

(Hey, it was hard enough deciding on Roberts -- turns out first pick Chris Hayes also made political donations without asking the boss first. Of course, the frequent "Countdown" guest actually works for a magazine, so maybe he was unaware of MSNBC's rules in advance.)

We'd like to count down a few celebrity replacements, to be used in case of emergency -- for example, if Olbermann were to lose his job after putting his money where his mouth is:

10. Larry King: Sure, he chose to leave his own show after 25 years, but everyone has second thoughts about retirement. Time with the wife and kids is often overrated.

9. Ryan Seacrest: When you already have 137 jobs, what's a little nightly TV show? Heck, it's only cable news -- as if anyone's watching. Plus the "American Idol" host has already shown he can work magic with raw cable-TV-host material.

8. Heidi Montag: She didn't get picked up to take Megan Fox's "Transformers" spot, so she probably has the time. And she and hubby Spencer Pratt will do almost anything for money, and right now they seem to need some. Has she tweeted any interest yet?

7. Bristol Palin: Perhaps admitting you didn't vote would actually be a plus in this situation -- and she's not very likely to be perceived as biased to the left, if MSNBC is sensitive to that sort of thing. Plus the fans voting for her to stay on "Dancing With the Stars" might tune in just to show their loyal support. Ratings coup!

6. Levi Johnston: If the "mayor of Wasilla" thing doesn't work out, he's just that much closer to getting his GED, right? Plus there is no residency requirement at MSNBC, and he's familiar with chatting on live TV.

5. Charlie Sheen: The "Two and a Half Men" star certainly has the temperament to be a nighttime cable news host, though we're not sure his salary needs could be met.

4. Sandra Bullock: With her hit-it/quit-it/hit-it-again presence in the Gulf restoration PSA produced by Women of the Storm, she proved she's hypersensitive to perceptions of conflict of interest.

3. Mel Gibson: We hear he's having a hard time finding a job and keeping it. Because many folks have decided he's definitely the worst person in the world, that "takes one to know one" line on his resume could come in handy.


2. The Count: The "Sesame Street" star could step right into the job. The dude can count, vampires are hot, and he's already podcasting. Plus almost everyone loves "Sesame Street."

1. Betty White: If there's not a Facebook page suggesting this already, we're shocked.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Keith Olbermann, top right, in 2008; the Count from "Sesame Street," left. Credits: Fred Prouser / Reuters, right; Sesame Workshop, left

Comments () | Archives (70)

Outrageous!! A proclaimed liberal donates to liberal candidates. Who could be surprised? I did the same thing, but my emploiyer does not delve into the private legal activities of its employees. MSNBC needs to rethink its policies and put KO back on the air....where he belongs. We have so much to do and so little time to get it done.

I watch keith and rachel every day. it is my opion that there isn't a replacement for keith and I won't be watching msnbc at the 8:00 hour until keith comes back.i'm only one person but i'm sure there will be others.

You folks are making a big mistake here! This is a hugh mistake! Hugh Mistake!

Keith is the best, get him back, or My entire Family will turn your stupid channel off!

Having The Count from Sesame Street do Countdown is actually a brilliant idea, as long as we're talking one-time-only.

Then a year later we could have a one-time-only anchorage by Kermit and Miss Piggy.


hit the road.

this is totally outrageous......I will " suspend" my loyalty to MSNBC until he is reinstated

Hey, this punishment is a bit harsh. I mean, Keith isn't even a real journalist! He's an abrasive, delusional, washed up sportscaster who has suddenly become a "pundit". Hopefully O'Reilly, Beck, and the other mouthpieces who continue to divide us as a Nation get ousted for something- anything!

Olbermann is a jewel among broadcasters. MSNBC has, in fact, 'screwed up' BIG TIME! Bring Keith back as quick as you can.
He is the 'voice of millions' in politics!

Thank you.

couldnt happen to a nicer guy

I too will not be watching Countdown even if Thomas Roberts is handsome as hell and very good at his job. Until Keith returns, I will have to miss out on the great program that it is. Get it together msnbc!

why ben affleck not included in the mix?
keith could switch to act for a while in real fiction

You have got to be kidding! Keith Olberman is one of your best hosts with integrity, credibilty and astuteness. Have you just been bought by Fox? If not, why are you reacting to what others have done in the past ans should be allowed to do in the future. H does hav a conscience ... he care about our country ... perhaps I ned to return to CNN!

I'm disappointed that this happened, and I agree that msnbc's policy is intrusive. However, KO should be expected to abide by the policy he agreed to when he accepted employment. That's what makes msnbc better than Fox. I expect honesty and truth from msnbc, and the fact that Fox or its employees are blatantly political doesn't mean everyone should behave that way.

Keith, hang your head, say your "mea culpas," and come back.

Unbelievable! Keith Obermann is definitely needed. Besides Rachel Maddow, who is going to be around to give us truth and facts in the age of Fox propoganda news? Fox propoganda news allows their sick talking heads, i.e., Hannity, Huckabee, Palin, & Beck to give donations and raise funds for neocon Republican types. It's public knowledge. The rule that MSNBC put in their contract needs to be changed! .... or at least modified to bring Keith Obermann back on the air as soon as possible! Keith is a citizen first, and should be free to exercise his support for any candidate he chooses. I will refuse to watch MSNBC during the times that were allocated for Countdown with Keith Obermann until MSNBC wises up and bring him back! Keith Obermann is one of a kind, and would be hard (if not impossible) to replace!

If Keith Olberman is suspended I will not watch msnbc.(He is the main reason I warch msnbc) I hope he will go to CNN, so I can watch him there.
Art Hudtloff

Finally I found a channel that talked straight to the American people. Keith O is a hero to those of us with no voice on the national scene. He, Rachel, Ed and Lawrence are smart and thoughtful and I for one will not be turning MSNBC on for any programing until KO is back at the desk. Big mistake MSNBC. Guess we all know where your politics are!

my whole family has been on the phone talking about keiths suspension.
i tell you know, we will never tune into msnbc forever if he is not
reinstated by monday. as far as we are concernd he is, msnbc.
why not let fox news run the country because that is what you are
doing. you are cowards in my familys eyes and we wont watch a coward

Until they hire him back Im blocking MSNBC and NBC on every TV in my home.

Hey, why don't you really cut your throats and suspend Rachel too.....for just being.....GOOD. No Keith...no more watchee your network for me.

Criminy, how dumb are you people....

Keith Olberman is the only reason I watch MSNBC. I hope he goes to CNN so I can watch him there.
Art Hudtloff

Har Har - Olberman sucks

MSNBC may be more replaceable.

I will not watch MSNBC until Keith is back. He and Rachel is what helps your ratings. My family and friends watch your channel for the news everyday.All of your host are great. Keith brings life to to MSNBC. Change your policy. Keith is a real voice for mankind. He bring the facts and expose politicans that don't work for the people.You have made the biggest mistake ever for your station. We have been with your your station since you went on the air. Starting the day with Morning Joe, The Daily Rundown, Tamorn Hall, Contessa, Andrea Mitchell, Dylan, Chris and my favorite person Ed,and ending the evening with The last Word.WE WANT KEITH BACK AT 8:00PM, M-F. THANKS!!!!!!

Without going through details, MSNBC needs to address the issue internaly..I did not do anything ..yet I am being punished by not being able to watch Mr. Keith Oberman show which I love...if for any crazy reason MSNBC decides not to reinstate him back to his show, I will boycot ED, Chris, Rachel,and Lawrence show all together..don't have much respect for Andrea's show anyway..so I will say good bye to MSNBC and will let my family and friend know of my decision.

Woo Hoo all the big time clebs like the has been Mel (The I'm too good for you )Gibson making cruel and unusual comments about Keith Obermann. Well get a grip Melly at least Obermann in his nightly broadcasts is trying to help people come to grips with all the BS winers (mispelt whiners on purpose just for you Melly) What have you done for anyone besides yourself lately Melly ??

PS Msnbc you just lost one faithful viewer when you suspended Obermann idefinately! Get used to it more will stop watching AND also get used to having your ratings fall you beauracratic goofs!

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