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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Keith Olbermann on Michele Bachmann: Was she speaking to an invisible camerman named Murray?

Keith_olbermann OK, I confess. I thought I was made of sterner stuff, but I'm starting to officially miss "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." Rachel Maddow is just fine. Lawrence O'Donnell has potential. And Chris Matthews, well, has he ever gone 20 seconds without interrupting a guest?

Since Olbermann signed off Friday night, I've been having withdrawal pangs, missing his hilarious "Oddball" segments, longing for his eloquent rants, pining for his wryly comic Friday readings of James Thurber. Even if I didn't always agree with his politics, I thought Olbermann was an amazingly compelling on-air presence. Often unpredictable, almost always crackling with a kind of neurotic electricity, he was the closest thing on TV to a real-life Aaron Sorkin character, with a love of language, a barbed sense of humor and a passionate, occasionally self-destructive commitment to causes and personal ideals that sometimes only he seemed to understand.

Even though he's gone from MSNBC, thanks to Twitter we can still get a condensed version of what's on Olbermann's mind. He was in rare form during Rep. Michele Bachmann's "tea party" truly "oddball" response to the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night, offering zinger after zinger about the fact that Bachmann inexplicably seemed to be staring off camera during her entire speech. In other words, even though Olbermann wasn't on TV, he was focused on the TV-ness of it all, as if he were dreaming up a "Larry Sanders Show" sketch as he was watching.

Here's a few of his best bits:

"MICHELE! Hey! Yoo-hoo! CONGRESSWOMAN! We're the ones in the MIDDLE."

"Did the Tea Party not spring either for a Camera Red Light or a combined camera-teleprompter? It costs $3 extry."

"Seriously, somebody at the Tea Party needs to run on the stage, grab her, and POINT TO WHERE THE CAMERA IS."

"I haven't seen anything like that since Alan Keyes' old TV show where he would look left and right, even though there was no audience."

"Tonight's Final Score: Obama 22 Ryan 1 Bachmann -11,746."

Think Olbermann should have scored the speech differently? See it for yourself below.

-- Patrick Goldstein



Photo: Keith Olbermann speaking to the Television Critics Association press tour at the Beverly Hilton in 2008.

Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images


Comments () | Archives (8)

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She looks scary, staring at an invisible enemy (Communists lurking around the corner?) If she represents the Tea Party, heaven help us!!!!

Now let me think ... who was President before Obama? Oh yes, Shrub, that well known Republican. Let me think some more. When did the economy melt down? Oh yes, during Shrub's reign.

Now, my feeble brain is also telling me that the bail-out was approved and put into place before Obama even took office.

So what on earth is this airhead talking about?

And, as some have asked, who on earth is she speaking to?

Jeez .... what a joke.

Such slickness and polished "sincerity" in service of utterly bogus, dishonest, and simply trash-headed understandings of the real world.

Someone barely informed or only following the basic outline of current events could easily be swept up in the outrageousness of this lovely, sweet-sounding demagogue. Absolutely appaling disengenuousness.

regnarte............if that is your real name?? yes, the economy tanked before the big O, and a bail out was began. but what about the subsequent 2 years w/ O. he has been an abject failure, but you will never see that. you still believe, deep, deep inside (as many of his supporters proclaimed), "he will buy my gasoline, pay my mortgage"....and on and on. and yet, he has done NOTHING except spend more than all previous presidents COMBINED!!!

I love the explanatory hand gestures. Up. Down. And cheesy chart. She seriously thinks that we'll believe that unemployment is Obama's fault?

Are you conveniently forgetting how much money was spent in Iraq & Afghanistan during George W. Bush's two terms?

The money spent in those countries could have helped to build up our bridges, our roads, our schools and yes, even provide health care for uninsured Americans.

And do I have to remind you the money spent to create and maintain the Department of Homeland Security was more than the cost of Bachmann's cameraman.

If you want to pretend that Bush wasn't responsible for those expenditures go ahead.

Make sure you tell my unicorn hello while you are in your fantasy land.

How comical. Olbermann poking fun at Bachmann yet he is no longer on cable. What did he have...about 4 viewers. So long Olbermann...I won't be missing you. Bachmann and the Tea Party have it right! The joke was Obama's State of the Union address. We keep getting further in debt and no one seems to care.'s not helping!! In regards to what we can cut, I have a suggestion without cutting any program. How about a pay cut. All government workers - Fed, State, and Local government workers across the board. Much like many of us had to take. After all, they work for us!! Here is another suggestion Obama. You talked about green energy, wind, solar, electric...but you missed one. How about CHEAP ENERGY!! We actually have to pay for our fuel. Get with the program!

"Shakey" has plenty of time to Twitter. He's unemployed.


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