Just as Comcast gets its grubby hands on NBC, the network and Keith Olbermann announce that they are parting ways. Coincidence? Not very damned likely!
There are lots of things about this developing situation that make me angry. Keith's Special Comments have set the standard for television editorials. He is bright and erudite, and I will miss his classy analyses and thoughtful commentaries.
And who else will come forward to read Thurber to us? When I am truly down, as I am this evening, my most effective home remedy is to pull out my volume of Thurber and reread The Night the Bed Fell on Father. I have read it dozens of times, and it never loses its punch. I was transfixed the night that Keith sat in his big armchair and read it to me across the airwaves. It was such an unexpected and wonderful treat.
I would like to see Bill O'Reilly read The Night the Bed Fell on Father, but since it has zero sex, I doubt that it would have any appeal to him. And somehow I just can't imagine O'Reilly making anything sound funny - at least intentionally. Glenn Beck might give it a try - if the money was right - but he would spoil the effect by crying as he read. Sean Hannity's version would have the bed falling on himself, and it would be Obama's fault. Rush Limbaugh might provide an extraordinary rendition of the classic tale as he roared and snorted his way through the text, loudly pointing out the leftist leanings of each of the characters, but it would lack the Thurber subtlety. Rush doesn't do subtlety.
Keith Olbermann is a young man, especially by my standards, and a very talented individual. His star will rise again, and when it does I hope that NBC suffers pangs of remorse - or at least a significant drop in audience share. I also hope that Keith got his hand very deeply into their corporate pocket on his way out the door. That would bring a smile to my face, perhaps not as wide as a Thurber smile, but a smile nonetheless.
Good luck, Keith. Talk hard!