With one abrupt announcement at the end of his show on Friday, Keith Olbermann ended his run on MSNBC, where he had hosted Countdown since 2003. The fiery host is “a highly talented broadcaster, a distinctive and outspoken voice and a mercurial personality with a track record of attacking his superiors and making early exits,” wrote The New York Times after his departure.
Howard Kurtz characterized Olbermann’s righteous rhetoric, especially throughout the Bush years, as a double-edged sword:
Olbermann’s abrupt departure Friday demonstrated, in a very real sense, the limits of anger as a tool of television. The same fervor that draws cheers from partisan viewers almost invariably leads to clashes with the people who sign the checks, as their pit bull starts gnawing on the furniture.
What will you remember about Olbermann and Countdown, for better or for worse? And on the eve of a merger with Comcast, and the MSNBC lineup still in flux, where does NBC go from here?