With Olbermann Gone, Chris Steps Up and Brings The Crazy. Hard.

Keith Olbermann’s sudden departure left a vacuum of bizarre, vitriolic, non-sequitorial pronouncements fueled by spittle-flecked ideological obsession. This week Chris Matthews’ Head stepped boldly into the void:

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

Leading off tonight: Unrest in Egypt. Proving the Iraq war wasn’t needed, these protests in Egypt, as well as in Yemen and Tunisia, are all aimed at dictators supported by the U.S. The demonstrations have not yet turned anti-American, but they could. These are the events the Bush administration hoped to encourage by lying about weapons of mass destruction and invading Iraq.

We feared KO’s departure meant creative, bizzaro-world analysis like the above was a thing of that past at MSNBC. We should have known there were dimensions of Chris “Are You Hypnotized?” Matthews yet to be revealed. Odd, odd dimensions.

Good Night and Good Luck in Your New Real Estate Career

It is the end of an error. MSNBC has shown the door to both Keith Olbermann and the dry shriveled husk of his sense of shame.

The Leg is going to miss the preening, pretentious, pompous fire hose of self-righteousness and bluster. And Chris Matthew’s Head liked having him around if only because he tended to make Matthew’s look like a model of proportionality and reason by comparison.

But when even Jon Stewart is finding you embarrassing to the liberal cause, it’s probably time for America’s most liberal news network to serve up a heaping helping of canned Olby.

The Leg has seen this coming for some time. Olbermann had not been the same since George W. Bush’s departure from the White House. (See: “Olbermann in Post-Bush Crisis. Must Find New Focus for 17 Million Gigawatts of Incandescent Hate or Risk Spontaneous Human Combustion.”

It was a little sad when, just moments ago, Chris Matthews’ Leg stopped by Olbermann’s desk and found only a scrap of paper containing an old “To Do” list:

To Do

__ Browbeat the interns.

__ Call the Dale Carnegie people. Demand refund.

__ Check Daily Kos threads to find out what the kids want to hear tonight.

__ Repeatedly stab photo of Bill O’Reilly muttering oaths and curses.

__ Taunt CM, RM about my salary increase.

__ Renew “Verbal Advantage” subscription.

__ Send vocabulary out to be waxed.

__ Hit GoDaddy. Register InsufferableTwit.com and PompousGeek.tv

__ Hit Netflix. Put “Reds” at the top of the queue. Again.

Sadly, those days are over. And The Leg is feeling a little blue.

The Leg Cramping Over Olbermann Suspension

Today Chris Matthews’ Leg expressed deep concern that the revelations about Keith Olbermann donating money to several liberal candidates for public office will damage MSNBC’s hard-won reputation for objectivity and fairness in covering the news.

“This is a blow,” The Leg shared over martinis and dim sum at a trendy midtown watering hole last night. “I know the American people by the millions look to MSNBC for cool-headed, even-handed, integrity-enriched handling of the news of the day. That’s why the no-contributions policy was in place. Chris, Keith, Rachel, and especially Sgt. Schultz have all worked very hard to build our sterling reputation for scrupulous detachment. I’m afraid this news that Keith actually has liberal sympathies will come as a huge, huge  shock to most people. I guess all we can do from here is pick up the pieces and start rebuilding.”

Fear and Loathing and Hypnotism at MSNBC

Interns spent all day Wednesday and most of Thursday in the studios of MSNBC with brooms and dustpans, sweeping up tiny remnants of the news network’s shattered journalistic credibility.

Yes it’s been in tatters for some time, but at some point during MSNBC’s jeering, sophomoric coverage of the election returns the ghost of Edward R. Murrow manifested in the studio and began to weep–softly at first, but ever more violently until, during a commercial break, a mournful shriek was heard and the last sad bits of MSNBC’s legitimacy exploded into thousands of little shards.

Listen carefully in the background of this clip of Chris Matthews interviewing Michelle Bachman and you can hear Murrow’s sobs, as well as the sound of Keith Olbermann giggling like a guy who has dared his friend to make a prank phone call and his friend, is like, totally doing it. He’s totally gonna ask a member of Congress if her refrigerator is running and whether she has Prince Albert in a can:

It has not yet been determined what the network will use in place of its journalistic credibility going forward.

GE has put a suggestion box by the water cooler and so far there are three votes for “fierce ennui,” two votes for “irony” (although someone pointed out that Jon Stewart owns that), and one vote for “off-putting neediness.”

Over to you Bernie:

The Pluperfect Storm

It wasn’t pretty.

Yesterday Chris Matthews’ Leg was chatting with the dry, shriveled husk of Keith Olbermann’s sense of proportionality and watching the live feed of the President’s Townhall. That voice was working its electric magic on the senstive appendage once more.

Suddenly some intern came running through the room waving a news release from the Rasmussen polling people. The Leg wasn’t sure but it appeared the girl had been crying.

“What’s that about?” The Leg asked a passing card-carrying-union-member-in-good standing teleprompter operator.

She explained that the release contained survey data revealing that more people say their views are more closely aligned with those of Sarah Palin than with those of “The One” (may higher approval ratings be upon him.)

“Was it close?” the dry, shriveled husk of Olbermann’s sense of proportionality asked hopefully. The intern just burst into tears and ran from the room, which, come to think of it, happens with Keith a lot.

The news quickly sent a chill through the overwhelmingly white staff at MSNBC and Matthews’ overwhelmingly white Leg turned a whiter shade of pale. Olbermann stormed off in search of a staff member to browbeat.

From somewhere deep in the bowels of 30 Rock, Leslie Stahl let out a long, mournful primal scream. The smell of scotch and frying bratwurst started wafting from Ed Schulz office.

Suddenly, The Leg’s attention was drawn back to the live feed of the President’s Townhall. A nice-looking African-American woman was speaking. “This is more like it,” The Leg thought. “Now we’re going to hear someone make some sense.” The Leg turned up the volume and heard:

“I’m one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I’m exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for.”

At that moment a huge muscle cramp seized the calf of The Leg and it didn’t hear the rest. Just something about “hot dogs and beans” and the “new reality.”

“Let the doubters doubt,” The Leg muttered. “I’m keeping hope alive.”

Indeed, Chris Matthews’ Leg is clinging to its belief that Obama is a great president harder than a defeated Alaska Senator clings to power and privilege.

Dozens of Shootings in Chicago Over the Weekend. Chris Matthews Suspects Link to Tea Party, Conservatives

As news reports revealed that at least 40 people were shot in Chicago this last weekend, Chris Matthews couldn’t help but see it as a clear validation of his recently unveiled Grand Unified Theory of Conservative Scariness.

Chris and his Excitable Limb didn’t realize that Chicago’s West and South sides had become hot beds of Tea Party activity but, given all the shooting and bloodshed there, they quickly surmised that these areas must have been caught up in the maddening fever for limited government and fiscal responsibility that has swept up so many  grandmothers and soccer moms across the nation.

“I’ll bet there are ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags flying all over the Englewood and Calumet Heights neighborhoods.” The Leg opined.

The Leg senses that Chris is on to something with his new Grand Unified Theory of Conservative Scariness. Sure only a handful of left-wing zealots still bother to watch MSNBC anymore. But for those guys, Matthews’ new hobby horse is like a hot-oil foot massage with Olbermann’s Countdown program serving as the “happy ending.”

“I vow that Chris Matthews’ Head and I will remain vigilant and bold in our quest to keep America safe for runaway government growth, soaring deficits, and nanny-like control  over every aspect of human activity by incompetent, corrupt bureaucrats,” the Leg declared with leg hairs standing on end.

Sweet Mother of Cheese, Even Jon Stewart is Finding Olbermann Embarassing.

The Leg used to think it was kind of cute . . .they way K-Olb would get all red-faced, twitchy, and big-wordy when in high dudgeon against Republican sins against liberal sensibliities . . . sins like deposing tyrants and trying to catch terrorists.

If nothing else, the spectacle of Uber-Olber’s all-consuming, reason-draining obsession with Bill O’Reilly and Fox News tended to provide some entertainment value.

But lately his indignant-dillweed-with-a-thesaurus schtick has started to wear thin . . . even with natural allies like The Leg. And apparently with Jon Stewart:

Stewart Spanks Olbermann

Now The Leg is pondering a question: Will being publicly pantsed by America’s Mocker-in-Chief move Olbermann to ratchet down the hate? The Leg is doubtful.

The Leg Suspects Chris and Olbermann Competing to Out-Stupid Each Other (Update: Olby Wins!)

The Leg is beginning to suspect that Chris and Olbermann made some sort of wager while The Leg was asleep. The bet?

Who can make the most absurd pronouncement in the run up to and aftermath of the Massachusetts Miracle.

This is the only possible explanation for the non-stop gusts of straight-faced howlers proceding from the mouths of America’s most earnest cheerleaders for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.

Olbermann opened strong by calling Scott Brown: “irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.” Ahhh, just like Edward R. Murrow used to do.

Chris, ever the zen master of measured understatement, countered with an assertion that a vote for Brown is the equivalent of “deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!”

Olby saw Chris’s hysteria and raised on election night by teasing before a break that he would be apologizing to Scott Brown. Later he smugly apologized for forgetting to include the word “sexist” in his list of slanders. The apology was contrived and superfluous because most folks probably assume that a charge of sexism is fully covered under “supporter of violence against women.”

At that point, Chris realized that he was completely out of his league in the jackassery Olympics and threw in the towel.

Why? Because, as The Leg knows, Chris has a fatal character flaw for an MSNBC show host. He has occasional fits of intellectual honesty . . .  like this one that compelled him point out that Howard Dean is either full of crap or crazy.

This is What Olbermann Was in a Hurry For?

After two weeks of bungles, missteps, oopsies, doh!s and spectacular foul-ups by Team Obama, The Oracle is pretty sure these guys weren’t ready for prime time and needed every day of transitional preparation they could get and then some.

Which prompts this remembrance: Back in December, Keith Olbermann was the loudest among a gaggle of liberal media types calling for Bush to step aside early and allow Obama and friends take over the government early. Seriously.

Matthews, Olbermann: We meant to say ‘Assent’ is the highest form of patriotism. Or is it ‘Consent?’

dissent1

Precisely what constitutes the highest form of patriotism has been the focus of robust debate at 30 Rock since inauguration day. So reports, “The Oracle”–the official interpreter of the thoughts and thrills of Chris Matthews’ Leg.

Sure, for eight years the journalistic industrial complex and the intensely earnest comment throngs at DU, Daily Kos, and HuffPo have operated in breezy metaphysical certitude about patriotism. Dissent was the thing. A hundred thousand Suburu bumper stickers couldn’t be wrong.

That fragrant little orthodoxy meant that throughout the Bush 43 administration guys like Bill Maher and Olbermann could feel like the love child of Thomas Paine and Betsy Ross in suggesting that Dick Cheney eats the heads of live puppies for breakfast. It was awesome.

But then the day of bliss happened. Which led to “the conundrum.”

Chris suggested changing the bumper sticker beatitude to: Helping make this administration a success is the highest form of patriotism. Olbermann felt that was too wordy and countered with: Genuflecting is the highest form of patriotism. Maddow offered: Screaming “You’re freaking awesome Mr. President!” is the highest form of patriotism.

Other h.f.o.p. contenders were:

Giving the president a verbal hot oil foot rub . . . (Andrea Mitchell)

Abandoning all pretense of objectivity . . . (David Shuster)

Among America’s news men and women you’ll find a few holdouts stubbornly clinging to old fashioned notions of objectivity and journalistic integrity.  Throw backs like ABC’s Jake Tapper–who told Charlie Rose the other night:

I would say for a lot of my colleagues, it’s perhaps an unrequited love between them and the president. He’s — you know, he’s a cool customer. You know, I think that there are some of us that, you know, maybe try to report on our feet a little bit more than on our knees and he doesn`t necessarily know what to make of us all the time. You know, he eyes us warily.

That comment gave The Leg an idea for his bumper sticker:

Reporting on your knees is the highest form of patriotism.

Then The Leg went online to order three pairs of kneepads for some friends who will need them.

Olbermann in Post-Bush Crisis. Must Find New Focus for 17 Million Gigawatts of Incandescent Hate or Risk Spontaneous Human Combustion.

The Leg is concerned about colleague Keith Olbermann. From the moment Air Force One disappeared over the western horizon on inauguration day (also known at MSNBC HQ as “Mission Accomplished Day,” “The Dawning of Perfect Joy,” and “The Day of Indescribable Bliss-y Goodness) carrying outgoing President Bush to Midland, Texas, the Countdown host seemed to slip into a bewildered funk.

“He’s like a little lost boy now,” one perky intern observed. “Albeit, a boy that will grope you then scream at you fetch him a Powerbar.”

Since Countdown debuted on March 31, 2003, George W. Bush has done the world a service by serving (along with Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh) as a safety valve-like target for Keith’s bombastic, self-important, spittle-flecked rage.

But now the locus of 70 percent of that irrational, Daily Kos-fueled hate energy has been removed and the laser of loathing must find a new outlet or risk melting down. But whom to unfailingly impute bad faith to? Whose difficult decisions to put the the worst possible construction upon? Whom to label a “liar” every time they are merely mistaken?

In desperation, Olbermann has recently lashed out at targets as innocuous as John Gibson, pro-lifers, the infield fly rule, and beets. But it just wasn’t the same.

And so an anxious world watches and wonders as the East Coast’s answer to the Yellowstone caldera builds up pressure. To turn some old Queen lyrics on their head, The Leg wonders, “Won’t somebody find KO, somebody to hate?”

Random Restless Leg Thoughts

  • So MSNBC has banned Ann Coulter for life. The Leg is sooooo relieved to hear this. It would be such a shame if the network gave air time to anyone being screedy, ideologically shrill, hyper-partisan, or mean.

unhinged-olby

  • It seems Minnesotans have finally equaled the electoral trick of putting Jesse Ventura in the governor’s mansion for four disastrous years. It took a little creative bookkeeping by the state canvassing board and some magically appearing ballots, but Al “The Body” Franken is poised . . . as crazy as this sounds . . . to be seated in the most important deliberative body on planet earth. The Leg says, “You gotta love Minnesota. They always have a critical mass of half-toasted ice fishermen willing to vote for the novelty candidate. And the Twin Cities are like a big, frozen Berkeley, California but with Swedes, Norwegians and lutefisk.”

jesse-the-bodyal-the-body1

  • The Leg wonders if MSNBC can get a ratings bailout. “It sucks that we’re always in last place among the cable news networks,” The Leg whines. “Some FoxNews viewers should be shifted to us. They’ve got millions of them. In the words of a certain President-elect, ‘It’s a question of fairness.'”

Chris Matthews’ Leg Flings Shoe at Olbermann’s Head

The sensitive appendage doesn’t recall what put the idea in it’s mind but it was suddenly siezed with an irrestistable urge to kick off a J&M tassel loafer and send it flying toward the back of Keith Olbermann’s head today as  he walked through the MSNBC commisary.

The cordovan leather missile grazed the Countdown host’s left ear, caught David Schuster square in the forehead and dropped into Rachel Maddow’s bowl of organic quinoa.

Tom Brokaw saw the whole thing and remarked, “In the words of Austin Powers, ‘Who throws a shoe?’

Leaked: Keith Olbermann’s “To Do” List

Found by a cleaning lady at MSNBC studios . . .  a piece of executive-sized stationery with the initials K.O.

To Do

__ Browbeat the interns.

__ Call the Dale Carnegie people. Demand refund.

__ Check Daily Kos threads to find out what the kids want to hear tonight.

__ Repeatedly stab photo of Bill O’Reilly muttering oaths and curses.

__ Taunt CM, RM about my salary increase.

__ Renew “Verbal Advantage” subscription.

__ Send vocabulary out to be waxed.

__ Hit GoDaddy. Register InsufferableTwit.com and PompousGeek.tv

__ Hit Netflix. Put “Reds” at the top of the queue. Again.

Olby Fails to “Get” SNL Skit. The Leg Tries to Explain, Fails.

The dry, shriveled husk of Keith Olbermann’s sense of shame was pretty stoked to learn that Saturday Night Live was planning, in Keith’s words, “a tribute” to the Countdown host, and that the great Ben Affleck was “doing” him. (btw, it never caught on to why The Leg giggled every time Olbermann would boast to someone, “Ben Affleck is going to do me on SNL!”)

However, after Affleck’s dead-on, 8 minute, 42 second spittle-flecked, psychosis-fueled rendition, Olby’s soul-void seemed genuinely perplexed: “What was so funny about that? And why was the audience laughing? They could have just run a clip of my show.”

The Leg wasn’t sure how to break it to Keith that he and Chris are so completely out of control with mindless partisanship that even their friends and allies are starting to be embarrassed by them.

The Oracle of the Leg notes that the humorless, seething comment mobs at The Daily Kos and The Huffington Post weren’t amused either. He suspects they’ve been living in the “progressive” echo chamber for so long that they, like Keith, have lost the capacity for self-awareness. Sort of like the way certain species of shrimp that live in underwater caverns have evolved without eyes, color, or ability to communicate without using bombastic, self-important cliches.

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