On Tuesday night’s episode of Olbermann, host Keith Olbermann took a swipe at WFAN talk show hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason for taking shots at both him and fellow ESPN personality, Chris Berman. Basically, Olbermann took umbrage of the fact that Carton and Esiason had gone on their radio show and stated that neither Berman or Olbermann should discuss the Miami Dolphins bullying story because they were both, in fact, bullies.
I think the main issue Olbermann really has here, other than the fact that Carton and Boomer’s show is AWFUL, is that he knows that those two hosts really don’t have an idea of what bullying really is. If you read between the lines of Olbermann’s takedown of these two, you can sense that he wants to tell Boomer and Carton that being difficult to work with or boorish to others is not nearly the same as bullying. Yes, Olbermann has a reputation of doing his own thing and being difficult for his superiors to handle, but not for intimidating subordinates or purposely making a peer’s life difficult, which is what a bully does.
Now, the last thing I want to do is look like I’m supportive of ESPN or Chris Berman. Personally, I can’t stand Berman. His very presence on the air during football season makes me angry. His act is stale and he needed to be sent to pasture a long time ago. It does seem that Olbermann was insinuating that there are very real criticisms one can have of Berman. However, to just flatly state that he is a bully and should keep his opinions to himself on the subject is what offended Olbermann. It’s as if he was saying, ‘Feel free to call Chris an annoying, unfunny, stale television presence. I have no problem with that. Just stay in the realm of truth.’
Say what you will about Keith Olbermann, but getting him back in the studio was a coup for ESPN. He provides a breath of fresh air to their programming, which had grown beyond stale with the over reliance on the debate format and the hyper focus on the same narratives and athletes. He provides a smart and entertaining alternative to Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd and Mike and Mike. He’s always well-prepared for his interviews, provides levity with highlights and segments like the ‘Worst Person in the World’, and always provides substantive research with his opening segment. Be thankful that we now have Olbermann to watch.