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Keith Olbermann is Having a Tough Year

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann is having a tough year.

by Seth Eisenberg

Keith Olbermann, fired from MSNBC yesterday a week before his 52nd birthday and eight years after launching his evening Countdown show, has had a tough year.

After losing his mother at the end of 2009, his father died last March.

Olbermann and long-time live in girlfriend, WPIX reporter Katy Tur, reportedly called it quits on their romance as the former sports reporter was beginning a period of difficult personal and professional challenges culminating with this week’s separation from MSNBC.

While Olbermann is most often talked about in reference to his liberal positions, evening commentaries, and ongoing feud with FOX News pundit Bill O’Reilly, what stands out most for me are words he shared last March hours after his father died.

Ted and Keith Olbermann

"Always my hero ..."

“My Dad was my biggest booster,” Olbermann said. “Of course it was he and my Mom who took me to my first Yankees games (even though my father nursed a delightful grudge against the team for trading away his favorite players, Steve Souchock and Snuffy Stirnweiss – in 1948 and 1950). But as my interest in the sport began to take the shape of a dreamt-of career, it was my Dad who also sacrificed family vacations so we could buy ever more tickets to Yankee games. When we could afford both games and vacations, four times those vacations were to Spring Training.”

“He was my inspiration, and will always remain so,” Olbermann said. “His bravery these last six months cannot be measured. He is as much my hero now, as he was when I was five years old.”

In a world in which people with different views and perspectives are often labeled as “opponents” and with similar words, it can be easy to lose sight of the common humanity we share with those whose positions and passions are played out nightly to millions of living rooms and many others whose lives intersect our own.

Olbermann’s tribute to his dad, the public struggles of a life empowered by his parents’ faith, love and sacrifice, and the situation he now finds himself in of having to redefine and rebuild his career without a chance to return home to the comfort and wisdom of the hero he cherished, is a reminder of how much we share in common.

Seth Eisenberg is President of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation in Weston, Florida, an industry leader in relationship and marriage education.

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Categorised in: Fatherhood, News, Sports

2 Responses

  1. I like watching Keith’s show it is very informative and is very straight forward unlike Fox News which many of you foolishly watch even though you know you are being lied to makes me think of the war in Iraq a war started basically on lies and was proven so yet we continue to fight there JUST DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.

    I respect Keith’s journalism so much that I got hooked onto his show i was flipping through the channels a year and a half ago seeing what all the major news networks are talking about off course Fox news just made me switch the channel right away then same thing happened with CNN but not as swift as fox I then turned to MSNBC watched the whole episode of “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” and was immediately hooked not only can I see the true sense of journalism from this guy I can also see what he was bringing to the show was the Truth something foxnews is the opposite of.

    I am very disappointed with Keith’s decision cause hes one of the last few real journalists around that will tell it like it is much less so with Jon Stewart who although chooses the satirical route with his show yet he tell you the news without covering up the truth like foxnews yes foxnews. One thing that comes to mind that may be the reason for his sudden unfortunate departure might be the Gabrielle Gifford’s shooting and the not surprising post response from our very patriotic politicians. I couldn’t be more disgusted when Sarah Palin and the likes thereof acted like they had no accountability for what happened even though she proudly used terms like RELOAD! I can see why Keith might not want to be any part of such a corrupt and atrocious system of government where blame is passed onto each other instead of claiming accountability like Keith did and surprisingly John McCain. Although they are not directly responsible for the Arizona shooting they stood up and said something out of their hearts instead of their behinds like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, & Rush Limbaugh have been doing.

    I wish Keith all the best kind of like how i did the same with Dan Rather who was also a journalist I had huge respects for its a shame how we just keep sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss where the truth is very hard to come by its all up to Jon Stewart Now.

  2. I don’t have a TV and have not seen Olbermann since he used to be a sports reporter in some town where I used to live. Have heard about him and other extreme commentators on both ends.

    So, it’s a week before his birthday, and at 52 he’s an orphan. How many gazillion dollars do you think he has stashed away somewhere? Lots more than the average American (or, I guess, Earthling) who is facing a ragged economy and uncertain society. Some of the speculation says he just got too greedy. That’s as reliable as any of the other speculation out there.

    Bottom line: nothing special about this guy or his situation (if you pay no attention to the gazillions of dollars). Perhaps he can use this time to do some serious therapy.

    But honestly, do you think it’ll be 15 minutes before he’s spewing his bile in some new venue? I’ll save my sympathy and concern for regular people who really are suffering and sweating to make ends meet.

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