Defending Keith Olbermann

His rants against the Bush administration have made Keith Olbermann a rock star among the denizens of the Left Blogosphere and and object of scorn and ridicule on the Right. It’s rather amusing, then, to see a pro-Olbermann blogstorm among the latter.

The catalyst? A bizarre Page 6 column in the NY Post by Paula Froelich making fun of Olbermann for a panicked reaction to receiving mail filled with white powder, later determined to be laundry detergent.

NY Post Page 6 Keith Olberman Photo

Everyone from Ed Morrissey to Hugh Hewitt to Greg Tinti (VIDEO of Olbermann explaining the story) to Ed Driscoll to Rick Moran to Patrick Frey to Joe Gandleman to Sean Hackbarth to BCB to reader_iam are defending Olbermann and questioning Froelich’s sense of decency.

Good. There are more important things than partisan politics.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    There are more important things than partisan politics.

    SHHHHH! You fool! You’ll ruin everything!

    Seriously though, how anyone at a NY newspaper could possibly make a derisive joke out of an incident like this is astounding. I don’t foresee much more of a career for Froelich.

  2. Bandit says:

    What’s a ridicult?

  3. Ugh says:

    What’s a ridicult?

    It’s what you have to join before you can participate in a Friar’s Club Roast.

  4. I agree. I find Olbermann as persuasive as persuasive as tuna salad left in the fridge for a couple of months, but this is a cheap shot. While his political reasoning could be improved with the clear sightedness of a two year old with a temper tantrum, calling 911 after getting a suspicious white powder with a note saying it was payback is not a sign of panic but much clearer thought than Olbermann normally displays. The fact that Olbermann might support a national health insurance for your or me that may have denied the check-up (the preliminary tests were negative) doesn’t mean he was wrong or needed a lollipop to comfort him.

    I think the classiest thing Olbermann has done in a long time is to “No comment” this story. There are plenty of things to mock and ridicule Olbermann about (starting with his opinions), but this is not right.

  5. Steven Plunk says:

    In the battle of ideas this is nonsense. I don’t like what he says or like him as a person but you can’t do this sort of thing.

    Not only is terrorizing him indecent but ridiculing him for what is a reasonable reaction is indecent.

    Froelich owes an apology at the least.

  6. Mark says:

    I stopped reading Page 6 after they wrote a blurb suggesting Sandy Koufax was gay. It made Koufax so mad that he severed ties with the Dodgers – which Murdoch owned at the time.

  7. bains says:

    Revealing contrast that without exception, the right comes out and says “although I cant stand the guy, what page six did was wrong period” whereas Sen Harkin and others used the following construct “what was said about Bush was wrong but somehow he deserved it.”

  8. bains,

    Perhaps it is the difference between being able to abstract the animosity, “root causes” and other emotional responses from the individual responsibility associated with the actions. In short, being able to look at the echelon program and the NSA ‘wire taps’ of international calls, note the similarities and differences, then come to a consistent position despite how I feel about the president authorizing them.

  9. Anderson says:

    I stopped reading Page 6 after they wrote a blurb suggesting Sandy Koufax was gay.

    What about Piazza, New York catcher?

  10. Eneils Bailey says:

    This is really disgusting.
    Would someone really waste their time, good laundry soap, and a thirty seven cent stamp on this guy?

  11. BrianOfAtlanta says:

    Wasn’t the New York Post itself a victim of one of the anthrax attacks in 2001?

  12. Triumph says:

    Obermann’s criticisms of Bush boost the morale of and give support to terrorists.

    Luckily Congress is on the cusp of giving Bush the authority to arrest and torture guys like this.

  13. Bithead says:

    Paula Froelic aside, though, and in all seriousness… Olberman’s reaction speaks volumes, and is direcly in line with my inital read of the guy. Say what you will about the validity of the tactic. I’m likely to agree with you. But Olberman’s frantic reaction to this, can hardly be ignored.

  14. Tano says:


    What on earth are you trying to say? What does Olbermann’s reaction say to you? How would it differ from any other normal person’s reaction to possibly being infected with a deadly pathogen? And why do you assume that you know how Olbermann reacted anyway, given that your only insight on this is from a thoroughly disreputable source?

  15. Bithead says:

    It tells me that while he has been publicly chastising everyone for being afraid of terrorism, and reacting badly to the terrorists, when the time comes for him to confront the bag full of powder that shows up in the mail, he turns into whimpering baby, just like those he criticized. In short, he hasn’t the courage of his convictions. If there is a message in that entire story, it is that. The guy is precisely what I read into being in the first place; a blowhard that would melt at the first test.

    And by the way, “disreputable source”, while discussing Olbermann is laughable at best. Olbermann himself, I consider to be disreputable in the extreme.