Last night, in response to Jon Stewart’s highlighting of his sometimes extreme rhetoric, Keith Olbermann suspended his “Worst Persons” segment. I say hooray to Keith for this. Stung by Stewart’s criticism, Olbermann initially tweeted that Stewart had “jumped the shark” by equating him, Olbermann, with the likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, but more mature consideration must have made Olbermann decide that there was some truth in Stewart’s critique.
I have to agree with Keith that he and his colleagues at MSNBC are nothing like the commentators at Fox. Which MSNBC does have a liberal/progressive bent, it is also a usually reliable news source. It is not merely a progressive political mouth piece. Olbermann et al often criticize President Obama, and when they make an error in their reporting (which can happen to any news organization) they correct the information as soon as possible.
That being said, MSNB commentators can help “restore sanity” by refusing to lace their analysis with name calling and ad hominem attacks. Suspending the “Worst Persons” segment can be part of this change, but Keith should not expect any similar change in the commentators at Fox News. The best (Olbermann and MSNBC) should not let their behavior be dictated by the worst.