Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Olbermann's gear shift

If you watch ESPN you probably know that Keith Olbermann was suspended for the rest of this week for tweets regarding Penn State University students.

The details don't interest me. What does interest me is why Olbermann keeps getting himself into this kind of hot water.

When most of us get mad enough to lash out indiscriminately, we literally can't think straight. If we can think straight enough to put together a cogent argument about why we're mad, we're not mad enough to lash out indiscriminately. Olbermann isn't like most of us, though. He can put together a cogent reason for being mad, but still demonstrate the lack of self-control associated with, say, road rage.

I get why he gets pissed off about things. Stupidity and hypocrisy are his buttons, and you can imagine that those buttons get pushed every single day. ("Should they?" is a good queestion: going around in a state of perpetual outrage isn't healthy, or fun.) But it seems like he has no "off" switch. Or perhaps a better analogy would be, once you get him into gear, neither he nor anybody else can put the brakes on, or even get him into neutral.

He'd have a better employment record, and would be a more effective advocate for the things he believes in, if he knew how to switch out of fifth gear.

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