He began his new show with a little Jack Paar reference and finished with his Edward R. Murrow sign off, but in between, it was — for better and for worse — the old Keith Olbermann. (And most likely, the Keith Olbermann ESPN intended to hire.) Olbermann wrapped himself in the banner of the Worldwide Leader, reminiscing through archived video clips of his younger days and poking fun of his first go-around at ESPN2 by donning the same infamous jacket he wore back in 1993 and updating his nose-cutting “welcome to the end of my career” remark for embattled Jets coach Rex Ryan.
“As I was saying…” Olbermann began during the opening moments of his eponymous 11 p.m. show, a quick homage to Paar’s return to the Tonight Show in 1960 after his battles with NBC’s brass. In a somewhat odd choice, Olbermann then dug deep into the controversy that is dominating the sports world… Ryan’s decision to play quarterback Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter of an exhibition game, in which he subsequently was injured. No? That’s not the top story by you? It’s actually not the top story here in New York either. But for Olbermann, it was part of a bigger, more important story: the latest sign that journalism is dying, if not already dead. He targeted Daily News reporter Manish Mehta for basically inventing the news — rather than doing any real reporting — that Ryan’s job is now in jeopardy as a result of Sanchez’s injury. It was the perfect opportunity for Olbermann to be the crusader that he loves to be, and to his credit, he also flicked ESPN’s Michael Wilbon (but oddly enough, not tonight’s guest Tony Kornheiser) for parroting the Rex-must-go line on Pardon the Interruption. But when Olbermann finally got around to saying, “Good evening from Times Square. There was a point to all that,” he’d been beating that drum — loudly — for 14 minutes! READ FULL STORY