Olbermann Cycle of Grief

It’s the end of an era.  Last Friday, Keith Olbermann announced at the end of his show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, that he would be leaving MSNBC two years into a four-year contract worth $30 million.  For those of us who regularly watched (and, dare I say, loved) Olbermann, this news is a blow.  Though small, our close-knit community of faithful watchers will get us through what can only be described as one of the greatest emotional roller coasters of our temporary lives.  To help all of us through this difficult period, I thought that I would journal the emotions that I’m going through in my own life in the wake of this tumultuous news.

Immediately after he broke the news, right at the point in his show when he should have been reading a James Thurber story, as he did every Friday at the end of his show, I broke down crying, because I could not imagine a world without Keith Olbermann.  Without Olbermann to guide us, the only place we can get good information is from authors of old, like Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Vlad Lenin and Leon Trotsky. In a daze, I wandered the streets wondering how America could get through this ordeal.

After I got home from my wanderings, I was angry.  How could those fat cats at MSNBC fire a legend like Keith Olbermann?  He was their highest-rated personality!  Sure, he was hard to get along with, but he produced results.  What were those dimwits thinking??  I thought that executives were supposed to crave profits; and here they were, killing the golden goose! I was also angry at the media coverage of Olbermann’s firing. There’s absolutely no merit to Olberman being a “broadcast blowhard,” “liberal lip,” “pontificating pundit,” “garrulous gasbag,” or “unemployed Uberdork,” as the New York Post put it, or “stentorian screwball, maniacal motormouth, whacked-out windbag, bombastic birdbrain and pretentious pantywaist” as James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal put it.

I was heartened by reports that he might be snagged by another network (after a waiting period), and I started bargaining with all the higher powers.  I put a picture of him the mantle of my fireplace, so that I could see it and pray for him daily.  I started interacting with other Olbermann aficionados in Olbermann’s twitter feed (@KeithOlbermann).

There were several days in the past week when I merely stayed in bed, willing that the hurting in my heart go away, willing that this might all be just a bad dream, and I’d wake up and find that Keith would be on his show that night.  I finally went and talked to a psychologist and got some of the help I needed to get past this horrible period.

I’ve decided that it’s time to get back to work.  It’s time for me to move on.  Keith may come back, and that will be a glorious day, but until that day, I will go on.  I will put one foot in front of the other.  I will force my brain to focus on different assignments.  I will help others to cope with the pain that they’re going through in response to this tragedy.

Am I the only one that’s feeling this way?  Does anyone need a shoulder to cry on?  If so, we can commiserate together. If not, share it anyways; I can always use the laugh.