Keith Olbermann's abrupt and unexpected departure from MSNBC and his Countdown show surprised many, and it has brought out a great deal of response with some stunned and regretful, but most gleefully rejoicing his leaving.
Regardless of Olbermann's apparently huge ego, for those of us who share his ideology, he always managed to impart both intelligence and, as Benedict Declercq noted, in his comment on Barbara Barnett's article on Olbermann, here at BC, he (Olbermann) maintains "erudition, eloquence, [and a] warm humanitarian approach."
I know many find all partisan punditry offensive. It is, nevertheless, a permanent part of the landscape. Opinion has long been a part of the print media and right wing jocks have been chewing the conservative woodwork on radio for several years. Political opinion and commentary are relatively new to television. FOX News is riding high with the Republican gains last November, and the rise of the Tea Party phenomenom, with which they were intimately involved. So much of what they "report" is, shall we say, often found wanting in truth, or at best is wildly distorted, there simply MUST be a counter balance.
The partisan programs airing on both radio and TV are pretty much preaching to the choir, but if one side is allowed to proceed unfettered, unchecked, minorities in particular would suffer diminished access and diminished credibility in the economic and political sphere.
What the right claims as Olbermann's excesses are soft shoe compared to the outrageous and inflammatory nature of accusations and character assassinations coming from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck in particular. Limbaugh is a blustering gas bag, offense oozing from every pore and is effectively, the de facto leader of the Republican party. They won't crepitate without getting the nod from Rush.
More dangerous is Beck, who some accurately dismiss as looney tunes, but like it or not, he has a huge following of adoring fans who hang on his every word. He has taken demagoguery to new heights.