Keith Olbermann Needs A New Sign Off

I have MSNBC on in the background, for the first time since Obama’s inauguration, while killing time until Battlestar Galactica starts. I just started getting CNN in HD, tipping the balance in their favor. Besides, MSNBC is almost as much opinion as Fox, except that at least Olbermann and Maddow don’t claim that their shows are “fair and balanced” journalism. Plus Olbermann and Maddow are far more reality based and, while I wouldn’t use either as a primary news source, they do speak about what is happening in the real world far more than on Fox.

Before he left office, Keith Olbermann ended every show with a running count of the number of days since George Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq. I thought he might end that practice when Bush left office. First thing Wednesday I removed the anti-W sticker from my car (which took quite a while after being on there since 2003).  I would have done it on Tuesday if I ever moved away from the televised coverage of inauguration day.

I’ll still post an ocassional Bush-bashing item if I find it worthwhile, but the time is over to make opposition to Bush the centerpiece of anyone’s political identity. Unfortunately Olbermann has not changed. He ended his show with a count of how many days since the former president declared mssion accomplished in Iraq.

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  1. 1
    David says:

    Iraq is and has been a HUGE investment for America in lives lost and dollars spent.

    The mission has not been accomplished.

    It’s good to be reminded, IMHO.

  2. 2
    DB says:

    It does seem odd he would continue that ending. The point was well taken before, but not it ceases to be a point now. I understand the importance of “remembering” Iraq, but I don’t think this message was intended for that, rather to remind us of the lies of the Bush administration.

  3. 3
    Alex says:

    Opposition always offers a certain clarity, whereas governance is murky. The real dilemma for people who opposed Bush (i.e. most of the world) starts now. Do you pass that opposition over to Obama, at least until he delivers on the things that made you oppose Bush in the first place? Or do you translate your opposition to Bush into a support for the incoming president?

  4. 4
    JasoninVT says:

    It’s not about Bush, it’s about his POLICIES. Should we have stopped talking about the Vietnam war when Nixon got elected (after all it was “President  Johnson’s war”). Actually with a new administration this is the time to ratchet up the pressure. We still have ~150,000 troops in harm’s way in Iraq and the quicker we get them home the better. I applaud Keith for keeping this issue on the front burner on his show every night.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:


    At this point I would support Obama for reversing many of Bush’s actions. He cannot undo everything immediately, but is off to a good start.

    The more difficult question will be when Obama begins to make decisions which opponents of Bush might not necessarily agree with. Opposition to Bush’s outrageous policies does not mean that everyone will agree with a certain set of policy positions and agree with everything Obama does.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:


    Olbermann’s sign off is more about Bush than the war. Rather than concentrating on reasons to oppose the war, this sign off primarily mocks Bush for his claim of “mission accomplished” when the mission was far from accomplished.

    The analogy to Vietnam doesn’t hold up here for two reasons. First, while we should not have stopped opposing the war when Nixon came into office, we concentrated on the war, not LBJ. People did not continue to ask, “Hey There LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?” Olbermann is essentially doing this by concentrating on the mission accomplished gaffe.

    Secondly, Nixon continued the war for several years and gave no signs (beyond vague promises of a secret plan to end the war) that he planned to get out. On his first full day in office Obama met with the top national security officials and gave the order that their mission has changed to withdrawing from Iraq.

  7. 7
    LarryE says:

    When KO first did the sign-off after the inauguration, he said “What, did you think that was going away?”

    Apparently and contrary to what several here have claimed, for him it is about the war, not (just) about Bush.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    No Larry, as several have pointed out here, his sign off is  primarily about Bush. If he wants to be about the war he should say something about the war, not one aspect of the war involving Bush.

  9. 9
    battlebob says:

    On inauguration night, KO said the signoff would be the same as long as our troops are in Iraq.  Since they will be there for a long time in some capactity or other, he will be doing this signoff awhile.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:


    I figured before the inauguration that either he’d drop the sign off when Bush left office or would continue it for a long time.

    This does make it pretty nebulous as to when to stop. Unless things totally deteriorate and Obama responds by totally getting out we probably will be there “in some capacity or other” for a long time. There probably won’t be a single moment when the war is over (and the mission is accomplished).

    It is also possible that over the next couple of years, as attention turns more to the present as opposed to the Bush years, that he might at some time decide it is time to drop it.

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