Monday, January 31, 2005

There Will Be No Spelling Tests in Heaven
Keith Olbermann first got noticed as co-host of the Sunday night Sportscenter on ESPN in the mid 90s. After battling with his bosses, he left ESPN for MSNBC in 1998, almost at the precise moment the Lewinsky hit the fan, battled with his bosses there, and quit in disgust about a year later. He landed at Fox Sports for a while, where he did the most erudite sports highlight show in the history of TV (utterly wasted on Fox) but swiftly quit after--you guessed it--battling with his bosses. He was a columnist at Salon for a while in 2002, but now hosts Countdown on MSNBC. He's getting a reputation as the prime-time news host with a brain--for example, he was the only one to cover accusations of vote fraud in Ohio with anything other than tongue-clucking and head-shaking--and as a result, Countdown is enjoying a growing fan base amongst intelligent viewers of liberal bent.

Once, on ESPN, after reporting that an injured athlete's status was "day to day," meaning that on any given day, the athlete might be able to play or might not, Olbermann remarked, "But aren't we all all day to day?"--a remark both funny and smart, and miles ahead of the usual blather that passes for wit on ESPN. (Olbermann claims to be responsible for introducing catch-phrases into sports broadcasting, a transgression for which he believes he could be sent to Hell.) His wit is on display at his blog, Bloggermann. Lately he's been tracking his battle with James Dobson and the forces of good as they attempt to slay Spongebob Squarepants and all who would stand with him. In a post last week, Olbermann reported on an e-mail campaign against him orchestrated by Dobson.
Firstly, you wouldn’t think a member of this group could misspell "Christian," but sure enough, one of the missives had the word as "Christain" three times. I think just about every word you could imagine was butchered at some point (and we’re not talking typos here - we're talking about repeated identical misspellings):

Spong, Spounge, Spnge - presumably meaning "Sponge."

Dobsin, Dobsen, Debsin, Dubsen, Dobbins - presumably Dr. Dobson.

Sevility— I'm not sure about this one. This might be "civility," or it might refer to the city in Spain.

The best of them was not a misspelling but a Freudian slip of biblical proportions. A correspondent, unhappy that I did not simply agree with her fire-and-brimstone forecast for me, wrote "I showed respect even though I disagreed with you and yet you have the audacity to call me intelligent."

Well, you have me there, Ma'am. My mistake.
We're adding Olbermann to the blogroll.

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