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The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders Hardcover – September 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4700449500
  • ISBN-13: 978-4700449505
  • ASIN: 0470044950
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The stinkers, the rascals, the reprobates. . . and the just plain dumb.

(Yes, Bill, he's talking about you.)

Geraldo Rivera. The Coca-Cola Company. Victoria Gotti. Tom Cruise. Various members of the Bush administration. All have earned the dishonor of "Worst Person in the World," awarded by MSNBC's witty and controversial reporter Keith Olbermann on his nightly MSNBC show Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Now, he brings all his bronze, silver, and gold medalists together in this wildly entertaining collection that reveals just how twisted people can be—and how much fun it is to call them out on it.

From tongue-in-cheek observations to truly horrific accounts, Olbermann skewers both the mighty and the meek, the well-known and the anonymous for their misdeeds, including:

Ann Coulter, for, among other things, calling Muslims "ragheads" in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington

Barbara Bush, for making a generous donation to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund earmarked exclusively for the purchase of computer software . . . software sold by her son, Neil

The staff of Your World with Neil Cavuto, for the story about the murders of Iraqi civilians that was accompanied by the on-screen graphic: "All-out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?"

Olbermann also reports on some of the recent fallout from his awards, such as the controversy with John Gibson and the mysterious disappearance of remarks about Cindy Sheehan on Rush Limbaugh's Web site. Plus, he reveals the winner of the most coveted award of all: "Worst in Show."




From Publishers Weekly

For his first book as a newsman, the smart, sarcastic host of MSNBC's nightly newsmagazine program Countdown with Keith Olbermann has compiled nearly one years' worth of his wickedly righteous Worst Person in the World feature. Of course, when he says "worst," Olbermann isn't talking about Hitler; these specimens-including Tom Cruise, OJ Simpson and Ann Coulter-are "the mortal enemies of honesty and dignity, of selflessness and class." Though the peppery host often pillories the merely stupid or ridiculous behavior of regular Americans and celebrities, the recurring theme is corporate, political and media malfeasance of every stripe. FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, school boards around the country, Rush Limbaugh and George Bush all make multiple appearances. But the real star of the book-not counting Olbermann himself-is his ratings rival Bill O'Reilly (their shows air at the same time), who gets taken to task again and again. Depending on your politics, you're either going to love or hate the fierce, progressive Olbermann, and his printed rants aren't nearly as cathartic as they are when delivered in his confident, mocking boom, but this collection makes a fine book for flipping.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

KEITH OLBERMANN has won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for Writing, the first for his coverage of 9/11, the second for its anniversary commemorations a year later, and the third in 2010 for his tribute to his mother, "A Baseball Fan Named Marie." Now the host of MSNBC's Coundown, he was previously the coanchor of ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997 and helped launch ESPN2 and the ESPN Radio Network. He has hosted prime-time news programs, moderated a Democratic presidential debate, anchored two World Series and one Super Bowl, and won a Cable Ace and 11 Golden Mikes, while his shows have won four Sports Emmys. He has written for dozens of publications, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Other Contenders, Truth and Consequences, and other books.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Mcginnis on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Keith Olbermann is the single most entertaining and intelligent public commentator on the airwaves today, bringing to his nightly newscast "Countdown" a sensibility which is equal parts Tom Brokaw and Tom Lehrer.

This print edition of one of his most popular segments collects a year's worth of the world's worst - from the utterly despicable (Ann Coulter) to the hilariously misguided (an inept criminal asking police if there were any warrants out for his arrest - there were).

The segments do lose a little something in the transition from screen to print...namely, Keith's hilarious delivery, which often is as entertaining as the ludicrous events he is lampooning. But the book does a fine job of capturing much of his personality, making it a thoroughly entertaining read.

In addition to the traditional "Worst Person" lists, the book contains several other great additions, including a prologue explaining the origin of the segment, a glossary of "Countdown" terms related to Bill O'Reilly (guess who nicknamed him "Billo"?), several extended essays on "Worst" related topics, and a closing commentary about the true worst of the worst (no prizes for guessing who THAT is).

Simply put, this book is a must-have for anyone who is a fan of "Countdown" or Olbermann. Or is not a fan of Billo.
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54 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte M. on September 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Keith Olbermann is one of the few TV news people today who covers some of the REAL NEWS. He gives the Bush adminstration grief for their horrible actions and he reveals the hypocracy of vile creatures like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Billie "Falafal Boy" O'Reilly. This book is a fine example of his on-the-mark reporting and terrific sense of humor. If you enjoy his show, you will get a big kick out of this book. And, if you have never experienced the intelligent, and often wacky humor of Mr. Olbermann, then you are in for a treat.
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59 of 78 people found the following review helpful By M. Czerniewski on September 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the past year, Keith Olbermann - already considered a "god" among sports fans - has become a hero to the progressives of this country. His willingness, especially in recent weeks, to call out the Bush Administration and his constant naming of conservatives to his Worst Persons list - like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter-"geist", and "Falafel Boy" Bill O'Reilly - as well as his willingness to do actual news have made Olbermann the most underrated journalist in our time.

This book, while it is mostly a compilation of his Worst Persons segments in the last year, calls people out in a humorous manner, which is not typical of the news. He does, however, let other aspects of his personality - such as the whole Yankee apologist thing - slip (nominating Bubba Crosby for the Yankees' losing a playoff series with the Angels, or his honorary naming of the Boston Red Sox - although that was for the whole Mientkiewicz ball incident).

I strongly suggest this book, in concert with the works of another O'Reilly favorite, Al Franken.
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281 of 380 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hunt on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having watched Keith Olbermann for just a few weeks over the summer, I found myself tuning into his MSNBC program more and more frequently. His new book, "The Worst Person in the World" confirms my thoughts that Olbermann is a rising star. It will be fun to see him continue his upward trajectory.

"The Worst Person in the World" is but a final segment of his program as reflected in this book. However, it's a wonderfully humorous snapshot of a combination of strange events around the world and the babbling of talking heads (mostly conservative) whose commentary is left for an Olbermann dissection. Witty and penetrating, Olbermann seems up for every challenge. It's a delight to read his list of bad, worse and worst people.

This book is good for many reasons, but two stand out. The format, itself, and Olbermann's end comments. The countdown idea is savvy and concise but it is the author's simple interjections that produce the most laughter. He can make his case from serious to mocking at the same time and the fine line that is produced between is juice for the reader.

"The Worst Person in the World" may just be the BEST book of skewer around this fall. (How many copies do you think Bill O'Reilly has ordered?) Go, Keith, go!!
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58 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Haag on September 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I read through "Worst Person In The World", I was reminded that Olbermann could have indeed taken the Bill O'Reilly-route and written a book on politics, values, or the ever popular and overexposed "culture wars". Olbermann's perceptive on-air commentaries in recent weeks on Rumsfeld and 9/11 indeed prove he would be quite adept at this. However, as one reviewer here previously noted (and rightly so) there are enough of these types of books. The world doesn't need another. Instead, Olbermann smartly chose to treat us to a little humor in noting some absolutely twisted and foolish individuals. The result is a book that comes across as apolitical more often than political.

If you are a viewer of "Countdown", much of this material will be familiar as it is largely transcripts of what was presented on the broadcasts. However, Olbermann's concise and witty use of the language, even repeated in a printed format, is still informative and necessary. Aspects of the book where Olbermann highlights nominees for astounding failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina speak largely to this point. Over a year on, many of these failures have not been refuted and some of them will truly make your head spin. At times, his observations are also wildly entertaining. Be on the lookout for my personal favorite: the government agency that posted signs for a suicide hotline with the wrong phone number. Oops!

Then there's Malmedy. Included in the epilogue of this book is a commentary by Olbermann where he takes issue with Bill O'Reilly's characterization of the Malmedy massacre of World War II. For those of you who don't know this story, it goes something like this.
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