on September 13, 2006
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.
on September 14, 2006
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.
on September 14, 2006
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.
on September 15, 2006
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!!
on September 20, 2006
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. On his show, O'Reilly was defending the conduct of American soldiers accused of atrocities at Haditha in Iraq, and did so by mentioning atrocities committed by American soldiers in Malmedy in 1944. Problem is American soldiers didn't commit atrocities in Malmedy; German Nazi soldiers did. American soldiers were taken prisoner and 84 of them were gunned down in a field by the Germans. When Olbermann mentioned O'Reilly's mix up on "Countdown", I decided to do my own research on this. I couldn't believe O'Reilly could be THIS wrong! A quick Yahoo search of Malmedy and Michael Reynolds, the author cited by Olbermann, quickly turned up the primary article that Olbermann used from "World War II" magazine in October 2003. Several other history-related websites corroborated the same information and Olbermann's summary of the article is spot-on. If you can still rationalize O'Reilly and what he says after reading what Olbermann relates in this epilogue, you better start brushing up on what the meaning of the word "is" is. I think you will need it soon.
Hopefully, MSNBC and other networks will have the graciousness to continue giving broadcasters like Olbermann a place on the dial. There is an audience for Olbermann; they just haven't all found him yet! Hopefully, this book might change that. Buy this book and see if you won't want to join us after you've read it.
on September 13, 2006
His daily show is must-see tv; the Worst Person in the World
segment is funny and informative. His passion and principles
make him engaging; his reaming of Rumsfield reminds one of E.R,
Murrow--his viewers worry about his well-being because the
authoritarians have no scruples. His recent 'Hole in the Ground'
essay brought me to my feet cheering. We who vote with our
money buy at least six copies of this book for grandsons,
brothers and others who followed his sports career. Copies for
female friends will remind them brains and wit can co-exist
with eyes that twinkle and shoulders that go on and on...;>
His tagging Coultergeist and skewering O'Reilly are peerless
and spot on! Paired with John Dean's tome "Conservatives Without
Conscience" is a good idea. I bought a few of those pairs for gifts.
May this book sell out fast because Keith earns respect
every day, the old-fashioned way, by being very good at what he does.
Which customer purchased the most copies?, October 3, 2006
Reviewer: Jeanne Khan (La Mirada, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Voting with one's money is one way to show appreciation.
Methinks I've won this contest because having read his book
and applauded his daily daring, despite not being a sports fan,
I am pleased to distribute copies to friends and relatives
who will enjoy his wry take on various dimwits and puffed-up
persons posing as pundits. He and his staff do an outstanding
job on Countdown. The Worst bits remind one of the Darwin
Awards, in some respects--funny and horrifying at once.
May Keith capture his essays, as [...]
have done, and give us another book in the future. Keith will
notice the Foley distraction arrived in time to change the subject
from iraq and Woodard's latest tome which rankles the White House.
Keith's series of coincidences, ha! and distractions is still the
best around. I like how he handled the Foley follies and trounced
Drudge and his ilk who are attempting to blame others for hypocrites
pretending to be Christians while changing the GOP to God's Only
Party. May all these drudges and hypocrites wind up in a Keith book...;>
on September 22, 2006
Not only is this book funny, ITS TRUE! Keith tells it like it is, he calls Bill O'Reilly "Foxs, Ted Baxter" LOL, As you read this book you can hear Keiths voice giving us the dirt on these WORST PEOPLE! Ann Coulter called Muslims "ragheads", Barbara Bush making a donation to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund earmarked for the purchase of software sold by her other dumb son, Neil! LOL , this book is gold, you cant make this stuff up! Olbermans book is a good read, enjoy!
on September 14, 2006
OK, I'm a shameless fan of Keith Olbermann (AKA He Who Must Not Be Named to Bill O'Reilly). I have loved his blend of sarcasm, humor, satire, and deadly serious news reporting since the launch of Countdown on MSNBC. As he points out in the book, O'Reilly might have the better ratings, but their goal from the outset has been to have the better audience, not the bigger one. He also slams O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and a fist-full of others on many different topics. Essentially, if you have an enormous opinion of yourself and absolutely no sense of humor, you've got a big, fat K.O. bull's eye on your forehead.
I especially compliment Olbermann for his treatment of how O'Reilly got his facts completely and utterly wrong about the Battle of the Bulge (I won't spoil it). Effectively, Billo tried to justify atrocities committed by American troops in Iraq and, in doing so, slandered all honest servicemen/women who have ever served (including my own father, who could tell Billo a few things about what a REAL battle looks like). Like Olbermann, the one trait I cannot stomach is hypocrisy, and he gives voice to that sentiment better than I ever could. Keep it up, KO.
on September 25, 2006
This is a collection of my favorite spot on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, "The Worst Person in the World." from the past 2 years or so.
As Olbermnn points out, many of the people here are far from being really the worst with the possible exception of Billo who may very be that elusive WPINTW for all time.
The nominees however all have worked hard to at least win their space for that day and enjoy their 15 minutes of fame as the Worse Person in the World if not for always but at least for now.
Unfortunately no book can really do justice to Olbermanns presentation. His wit and timing make the real segment seen on video much funnier than this written version. It will however still crack a smile, a giggle or a belly laugh.
I was reading this in the doctors office and for some reason the segments with a few Billo and Rush awards it had me in stitches. Several other patients waiting asked me what I was reading. It is too bad that my cable service does NOT carry MSNBC, but I'm about ready to buy a dish just so I can see Countdown every night. Until then there is always You Tube and the podcast.
This book is funny but nowhere near as enjoyable and entertaining as hearing Keith give the awards himself.
Obermann in my opinion is 100 times better to watch than John Stewart. Stewart too often just subsitutes funny faces for wit and wisdom. Just watch Keith one time say "Oh Bill made a funny."
Now where is that falafel?
on September 25, 2006
It must be said of Keith Olbermann's new book that there is a dearth of new material here; most of its 267 pages consist of verbatim transcripts of his on-air Worst Person in the World Countdown segment from July 1, 2005 to June 1, 2006. Still, if you're like me, WPITW is my favorite part of the program, and it's a genuine treat to have (nearly) a year's worth of them gathered into one convenient tome. In many ways, Olbermann's book serves as a time capsule for the year that was; reading through each day's list of nominees is a journey that visits all of the year's major news stories and some that were not so major (such as the story of the New Hampshire woman who sued her doctor because he informed her that she was obese.)
In addition to the daily list of nominees presented on Countdown, the book also includes several extended "Honorary Nominees" (generally about two or three per month) that explore in more detail issues of the day, ranging from sports, politics, stupid criminals, and everything in between. While Olbermann has become known of late for his social and political commentary, it must be said that the majority of the anecdotes in this book are apolitical in nature, focusing instead on human stupidity in the more general sense. That having been said, this book is not likely to gather a huge following among political conservatives.
I genuinely enjoyed this book and would imagine that anybody who enjoys Keith's signature wit and erudition will as well. Hopefully, he'll follow it up with future volumes; after all, there are plenty of other post-June Worst Persons in the World that deserve to be permanently immortalized!