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58 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No "moral or intellectual confusion" here..., September 20, 2006
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This review is from: The Worst Person in the World: And 202 Strong Contenders (Hardcover)
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.
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