Keith Olbermann has always been mad as hell, and a parade of ex-colleagues tell the New Yorker they just couldn't take it anymore. The O'Reilly-pummeling, Murrow-channeling ex-sportscaster host of MSNBC's Countdown has consistently alienated both co-workers and higher-ups with the same brusque combativeness he applies nightly to the Bush administration.
Peter J. Boyer considers the pressure Olbermann's trademark blend of news and invective is putting on the news—especially mainstream anchors like third-place Katie Couric, for whom CBS passed over Olbermann. Tim Russert told Boyer that Olbermann had dealt in "opinion, or even advocacy," and Olbermann himself complains that an anchor like Brian Williams "measures each word like an apothecary—and they beat him up, too. The point is, why not? Why not add something to the discourse?”