Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009

Bill O'Reilly vs. Keith Olbermann

The feud: It's truly an epic battle of TV titans if it manages to include, at various points, eight-minute televised eviscerations, petitions to get the other taken off the air, and a puppetized pundit giving a Nazi salute. It's testament to the dislike — nay, loathing — between two of the biggest blowhards of their generation, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. Their feud flares up with the same regularity as Papa Bear's nostrils. It's existed in some form since as early as 2003, as the polarized pundits snipe over the political and the personal: Olbermann alludes frequently to a sexual-harassment suit filed against O'Reilly. In response, O'Reilly banned the word Olbermann from his radio show, although Olbermann continues to frequently name O'Reilly as "The Worst Person in the World" during a common Countdown segment. These kids don't want to play nice.

Chance at reconciliation: In inverse proportion to the massive ratings this feud generates. So, nil.

He said/He said:
"The guilty pleasure offered by the existence of Bill O'Reilly is simple and understandable. Ninety-nine times out of 100, when we belly up to the "Bill-O Bar of Bluster," nearly every time we partake of the movable falafel feast, he serves us nothing but comedy: farce, slapstick, unconscious self-mutilation, the Sideshow Bob of commentators, forever stepping on the same rake, forever muttering the same grunted, inarticulate surrender, forever resuming the circle that will take him back to the same rake. The Sisyphus of morons, if you will. But this is the 100th time out of 100. It is not funny at all."
— Keith Olbermann, castigating O'Reilly for inaccurately alleging that U.S. troops participated in a World War II massacre, June 4, 2006

"We, the undersigned, are becoming increasingly concerned about the well-being of MSNBC ... Therefore, in an effort to rescue MSNBC from the ratings basement and to restore the honor and dignity of Mr. Donahue, who was ignobly removed as host three years ago, we ask that you immediately bring Phil Donahue's show back at 8:00 PM EST before any more damage is done."
Text from an O'Reilly-authored petition to remove Olbermann from MSNBC, Feb. 22, 2006