Heartwarming: Countdown with Keith Olbermann

  • This segue into Oddball.
  • "Good night, Mom... and good luck."
  • His recounting of Stuart Scott's professional courage, both with a borderline racist request to cut his now-infamous catchphrases and his willingness to go out on a limb for a contract, even with a wife and two young daughters to feed.
  • This heartbreakingly sincere monologue delivered in the aftermath of Proposition 8, which rescinded the right for gay people to marry in California. By his own account Olbermann has no personal investment in the issue whatsoever, and yet he delivers a defense of everyone's right to love as they choose which is so earnest and powerful it has been known to reduce viewers to tears. Just... watch the whole thing. You won't regret it. Hopeless romantic, thy name is Keith Olbermann.
    ...you are asked now to stand on a question of love. All you need to do is stand and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have to applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know, and don't understand, and maybe don't even want to know, that love is in fact the ember of your love for your fellow person. Just because this is the only world we have and the other guy counts too. This is the second time I have found myself in ten days concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial. But what he said fits, and what is really at the heart of all this. He said, 'I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet Omar Khayyam' — this is what he told the judge — 'it appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: 'So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, so I be written in the Book of Love.'' Good night, and good luck.
  • The Thurber readings. All of them. Not just for the backstory (Keith used to read them to his terminally ill father when he was in the hospital), but for Keith's evident delight in the material. He loves these stories, and it shows. It really does feel like you're curling up next to a fireplace, being read to by a friend.
  • The overwhelming barrage of signatures demanding Keith's reinstatement after he was suspended in 2010 — more than a quarter million people signed the petition. And in the three days between his suspension and the announcement of his reinstatement, he got an average of seven thousand supportive tweets a day. On his return Keith noted that it felt "like a universal hug." Say what you will about Keith Olbermann, but that man's fanbase is loyal.