[...] Phil Griffin, the senior vice-president in charge of MSNBC ("Phil thinks he's my boss," Olbermann says), raised the matter of tone. Why did Olbermann need to end his commentary by telling the President of the United States to "shut the hell up"?
"Because I can't say, 'Shut the fuck up,' that's why, frankly," Olbermann responded. The line stayed in.
"Bill O'Reilly made Keith Olbermann," Phil Griffin says. Olbermann concurs, saying, "I really do owe him a percentage of my salary."
His bosses loved it. "I think we're onto something," the president of NBC News, Steve Capus, told me. "That's what we keep hearing from the audience, more and more, is that they appreciate that we have people who are actually speaking truth to power, or being transparent in their own personal viewpoints." That's another way of saying that liberals, after many failed attempts, seem finally to have found their own Bill O'Reilly. [...]
It's nice that ours isn't an out-and-out asshole, and has more brains to boot!
Griffin added that a certain level of stress is part of the job of managing Keith Olbermann. "You ride the horse, and you start winning, and then all of a sudden you're off. And we're just riding, full speed. And it can be a dangerous ride."
Some advice about 'dangerous rides' from one who knows: stay sober, crank it full bore, look where you want to go, and don't let go of the handlebars.