For those that don’t know, Keith Olbermann hosts a very well done news show on MNSBC known as Countdown. During the hour long show, he along with a bevy of reporters, commentators, political pundits, etc. take a look at what he has determined has been the top five news stories of the day. He lightens the mood with several different fluff type segments during the show and one of those is his worst person of the world pieces.

In the segment, he pokes fun at the three individuals who he considers being the worst persons in the world on a given day. While many with little or no evidence accuse Keith Olberman of being “left wing”, “liberal” or less polite terms, in the segments he manages to hit every political position equally. While he hits everyone, Bill O’ Reilly and other fixtures at Fox News are often winners and there seems to be a definite personal dislike by both sides directed at the other. There are numerous other targets such as Ann Coulter, Robert Novak, Tom Cruise, Kevin Federline and many other notable names as well as plenty of folks you may never have heard of before.

Hence the premise of the book. Much like Jack Cafferty’s book, “It’s Getting Ugly Out There” if you are familiar with the show or original product, there is absolutely no real reason to read this book. At least in that case, Mr. Cafferty provided a little background into his own life and offered a few general thoughts regarding the country and the future. That isn’t the case here.

After explaining how the segment came to be on his show, Mr. Olberman recites many of the segments that have run from July 2005 to June 2006. No context regarding any of the entries beyond what was said on air at the time is provided nor is there any update on the more obscure nominees. As in his show, special venom in the book is reserved for Bill O. Reilly as he is taken to task in both the prologue and the epilogue.

For those of us familiar with Countdown and the worst person’s segments, there isn’t anything new here. However, some of the pieces that ran quite some time ago are still very funny while at the same time pointing out how little some things have changed. Those unfamiliar with the concept won’t have the signature music that goes with the deal but will be enlightened and entertained in their first exposure to the items and the concept.

In that sense it is a good book as it exposes a new audience to his work.

It is also such an amazingly easy way to write a book and make a buck.

The Worst Person In The World and 202 Strong Contenders

By Keith Olberman

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN #0-470-04495-0


267 Pages

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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