Given the size of Keith Olbermann's audience on Current TV, what goes on during his "Countdown" show probably isn't worth the energy it takes to denounce it.
On the other hand, the more marginalized he becomes, the more likely it is that "Countdown" will become a crucible for the kind of reckless and possibly slanderous speech Olbermann allowed from Janeane Garofalo Wednesday night. And part of this job is to identify such speech and warn of its dangers.
This utterly unsubstantiated attack on GOP candidate Herman Cain, with its allegations that he must be getting "paid" by someone to run as a Republican, is outrageous. This is the kind of character assassination of which the left accused Glenn Beck. And Beck was certainly sometimes guilty of it -- but so are Garofalo and Olbermann. Neither is any better than Beck. All three swim in the same gutter.
Garofalo's allegations of payoffs and conspiracies and dangerous charges of racism are really beyond the pale for responsible television. And there's Olbermann nodding along and agreeing.
I have come to expect that from Olbermann, but not Al Gore, the co-founder of Current TV, or David Bohrman, the longtime CNN executive who is now president of the channel.
Maybe both men are more desperate than I know at this point in their careers -- or less principled than I thought.
Please check out this so-called interview and tell me what you think: