Friday, November 14, 2008

Keith Olbermann Supports Gay Marriage

It bothers me every time Keith Olberman ends one of his rants by saying "good night and good luck," the closing made famous by Edward R. Murrow. Murrow used to end every broadcast with that phrase but in our memories it will always be linked to the speech Murrow gave on March 9, 1954, opposing Joe McCarthy's Red Scare witch hunt. By evoking Murrow, Olbermann is implying that his speeches are as courageous as Murrow's was, which isn't often the case.

This time, however, Olbermann's speech is worthy of Murrow. MSNBC reaches a national audience and in many parts of this country it is courageous to support gay marriage and question the relgious and moral integrity of those who oppose it. Despite the set backs gay marriage encountered this year in California, Florida and Arizona, the fact taht it is legal in two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) and means it won't disappear from American politics any time soon. By taking a stand, Olbermann risks creating a controversy around MSNBC. If things get too hot he could lose his job for what he said. But those who want marriage to be just and equal for all need to speak truth to the religious and social conservatives. That's what Olbermann did.


  1. Like you said, Murrow ended every broadcast that way. It's not as if he planned for that phrase to become historical, but we remember it for the few times when his commentary coincided with a particular political climate, making his words historic. So I see Olbermann's use of "good night and good luck" as an homage to that kind of journalism. It's something he tries for daily - whether his speeches can be considered "courageous" have more to do with the climate, and later with history. I think that his calling for Bush's and Cheney's resignation a couple of years ago was another fine moment worthy of a "good night and good luck."

    This special comment by Olbermann has the potential to become one of those moments, too. I do, however, wish he had his own original catchphrase! Something our generation could call our own...but what would it be?

    Good night, and don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out.

    Good night, and don't step in that shit!

    Good night, and go fuck yourself.

    I'm bad at this.