Everybody seems to have a theory about the “real” reason for Keith Olbermann’s sudden departure from MSNBC. Mine, not that anybody asked, is that it had something to do with his insistence upon reading James Thurber to us every Friday at the close of his show.
As a young man I used to read Thurber, and enjoyed it. As an aging, snarky, You-Kids-Get-Off-My-Lawn geezer, I didn’t especially welcome being read to every week whether I liked it or not, so what I began doing was simply shutting off the tape of Keith’s show just prior to each Friday reading. I suspect I'm not the only one.
I’ll miss Olbermann, though, and so will you. But he’ll turn up somewhere, some time-slot, some day. You can bet on it. You can take the boy out of broadcasting, but…
There are more really good actors than there are really good television roles. This is not because we have too many good actors. This is because we don’t have enough really good television writers.
Wait, no, this country is awash with really good writers, television and otherwise. What we don’t have is enough good writers who have enough relatives with enough television juice.
Please do not, at this point, veer into Jack LaLanne territory. The juice of which I speak has nothing to do with America’s fruit-stomping nutritional expert. What we Nevadans call, “juice,” is simply overwhelming arm-twisting influence. Good television writers who lack juice eventually become some of the finest waiters and bartenders in the country.
With the application of juice, however, network executives are anointed, casino pit-bosses are named, and ridiculously inept presidents of the United States are appointed.
Good writing? Just take a good look at most of the national television spots. Check the crystalline writing, the compelling visuals, the power of the messages, the richness of the humor. And those are just the drug commercials.
It’s those with an abundance of network juice who usually become The Suits, empowering them to impose pointless changes, cornball additions, and ridiculous deletions on otherwise crap-free scripts. It’s called, “giving notes.”
(Many female Suits, by the way, can be bold as their male counterparts when it comes to wielding their dominance for interpersonal personal purposes. Thus, the phrase, "Shut the door and come over here…"
But enough about love.)
One more thing. The Suits get off by calling network television, “the industry.” Network television is not an industry. Pornography is an industry. Network television is just a bunch of people screwing each other.