Keith Olbermann personalized the call for health care reform by telling the story of his father’s failing health Wednesday. Olbermann devoted the entire hour to a “Special Comment” — Olbermann’s version of an on-air editorial.
In an attempt to relate to viewers, Olbermann told a sad story of his father’s illness. Olbermann spent 24 hours by his bedside. His challenges included potential kidney failure and dehydration.
Olbermann targeted insurance companies because their business models put profits ahead of patient care. “The insurance companies are at war with America,” he concluded.
Salon’s Mike Madden calls the hourlong commentary “Olbermann’s wasted moment.”
But the point didn’t seem to be to pass reform legislation; the point appeared to be to chastise everyone involved in it, on either side, and to declaim about the nature of the system. Where Olbermann could have explained what the legislation would do — and taken on the myths against it — instead he spent his time making solemn pronouncements.
As the hour ended, the MSNBC host called for viewers to join in an effort by the National Association of Free Clinics to sponsor free clinics in cities of moderate Democrats who may vote against a progressive reform bill.
A full transcript of Olbermann’s “Special Comment” is available here.
The following video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Oct. 7, 2009.