Olbermann's Latest Ranty Overshare Is Actually Kind of GoodS

Keith Olbermann is a narcissistic outrage junkie. But when he's right, it's a show stopper. With his father currently on his deathbed, Olbermann gave health care's "death panel" controversy an impassioned send-up by telling his family's story.

Normally Keith's melodramatic vocal wavering and gravitas compulsions tire. But sometimes the stars align and he aims deserved outrage in the right direction (last year's Special Comment on gay marriage comes to mind) and the resulting rant is a sight to behold. Olbermann began last night's Special Comment with a bracing, uncomfortable confession—"Last Friday night, my father asked me to kill him"—before steamrolling through several minutes of hair-raising TMI's about his father's agonizing six-month hospitalization, accumulating in the old man shaking his head and mouthing "Kill me." Keith describes desperate conversations with his father's doctor, then announces "that conversation, that one, are what these ghouls... called death panels." Then he gets into some cheesy stuff about calling it a "life panel" instead, but by then I was knee-deep in the political version of the final scene from The Notebook, so it didn't even faze me.

A heavy-handed bit of political theater, sure. But a good, moving, and gripping one. (I just watched 13 minutes a guy weeping for a cause I was already dead set on supporting. Is this how it feels to be a Glenn Beck fan?) So hats off to Keith Olbermann, who just blew Palin's "don't death panel my baby" rhetoric out of the water. [MSNBC via missing_piece & atlasfugged]