News Article

Feud of the Week

The childish behaviors of news show pundits -- We compare Bill O'Reilly to Keith Olbermann

Ratings-wise, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly is delivering a trouncing to his MSNBC rival Keith Olbermann. But when it comes to childish on-air behavior, the pugnacious Irishman just might have a worthy rival. OPENING VOLLEYS

KEITH OLBERMANN
The host of Countdown With Keith Olbermann repeatedly named the conservative O'Reilly top dog in his ''Worst Person in the World'' segment.

BILL O'REILLY
The host of The O'Reilly Factor repeatedly dogged out his liberal rival for poor ratings and NBC for letting Olbermann's cheap shots fly.

OTHER BEEFS

OLBERMANN
A tiff with New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove, after Grove implied that Olbermann distrusted his NBC bosses. Grove dubbed him ''Krazy Keith.''

O'REILLY
A spat with George Clooney, after O'Reilly implied that funds from a 9/11 telethon would be misused. Clooney called him a liar and a non-journalist.

HEIGHT OF ABSURDITY

OLBERMANN
The three 7-minute-plus spots he's devoted to O'Reilly. In them, Olbermann christened his foe ''Falafel Boy,'' referring to that infamous O'Reilly sexual harassment suit in '05.

O'REILLY
The attack on one of his radio-show callers who invoked the name Olbermann. After hanging up on the dude, O'Reilly threatened to hand over the man's digits to local authorities.

LOWEST BLOW

OLBERMANN
On The Colbert Report, saying, ''Why would I have [folks] call up O'Reilly? I'd encourage people to put their money into something smarter, like Enron stock.''

O'REILLY
On his website, posting a petition that implores NBC to replace Olbermann with veteran talker Phil Donahue, out of concern for ''the well-being of MSNBC.''

THE VERDICT

Olbermann. In a TV smackdown, it's better to be the instigator — one with the quicker wit and better writers. Plus, he's on the same side as Clooney.

Originally posted Mar 24, 2006 Published in issue #870 Mar 31, 2006 Order article reprints
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