Paula Froelich at the New York Post wrote this piece on MSNBC's talk host and commentator Keith Olbermann:
September 27, 2006 -- MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who's a frequent critic of President Bush's policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m., sources told The Post's Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann's pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn't enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn't known. Olbermann had no comment.
Now I defer to no one in the matter of finding Mr. Olbermann hard to take. He is snide, pompous, arrogant, mean-spirited, and petty, but none of that, as bad as it is, justifies the prank that Froelich reports. In fact, I think Froelich is being unfair to Olberman in portraying him as something of a sissy in the way he reacted to the powder in the envelope. If I were a celebrity in the public eye, given the anthrax scares of a couple of years ago, I'd probably react the same way, and I suspect Froelich would too.
Worse, though, is the fact that someone ostensibly from the conservative side of Olbermann's meager viewing audience would engage in such a tactic, which is really a form of terrorism. It disgraces anyone to do something like this, and whoever did it should be ashamed.
No doubt Olbermann suspects the sender was Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly certainly has motive, given Olbermann's relentless public assaults on him, but I prefer to think that O'Reilly, who is every bit as pompous and obnoxious as Olbermann, is nevertheless above this sort of hooliganism.