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Keith Olbermann's 'raw' plea
Was the MSNBC pundit's emotional story about his terminally ill father "remarkable and brave" — or heavy-handed political theater?
 
Talk show host Keith Olbermann.
Talk show host Keith Olbermann.
Corbis

<p>"Last Friday night, my father asked me to kill him." So began an impassioned and emotional "special comment" by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann on the eve of the health-care-reform summit. Olbermann used the graphic story of his father's terminal illness both to bash conservative "ghouls" like "Sarah Palin" who warned that Democratic health reform would lead to "death panels," and to make an <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35566903/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann//">impassioned plea</a> for a sensible national policy on end-of-life care. Was Olbermann's much-discussed monologue a courageous use of his "raw" personal story, or a "<a href="http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201002260014">twisted</a>" partisan stunt? (<a href="http://www.theweek.com/article/index/106897/Assisting_in_my_parents_suicides">For an excerpt from "The Last Goodnights,"</a> John West's acclaimed book on assisted suicide, <a href="http://www.theweek.com/article/index/106897/Assisting_in_my_parents_suicides">click here</a>) See an excerpt of Olbermann's "Special Comment" below:<br /><br /><iframe src="http://video.theweek.com/video/Olbermann-My-father-asked-me--2/player?title_height=31" width="620" height="444" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p>

 

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