The video: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann returned to his show, "Countdown," on Tuesday, after a two-night suspension for making political donations without the approval of his bosses. The liberal pundit began by poking fun at himself, thanking viewers for giving him support worthy of "Chilean miners," and denying his suspension was a publicity stunt. "If I had known this would happen," Olbermann joked, "I would have done this years ago." Olbermann concluded his show with an apology to viewers — but not the NBC executives who suspended him — and a jab at the inconsistency of campaign finance laws. "I gave, and you found out, and you judged me for good or for ill," he said. "If I had given money through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce you would have never, ever known."
The reactions: Last night's show was "standard Olbermania," says Avi Zenilman at New York, soaked with a "deluge of self-reference." The "main event" — his closing monologue — proved he is "still indefatigable" in the face of criticism. Indeed, Olbermann now has "more leverage than ever" at MSNBC, says Brian Lowry at Variety, given the unflinching support of his fans. The network ought to remember that their "mercurial host" has a "history of quitting jobs when he soured on them." Watch a clip from Olbermann's return here: