Keith Olbermann Suspends 'Worst Persons' Segment

The MSNBC pundit may have been influenced by Jon Stewart's rally comments on cable news.

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BY Aliyah Shahid
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Keith Olbermann is calling a time-out.

The MSNBC "Countdown" host suspended his "Worst Persons in the World" segment just days after comedian Jon Stewart skewered cable news personalities, including Olbermann, for their divisive nature at his D.C. Rally to Restore Sanity.

"Its satire and whimsy have gradually gotten lost in some anger, so in the spirit of the thing, as of right now, I am unilaterally suspending that segment with an eye towards discontinuing it," Olbermann announced on his show Monday night.

"We don't know how that works long-term. We might bring it back. We might bring back something similar to it. We might kill it outright."

Rallygoers on Saturday were treated to a montage featuring cable news hosts Glenn Beck, Olbermann and others spewing incendiary commentary.

Stewart said the "24-hour politico pundit perpetual panic conflictinator" is making the country's problems worse.

[See a photo gallery from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.]

"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing," Stewart said, adding that media outlets draw upon fear instead of reason too often.

Olbermann took to Twitter on Saturday, arguing Stewart "jumped the shark" by delivering his broad criticism of cable news.

"It wasn't a big shark but Jon Stewart jumped one just now with the "everybody on Thr cable is the same" naiveté" he tweeted less than an hour after the rally ended.

But he seemed to have changed his tune by Monday.

Though Olbermann did not credit Stewart for the suspension of "Worst Persons in the World," he did refer to "The Daily Show" host's comments and agreed the "tone needs to change."

Olbermann did, however, defend the segment, which has run for years.

"The anger in this news hour was not an original part of it, nor was it an artifice that we added to it. It was a response to a threat to this democracy posed by [ex-President George W.] Bush," he said.

He added that MSNBC differs from Fox News in that "sticking up for the powerless is not the moral equivalent of sticking up for the powerful," said Olbermann.