Just finished the session with Keith Olbermann. I had expected more laughs. But, while Olbermann is quick on his feet, he also feels like a very writerly guy -- one who is most proud of the line he has taken time to shape and polish.
At the same time, though, he does listen to people -- and hears things not even the speaker may have noticed. I asked him whether the cross-pollination of his show and so-called progressive radio (Stephanie Miller, Air America) was a factor in his ratings improvement, creating a ''rising tide.'' He seized on the reference to ''rising tide'' -- and other water metaphors -- as a subconscious allusion to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. And he thinks that was the moment when skepticism about the government became all right again, after years of post-9/11 benefits of the doubt.
It wasn't exactly an answer to my question. It was better.