Keith Olbermann: Worst Person in the World?

After his latest Twitter dust-up and resulting suspension, maybe it's time for a little soul searching.

In the context of not wishing to see human beings waste away because we are mostly good and decent souls, I think we all need to pray for Keith Olbermann, because I think the man has gone a bit goofy.

I guess that’s the kind of thing that can happen to someone who was once, but no longer is, on the top of the media world. Olbermann’s quick wit and intellect made him stand out from your basic sports anchor/teleprompter reader. And he parlayed that into a gig as a big liberal pundit. But this is a man with a self-destructive streak. He soon messed that up, wound up on the scrap heap, and was rescued by ESPN, the network where his star originally rose, which gave him his own show on a channel (ESPN2) and time slot (5 p.m.) with which few are familiar. Nobody cares much about what he has to say these days. And the lack of attention has shriveled him like salt does a slug.

How else can you explain a middle-aged man getting into Twitter beefs with students of Penn State University and their mothers, of all people, over a worthwhile cause named THON?

Here’s what happened: A woman named Lisa Aiello DeLeon, well aware of Olbermann’s distaste for all things Penn State as a result of the Jerry Sandusky mess, fired off a tweet to him and linked to a story of how PSU students this year raised more than $13 million at THON. She started her tweet with the beginning of the well-known Penn State call-and-response: “We Are!”

I don’t know, maybe Olbermann was bored that night. Maybe he didn’t have any more baseball analytics to study or baseball cards to put in plastic sleeves (yeah, he’s one of those). I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have had a date, or any pending social engagement. But apparently he had enough time to fire back a tweet at Ms. DeLeon, a 55-year-old Penn State graduate and mother of two. He finished her “We Are!” declaration with the word “pitiful.”

And Olbermann didn’t stop there. “PSU students are pitiful because they’re PSU students – period.”

The feud between the two apparently had been kicked off in January when the NCAA announced they were restoring the football coaching wins of Joe Paterno, which had been taken away in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Olbermann had delivered a searing rant against that decision, which naturally invited feedback from Penn Staters.

DeLeon retweeted a link from a message board of Onward State, a website dedicated to Penn State news which said, “Keith Olbermann silent on this? Nailed You.” Olbermann tweeted back, saying “You’re quoting a Penn State fanboy site. The only person who got nailed was that bastard Paterno.” That denigrated into a spew of Olbermann tweets the other day, where he mocked Penn State students’ intellect and spelling. Ultimately, he was suspended for a week from his show on ESPN2. And he later offered an online apology.

Full disclosure: I occasionally get tripped into responding to haters on Twitter. I know I shouldn’t do it. But it’s really an extension of what I do for a living as a sports talk host: going back and forth with sports fans. When the heat gets too hot and folks get too disrespectful, I merely block them and they’re gone from my life forever.

Keith Olbermann is a national guy with a national job. Does he really feel inadequate enough to battle a 55-year-old mother on Twitter? Apparently so.

Hey Keith, you live in New York City. There’s a psychologist’s office on every corner.

Mike Missanelli is on 97.5 FM The Fanatic every week day from 2 to 6 p.m. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMiss975.