Despite earlier reports that he would end the segment, Keith Olbermann announced Monday night that Countdown‘s “Worst Person in the World” segment will continue in some form, but under a different name.
He explained the fact that the segment was rooted in satire, but that some still thought he was literally claiming that these were the actual worst people in the world, and “there’s potential danger in that.”
Olbermann explained that the purposes of the segment, “criticism, sarcasm, satire, calling out, even ridiculing,” remain “relevant and important, maybe more so now than ever before,” and quoted philosopher Henri Bergson: “Laughter is a social sanction against inflexible behavior.”
The spirit of the segment will remain, but he did not announce the new name for the segment. Olbermann began the old “Worst Persons” segment with a literary reference, to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so I would suggest a name with a similar, perhaps more relevant literary pedigree: Double-Plus-Unbest Person.
Here’s Olbermann’s announcement, from MSNBC:
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