Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Peace Sign

In the 1960s there was the "peace sign," the two finger salute that Winston Churchill previously used to denote V for Victory, and that Richard Nixon turned into a signature two handed cliche.

Now there's Keith Olbermann ending his "The Resistance" rants with a full open palm sign as he says the word "Peace."  At times it's a nearly hilarious gesture, as he goes to it directly from his escalating righteous anger.  His latest is a case in point.

But like a lot Olbermann has done, there's a history.  Maybe he's acknowledged or explained it, or maybe he'd deny it, but it seems clear to me.  He's doing Dave Garroway.

Dave Garroway was the first host of the NBC TV show "Today."  In the 1950s he was an early morning fixture.  There were only three national networks, and Today was the only national morning show.  Everybody watched him.

He had an easy-going manner--pretty much the opposite of Olbermann--- and didn't take himself that seriously.  After all, his co-host was a chimp.  No, really, a chimp, named J. Fred Muggs.

But he also became known as someone who could explain big stories and national issues, and why they were important, in ways that a lot of people could understand.  He was called "the Communicator."

Perhaps that's what Olbermann aspires to be.  There's something of a similiar eclectic background.  Olbermann started in sports broadcasting, and has gone back and forth between sports and politics.  Garroway started out as a radio DJ, a humorous feature reporter for KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, then a Chicago TV talk show host.

In any event, Dave Garroway ended every Today Show broadcast with that same open palm sign, and that single word, "Peace."

See? It's this kind of penetrating trivia you have me around to give you.

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