Many of us wondered how Keith Olbermann’s devotion to Barack Obama would manifest itself if Obama won the election.  Now we will have four years to watch Olby plumb the depths of the tank in which he placed MS-NBC for The One, thanks to a brand-new contract that nearly doubles his compensation:

Keith Olbermann, the anchor of “Countdown,” will remain at MSNBC through the next presidential election season, the cable news channel announced Monday afternoon.

The announcement came less than two years into Mr. Olbermann’s current four-year deal. MSNBC essentially tore up his Feb. 2007 contract (reportedly worth up to $4 million a year) and wrote a new one, according to two employees with knowledge of the agreement. The new contract is valued at about $7.5 million a year, one of the people said.

Mr. Olbermann will continue to anchor “Countdown” and co-host NBC’s “Football Night in America.” Reinforcing Mr. Olbermann’s value to MSNBC, the network said he would “play a prominent role” in “all major news events.”

I’m most amused by this explanation:

In the heat of the general election campaign, “Countdown” drew up to 2.5 million viewers a night. Undoubtedly, some viewers won’t be tuning in as frequently now that Barack Obama is the president-elect.

“But a lot of them will,” the MSNBC president Phil Griffin told the Associated Press. “And they’ve found the voices they want to hear.”

Basically, MS-NBC wants to set itself up as the Temple of The One, where Olbermann attacks all Obama critics and Chris Matthews works on his propaganda to do everything he can to help Obama succeed.  Howard Kurtz finds that a strange job description even for an opinion journalist:

“You know what?” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said last week. “I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work.” Asked by morning host Joe Scarborough whether that was his job, Matthews said: “Yeah, that’s my job, because this country needs a successful presidency more than anything right now.”

Funny — it’s hard to recall many journalists saying they wanted to make Ronald Reagan’s or George W. Bush’s presidency work.

Never fear!  As long as at least some of the True Believers are still willing to tune into BO-NBC, the suits will be willing to have its high priests speaking to the masses — and pay them ever more to continue the services at the temple.

Tags: Barack Obama