Shovel Your Ratings, Keith

"Shovel your ratings" appears to be Morning Joe's subliminal message to Keith Olbermann today.  With the latest ratings showing Rachel Maddow's new MSNBC show beating Olbermann's Countdown, the MJ panel went out of its way to congratulate Maddow on her success, repeatedly mentioning what a "good person" she is and how nice it is to see such people do well. 

The crew was riffing off the Drudge headline "Move Over, Olbermann, Rachel Maddow Tops MSNBC Ratings."  As seen in the Drudge screencap [after the jump], on Tuesday Maddow beat Olbermann--the perennial MSNBC ratings leader--by a count of 1.8 million to 1.63 million.  She also bested CNN's Larry King, among others. Scarborough & Co. never mentioned Olbermann by name.  But the invidious-comparison-by-omission in their pointed praise of Maddow's good-personhood left little doubt that the wounds opened by Olbermann's open-mic slap at Scarborough, in which, during the Dem convention, he told Joe to "get a shovel" for remarks too GOP-friendly for Keith's liking, have yet to heal.

View the video, and be sure to stay tuned to the end.  Mika tries to move the show along, but Scarborough pointedly persists, basking in the times when "good people do well."  Got, it, Keith?

A Drudge headline about the hacking of Sarah Palin's email got the group started.

WILLIE GEIST: There's not much to the emails, but somebody did hack into Sarah Palin's--you were doing the story--private emails. It's on the top of Drudge right now. And our friend Rachel's on there.

MIKE BARNICLE: Look at that: Rachel Maddow!

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Have you heard about this, Mika? Rachel Maddow: she beat Larry King, I think last night.  She's the top-rated show on MSNBC.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We have a little work to do!

GEIST: We're happy for her, she's on fire.

BARNICLE: She's a good person.

GEIST: She is.

SCARBOROUGH: You know what? TV folk are some of the craziest folk I know, as Krusty the Clown might say. But she is a good, good person. We probably don't agree on anything politically. But she's respectful of people, and it's great.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: This is one of, file this under, one of those good people doing well.

GEIST: That's right.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, it is time now to check on the forecast, Joe. Now you take it: throw it to Jackie [Meretsky, the Weather Wonder Woman].
Joe wasn't quite ready to move on, punctuating his parting shot with emphatic hand gestures
SCARBOROUGH: One of those times when good people do well.
Note: There is a delicious [to quote Noel] irony in Maddow's success.  Olbermann is widely credited as having been Rachel's "rabbi," so to speak, championing her at MSNBC and working to get her a show.  What if Keith turns out to have created a monster, one that ultimately devours him?
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.