Did Olbermann quit or was he pushed?

That's the big question after the abrupt end of Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC.  On the "pushed" side is the fact that the big Comcast-NBC merger just went through.  There were hints floating around before that deal's finalization that Comcast wanted the MSNBC asylum mellowed a bit, and whaddyaknow, out goes the lead loon.  So there's that.

On the "quit" side, well, there is a prominent job opening in DC these days.  It's exactly the sort of gig that would interest Olbermann -- he has been performing much the same task for years, on NBC's dime.

Anyhow, here's his saner than usual sign-off tonight. What's next for the bathtub boy?

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Update: Very interesting. MSNBC kept this hush hush right up into tonight's broadcast.

Keith Olbermann took an unexpected bow from MSNBC on Friday, announcing on air in the last 10 minutes of his show that it would be his final episode of “Countdown.”

The departure was a stealth move, MSNBC insiders told POLITICO, with many top executives and on-air talent kept out of the loop as the decision was made. It came, one insider said, “Out of the ... blue!”

More: Not about Comcast?  Or as Allahpundit shrewdly speculates, maybe it was.

More: I'd wondered about this too, from Don Surber:

The FCC just approved GE’s sale of MSNBC’s parent company — NBC/Universal — to Comcast. The Obama administration just hired GE’s CEO to a big position.

I think some moves are being made behind the scene.

Hey, Olbermann, this was the president you wanted.

This doesn't rule out Olby taking the prominent job that's currently open in DC...

Update:  It's time to break out some Europe.