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'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Dec. 8
Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
Updated: Updated: 10:45 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2004
Guest: Jim Vandehei, Todd Shields, Jason Dearen
OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Countdown did some rare actual reporting by sending Monica Novatny down to Washington to cover the "Winter Voter" hearings organized by John Conyers as an unofficial "investigation" of voting irregularities in Ohio (see my raw notes for more).
Olbermann ignored the REAL news coming out of the hearings to report that Conyers merry band would be going to Ohio and that Conyers was willing to consider Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s suggestion of filing a challenge to the seating of the Ohio electors. If Olbermann or Novatny were interested in REAL NEWS, they might have reported that John Conyers emphatically declared the motivation of Capital Hill democrats in endorsing the conspiracy theorists - to build moment for a long-standing bill drafted by Jesse Jackson, Jr. to up-end the Constitution by federalizing national elections, specifically to create an opportunity for redress in federal rather than state courts for election challenges.
Dogs that didn't bark on Countdown included a self-debunk of the oft-cited Freeman Report (more on that later), no mention of whether any of the recount requests mailed by the Green Party and Libertarian party were actually received by any of Ohio's 88 county commissioners, and the status of Cliff Arnebeck's lawsuit which Keith had reported would be filed on Wednesday. Apparently Novatny failed to notice that Cliff Arnebeck was at the "winter voter" hearings on Capital Hill.
In the next segment, Keith exposed his interest in "voting irregularities" for the fraud it is when he interviewed Todd Shields of MediaWeek to discuss Shields recent article, Activists Dominate Content Complaints.
Shields had reported,
The number of indecency complaints had soared dramatically to more than 240,000 in the previous year, Powell said. The figure was up from roughly 14,000 in 2002, and from fewer than 350 in each of the two previous years. There was, Powell said, "a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes."
What Powell did not reveal - apparently because he was unaware - was the source of the complaints. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 - 99.8 percent -were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.
This year, the trend has continued, and perhaps intensified.
Through early October, 99.9 percent of indecency complaints - aside from those concerning the Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime show broadcast on CBS - were brought by the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1.
Olbermann expressed grave concern that a conversative group would orchestrate an letter-writing campaign in an attempt to prompt a government investigation. Yet Olbermann, and other liberal media figures, have routinely cited "thousands" of letters and e-mails as their justification for reporting on the "Vote Fraud" story. The GAO similarily cited letter and emails, not a complaint from lawmakers, as their justification for launching an investigaiton into allegations of vote fraud.
Olbermann also worked in a gratuitous shot at Parents Television Council head Brent Bozell, III, by likening Bozell to Theodore Kirkpatrick author of "Red Channel", a pamphlet written in 1950 that formed the basis for the Hollywood "blacklist". Olbermann continued, practically begging MRC to report on the segment, by suggesting that his "interview" of Shields would land him on Bozell's "crap list."
Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television (1950); Theodore Kirkpatrick (former FBI agent), Vincent Harnett (television producer); published 22nd June, 1950