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'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Feb. 7
Host: Keith Olbermann
Guests: John Dean, Peter Riegert, Jerry Della Femina
Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
Updated: Updated: 3:58 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2005
OLBYWATCH GUIDE:The most important story of the day, according to Olby, is Watergate and the mysterious Deep Throat. The news: we don't know who he is. John Dean came on (relentlessly promo'd over the course of today as "the man who knows") and, surprisingly enough, didn't know who Deep Throat is, other than that he has heard hearsay that DT is "ill":
DEAN: I just thought, let's keep it stirred up...it's the perfect example of the epitome of an anonymous source....We won't know until that final moment comes.
After flogging this non-story relentlessly for 13 minutes ("we could talk about this for another 17 hours", Keith gushed to convicted felon Dean) he did see fit to use an OlbyConvergence segue to a few words about the Pope's health. Olby showed his good taste by comparing the Pope's blessing to an Ashlee Simpson lip-sync job.
#4: Emergency room treatment in 33 minutes. Thanks to the overwhelming importance of the first story, this segment ran barely three minutes. Teasers included another picture of Bill O'Reilly (the first was in the show opening).
#3: The judge who was pulled over for drunk driving. By this point, the "news hour" is starting to resemble a random collection of those odd little stories that newspapers used to put at the bottom of the page to fill column space. Unmentioned by KO (but pointed out to us by commenter Paul S) is that this Judge just happens to be a Democrat--the only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court. I'm sure the omission of this fact was just an oversight. Somehow this gets morphed into a story on half-naked female prison guards in Iraq. Keith made sure the photos stayed up on the screen as the camera slowly zoomed in.
Next came a recycled NBC report about the President's budget and a few words about Rice's trip. Obviously none of this deserved all the attention given to a truly monumental news item: Deep Throat Is Still Unknown. And then:
OLBERMANN: Speaking of messes, Bill O'Reilly has another one, all of his own making again. Super-hyperbole at the Super Bowl.
Yes, more videos of O'Reilly. Followed by yet another tease:
OLBERMANN: The Super Bowl unplugged, from Bill O'Reilly's padded sports resume to the last-minute yanking of a tv commercial.
KO's obsession is getting just a bit, well, creepy. When Olby moves into a new neighborhood, does some alternate version of Megan's Law come into play?
#2: Interview on the death of actor John Vernon. Followed by "Keeping Tabs", where Olby finally got to talk about Bill O'Reilly, whom he called the "Factor fiction host". Mr Bill said in the Super Bowl program that he won the national punting title for his division as a senior. But Keith is a hard-hitting investigative reporter (except for vote fraud outside of Ohio) and he called Marist college to get to the bottom of this scandal. The big scoop? At that time, Marist wasn't playing in the NCAA, but in the National Club Football Association. And what's more, record keeping could be "haphazard".
So Olby is saying what exactly? O'Reilly didn't win the punting title? No, he didn't say that. So what precisely is the "mess" that KO hammered interminably throughout the longest sixty minutes in cable news? Does it exist anywhere other than in Keith's tortured subconscious? Just what exactly is Olby's point? Please use the comments feature to explain just how this latest example of Olbermann's Obsession amounts to anything other than the square root of zero.
#1: The go-daddy.com Super Bowl ad. It's hard to think straight after sitting through all this but I think this is the only segment of the show without some reference to Bill O'Reilly.