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    September 30, 2005
    Freaky Friday

    Something must have been in the water over Seacaucus way Friday night. Keith's Hour of Spin was surprisingly light on his usual partisan biases. True, he did devote large chunks of his show to noncontroversial topics like the fires in California and the missing white mother of a found girl. But even the "worst people" segment was apolitical. What's going on?

    The closest Olby came to showing his cards was during a discussion on Judith Miller's release from the pokey. There is a very intriguing question swirling around this situation: if Miller was waiting for another release from Lewis Libbey, why did she sit behind bars for nearly two weeks after that most recent release was provided? It appears that she was negotiating with the prosecutor to limit her testimony so as to not cover other sources she still wants to protect. Judging from his disinterest in pursuing this, it raised no eyebrows with KO--but it does with us.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Prison Break

    On Thursday's Hour of Spin, Keith had to break from his prepared text because Judith Miller was released from the pokey. After chatting that up with Pete Williams, Olby decided it was time to call in one of his Rogue's Gallery to get things back on track. So Richard Wolffe of Newsweek showed up to sing from KO's sheet music, touting the great achievements of Joe Wilson as if he had never been caught in his own lies and discredited. Wolffe also referred to the "16 false words" in the State of the Union speech, an exercise in irony since the words in question weren't false, and therefore Wolffe's words are. No challenge by Olby of course; no tough questions permitted for members of the Olbermann echo chamber.

    In his nightly FEMA-bashing statement, Olby noted:

    For the smallest rural areas in SouthEast Texas, the situation has been worse. Some officials say they saw relief convoys passing them by on the way to other localities.

    No kidding. Might that possibly be because in a crisis, you bypass smaller communities to get to the major population centers first? Otherwise you might never make it to those centers. Of course, suppose FEMA had taken the opposite tack, and sent its relief to towns of 8,000 people while leaving the large cities and urban centers waiting? Any guesses as to how Olby would have reacted to that?

    Perhaps because of all the breathless reporting on Judith Miller's prison break, Olby didn't get around to the "worst person in the world". Either that, or he didn't have time to check out the George Soros websites before the Hour of Spin aired.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    September 29, 2005
    Loaded Dice

    Keith Olbermann opened the Tom Delay Celebration Edition of Countdown with a little comment that doesn't amount to much more than a small finger on the scale of impartiality. But it's worth looking at closely, because such minor bits of spin are what Olby uses to set the playing field on his turf:

    His defenders will argue that it's a political witch-hunt, the head of the Republican Congressional Committee already having called the Prosecutor who sought the indictment an "unapologetic Democratic partisan"--a curious criticism, given that the man indicted is certainly an unapologetic Republican partisan.

    Here is OlbySpin at its elegant best. Note how he implies that if one is a partisan, then one deserves to be pursued by the law in a partisan manner--one set of rules for "partisans", and another for everyone else. Similarly, Keith manages to equate the functions of a legislator in a party leadership position with those of a law enforcement officer. Does he really believe that prosecutors are entitled to be just as partisan as legislators and party officials? Has he ever heard of the prosecutor's oath of office? Does he even have a clue as to what the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors are? If he has, how could he have made such a brainless, ignorant comment?

    Brought in to chew over the DeLay business were two familiar faces from KO's Rogue's Gallery: Dana Milbank and Wayne Slater (author of Bush's Brain--a typically impartial, unbiased Olby "expert"). Keith's FEMA segment highlighted Governor Blanco's testimony, and KO gave us this gem:

    Unlike former FEMA-director Brown's blame-filled recitation to Congress yesterday, the Governor never mentioned other agencies' past performance. She talked about what the federal government needs to do now.

    It was clever of Olby to drag in yesterday's news just to make Blanco look good, and take another cheap shot at Brown. But what Olby doesn't tell you is that there was good reason why the two sets of testimony were so different. Brown was in front of a House Committee investigating what went wrong. Blanco appeared before a Senate Committee not charged with investigating the past, but in determining what sort of assistance would be needed in the future. Of course their testimony was different! But Keith leaves all that out.

    All right, boys and girls, it's time for everybody's favorite game: Who's Worst? You know, the segment where Olby selects one or two Republicans, conservatives, or Fox News employees for the honor of "worst person in the world". Runner-up was a Tennessee state representative (R), and the worst person in the world was William Bennett--both Republican and conservative, a twofer!

    Again Olby picked up Bennett's embarrassing quote from a George Soros website. Why do these people bother to put their pages up on the web? Why not just email them to Keith to plug into his Hour of Spin as needed? You'd think if Keith is too lazy to get these items on his own, once in a while he might take an item from an equivalent site on the conservative side, like the Media Research Center. Oh no, he wouldn't do that. He's already declared the MRC a "scam" and personally attacked its director. (Don't hold your breath waiting for Olby to make even the mildest criticism of the Soros site that feeds his spin machine.)

    As a result we have week after week, month after month, where the "worst person in the world" somehow never turns out to be a liberal or a Democrat. If anyone rolled a streak like that on a Vegas crap table, the casino bosses would confiscate the dice. And deservedly so--when it comes to slanting the news, no one loads the dice like Olby.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    September 28, 2005
    There Is No Column C

    Tuesday night's Countdown found Keith in full spin mode, taking a cheap shot at the President in the opening teaser, then tackling the juicy topic of Michael Brown's testimony. He stated there is a "huge pie chart of blame" for all the "various responses" to Katrina--but his viewers must wonder what he's talking about, since Olby has consistently avoided any discussion of failures by state or local officials.

    KO's first guest was George Haddow who worked in FEMA under...guess who? Of course, Bill Clinton! On OlbyPlanet, FEMA was a federal agency that didn't exist during Republican administrations. That must be, because Olby only interviews FEMA-ers who worked under Bubba. Asking Haddow where the blame fell, the disaster expert (who co-wrote a book with Jane Bullock, favorite guest on Air America) obediently replied that 70% fell on "the Bush administration". Another surprise.

    Then came Olby fave John Harwood, a frequent guest because he follows KO's chief dictum: don't disagree with the host. Olby, fresh from an incoherent attempt to blame the President for some sort of PR gaffe that Bush had nothing to do with, used the same tactic again. Laura Bush taped an appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (tonight's Olby Talking Point, mentioned over and over), and Keith immediately characterized it as "a political miscalculation". If KO's agenda were any more blatant, you would see the anvils falling right on the screen. Harwood went on to characterize the hearings as a show to benefit Congressional Republicans.

    Keith devoted a full segment to the intricacies of the Anna Nicole Smith inheritance case (never let it be said that Olby is above prostituting himself for the chance to show sleazy video), including a painful "puppet theater" embarrassment. Another segment dealt with the woman who talked killer Brian Nichols into giving himself up. Why did this merit such a fulsome treatment? Because the woman had read to Nichols from The Purpose-Driven Life, and it turns out that she had also given him some crystal meth. A great opportunity for Olby to ridicule earlier reports of the events as "almost divine intervention", and to emphasize that "it was just a small passage" that was read from the hated faith-based book.

    And of course, Tuesday's "worst person in the world". Did Olby pick from Column A (Republicans/conservatives) or Column B (Fox news personnel)? As faithful readers know, there is no Column C (Democrats/liberals). Tuesday was a Column B day, as KO again chose Geraldo Rivera. Olby first criticized Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times for her report about a nonexistent event (Rivera nudging a relief worker out of the way to get on camera). But this merely served to tee up Olbermann's hyperbolic personal attack on Mr Rivera as an "absolute asinine jackass". Rivera's crime? He had the temerity to ask the Times to retract its false report, continuing to insist until the Times complied.

    So what is it that Olby found so repellent? That Mr Rivera didn't just roll over when the "newspaper of record" printed lies about him? Or that the Times caved in and printed a mealy-mouthed, halfhearted correction of their smear? Probably the latter, since we know that there's nothing that Keith dislikes more than retracting false stories.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (19) | | View blog reactions
    September 26, 2005
    The Spin Is Back in Town

    Keith Olbermann is back from yet another vacation, and the Hour of Spin is once again on track. "Highlights" from the Monday propaganda fest:

    • Olby interviews hurricane expert "Ivor van Heerden", the great mind who, it will be recalled, predicted that after Katrina fire ants would devour the people left behind in New Orleans. And then the standing waters would not just be toxic, they would in fact burst into flames, destroying the entire city! KO didn't broach any of these failed forecasts.

    • A typically snide report from David Gregory asserted that President Bush was now attempting to pursue "simple competence".

    • Olby fave Howard Fineman came on to parrot what Keith wanted to hear. KO asked why Bush permitted the police to arrest "Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan", quickly sliding over the dispositive point that the Park Police are not under Presidential command. The chameleon responded in kind, wondering the same thing.

    • The worst person in the world: Congressman Richard Pambo, who wants to sell naming rights to national parks to create additional revenues. Of course, he's a Republican. (One of the runners-up was iraqpartnership.org. Don't ask why; something about we've spent enough money on iraq so individuals shouldn't donate anything further. OlbyLogic is just too tiring to unravel.)


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (29) | | View blog reactions
    September 20, 2005
    The Republic Is Safe

    Olby is on vacation.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    September 17, 2005
    Light in the Loafers

    Olbermann Demands Answers! Olby put his finger on the big unanswered question regarding Katrina, and that is what consumed both KO and crony David Shuster during the opening minutes of the Friday Hour of Spin. The controversy: how is it that they had lights on when President Bush spoke on Thursday? And, even more important, why did they turn the lights off after he left? Shuster raised another burning issue: the ground was clean where Bush spoke, but a few blocks away it is still dirty and smelly.

    What's going on here? Why didn't the President speak in the dark? How come he wasn't standing in feces and rotting animal corpses? Who is responsible for this? Unfortunately, neither Olby nor his crony had any answers, but it was, after all, their journalistic duty to ask the tough questions.

    Later, Keith dealt with the President's speech. KO described Bush's "borderline phobia" about apologizing, and once again raised the issue of the lighting. (This has obviously replaced "duct tape" as the talking point du jour.) Then, citing a Heritage Foundation article, Keith proclaimed that the President's plan bears the hallmarks of "Bush-style neoconservatism". Say what? Does KO even know what neoconservatism is? And then to put a fine point on it, he didn't just report on an ad from moveon.org, he actually ran the entire thing, gratis.

    To chew over the speech itself, Olby called in Old Faithful: Craig Crawford. And joining him was the only kind of conservative Keith likes to feature, the kind who dislikes George W Bush, opposed the Iraq War, and favors protectionism. Yes, Patrick J Buchanan. The latter was lukewarm at best: "not a great speech...adequate...he's doing his best...he was the individual who didn't see it coming". Craig Crawford was his usual sycophantic self, droning about how Bush's track record is "not very good", and endearing himself to KO by bringing up...the lights! Olby himself smarmed that it "sure sounded like tax and spend liberals to me". When Mr Buchanan started to express some criticism of Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Democrats, KO declared they were out of time and ended the segment.

    The only other report of note: more of Keith's "worst people". One of them was the US Department of Justice, because they were looking into environmental lawsuits that prevented the US Army Corps of Engineers from improving the levees. On OlbyPlanet, it's OK to point fingers, but if it happens to be at enviros, then he doesn't want to hear about it.

    Was tonight's "worst person" finally at long last a Democrat, or a liberal? No, it was yet another manifestation of the Mother of All Olbsessions. The "Big Giant Head", i.e. Bill O'Reilly, for making a tongue-in-cheek comment on his radio show that he wished the hurricane had just hit the UN building. Olby chortled about how stupid O'Reilly is, and that he just gets "dumber", because flooding the UN building would mean that Fox News, a few blocks away, would also get flooded. O'Reilly actual words:

    Bush to address the UN, says we must be steadfast in battling terrorism. I'm sure all the UN people fell asleep. They don't really care about anything over there at all. I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out.

    Apparently Keith didn't notice that Mr Bill was speaking facetiously, and said he wished it had only hit the UN building, and nothing else. Does Olby not understand the meaning of "only" and "nothing else"? It's not something that should be way over his head, like "neoconservative". Since we know KO doesn't spend his hours listening to The Radio Factor, we'd suggest that the next time he lifts an item from a George Soros website (which should be, oh, about Monday) he should read it more carefully.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    September 14, 2005
    A Million Here, A Million There...

    Tonight's Countdown found Keith puzzled. Governor Blanco made a statement accepting responsibilities for failures at the state level. That had Olby flummoxed, so much so that he had to ask correspondent David Shuster if there was any "explanation" why she would say such a thing. And if KO was bemused, you can imagine the confusion of anyone who makes Olby their primary source of news, since Keith has studiously avoided any discussion of Blanco's failures over the past two weeks.

    What came in as the #4 story was a rarity on Countdown. Lisa Myers filed an NBC report that not only pointed some fingers of blame at the the New Orleans levee board (who spent millions on things like fountains and overpasses to casino boats), but also included a favorable interview with a local Republican. We couldn't believe Keith allowed this segment to air (maybe it's another one of those stories that his producers make him do), but Olby wouldn't be Olby if he couldn't make lemonade out of lemons. As soon as the report concluded, he added this little postscript:

    For some context on the million or millions evidently misspent, the cost of the nationwide high-tech system of levees, floodgates, and seawalls protecting the Netherlands: eight billion.

    Here is OlbySpin at its most elegant. First minimize the amount (it was millions, not "million or millions"), then question the accuracy of the charge ("evidently"). Finally, throw in a comparison to levees not just in another country, but on another continent! Translation: Hey, it's just a million here, a million there. No big deal. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    After running a clip of the President at the UN saying no one wants to see a new terror state emerge in Iraq, the "nonpartisan" host of Countdown added:

    Depending on your viewpoint, you might be a little late on that one, sir.

    More "worst people in the world": two were private individuals, but one was a governmental official. Was tonight the night when a Democrat or a liberal would finally make Olbermann's list? Does the sun set in the East? In Olby's sites tonight was Labor Secretary Elaine Chao:

    She defended the suspension of a law that requires laborers on Katrina repair projects to be paid their regular set hourly wages... She did not mention the millions it will save the firms that already got the no-bid contracts to do the rebuilding, like Bechtel and Halliburton.

    (Snigger. "He said Halliburton!" Snigger.)

    Note KO's curious wording: "their regularly set hourly wages". In fact, suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act merely eliminates the requirement that wages paid at least meet the "prevailing wage" paid in the area. There is complicated bureaucratic machinery set up to make such determinations, but Keith dismisses it with more OlbySpin. Oh, and Keith, why do you bring up the millions these companies may save? Don't you know the levees in Holland cost eight billion?

    Then it was time for clips from the Roberts hearings; shockingly, an equal number of Democrats and Republicans were shown. After we nailed Olby for Tuesday's unbalanced smorgasbord of leftist sound bites, Wednesday's montage represents a success for us. OlbermannWatch is having an effect! Of course it's a small victory--the longest clips still went to Leahy and Biden--but enough to reinvigorate our determination to continue exposing the slanted, partisan hack work on the most biased newscast in America: The Hour of Spin.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (15) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Trades Media Porn for Real Thing

    We didn't post this at the time but what the heck...

    Keith Olbermann spent some quality time last june with his favorite Republican - porn star and former California gubenetorial candidate Mary Carey.

    NAME

    More pix here.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    You Don't Say!

    Olby's spin machine was in overdrive Monday night. He devoted two sentences to the new FEMA director, and one of them was about--you guessed it--duct tape. PETA needs to be informed about Keith, even if all those horses he beats are dead.

    With Norah O'Donnell, a faithful conveyer belt for Olby's outlooks, KO asks a typically unbiased, impartial question:

    The photo-ops, speech from the scene Thursday night, "compassion"--is that all that is in the Karl Rove playbook in this one?

    One can just picture the Beavises at the Democratic Underground sniggering, "He said 'Karl Rove'!" Next Olby played some clips from the Roberts hearings. Which Senators did KO choose to feature?

    • Arlen Specter (R) (arguing in favor of abortion)
    • Herbert Kohl (D)
    • Joseph Biden (D)
    • Patrick Leahy (D)

    Every video clip is accurate, but it's what isn't shown that counts. Each of Olby's snippets depicts a Senator challenging Roberts from the left. Questions from the conservative side just aren't news to Keith, so they get left out.

    And we have more "worst people": John Stossel (libertarian) and Louis Farrakhan (fringe lunatic, and a safe pick even for the Soros crowd). And today's very worst? James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal (yes, he is a conservative).

    In the evening's premier example of biased spin, Olby shows a clip of the incompetent governor of Louisiana, who is outraged that FEMA didn't sign a contract with a company tasked to remove dead bodies. And that is FEMA's responsibility. End of story. Of course, real news outlets weren't quite so one-sided: FEMA says recovery is a state responsibility, not FEMA's; and FEMA offered a contract to the private company but they didn't sign it, instead signing one with the state. But we can't have the ignorant rabble hearing both sides. Keith reports, Keith decides.

    That's how it works. Just show the Senators who argue Olby's points. Only tell half of a news story. When you're as accomplished at spin as Keith is, sometimes it's not what you say that counts, it's what you don't say.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    September 13, 2005
    Such a Deal

    After the Sunday night three-hour Spinapalooza, it seemed almost certain that tonight's Countdown would be a Letdown. How could Olby possibly top that performance? Yet somehow, Keith never fails to disappoint. Monday's Countdown thoroughly lived down to expectations.

    KO's top story (#5 on the backwards newshour) was the new head of FEMA, and Olby just couldn't contain himself. For him, the most salient Factor...err, we'd better make that the most salient element...of this news was the fact that David Paulison once advised people to get duct tape and plastic to protect against biological dangers. Olby didn't explain why this was bad advice, or on what basis it deserved his ridicule. For that matter, he didn't explain why this factoid was so important that he had to bring it in at the very top of his story.

    Of course Keith was not the only person who headlined the news with the duct tape angle. That same tactic was advanced earlier in the day on numerous far-left blogs (a favorite Olby "news" source) and a typically rabid discussion in the Democratic Underground (we wonder what pseudonym KO uses when he unleashes his rants there). Obviously, this is all sheer coincidence.

    To further his spin, Keith interviewed John Copenhaver, former FEMA official. It was undoubtedly another coincidence that Copenhaver was a Clinton appointee. Olby also brought on former NOAA undersecretary D James Baker to aid in the evening's choreographed spin. Oh, we almost forgot to mention, Mr Baker was a Clinton appointee. How these coincidences keep piling up!

    Since Newsweek published an article "How Bush Blew It", can anyone doubt that one of the authors would be a must-book for Countdown? Sure enough, there he was. Richard Wolffe's piece also detailed failures at the state and local level (in that respect it was a tad more evenhanded than its title). It will surprise no one that Olby studiously avoided any such bipartisan finger-pointing in his predictable interview. But, in both of his first two questions, he did manage to bring up...duct tape!

    And then there were more "worst people". Is tonight the night when Olby will finally include a liberal or a Democrat on the list? Aside from an unnamed worker for a pharmaceutical company (I wonder which party is the one that likes to demonize drug companies?), Keith bestowed his honors on a Congressman from Louisiana (Republican, natch), and a lower-tier talk show host, Glenn Beck (needless to say, a conservative)--who just happens to be the subject of a Media Matters article. More coincidences, or this just a payback to Media Matters for their many adulatory articles about the host of Countdown? George Soros must delight in the fact that any money he gives to Media Matters gets a double bounce: not only does the website do his dirty work, but then Olby parrots their partisan hatchet-work on his "newscast". Such a deal.


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    September 11, 2005
    One-Way

    Tonight the hapless, dwindling audience of MSNBC viewers was treated to something really special: three hours of Keith. But what was most special about it was the unique spin of Olby and his cronies.

    And the chief crony was none other than the lefty Craig Crawford, who always delivers for the sports guy. KO made the point that Bush was at the Trade Center four days after the 9/11 attack, but after 13 days he still hasn't been in New Orleans. (Aren't they trying to evacuate that city?) Never one to miss a cheap shot analogy, Olby says:

    We have him now, on not an aircraft carrier per se, but certainly a large vehicle that looks like an aircraft carrier, reminiscent perhaps of "Mission Accomplished".

    In the second hour, to get a different point of view, Olby brought in as a guest...Craig Crawford! This segment was bannered "FEMA's Failures" (We waited, and waited, but never saw the segment on Blanco's failures, or Nagin's failures.) Olby complained:

    First responders sitting idle outside the storm zone, waiting for orders that took days, not hours to arrive.

    Olby does not mention that the Red Cross and the Salvation Army have both stated on the record that it was the State of Louisiana that prevented them from entering New Orleans. In fact, unless we missed it, that bit of information didn't surface anywhere in the three hours of OlbySpin. He also nattered on about the National Guard, blissfully ignorant of the fact that FEMA has no jurisdiction over deploying the Guard within the state. The governor does.

    Next Olby delivered a segment breathtaking in its brazen bias--the kind of reporting and analysis that has made the Hour of Spin one of the lowest-rated disasters on cable news:

    KO introduced a taped report from NBC asking if race and class played a role. The report interviewed Andrew Young, who claimed they did play a role. For a different point of view, they interviewed a University Professor, who said they did play a role. And just to get a different perspective, the last interviewee was Maxine Waters, who insisted that race and class did play a role.

    Ever the fair and impartial journalist, Olby brought on a live guest to get the other side of the story. He interviewed John McCullough, who explained why race and class were "definitely a factor". A more typical Olbermann exploration of a controversial issue cannot possibly be imagined: four "experts", all of them taking the same point of view, while Olby nods with pretend wisdom. It even gave Keith the chance to accuse Rick Santorum of racism and classism. Say what? How did Santorum get into this? Oh wait, we almost forgot, he's another Olbsession.

    After describing Bush's visit to firefighters there as "brief" (it was over an hour long) and a "photo-op", KO introduced a clip of New Orleans Mayor Nagin, fawningly gushing that here was a public official who "knows how to take his medicine". Nagin was asked what his biggest mistake was. The brave, courageous answer that so impressed Olby? Nagin said that his big mistake was that, after he saved thousands of lives, Nagin thought the state and federal government would move more quickly. (Or as Nagin put it, he thought the "calvary" would arrive.) Yeah, that's really showing accountability. That's really taking your medicine.

    Midway through the third hour, just to get a different angle on all this, KO brought in a political pundit for analysis. This time it was...Craig Crawford! (If you get the idea that Keith's coverage always seems to spin in one direction, then you get the idea.) Olby asked Crawford about Bush:

    Are we going to see him in a flight suit?

    Oh, that knee-slapping, uproarious OlbyHumor. We didn't hear the scripted cackling from the sidelines tonight; perhaps The Laughing Stagehand gets Sundays off.

    Finally 180 minutes of KO coverage lumbers to a conclusion. We saw more of Craig Crawford than anyone outside of his mother could possibly want, and we witnessed one example after another of Olby's brazenly partisan, one-sided spin. They name streets after guys like Olbermann: "One-Way".


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    September 9, 2005
    From Worst to First

    Tonight was Olby's night to gloat. The Vice-President was heckled by someone who cursed at him, and for Countdown, that immediately becomes headline news. The clip ran at 8:01, but Olby was going to play it again, and the rerun was teased at 8:13, 8:14, and 8:22. Finally it ran again at 8:34, and just to make sure nobody missed his sledgehammer-like point, KO brought it up yet again at 8:40, when he was chatting with Howard Fineman. (Fineman is the perfect pundit for all occasions--he can go on with Laura Ingraham and serve up exactly what she wants to hear, then come on Countdown and say whatever makes Keith happy.)

    The ostensible reason for inviting Fineman was to discuss comments critical of Bush from the Manchester Union-Leader and columnist Robert Novak (also teased incessantly). And, um, the last time Olby ever thought the opinions of the Union-Leader were news? And for that matter when did he ever cite Robert Novak for his insightful commentary?

    Oh wait, he did cite Robert Novak: when he named him one of the "worst people in the world". But today Novak was suddenly a respected columnist. If only Bob had known, all he had to do was say something critical of Bush, and in Olby's world, he goes from worst to first.

    Olby had more "worst" people tonight. They included Tom Tancedo and Rick Santorum. What do they have in common? That's right, they are both Republicans. Are any of KO's "worst people" ever Democrats or liberals? We decided to do a quick search of the msnbc archives. Here are the "worst people" that we found:

    • Bill O'Reilly [Fox News]
    • Brit Hume [Fox News - twice]
    • Pat Robertson
    • Ann Coulter
    • Rush Limbaugh [twice]
    • Paula Jones
    • Geraldo Rivera [Fox News]
    • Robert Novak [twice]
    • Wayne LaPierre
    • David Horowitz
    • Brent Bozell
    • The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page

    So the breakdown is:

    • Conservatives/Republicans: nine
    • Fox News personnel: three
    • Liberals/Democrats: zero

    Incredibly, Olby still claims he is "non-partisan". As proof of it, he brags that he never votes. Thank heaven for small favors.


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    September 7, 2005
    The Spin Tops Here

    Lacking any convenient blog entries to plunder for envious shots at Fox reporters, tonight Olby reverted to his usual tactics. One montage of clips from the past week contrasted statements by officials with what was happening on the streets of Louisiana. For some inexplicable reason, all the officials shown were federal officials. On OlbyPlanet New Orleans doesn't have a mayor, and Louisiana has no governor. Of course there was the obligatory shot of the President holding a guitar. Through some oversight, they forgot to include (c) moveon.org at the end.

    Continuing the pattern of inviting his ideological soulmates as interview guests (KO's idea of a fair and balanced report is one that runs the spectrum from A to B), Olby brought on the notorious, discredited Eric Boehlert of Salon (possibly to repay them for providing that juicy Geraldo tidbit yesterday).

    But even Eric's Boehlony paled in comparison to Olby's master stroke of the evening. A Gallup poll reports these results:

    Who was most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane?

    38% - no one
    25% - state and local officials
    18% - federal agencies
    13% - President Bush

    But Olby found a way to make it read to his liking:

    No one to blame was the clear winner with 38%. The President or federal agencies, 31%. State and local officials, 25%.

    Yes, without giving the results as reported by Gallup, he lumped the Bush answers together with another category so the President would come in second in the blame game instead of last.

    Using OlberMath one could just as well say governmental agencies were blamed by 43% while only 18% blamed Bush. But just reporting what Gallup found is the fair thing to do. And it's no surprise that fairness takes a back seat to partisanship at the Hour of Spin.


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    September 6, 2005
    Feeding the Fox Fetish

    If anything is a window into the psyche of Keith Olbermann, it is his obsession with Fox News. Whether it's sheer envy of a news channel that is actually successful, or simple hatred of anyone who isn't in Olby's "I'm too hip for my shirt" club, there is no question that it has led KO into one embarassment after another. Shall we list a few examples?

    Olby lifted a quote from a blog to ridicule an O'Reilly statement about ratings. Since the blog got the quote wrong, so did Olby. But even after his error was made known to him, he refused to make a correction.

    Olby made a wisecrack about some footage that he claimed Fox wouldn't run. Only problem: Fox ran the same clip earlier in the day. You guessed it: KO never bothered to check.

    Then there was Olby's long-winded exegisis of Bill O'Reilly's college punting records. But oops, he did it again. He not only got the facts wrong, but also arrogantly refused to cover any side of the story other than his own spin. He didn't even acknowledge, let alone report, the statement from Marist College that contradicted what he claimed.

    Why do we bring up these examples? Because Olby has done it again. Yes, at a time when real news programs are covering the most tragic natural disaster of modern times, Olby pauses to take a shot at his Fox competitors once again. And once again, any semblance of journalistic ethics or integrity goes out the window to assuage his frenzy to feed the Fox fetish.

    Tonight Olby named today's "Worst Person in the World". Kim Jung Il? Usama Bin Laden? Um, no. Geraldo Rivera. KO recycled a piece from Salon that made the claim that Rivera staged a rescue in New Orleans by making an elderly woman walk from a van to a heliport twice because he wanted a better take.

    The author of this piece, a self-described "progressive", is an agenda-driven writer. He didn't see this happen but was told by a doctor, conveniently unnamed. Even though the writer was there with both Geraldo and the woman, and talked to Geraldo, he didn't ask either for verification of the story. But hey, if it's on a website that's always been enough for Keith--who also didn't bother to ask Fox about the incident, let alone do any actual (gasp!) reporting.

    Yet again, Olby proves himself to be the hack that he is. Well before he aired his "report", Fox released a statement explaining that there was no "second take", that the woman had left her bag behind somewhere and Geraldo and the crew had to take her back to look for it. Facts that are easily confirmable--but just like all the prior examples, Keith couldn't be bothered with confirming facts. He had to feed his Fox fetish. Fox had already issued their statement regarding the incident. Did Olby make any mention of their side of the story? Of course not. He had to feed his Fox fetish.

    Every time KO takes one of these desperate shots at Fox News, we ask the question: have any of his slams at FNC ever been accurate? As of tonight, the answer is still the same.


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    Olby Loses It

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?


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    From Countown for January 5,

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    From Countown for January 5,

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    From Countown for January 5,

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    From Countown for January 5,

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions