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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.