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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.