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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".