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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.