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Monday was a very busy news day. Major developments included Hurricane Wilma, Baghdad explosions, and the appointment of the first new Federal Reserve Chairman in nearly 20 years. A reputable news program could lead with any of these stories. But then there's the Hour of Spin. No way does Olby consider these insignificant matters worthy enough for the coveted opening segment, not when he can talk about The Great Leak Case!
And talk about it he does. Keith tries his best:
Is there any news, even scraps?
The Post's Jim VandeHei tries to let Olby down gently:
I'd like to say there is, but there really isn't.
So what if there's no news? KO can still spend the first ten minutes of the program talking about the fact that there's no news, and wondering if there will be news tomorrow. The key to propaganda is repetition, even where there is nothing to repeat.
For the second time in as many weeks, Olby shocks his audience by interviewing a Republican (Terry Holt). He brings up (for the third time, and we're still only in the first segment!) Sen Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who offended Keith by suggesting that an indictment for lying wouldn't be as serious as an indictment on the underlying crime.
Oh, and the appointment of Mr Bernacke to the Fed? KO disposed of it with a few sentences at the end of the segment, noting it was "another case of Mr Bush promoting from within".
#4 was the Baghdad bombing, handled with a recycled NBC report. Keith failed to note that this was another trick by Karl Rove to distract from the fact that there was no news about The Great Leak Case. #3 was the hurricane, #2 something about a CEO who spent a lot of money at a strip club, #1 baseball.
And then the "worst persons in the world". Who would KO bash tonight? Republicans? Conservatives? Fox News employees? How about all three? Yes, it's an Olby trifecta! Second runner-up: the Department of Homeland Security. First runner-up: Ann Coulter. Hmm, that leaves only some Fox news employee for the top spot. Now who exactly might that be?
Olby quotes Bill O'Reilly as saying:
Now in the Great Depression, every American got spanked. And those Americans went to war during World War II and won the very intense conflict and showed bravery across the board, the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation, almost down to the man, was spanked, 'cause that's the way we did it in America. OK?
Olby picks up the spin from the George Soros website that highlighted this statement, ripping away the context and putting his own (actually George's) frame on it:
The Big Giant Head again, explaining to his radio audience that we won the Second World War because of spanking.... He's about four minutes away from being committed.
It turns out that O'Reilly was talking about corporal punishment. His point (not unreasonable) was that kids got spanked in the 1920s and 30s, yet they grew up to be The Greatest Generation and won World War II. So it's wrong to suggest that corporal punishment, done responsibly, causes some sort of psyche-warping trauma. This becomes clear with O'Reilly's very next sentence, which Olby conveniently omitted:
So I'm not believing all these sociologists, these fruitcakes, who run around going, you know, you look at a kid cross-eyed, he's going to grow up to be a heroin addict. I'm not buying that.
Bill O'Reilly did not say "we won World War II because of spanking". Selectively editing his comment makes it look that way, but such dishonest propaganda tricks are merely an elegant way to lie. And that is the evil of Olbermann--loathsome villainy is disguised with a facade of faux sophistication. He isn't even truthful about himself.