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The Hour of Spin opened Thursday night with Olby detailing all the latest leaks (from an investigation of leaks):
The President of the United States today dismissed the growing controversy over what his political brain and the Vice-President's Chief of Staff had to do with the CIA leak as "background noise"...background noise can quickly get loud enough to eliminate all of the foreground.
But then it wouldn't be background noise, would it? No matter, Olby couldn't contain his enthusiasm; he sounded like he had drunk 87 cups of coffee and a few bottles of Jolt Cola. Does anybody remember how Keith behaved back when it was Ken Starr investigating a Democrat administration? Peabody, set the WayBack machine for 1998:
We'll be beating that dead horse again this evening. Round up the usual suspects, it is, God help us, day 301 of the Clinton-Lewinsky investigations.
What a difference a change of administration makes. But back to the present. Olby's nonpartisan description of the President's statement:
Not dissimilar to sticking your fingers in your ears and saying, "La-la-la-la-la-la-la".
KO brought in crony John Harwood, and pitched a typical Olby softball:
Does this story go, has it already gone, will it never go, from being merely a leak investigation story, to a the administration deceived the country story?
Harwood knocked it out of the park:
No, I think it is that, Keith. I think you're exactly right.
Ah, music to Keith's ears; just what Olby wants and expects from his interviewees. KO's next guest on the same topic: Leon Panetta. That's Keith: fair and balanced all the way. He makes sure we hear every point of view from A to B. Olby's observation:
This page in the rundown for tonight's show was given a title by our producer that shook me. The title simply was, "White House in Crisis". I already hosted a news show on this network that had that title some years ago. Is it applicable now? Is in fact, in your opinion, this White House in crisis?
There's a tough one. How would Leon Panetta, one of the most partisan of partisan Democrats, possibly respond to that tough, challenging, take-no-prisoners question? We won't keep you in suspense any longer:
You've got a White House in crisis.
After a few cracks about Tom DeLay's mug shot, Keith moved on to the #4 story, about the ongoing operations in Afghanistan. Hold the phone! How did Afghanistan suddenly appear on Olby's radar? When was the last time he even had a report from there, let alone make it one of his top stories? Don't bother checking. The war, and the US troops, couldn't be less important to Olbermann, judging by how he has routinely ignored them week after week. But the allegation that American forces had burned the bodies of Afghan terrorists immediately whisks Afghanistan to full feature prominence on the Hour of Spin. And they wonder why people sometimes think the media really do loathe the military.
#3 was a bunch of true crime reports (sort of like the Rita Cosby hour compressed into five minutes); the weather was story #2; basketball stuff was #1. With half the show taken up by this sort of drivel, and the other half larded down with Olby's spin and unfunny asides, it gives you an idea how much real news makes it into Countdown.