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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    October 13, 2005
    Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

    Wednesday night's Hour of Spin began with a recitation of Bush's poll numbers and the fuss over the Miers nomination. Yes, those were judged the most important developments on the planet. Keith mentioned that six of ten GOP members of the Judiciary Committee had expressed "dissatisfaction" with the nomination, and posed a question:

    Is that tempest limited to the extremeright?

    That is not a typo. For Olby "extreme right" is one word, and to Keith it defines anyone to the right of Howard Dean. By the way, this question was posed to John Harwood. Yes, him again. And he was followed by Jim Vandehei, bloviating about the leak case. Again. Well at least KO didn't re-resuscitate Lawrence O'Donnell. ("Liar!" "Creepy Liar!")

    When Vandehei mentioned the possibility of an indictment under the Espionage Act, Keith was suddenly shocked! Shocked!

    My jaw just dropped when you said that. Espionage Act! That's the first time I've heard that.
    Puh-lease! Who does Olby think he's kidding? That theory has been all over the internet and in the news for months. His mock astonishment at something that has been flogged by all his favorite moonbats is about as convincing as one of his puppet theater fiascos.

    After quake coverage and miscellaneous fluff, Olby got to the meat of it: his "special report" on the "nexus of politics and terror".

    The theory is that terror alerts are tied to bad news for the administration, and Olby cites things like Powell's address to the UN or the murder of contractors in Iraq as the kind of bad news that triggers the alerts. (Only Powell's UN appearance was considered quite the success at the time.) And of course he brings up the latest terror alert on the subways as a distraction from Rove's testimony, even though it was New York, not the feds, who made it public.

    The whole, of course, is a demonstration of post hoc, ergo propter hoc--the logical fallacy that because B followed A, that must mean that B was caused by A. Olby himself references this as a caveat, but quickly brushes aside the point as if it were just a technicality. In fact, Olby himself admitted that a similar nexus could probably demonstrated between terror alerts and Wal-Mart openings. So then what was the point, except to propagandize with insinuendo?

    We noticed that tonight, this segment wasn't called a "special report" as had been advertised. Keith referred to it as "commentary". And he announced that we wouldn't get all 13 examples (you can read them all at his blog) in order to make time for a response from Asa Hutchinson. What's this? A special report is demoted to commentary? And it's abridged? And a previously unmentioned appearance by Asa Hutchinson is shoehorned in? And Hutchinson is a (gasp!) Republican!

    We have reason to believe that none of these unexpected events were part of Olby's original plan. He wanted this to be a "report", not a "commentary". And as always, he never intended to permit someone with an opposing point of view to appear--especially a conservative Republican. But the honchos at MSNBC, those producers who make him do stories he doesn't want to do, were not about to let Keith sink the hapless news channel's reputation any further into the mud of baseless rumor mongering. So Olby had to swallow his pride and let someone on the air who actually disagreed with him, even if it meant cutting his diatribe short.

    Asa Hutchinson, of course, demolished Olby's pet theory in short order:

    I don't think it measures up to close analysis. If you accept that theory, you're arguing that because Karl Rove had a bad press day, the mayor of New York goes on tv and expresses a terrorist threat concern. And that to me does not measure up to logical analysis.

    Really, Mr Hutchinson. This is Countdown. What did you expect?

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions


    I hereby declare victory over the liberal pro-Keith crowd. On lefty blogs, diversity of opinion is despised, and now we see why. Given the opportunity to try to defend Keith, our liberal friends find themselves without cover, without ammo, and frightened.

    Better to retreat into the arms of the KrazyKosmonauts.

    I missed the terrorism-by-playing-politics-with-terrorist-alerts theory program.

    I must say, I think we must comment on improvement when we see it on Countdown and having Asa Hutchinson on the show as balance is QUITE unexpected when it comes to Countdown. I would have thought that Keith would consider a Republican countering an accusation made on his show as the equivalent of Edward R.Murrow inviting McCarthy on expound upon communists spies or David Duke laud segregation.

    The simple action of Olbermann's acting like his is a news shows and that there is more than one way to view matters and views differing from his are not always those from a McCarthy, Duke camp, is an aspect of his character heretofore unrevealed.

    I may have to rethink him a bit.

    I don't think it shows anything about Olby's character. All it shows is that his superiors were not about to let Olby go that far and made him put on Hutchinson. There's no way it was Keith's idea or that he even thought it a good idea. That kind of thinking just doesn't occur to Olby.

    Well, we can only hope Olbermann is getting more rational, Johnny.

    BTW: TERRIFIC job on "Look at me, I'm Walter Cronkite!"