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Looking past all the partisan propaganda, one must conclude that the President's Wednesday speech on the Iraq War scored some points. Why else would we find Olby, a few hours later, making it his personal mission to try to counteract Bush's address in every way possible? Referring to the published National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, Keith asked:
Is the implication here that we didn't have one of those already?
The speech broke "no new ground"; it had "very little in the way of actual strategy"; what strategy there was is "debatable". These are not opinions of analysts or clips from Democrat leaders. These are the words of the impartial, nonpartisan Olbermann, in just the first two minutes of The Hour of Spin.
KO introduces a clip of Sen Reed by describing him as a "West Point graduate and former paratroop commander in the 82nd Airborne". Perhaps Olby will make it a habit to lay out the military record of everyone he runs a clip from. Or perhaps not. Pundit-for-all-occasions Howard Fineman offered the observation that the speech was "great theater", and shrewdly referred to not dates but milestones to "buy time" before he withdraws troops. Since Howie didn't immediately parrot KO's talking points for the evening, the nonpartisan host thought it was time for another of his patented leading questions:
Make these speeches about the need for Iraqi self-reliance, then declare that there is increasing amounts of self-reliance, withdraw troops, repeat a few times, and then define victory and get out?
Fineman immediately got with the plan: "That's what I think is going on." He added that in truth the Iraqi battalions have to be "led around by the hands" by US troops. A taped report from NBC on Iraqi capabilities continued the work of the evening, using Bush's words and then undercutting them with "yes, but..." formulations.
By now we're at the halfway mark, but even in the #3 segment Olby is still spinning his web. Here he exposed stories written by US military personnel that end up in Iraqi newspapers. "Fake news!", proclaims KO. Mark Mazetti of the Los Angeles Times, who wrote the article that so fascinated Keith, is the interview guest, but he refuses to characterize the articles in question as false or deceptive.
Other than a sleazy report on strippers and fluff about fat bottoms, the only other element of note is, what else, the "worst person in the world". Olby was in hog-heaven tonight, as he named Bill O'Reilly as worse, worser, and worst--an Olbsession Trifecta! Apparently Mr Bill's most grievous sin was:
This whole attack on Christmas nonsense that he made up, some sort of fantasy in which the liberals are coming to your town to force you and your family to not call it Christmas anymore
That of course is a moonbatty caricature of the issue, but we don't exactly expect Keith to traffic in truth. He is up in arms that one can buy "holiday ornaments" at the Fox News online store, and adds triumphantly:
Who is trying to change Merry Christmas into Happy Holidays? Bill O'Reilly, that's who!
As usual, KO's shot lands wide of the mark. Bill O'Reilly has nothing to do with the Fox News online store. He doesn't run it; he doesn't sell the items; he doesn't write the wording of the descriptions. In fact, if you go to Bill O'Reilly's own online store, it doesn't sell ornaments at all. And the heading reads: "Bill O'Reilly's Christmas Store".
Olby is so obsessed with slamming Mr Bill that facts just don't matter. What pushed him over the edge tonight? Maybe it was the today's release of the November ratings, giving The O'Reilly factor well over 2,500,000 viewers. And The Hour of Spin? Less than 1/5 that number. How to counteract the votes of America's news consumers? Fire another salvo of false charges at the nation's most-watched cable news program. Yeah, that's the ticket.