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Tuesday's Hour of Spin began with Bush poll numbers (some up, some down), and a chat with Howard Fineman, who compared the President to a hedgehog. Keith cited a statement from Scott McClellan about Bush's plan for Iraq, and asked:
Other than Mr McClellan's established willingness to always do the HL Mencken bit, to keep repeating something again and again in the hope it will eventually come true, is that statement based on anything?
Objection! Leading. Next came a taped NBC report from Lisa Myers about Pentagon "spying" on war protesters. She neatly fuzzed the difference between gathering information and infiltrating, and did not prove anything more than the Pentagon keeping records of things that are public knowledge.
The #4 slot featured John Holley, a father whose son, killed in Iraq, was flown back to the states as freight on a commercial airline, without an honor guard. #3 was about entertainment, specifically Christian entertainment, via another recycled NBC piece. Olby suddenly found the discredited Golden Globe nominations worth reporting, possibly because they seem to favor Brokeback Mountain, the gay cowboy movie that is said to be the best gay cowboy movie ever. Keith also referenced a quote from Samuel Goldwyn:
Legendary is the movie mogul so clueless that he described a screenplay as "too blood and thirsty", and then made the film anyway.
Next came a segment about how packages get shipped (another tape recycled from NBC), and lastly robotic samurai. But there's always the "worst person in the world" segment. And in case there was any doubt, our Olby is back, in style.
His bete-noir, Bill O'Reilly, was mentioned on Media Matters today, so--insert gasp of astonishment here--KO dutifully parrotted their propaganda. Apparently Mr Bill said that a school district in Plano Texas had told students not to wear red and green during Christmastime. On the word of Media Matters, Olby said Mr O'Reilly was making it all up:
You know how we've been telling you he's been making up this blarney about a war on Christmas? Well I had meant that term 'making up' metaphorically. Silly me.... Where does O'Reilly get this nonsense?
Here's is precisely what Mr O'Reilly said:
In Plano TX, just north of Dallas, the school told students they couldn't wear red and green because they were Christmas colors. That's flat-out fascism. If I were a student in Plano I'd be a walking Christmas tree after that order.
According to Olby, O'Reilly made this up and he's the "worst person in the world". But, like so many salvos in Olbermann's War, he has missed the mark again. There was a lawsuit, Jonathan Morgan, et al., v. the Plano Independent School District, et al., filed in Federal Court. As one of the attorneys said:
School officials have gone so far as to prohibit students from wearing red and green at their 'winter break' parties because they claim they are Christmas colors. Even the plates and napkins must be white. The district's policy is ludicrous to even the most common observer.
What's more, a federal district court judge granted an injunction against the school district.
You mean it all really happened? Yes it did, last year. O'Reilly never said otherwise. It looks like the evil Fox guy was right. And Keith Olbermann--who insisted it was all made up--is wrong all over again.
Oh, by the way, that Sam Goldwyn quote Olby read earlier on? Guess what? It's an urban legend. The "legendary quote" really was just made-up. He never said it! Nice work, Keith.
Update: The Dallas Morning News reports that the Plano school district is demanding a retraction from Mr O'Reilly, apparently hanging their hat on the defense that they never banned red and green clothing, only items like napkins. That defense is disputed, but in the spirit of Christmas, let's suppose we'll be generous and give them that point. It wasn't clothing. So where does that leave us? Bill O'Reilly's comment on banning the colors, vs Keith's rant that O'Reilly made it all up out of whole cloth. Olby, who didn't mention the ongoing lawsuit, the allegations of the parents, or anything else that didn't fit his agenda, is just as wrong as ever.