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What with the indictments of DeLay and Libby, the NSA surveillance leak, and the death toll in Iraq, Keith Olbermann has been facing a dilemma. Not that long ago the talking point du jour was that George Bush distracted from bad news by ordering up a terror alert. The only problem is, there hasn't been a terror alert lately. No matter, Olby's conspiracy theories are as flexible as the Reynolds Wrap that sits atop his wig:
The Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin, amid informed analysis that Republicans might pick a fight with Democrats over Sam Alito, just to keep the focus off the Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay scandals.
Keith showed them who's boss. He led with Abramoff, not Alito. So there. No way he's going to let any little thing like a Supreme Court hearing keep him from putting negative stories at the top of his show.
Before turning to the Post's Dana Milbank, KO ran a few clips from the hearings. Even though there are more Republicans on the committee than Democrats, somehow Olby managed to run more clips of Democrats, and gave them more time. Milbank sipped from Keith's Kool-Aid as usual, quickly adopting the "distraction" theory first floated by Time Magazine (whose "informed analysis" cited unnamed "Republican officials").
Keith also did an entire segment on Howard Stern's satellite debut, heavily laced with footage of Olby at the scene. Ever the doyen of humility, Keith bragged that he was the first reporter not on Stern's payroll to ask him a question. Someone should alert the Pulitzer people; it might not be too late to get this into the latest round of nominations. The memorable moment of unintentional humor came when Stern tried to butter up Olby, saying: "We love Keith Oberman!"
The runner-up in the "worst" contest was an Eagle Forum activist; she didn't want the gay cowboy movie playing in her neighborhood, so Keith ("that Jewish head wear looks like it came out of a cartoon") Olbermann declared her to be a bigot. So if a conservative came in second, that would mean a Fox News employee would have to be first, right? Brian Lewis, a PR man at Fox, for saying this:
Perhaps (NBC Universal chief) Jeff Zucker should think twice about tying his future, not to mention the reputation of General Electric, to an unstable ratings-killer like Keith, who uses an NBC property for his personal attacks.
Keith, like all bullies, can dish it out but can't take it, so he had a clever retort. He spouted off a list of Fox programs that supposedly were weak in the ratings. The irony is that every program he named has way more viewers than Countdown! He even included Fox & Friends First, a 6:00 am broadcast that, despite its time slot, attracts more viewers than anything, at any time, on the entire A-Mess-NBC schedule.
By the way, Olby's graphic read "Faux News". That's the Hour of Spin: cutting edge, clever, and original.