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There was Big News on Countdown Thursday night. Keith Olbermann even put it in the opening tease:
The Vice-Presidential announcement that he has the right to declassify secret stuff!
It's another victory for Olbermann Watch! No sooner did we ridicule KO for glossing over this important piece of news, than Keith suddenly makes it a headine 24 hours later. But Olby had more important fish to fry in Thursday's #1 story, namely:
...the vast holes in Vice-President Dick Cheney's explanation of how he accidentally shot a man last Saturday.
This ought to be interesting, but instead of telling us what all those "vast holes" were, it was off to bash the Sheriff and his investigation. Why all of a sudden is the Sheriff in KO's sights? Remember that yesterday Olbermann Watch reprinted the sheriff's quote that he decided when he would interview the Veep. So Olby can no longer pretend like the time was set by Dick Cheney. Olbermann Watch scores another success. What's a sports guy to do? Shift the gunsights! The new target: Sheriff Salinas!
Thomas DeFrank came in to speculate about friction between the President and the Veep. Neither Mr DeFrank nor Keith documented any "vast holes" in Cheney's explanation, but they both seemed to agree that it raises questions about "who's running the store".
Then it was back to bashing the Sheriff again, as well as witness Armstrong. According to Keith, she didn't see everything. Cover-up! What's more, she said they had Dr Pepper at lunch, but Cheney said he had a beer. Liar! Creepy Liar! Olby cited a New York Times report that a deputy had been sent to the ranch that night but did not stay. Keith made no mention of the more detailed article in the Washington Post explaining that the deputy went there to escort the ambulance, but it had already left. Neither did he say just what those "vast holes" in Cheney's description of the shooting were.
For a legal opinion, Keith brought in attorney Stanley Brand, longtime Democrat partisan (a fact unmentioned by KO). Brand's purpose was to rip the sheriff's investigation and to make insinuations. Even Presidents should be investigated the same way as "normal people". It's so easy for witnesses to "compare notes" and fabricate a story. Then it was off to the races with "secretive to the max", Katrina, and the like. Neither Brand nor Olbermann detailed any of the "vast holes" in Cheney's explanation.
In the #4 slot, Olby again did a rehash of where Cheney gives his interviews, and then lied, claiming that in the Fox interview "follow-up questions seemed to be almost nonexistent". All of this was preparation to KO getting around--24 hours late--to Cheney's authority to declassify (illustrated with a clip from the interview that included one of the nonexistent follow-up questions). Richard Wolffe had to set Keith straight (for the umpteenth time): No, Cheney's declassification power does not affect the Libby case.
In another triumph for Olbermann Watch, Keith finally read a verbatim, undoctored version of what Fitzgerald wrote in that letter about Libby and leaks. For the first time his audience was informed that the authority Libby had from his superiors was about the leak of a single document: the National Intelligence Estimate. And it only took us a week of hectoring Olby to get him to report it truthfully. (As in all other examples in tonight's Hour of Spin, there was no admission or acknowledgement by KO of his earlier falsehoods.) By the way, Mr Wolffe did not delineate any of the "vast holes" in Mr Cheney's report of the shooting.
After "oddball", we're at #3: Jack Abramoff. This is one of the top five stories of the day? Only on Countdown. You see, Abramoff arranged a meeting with some Malaysians by contacting Karl Rove. And 31 Senate Democrats want Attorney General Gonzales off the investigation. David Shuster, who we know lied about that Fitzgerald letter, talked about all the people Abramoff "might know" in the White House. Neither Shuster nor Keith specified what those "vast holes" in Cheney's explanation of the shooting might be.
It's the #2 slot, and why is Olby talking about a 96-year-old murder case? Oh we get it, another of Keith's pretentiously obscure historical allegories. The segment was really a regurgitated network tape about the Entwhistle case. Then celebrity news, and a wisecrack implying that Cheney witness Armstrong is a liar. Finally, a dog missing from the dog show. The owners were Olby's guests. Much to our surprise, neither they nor Keith Olbermann explained just what were those "vast holes" in Cheney's account of the shooting.