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On Tuesday night's Countdown, the spin began even as the opening credits rolled:
Any credibility left? Anyone?
Olby was talking about the President's press conference, with the subtle headline "Beat the Press" seen in big bold letters behind Krazy Keith and his wig. Olby referenced Lyndon Johnson in 1969, and then ran clips from the presser. Bloviation was supplied by Jim VandeHei of the Post, no doubt invited back because of his track record of astute analysis, as when he told Keith that Dick Cheney would "never" speak about his hunting accident. An NBC report from Norah O'Donnell talked about declining poll numbers and conservative disillusionment, because those subjects never get any coverage on The Hour of Spin.
To introduce a regurgitated Lisa Myers report about Naji Sabri, an Iraqi who was feeding information to the CIA, Olby put it this way:
[He] was insisting that Saddam had no biological weapons program, and the administration simply ignored him.
Note how Keith, who is quick to accuse "Mister" Bush of semantic hairsplitting, only mentioned biological weapons (he pulled the same trick in his earlier tease). But there was more to Myers's report than this one aspect flogged by KO. Sabri also said that Saddam had around "500 metric tonnes of chemical warfare agents", that production of the agents had been renewed and that Iraq had additional stockpiles left over from the Iran-Iraq war. Myers rather airily said that on this Sabri was "wrong", but of course she has no way of knowing that.
"Oddball" preceded a segment about the New York Daily News report that Bill will have to clear his public comments through Hillary. So what else is new? Howard Fineman, Pundit for All Occasions, called it a "soap opera of power". Then after no report on the Moussaoui trial (to KO it's only news when he can use it to embarrass the administration) we got a #2 story about the "return" of the antiwar entertainers. What, they went somewhere? It was an excuse to give free publicity to Susan Sarandon, Cindy Sheehan, and their ilk. It's more of that canny Olbermann News Judgment: hype Susan Sarandon, ignore Moussaoui. Perhaps Countdown has done similar stories on pro-administration entertainers, but oddly none come to mind. Then celebrity news and the Deborah Lafave non-trial.
Tuesday's Countdown, though rich with propaganda points, still couldn't match the dizzying centrifugal force of the spin on Monday's edition. But there's always the Media Matters Minute to help balance the scales. This time Olby chose Ann Coulter as "worse", reaching all the way back into last week's entries. Whether that's too far removed to earn Keith his reciprocal video clip posting on the Soros site remains to be seen.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 34th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.