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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
IS HARRIET MIERS THE NEXT TO GO AT THE WHITE HOUSE?: Mike Allen, TIME White House correspondent
COVER OF ROLLING STONE - "THE WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY": Sean Wilentz, author of the article and director of American Studies at Princeton University
"Whistling in the Dark"
We wondered how long it would take for Keith Olbermann to suggest that the woman fired for stealing classified secrets and giving them to a reporter was really just a "whistle-blower". Bingo! It happened as soon as the opening spiel was over, just 01:40 into the Hour of Spin. Andrea Mitchell was there to discuss the CIA's "unprecedented" action of firing a leaker. Olby quickly tried to suggest the thief could defend herself as a "whistle-blower", and Mitchell replied:
Well NO, Andrea. And NO, Keith. There is no whistle-blower protection for people who give away government secrets. People within the CIA who have a problem with something internal or classified can take it to Congress. People who steal secrets and sell them, or give them away to reporters, are not whistle-blowers, and cannot be whistle-blowers. It's a little thing called the law.
You can always trust Krazy Keith's tin-foil instincts to come up with a conspiracy theory to fit any occasion, and he didn't fail us tonight:
Let's limit ourselves to three events that have occurred in the last week: Dana Priest gets the Pulitzer Prize; Bill Bennett, former Education Secretary, still tight with the administration, says she and the reporters of the New York Times who broke the domestic spy story should not be getting awards, they should be getting jail time; then this firing and the confrontation happens. Are those things coincidences of timing, or is there a line running through them that's something other than just chronology?
Ms Mitchell either didn't follow Keith's Konvoluted Konspiracy, or deliberately chose to vague up her answer so as not to embarrass KO by telling him: You're nuts! Olby wanted to know if a "brazen" action like this--firing a thief of classified secrets--is "something that goes through the White House". Yes, Keith. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney ordered it, because she was getting too close to the hidden agenda of Halliburton's helicopters.
Andrea didn't bite on KO's most preposterous lines, so it was time to call in Olbermann's most preposterous "expert", disbarred lawyer and leader of the impeach-Bush crowd, John Dean. This was a great opportunity for Keith to compare the firing of the thief to Richard Nixon and the Pentagon papers. For his part, the ex-con said firing the thief will not "sit well" with people in government. Krazy Keith peered into his crystal ball to divine the motive of the thief in one of his trademark run-on sentences:
We now understand, with the revelation of who Deep Throat was last year, in the person of Mark Felt from the FBI, that the leaking in 1972, 1973, 1974, was about getting information out that the system was trying to contain, that there were people who, at that bureau level, or at that organization, or agency, level, uh, were offended that the rule of law was being skirted with. Do we assume that's what we're seeing in this case, that that same sort of reaction is still there, is still present, is still a, a, uh, check or balance...
Sorry, we just couldn't type any more of this verbal diarrhea. (And yes, he really did say the rule of law "was being skirted with".) On OlbyPlanet, people who are upset with laws being skirted are perfectly entitled to register their concern by going out and brazenly breaking the law themselves! Surely, even felon Dean isn't going to buy this:
That typically is the whistle-blower motive.
AAIIEEEEE! "Whistle-blower" again! No wonder the ex-con was disbarred. He is obviously as much in the dark about the law as KO is, but that's probably why Keith asked him on. Anyone knowledgable would give the Krazy one's theories the horse laugh. But the spin wasn't over yet, as the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann came up with yet another gem:
It is clearly semantics, and only semantics, to say there is a difference in these two acts: a CIA officer decides to clue somebody in on these former Soviet Gulags which are now being used as detention centers by this country, and a President decides to declassify classified information so it can be then used to discredit a detractor.
Yes, it's just semantics that the President has the right to declassify and Mary McCarthy doesn't. If that's right, and there's no difference, then why did anyone bother to investigate the Plame leak? Is Keith Olbermann really this stupid, or does he think the viewers of A-Mess-NBC are? (We won't even go into the spin behind the notion that rebutting Joe Wilson's arguments means you are trying to "discredit" Joe Wilson.) Once again, Olby brought up Keith's Konvoluted Konspiracy, the one Andrea Mitchell tactfully avoided, but even the disbarred lawyer thought it was dubious, to say the least. And all of this, before the first commerial break! But fear not, there was more to come on the Friday night cavalcade of Bush-bashers.
The #4 segment began with another snipe at a cable news station that actually has viewers. Olby snarked that Brit Hume was skeptical of a CBS poll that had Bush at 34% because it oversampled Democrats, but now Fox's own poll shows Bush at 33%. Of course these polls were months apart, so Krazy's point was...? Don't try to make sense of it. All Olbermann has going for him are the snickers and giggles of the moonbat crowd he programs for, so what he says really doesn't have to make any sense.
This was a lead-in for the next Bush-basher, Sean Wilentz, writer for the academic journal, Rolling Stone. Keith helpfully ticked off all the reasons this far-leftist cited, then bragged to Wilentz:
I'm a student of Presidential history...
Yes we know, and you're a legal expert, and you're the smartest man on television, and you won two Edward R Murrow Awards. Or was it three? wilentz is a hero to the gang at "TruthOut" and "American Prospect", and he didn't disappoint Countdown's target demographic. A poll of historians was "lopsided". Bush is "dividing" the country. Olby compared Bush to George Orwell, and that was that.
Has Keith Olbermann ever interviewed anyone who wrote an article about why Bush is a good President? Even one? Or is this just like the NSA coverage: one "expert" after another, all offering the same point of view, with never a syllable from any other perspective? Note: these are rhetorical questions. We all know the answers.
After a half-hour of unrelenting DNC talking points, it was actually a relief to watch cow video on "oddball". After that, the #3 story was about the teenage plot to shoot up a school (video report regurgitated from NBC), while #2 was a generous helping of celebrity fluff. The Big #1 dealt with "anti-terror wasps" and other unusual counter-terrorism measures, courtesy of Monica Novotny.
In the Media Matters Minute, Keith Olbermann turned 80 tonight. Well, that is, he reached a milestone: O'Reilly Attack #80. Bill was a runner-up because he advocated permitting police to remove homeless people sleeping and urinating on public streets. KO objected because according to him, Mr Bill said these people were abusing drugs or alcohol, or lazy.
But O'Reilly's description was not applied to the homeless in question. It came later in his discussion, when he opined that the ACLU would like the government to support and house people who are drug users or lazy. This is too subtle for Media Matters, or for Krazy Keith, but there are homeless who are drug users and/or lazy. There are also those who are not. O'Reilly's objection was to handouts for those who are. He did not say that all homeless are lazy, drug users, as KO would have you believe. Keith Olbermann mispresenting something Bill O'Reilly said? We're probably pretty close to #80 on that score as well.
As always, when Olby doesn't like the news, he simply refuses to report it; some of the canines that did not woof tonight:
UPDATE: Brad Wilmouth at Newsbusters writes Olbermann Plugs "Bush Worst President" Rolling Stone Article