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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
"That Was Then, This Is Now"
There was huge damage control to be done tonight on The Hour of Spin, and the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann wasted no time. He started off by citing an obscure "conservative" website that speculated about Zarqawi, using that to suggest he was more of a hindrance to Al-Qaeda than a help. (This is a website where the leading "hot topic" is "George Bush Is a War Criminal".) But it's enough to feed the latest Krazy Keith Konspiracy: it was really Al-Qaeda that arranged for Zarqawi's termination. Roger Cressey didn't exactly buy that theory, but Keith liked this answer better:
Zarqawi's network was not a key element to the overall insurgency... Zarqawi was not a leader of the insurgency like he was three years ago.
The clear-thinking regular readers of Olbermann Watch predicted this would be exactly the angle KO would adopt. And like Pavlov's dogs in a bell-testing factory, Keith delivered. But is that what Keith Olbermann was telling us back in the day? Back when Zarqawi was eluding US forces? Dissolve to a flashback [cue: harp music]. What was Countdown telling us last year about Zarqawi?
U.S. intelligence indicates that terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi recruits about one suicide bomber a day, mostly foreign fighters. But Zarqawi may now be resorting to new, more treacherous tactics to fill the ranks. U.S. officials tell NBC News some suicide bombs may have been planted on vehicles sold by Baghdad car dealers. An innocent, unsuspecting buyer then drives off in a rolling bomb, which can be detonated by remote control.
But never mind last year. What was Countdown reporting about Zarqawi just last month?
the toll of Zarqawi's (INAUDIBLE) is heavy. According to the State Department's recently released annual report on terror, Zarqawi's group is now the smallest, yet most lethal group and pose the most immediate threat. Responsible for horrific kidnappings, beheadings and suicide attacks.
Ah, but that was then; this is now. There are new talking points to make, and Olby insisted on making them, focusing on a statement from (natch) President Bush:
"The ideology of terror has lost its most visible, aggressive leader."... Maybe I missed the memo, I had a couple days off this year. I thought there was a, uh, Bin Laden was somehow involved in all this.
Perhaps because Bin Laden is cowering in a cave, and Zarqawi was actively running terror attacks, Keith. But KO was just warming up:
Is the work the Americans are doing, the grunt work chasing this guy and guys like him down, is it undeniable that they put a win on the board and they needed a win no matter what the reaction is on the other end?
What exactly does this mean? It wasn't a win? We called it a win just for propaganda purposes? American forces are just involved in an extravagant PR game to make the world think Zarqawi was important? Would it be really over the line to throw that infamous question back at Keith Olbermann: tell me, sir, why do you hate our troops?
In the #4 segment, Krazy Keith turned to the political impact. As for whether this could be a "turning point" for President Bush, Olby cracked:
You mean the 979th turning point for President Bush?
Well at least he didn't call him "Mister". Talking to Richard Wolffe, Keith immediately regurgitated one of his favorite spin techniques. You know, the one where whatever happens, it's somehow bad for Bush:
Anything of this magnitude is bound to raise the President's approval ratings, but long term is this, is it really a good idea for the White House to get that word Iraq on the front pages, will the name Zarqawi not be followed sooner or later by the place named Haditha, and the US death count, and, and if there is surprise in some places when the assert-, insurgency does not get buried along with Zarqawi?
No, those things aren't going to come up "sooner or later". They're going to come up immediately, right now, on Countdown, because Keith Olbermann brought them up. Olby talked about "Mister Bush's demeanor" (serious), calling it a "lesson learned". Then he went right back to that same old bag of tricks again:
Is there also concern there, in a perverse way, that there's a gap here now, because of the loss of an identifiable enemy?
Yeah, that was the downside of defeating Hitler too. Thereupon, KO returned to the business about why Zarqawi really wasn't a big threat because he wasn't Bin Laden. We can only surmise what masterpiece of spin Olby will come up with when it's Usama's turn to meet his maker. With a reference to Rumsfeld and "the retired generals" (i.e. the infinitesmal percentage of retired generals who have called for Rummy's resignation, the only ones who exist on OlbyPlanet), the interview concluded. Whew.
After oddball, it was ESPN on MSNBC: baseball and Jason Grimsley. #2: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Scientology, and race cars (taped report from NBC); plus Donald Trump and Teri Hatcher. And the #1 story: Brangelina baby pictures with the disturbing Michael Musto. He and Krazy actually analyzed the photos, the positioning of the bodies, and which way the eye lines were facing. Musto has never been more pathically unfunny.
That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 111th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 5.