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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
"Defending the Indefensible"
Expect a full-bore Spinorama tonight. Possible Olbermann tactics: the Miami 7 are amateurs, little more than wannabees. The executive branch is grabbing power again with an illegal search of bank records (despite the fact that the actions violated no statute, and in fact were authorized by a 1977 law). Of course, the most Olbermannesque strategy would be to use all of the above, and tie them together to boot. E.g.: Newspapers reveal another illegal power grab by the imperial Bush Presidency, and just by coincidence the feds decide to execute an arrest in Miami, complete with hoopla and press conferences. You don't have to be a conspiratorialist to find the timing of this arrest suspicious. And so forth.
9:16 PM: Did we call it or what? No sooner did The Hour of Spin commence, than comedian Keith Olbermann, like Pavlov's dog in a bell-testing factory, took the bait:
How amazing that that story broke just after the government failed to strongarm news organizations into not running the bank tapping story... Another terror timeline that either validates the idea that an endless series of conventient coincidences is just an endless series of convenient coincidences, or that validates the idea that somebody has memorized Orwell's 1984. Damaging news coming out about more invasions of privacy in the name of counter-terrorism? Not if there's chilling news coming out about a home grown plot bigger than 9/11.... They have the timing of Michael Jordan, don't they?
Questioning the timing? Check! (Props to SMG, who predicted the Orwell reference. Check!)
KO lied, calling the bank records program "bending of the law" (it's directly authorized by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and is patently legal). (Check!) Then it was on to minimize the terror arrests, and the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann faced a quandary. MSNBC's terrorism analysts have been proclaiming through the day that the arrest of the Liberty City 7 was a genuine victory in the war on terror. Roger Cressey was particularly outspoken on that point. Well then, perhaps he could turn to Walid Phares. Oh no, we can't have that. Keith disinvited him once already because he doesn't conform to OlbySpeak. So that leaves Evan Kohlmann.
But first, KO wanted to know about the banking scheme, which he painted as useless because Al Qaeda doesn't use traditional banking methods. Kohlmann said to some extent they do, but there's more to investigations than just monitoring bank records. Then on to the spin o' the day:
The law enforcement people say they didn't have the weapons...is this far enough over the line of trash talking and wannabeeism and even entrapment to merit all this attention and the comparisons to the 9/11 plan?
Kudos to KO for regurgitating so much spin and nonsense into one sentence. They didn't have weapons? So we shouldn't arrest terrorists until they have a bomb and can explode it? "Wannabeeism"? Another prediction bears fruit. (Check!) "Entrapment"? For the non-lawyers out there, the concept of "entrapment" has only one relevance: it is a defense raised by the accused at trial. In other words, just 24 hours after suspected terrorists are arrested, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann is already acting as their defense attorney! And without one speck of evidence to back it up.
Kohlmann sensibly pointed out that Nichols and McVeigh could have been similarly described, and that it was a "good thing" that the feds broke up the cell. But Krazy Keith wasn't about to quit, and returned to his Pavlovian spin point:
Why go and arrest them now?
Then it was on to the "bank tapping" scheme (which doesn't involve a bank, but hey, why expect accuracy from Keith?). Could it be legal? For this, the Bush-bashing Jonathan Turley once again is dragged in. Predictably, Turley complained about "the absence of Congressional authorization". This, of course, is another reiteration of the "executive grabbing power" talking point. (Check!) His "legal analysis" was so ignorant of facts and law, and devoid of specifics and citations, that a first-year law student would have been embarrassed to claim it.
After oddball, the #3 story was global warming: simply a transparent excuse to rerun the Al Gore interview from just a few days ago. Time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown):
By the way, KO intro'd the rerun by noting the "astounding" box office Al's movie has achieved. It's astounding in the same way that outrage over Bill O'Reilly and Malmedy is "continuing" and "growing". #2: internet "fight club" videos (recycled from NBC), Anna Nicole Smith, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Katie Holmes, and--something to brighten Keith's evening--Cruise News! #1: Spray-on food tasting.
The Media Matters Minute began with still another Olbermann lie, and typically, it concerned a Fox News employee:
The rapidly deteriorating John Gibson of Fox News. This past Wednesday night, after the atrocities in Iraq, Gibby lambasted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for not condemning the torturing and murder...except Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had both issued exactly the kind of condemnations on Wednesday morning that John had called for on Wednesday night.
Read Mr Gibson's comments for yourself. Where does he even mention Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, let alone "lambaste" them? He doesn't. Olby made that up! More "fake news" from the fake newsman. But wait, there's more. Geraldo Rivera (also of Fox) got a nod because he said (accurately) than in the past 25 years he's seen a lot more combat than John Kerry. (Olby conveniently omitted the first part of the sentence where Rivera acknowledged Kerry's combat experience.) The worst person winner was Saddam Hussein (for not keeping to his hunger strike) but, as KO so cleverly put it, "it was close".
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 126th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still three.