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    June 30, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • NEW BIN LADEN TAPE: Roger Cressey, NBC terrorism analyst
    • EXPOSING THE FINANCIAL RECORDS: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
    • STAR JONES INTERVIEW: recycled from the Today show

    "You Don't Say"

    In his opening spiel, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann found a way to use the phrase "bank-tapping" three times, making him three times wronger than usual (there was no bank involved). But this edition of The Hour of Spin was as notable for what Krazy Keith didn't say, as for what he did.

    KO, looking more orange than, well, an orange, first talked about the new Usama tape. He also dealt with the "latest alleged atrocity" by US troops. Note the use of "latest". Clinton apologist Roger Cressey made a return visit. Hey, it's been all of 48 hours since the last time he was on Countdown! Usama's tape had words of praise for Zarqawi. Keith, never one to let go of a pet fringe theory (Al Qaeda wanted to get rid of Zarqawi), spun the apparent contradiction by claiming the tape was being used as "the official martyrdom of Zarqawi".

    Then it was back to "bank-tapping", since Cressey has teamed up with his old boss, Richard Clarke, to pooh-pooh the revelation of the program. Keith & Cress regurgitated the "old news" argument again, but we wondering about what wasn't said. Namely, if everyone knew about it, how did the program keep capturing terrorists?

    Then it was time for "attack the media", something KO does almost every night, but bellows in outrage when anyone he doesn't approve of does it. This time we had both at once: Keith attacks the Wall Street Journal, because they criticized the New York Times. On OlbyPlanet, Keith attack = good, WSJ attack = bad. Wolffie, for the second time this week, was there to echo Keith's spin. And talking about spin, KO came up with a great one to cover another of his own embarrassments.

    When the SWIFT story broke, Krazy Keith was all over it like white on rice. And he did everything in his power to wish it true. A few days later, two of the phone companies said the story was wrong. Olbermann was on his high horse. He said by denying the story BellSouth was engaging in an "attack the media" diversion. They had demanded a retraction from USA Today, and KO ridiculed that as a "risky strategy", suggested they were "bluffing", and generally pooh-poohed their case by snarking, "I didn't see the word 'libel' in there."

    Well, the USA Today did indeed retract precisely the things BellSouth and Verizon had insisted were not true. As the paper reported

    five members of the congressional intelligence committees said they had been told in secret briefings that BellSouth did not turn over call records to the NSA, three lawmakers said they had been told that Verizon had not participated in the NSA database, and four said that Verizon's subsidiary MCI did turn over records to the NSA.

    [Note: the above information that USA Today got from Congress is more of the stuff Keith didn't say.] So comedian Keith Olbermann went into damage control mode.:

    Are other news organizations, do you think, running scared now? The editions today of USA Today, uh, they, they said they could no longer confirm the report they had...Has there been a chilling effect?

    Here is OlbySpin at its finest. Twisted, yet elegant. Nonsensical, yet somehow convincing to the credulous Olbypologists. The paper got the story wrong, and put up a retraction. (Isn't that something KO was himself hectoring O'Reilly about the other day? Oh wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves.) But on OlbyPlanet, where Keith can never admit his spin doesn't stink, never mind what those intelligence committees said, the newspaper is "running scared". Classic.

    #4: The Japanese Prime Minister visits Graceland (recycled NBC report). Oddball. Star Jones: huge chunks of an interview from the Today show taking up the #3 slot of Countdown. But ratings don't matter, right Keith? Who cares about those 50 billion flies anyhow? Oh, and don't forget, we've got Star Jones reruns!

    #2: Tour de France, the space shuttle (recycled NBC report), Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, David Hasselhoff. The #1 segment was reserved for another fine, fine edition of "the oddball plays of the month".

    In the "apolitical" Media Matters Minute, conservative "harpy" Melanie Morgan was a runner-up. Gee, wasn't Olby ranting about how bad Ann Coulter was for calling someone a "harpy"? The "worst persons" were those "nitwits" Fox's E.D. Hill and Brian Kilmeade for suggesting an "office of censorship" modeled after the one FDR instituted, staffed by respected journalists who would give advisory opinions to media outlets as to whether publication of a story would hurt national security. Needless to say, everything in the previous sentence after the word "censorship" is more stuff that Keith didn't say.

    But the biggest thing Krazy Keith didn't say relates to his continuing jihad against Bill O'Reilly. You'll recall how outraged he was that Mr Bill reported a quote from John Murtha, and the newspaper had later corrected the quote, but not Bill. It was great fodder for an entire program segment. But what about the fact that O'Reilly did in fact correct the story and apologize? Not one word from infamous, deplorable, who will never allow anything to pass his lips that contradicts his anti-Bill screeds.

    By the way, when O'Reilly apologized, he apologized. He didn't complain that the newspaper was "running scared". He didn't fret that correcting a false story would have a "chilling effect". Keith relied on an inaccurate newspaper story just as Bill did. When the paper admitted they got it wrong, Keith spun furiously, impugned the newspaper, and tried to twist his way out of the situation by casting blame everywhere except at his own feet. Bill O'Reilly apologized. Like a man. And Kourageous Keith was afraid to say he did.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 133rd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still two

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (73) | | View blog reactions
    June 29, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann



    It took the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann all of sixty seconds to bring up Richard Nixon. This must have been George Orwell's night off. Now if you had a major, complex constitutional decision to analyze and explain, whom would you ask to do the honors? One would think an impartial constitutional scholar (no, not Turley!) might be the best choice. At the very least you want someone who as a practicing attorney. But not KO. His legal "expert" is a disbarred lawyer!

    Felon John Dean mumbled his way through all the talking points: Geneva Conventions, Gitmo, due process, etc. His "analysis" was singularly unenlightening which, for the ex-con, is an improvement: better the viewers of Countdown be uninformed than misinformed.

    Then we got yet another of Countdown's "top newsmakers": Dana Milbank. Deprived of garish garments, he gently contradicted Olby's assertion that the President was "stunned" by the decision (as just about everyone except KO realizes, the outcome was easily predicted). Another lame trick regurgitated by Keith (no matter what happens, it's bad for Bush) in discussing Congress working to create law that would pass Supreme Court muster:

    Is that potentially as much of a blow to the President as his, er, perception of, of his role and what he's supposed to be doing in this country as the actual ruling relating to Gitmo, is just the process that we talked about as, as dangerous to him?

    Dana gave an approved answer this time, insuring his reapparance on The Hour of Spin. Through both interviews neither Krazy Keith nor his guests ever addressed, or seemed the least bit interested in, how this decision could impact prosecuting the war on terror. But that's nowhere near as important as finding every possible anti-Bush nook and cranny.

    We know how Olby loves to bring up polls--he did so Tuesday and Wednesday, when he could use them to support his spin. Tonight he referred to the New York Times controversy. But for some reason this poll, one of the first to query public opinion on the SWIFT operation, didn't get reported by Olby. (70% support the program, 60% think the Times helped terrorists more than the public.) Needless to say, Keith wasn't very eager to report the President's approval numbers either, since they are up over 40%. Possibly they'll dip again and the poll reports will resume.

    Next: floods, oddball, and a rerun of video (recycled from a local station) from just two days ago about Wyandotte, OK. Sprinkled through all of this were incessant references to "comedian Rush Limbaugh" and Viagra. All we could think about was what kind of pills KO uses when he's sending secret messages to his latest email squeeze-of-the-week. Then more recycled reportage about small, "smart" cars.

    In the celebrity segment, Krazy finally got around to "comedian Rush Limbaugh". (Geez, if it was ever funny, do you really believe it's funny the 369th time you say it?) Rush was at a seminar about the tv show "24", and The Laughing Stagehand found all of it most uproarious. Then Pamela Anderson, Brittney Spears, Star Jones, Barbara Walters, and the disturbing Michael Musto. In the Media Matters Minute, that well-known "apolitical" segment, conservative Melanie Morgan was "worst".

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 132nd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still two

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (61) | | View blog reactions
    Washington Examiner: My Op-Ed on New York Times

    The only connection to Olbermann in this post is that the editor of OlbermannWatch also wrote this Op-Ed for The Washington Examiner.

    You can find a direct link here: Robert Cox: Americans deserve better than Keller's open letter

    In the piece, I acknowledge the general point made by Times Editor Bill Keller that our country is founded on the principle of a free and aggressive press not taking the president's word at face value but go on to note that nowhere in his "open letter" does Keller provide a specific reason why it was in the "public interest" to disclose the covert SWIFT financial transaction monitoring program. Keller's attitude his typical of "elites" of all stripes who take it upon themselves to decided what's best for the rest of us.

    The story has been widely linked. If you check the Examiner national page (they also own the San Francisco Examiner) you will see that my Op-Ed is currently the Most Read article on the site.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (19) | | View blog reactions
    Welcome FARK Readers: Who is Merkle923?

    We've been FARK'ed:

    Right-wingers ponder the possibility that Keith Olbermann conspired with Topps and WalMart to inflate the value of Alex Gordon rookie cards. No word on if the Illuminati and the Queen of England were involved in this conspiracy

    FARK linked Who is Merkle923?

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (6) | | View blog reactions
    KO's Least Favorite New Blog

    Keith Olbermann cannot be happy about a new blog that popped up over the past few days. For This Relief Much Thanks may just turn out to be KO's worst nightmare. It may well put his ongoing "falafel" jokes in an entirely new context.

    The action on this blog is all in the comments section. Let me know what you think.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (176) | | View blog reactions
    June 28, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann



    "Two Tickets to OlbyPlanet"

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann was so eager to ridicule the notion that exposing the SWIFT program caused any harm, that he abandoned even a semblance of a pretext of logical thought. Any terrorist with an internet connection knew about it, and so on. Roger Cressey obediently parrotted Keith's mantra, saying this was "no state secret", only allowing that revealing it was "counter-productive". Olby went on:

    Wouldn't a sophisticated, cunning, evil, internet-using terrorist group know that these tactics were going to be used?

    Well, Krazy, how do you explain that we caught the Bali bomber through this project? And continued to intercept terrorist plans as recently as just last year? What, those don't count? We shouldn't bother catching the Bali bomber because he wasn't "cunning" enough to read Swift's magazine? This is OlbyLogic to the ultimate power.

    Cressey again served as the Olbermann Echo Chamber:

    They understand that we are trying to monitor not just their communications but also their money.

    So since drivers understand that the police are cracking down on traffic violators, that means we should tell them which corners have cop cars hidden around the corner? After all, if they're smart, they'll know anyhow, right? This is such a case of the gallopping dumbs that trying to make sense out of it can make your hair hurt.

    Then it's the War Against the Media talking point again, with Norah "Whatever" O'Donnell. She was there to repeat the same stupid argument (because the administration said they would use every means possible against terrorism, that means they can all be made public). KO repeatedly referred to this whole program as "bank-tapping" (despite the fact that no bank was involved), and "Whatever" hammered home the talking point that this is all "attack the media" politics.

    The #4 slot had a Countdown rarity: an actual report from NBC that wasn't pre-taped or recycled (the floods). In the "top 3 newsmakers" segment KO bashed the "rabid" Media Research Center, for its findings on the "worst person" segment. Note how dishonestly Keith spun this one:

    Of approximately 600 nominees, only 174 of them were conservative. That means roughly 71% of the worsts are not conservative. I'd like to thank the MRC for confirming my point that the segment is apolitical.

    This is so deceitful as to qualify as another Olbermann lie. He completely omitted the rest of the statistics: that there were only 23 liberals to the 174 conservatives. And how about the multiple dozens of conservatives who were named "worst", while exactly one lone liberal has ever been given that "honor"?

    The #3 slot started out with John Murtha, who got a retraction for an incorrectly reported statement. Note that Olbermann never bothered to report the embarrassing statement itself, only the retraction. As opposed to all the times KO falsely attributes quotes to, say, Bill O'Reilly, and never corrects his own mistakes. But we digress. Oh wait, no we don't, because Mr Bill and attack #98 is next on the propaganda program.

    You'll note that our mole in Seacaucus told us yesterday that there would be another attack tonight, and, like Pavlov's dog in a bell-testing factory, Krazy Keith delivered. To kick it off, KO ridiculed Mr Bill's statement that "Rick Kaplan has left MSNBC":

    See, by overemphasizing the word "left", he is sending a subtle signal to the dim bulbs in his audience that former MSNBC President Rick Kaplan might have had personal political beliefs that tended towards liberal or left.

    No, we're not making that up. He really believes it! Then Olby was back bragging about ratings: he's up, O'Reilly's down. Once again, KO manipulated the data, never pointing out that O'Reilly's viewership is anywhere from five to nine times his, depending on the day of the week. Then he went on a rant about how bad the Fox ratings are, omitting the fact that the lowest rated program on Fox has way more viewers than the highest rated show on MSNBC. Hey, we thought ratings were irrelevant, Krazy. You know, the five billions flies and all? Then Olby delivered his coup de grace to Mr Bill:

    You can't even lie well.

    You may have a point there, Krazy. You were going to expose "the lies" of Bill O'Reilly in this segment, and all you did is spin numbers. You did not identify one thing O'Reilly said that was incorrect. We concede: you are a much better liar than he is.

    The rest: Another plug for the Snakes on a Plane movie (has Olby already abandoned trying to prop up Al Gore's agit-prop fest?), Michael Jackson, Peter Gammonds, and Star Jones.

    In the Media Matters Minute, Glenn Beck (conservative) got a runner-up position, Orrin Hatch (R) did too for daring to support the anti-flag-burning amendment, and Brent Bozell (conservative) was "worst person". Oh yeah, this segment is apolitical all right.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 131st day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now two

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (81) | | View blog reactions
    June 27, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • RUSH LIMBAUGH: Jim Moret, "Inside Edition"

    "Rush to Judgment"

    Olby began The Hour of Spin with Gallup polls about Iraq. Public opinion is the arbiter of all you know, except for those pesky cable news ratings. Craig Crawford showed up within moments to chuckle and giggle about how the President really doesn't care about polls. Olbermann's Brain seemed to think a big turnout would help Democrats. We are astonished by his unending insights.

    Of course Olby had to bring up the "war against the media", you know, the one where's it's wrong to criticize writers or broadcasters unless it's Krazy Keith doing the attacking. Brain called it classic "attack the messenger", plugging his own book at the same time.

    KO said the Bush White House is "escalating its war against the media to near-nuclear proportions". This sounds serious! What did they do now? We waited and listened, and waited and listened, but Keith never told us! The only example he gave was Tony Snow saying he wouldn't revoke the NY Times press credentials.

    OK, so maybe we're missing something here, but how is that a near-nuclear assault on the media by the White House? You can count Krazy's klaim as reckless hyperbole, or just another Olbermann lie. Take your pick. Meanwhile, Mitchell showed up to give the leftist view of all this, and Keith resurrected one of his favorite tricks, painting whatever happens as a boneheaded bad move for the Bush administration:

    Did the White House just buy itself two and a half years of the media working overtime to catch it in anything because...of this reaction, this vitriol?

    Mitchell complained that not enough people have rallied to the defense of the Times, and boasted that they did not "rush to judgment" about the story. Neither he nor the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann mentioned any of the prominent Democrats who lobbied the Times against publishing the article (John Murtha, Joe Biden, etc). That's the kind of new that never makes it onto Countdown. Mitchell found a way to drag Katrina into the discussion, thereby earning himself a return trip to The Hour of Spin.

    Olby bellowed the phrase "comedian Rush Limbaugh" so many times that it was a relief that the bash Limbaugh segment came up in the #4 slot. Keith slowed himself to be even more classless and sleazy than we realized:

    Viagra is usually dispensed in units of 30 pills...Limbaugh was found to have 29 pills on him.

    Obviously Krazy is flogging this story simply for the delight of embarrassing someone who actually has people listening to him. Oh, and don't expect any concerns from KO about privacy how someone's pharmacological information "leaked" out to the public. Moret (from "Inside Edition", the show Keith has ridiculed so many times) said Limbaugh's home free if/when his doctor confirms that he gave Rush the pills. But KO kept pressing for some way the prosecutor could use this against Rush, doing his best to obscure the fact that there was no violation of Florida law.

    In the "top newsmaker" segment Olby decided to lift a story from TVNewser about how Brit Hume (and, of course, Bill O'Reilly) have faced some audience declines over the past year. What happened to the famous Olbermann dismissal of ratings as irrelevant ("five billion flies can't be wrong")? Well, if KO now thinks they're important, we must do our duty here at Olbermann Watch:

    June 2006
    O'Reilly Factor: 2,141,000 viewers
    Brit Hume: 1,178,000 viewers
    Countdown: 286,000 viewers

    We don't think Krazy Keith is the right guy to be bringing up ratings trends.

    After the half-way mark, it was global warming propaganda time, with a single guest who expressed her gw-fundamentalist viewpoint unchallenged and uncontested. How fundamentalist is she? What about the debate about whether it's man-made? "There is no debate." So much for that. Oh, there was another plug for Al Gore's movie. Talk about declining audiences!

    Keith introduced the #2 story (Harry Potter, recycled video) with a vignette about the Hitchcock film "The Trouble with Harry", calling it a "bomb". (It took in three times its cost at the box office, but why ruin a good OlbyTale?) Then Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell, Boy George, Axl Rose, and some baseball manager.

    In the #1 slot, a new "feature" called "Keith's Olbermann's America", complete with supposed-to-be-funny animation of KO in a bus. But the segment was just more recycled video (this time not even from the network mothership but from a local station). You can't expect Keith to actually get on that bus and report, can you? He might bump his head.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 130th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still three. But our mole in Seacaucus (not The Laughing Stagehand) reports that will change tomorrow.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (69) | | View blog reactions
    MRC Study: Bias Showing in KO's WPIW "Enemies List"

    NAMEIn what will come as no surprise to clear-thinking Olbermann Watch readers, the Media Research Center has published its report on its analysis of Keith Olbermann's choices for "Worst Person in the World" which found that KO attacks conservatives over liberals at close to a 9 to 1 ratio. Olbermann, has repeatedly claimed he is not "political" and denies any bias.

    Of the 197 politically-salient designees, nearly nine out of ten (174, or 88%) attacked conservative targets or ideas, compared with 23 nominees (12%) in which liberals were on the receiving end of Olbermann's ire.

    Here's a breakdown of KO's top targets:

    Bill O'Reilly - 42
    Rush Limbaugh - 11
    Ann Coulter - 9
    Brit Hume - 4
    Neal Boortz - 3
    Glenn Beck - 3
    The New York Post - 2
    Michelle Malkin - 2

    NOTE: Saddam Hussein - 2

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (56) | | View blog reactions
    June 26, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • SWIFT TERROR TRACKING: Dana Milbank, Washington Post
    • IRAQ PLANS: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
    • LANCE ARMSTRONG: Stephen Madden

    "Hack Attack"

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann wasted no time. Disclosing a top secret anti-terrorism program makes it more difficult to prevent future attacks, says Dick Cheney. Says Krazy Keith:

    Uh huh. Do they really believe that tripe?

    Then it's on to the "genesis of Watergate", Richard Nixon (props to SMG for calling it again!), and blaming the media. On OlbyPlanet, attacking the media is a bad thing. Unless it's Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, Ann Coulter, John Gibson...and unless it's comedian Keith Olbermann who's doing the attacking. Then in one short phrase, we get a Krazy Keith distortion and a genuine Olbermann lie:

    warrant-free, unauthorized administration access to some of the international banking records of Americans

    Distortion: "warrant-free", but with properly served subpoenas. Lie: "unauthorized" (several federal laws give the executive branch precisely this authority). Olby went on to talk about the "scapegoating" of the papers that printed classified secrets, then pulled a typical Countdown trick: he read the statement from NY Times's Bill Keller (complete with on-screen text), but the response from Secretary Snow was relegated to just a couple of out-of-context phrases buried in a question to Dana Milbank.

    Milbank, sans goofy garb, complained that "press freedoms are being broken down", citing...the Scooter Libby case. The very one Krazy Keith has been hyping for months! Then Olby asked:

    Where was the umbrage and the vitriol about the leakers? The Times did not steal these documents.

    Of course, what the President said was:

    We're at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm

    KO lied again about the SWIFT program ("at best legally questionable"), and Dana somehow morphed from that to flag-burning and how the proposed amendment links us to Iran! After another golden oldie (the Iraq informant "curveball" again), the first commercial break mercifully arrived.

    In the #4 slot, Keith's assignment was to misrepresent the so-called troop withdrawal plans in Iraq. So the entire story was framed as if this is the plan for Iraq, not just one of multiple plans that are always on the drawing board. Wolffe made mention of that fact, but KO was having none of it:

    the Republicans on the hill were calling the Democrats everything from cut-and-joggers to unpatriotic, it seems to leave only two options here: either the Republicans on the hill didn't know about those conversations, or they were to put it politely disingenous...

    Another Olby slur (what Republicans have called "the Democrats" unpatriotic?), and more spin. What about the third possibility: that this is just one plan of many? What about the fact that the Generals running the war proposing any plan have a bit more credibility than politicians sitting around in DC trying to make gains in an election? But Krazy Keith suggests that it's the Generals, rather than the politicians, who are playing politics:

    Does that really have to do with conditions on the ground in Iraq or does it have to do with the midterm elections?

    Maybe Olby should have asked MSNBC's own military analyst, Gen Barry McCaffrey, who said politics did not control these decisions, and no plan would be approved by the military that didn't make military sense. Oh, apparently that's why McCaffrey is absent from The Hour of Spin tonight.

    After oddball, a bit about "comedian Rush Limbaugh" being stopped at customs for possessing prescription medicine in someone else's name. Olby made it a point to state that "the office would not identify the prescription drug", but the only report available (filed at 7:52 pm) not only does so, but also includes the caveat that he was detained for "possible" possession of the drug(s). KO then added, "No comment from comedian Rush Limbaugh".

    But the Olbermann Attack Machine was just getting warmed up. It was time to return to another KO bete noir, Lance Armstrong. Krazy Keith, you will recall, insisted Armstrong took illegal drugs based on the fact that the biker once crossed a picket line. So Krazy recycled the current rumors: he threatened someone, he cheated, he took drugs, etc. Madden's responses poured cold water on much of this, but KO was undeterred:

    Is there some grain of truth at the center of this?...Which of these two things is more plausible: that the French media has this vendetta against Lance Armstrong and will go to any length to discredit him, or that Lance Armstrong is actually a cheater who has largely been given a pass by the American media?

    Hey, watch out there, Olby. Are you attacking the media again? Are you making the sports magazines "scapegoats"? And if you wondering if it's plausible someone could have a vendetta against Lance Armstrong, have you looked in the mirror lately? Madden mentioned that the French have an axe to grind given their dismal Tour de France record, but nothing stops a KO Smear Attack:

    So conceivably none of this could be true, or ranging all the way to all of this could be true?

    A typical Keith Olbermann question: "Could this be true?" You don't need a biking expert to answer that! Partisan hacks masquerading as journalists ask "could this be true" when they know damn well anything that's possible could be true, and they want to leave the impression that it is.

    After enduring 40 minutes of such sleazy detritus, any normal viewer would have an uncontrollable urge to take a shower. But comedian Keith Olbermann wasn't finished. He still served up recycled NBC video (Warren Buffett), and a laundry list of celebrities: Aaron Spelling, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes, the creepy Michael Musto, and, yes, Cruise News! More "stories my producers are forcing me cover", according to Keith "I answer to nobody" Olbermann.

    Roger Ailes was "worst person" because he wants his people to work harder. (Don't try to make sense out of it. It's OlbyLogic.) We will skip transcribing all the juvenile insults Krazy squeezed into just three sentences. Wait, isn't this attacking the media?

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 129th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still three.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (44) | | View blog reactions
    June 23, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • MIAMI TERROR ARRESTS: Evan Kohlmann, MSNBC terrorism analyst and Global Terror Alert founder
    • U.S LOOKING THROUGH AMERICANS INTERNATIONAL BANK RECORDS: Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert and George Washington University law professor

    "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 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):

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 23: Al Gore (D)

    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.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (168) | | View blog reactions
    Ratings You WONT Find on TVN

    The O'Reilly Factor/3rd Showing (4:00 AM ET) = 0.4

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann/Original Showing (8:00 PM ET) = 0.3

    Yup...O'Reilly's 4 AM show beat Olbermann's 8 PM show by 100,000 homes.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (118) | | View blog reactions
    BloggerCon: I'm in San Francisco

    I am at CNET HQ in San Francisco for Dave Winer's BloggerCon IV and then heading down to Monterrey for a long weekend to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary. I will try to check in from time to time but, in the meantime, try and play nice while I am traveling.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    June 22, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • WMDs FOUND?: Joseph Cirincione, Center for American Progress

    "Three Srikes"

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann (skin a bright orange, hair oddly less gray) was desperate to do damage control. How to paper over John Kerry's humiliating loss in the Senate? Simple. Ridicule the WMD news, attack Rick Santorum, and kill three birds with one stone. Santorum isn't to be believed because he is behind in the polls. Hoekstra didn't announce, he "foamed". The degraded gas is virtually harmless. All it will do is hurt your skin. They're "weapons of minimal discomfort". All this despite the fact that the declassified document plainly states that they remain potentially "lethal".

    When Bill O'Reilly opens with an op-ed, he's not afraid to bring on an opposing viewpoint for balance. None of that for Kourageous Keith, who badly needed a pseudo-authority to give his own rant some credibility. So he turned to the disreputable Joe Cirincione. This is the "weapons expert" who insisted that we should not have deposed Saddam because he had no WMDs. Do ya think he just might have a personal motive for minimizing this?

    By the way, before the war, Cirincione insisted that we should not depose Saddam, because he did have WMDs:

    there are several very plausible scenarios that could turn the war into a catastrophe. These include the use of chemical or biological weapons against US troops

    You can read this at the Carnegie Endowment page, where Joe holds court. Oh wait a minute. No you can't. When you go to that page, it appears for a split second then vanishes. Sorry, that is an "out of date" page. Joe will have to do better than that to hide his embarrassments. The page Cirincione doesn't want you to see can still be read here.

    But we digress. KO trumpets Joe as with the Center for American Progress. Does that ring any bells? Think John Podesta, Tom Daschle, Larry Korb. Yep, it's a talking point machine for the Democrat left. The announcement is a "farce", said impartial Joe, and...well, does it really matter what else this partisan hack said?

    For the political analysis, Keith turned to another leftie: Jonathan Alter. Olby likened Santorum and Hoekstra to Joe McCarthy, and Alter gleefully piled on. Santorum is "desperate"; Rumsfeld "will say anything". You couldn't have found a more one-sided report if you had gone to the homepage of the DNC.

    In the #4 slot, KO finally got around to the Senate vote, but unfortunately the triple-discredited David Shuster gave the report. This means everything said is suspect, except, perhaps, for "David Shuster, MSNBC". Slippery explained away the votes of Democrats against pullouts as complex political gameplay. The entire segment lasted less than two minutes.

    After oddball, in the #3 slot, it was recycled video again--not even from the network, but from a local station. The Big Story? A valet under somebody's bed. And Monica Novotny with a follow up report (on tape). Then more regurgitated video about a wayward alligator. Yes, all this is more important than, say, having an opposing point of view on the WMD issue. It's that vaunted Olbermann News Judgment at work again.

    Then it was time for attack #97. Guess who? Yes, it's "that bastard Bill O'Reilly". Olby was really original this time: he did a rip 'n' read of an article by Don Wycliff. Why? Because it was a way to do an O'Reilly attack without the trouble of coming up with anything of his own. The "nonpartisan" Olbermann didn't bother to report any of O'Reilly's responses to the inaccuracies and falsehoods in Wycliff's piece. For his part, O'Reilly invited Wycliff on his show tonight to discuss his piece. The courageous scribe cancelled one hour before showtime. Way to go, Keith! You've aligned yourself again with another coward. Birds of a feather: specifically, the yellow-bellied scribbler.

    Then more about Catherine McPhee (Olby never did retract his false story about her and Tom Cruise), Angelina Jolie, Brittney Spears. The #1 slot was reserved for an exclusive interview with Connie Chung? Huh? Here's the logic. The Chung farewell video is one of the most downloaded on the internet. Meanwhile, the ratings for Countdown have actually sunk since Olby returned from vacation. Yesterday's numbers:

    O'REILLY: 2,149,000
    ZAHN: 625,000
    GRACE: 497,000
    OLBY: 251,000

    Oh, but he does so well in the 25-54 demo! Yeah, right:

    O'REILLY: 425,000
    ZAHN: 217,000
    GRACE: 174,000
    OLBY: 103,000

    So what better way to prop up this sinking ship than try to glom on to some of the camp fascination with Chung's bizarre farewell? Connie had the good sense to confine herself to a phone call. Why bother traipsing into the Meltdown studio when nobody's watching anyhow?

    In the "worst person" segment, Steve King (R) was rapped for implying that Helen Thomas is not an attractive woman. Decreed Olby:

    The Congressman is really skating on thin ice when he starts commenting on other peoples' looks.

    Sort of like saying Ann Coulter is uglier than Michael Moore? Oh wait, that kind of personal attack is fine. Because Keith said it.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 125th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now three.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (114) | | View blog reactions
    June 21, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • IRAQ - APPROX. 100 IRAQI FACTORY WORKERS KIDNAPPED; MEMO LEAKED FROM U.S. AMBASSADOR IN BAGHDAD: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent and MSNBC political analyst

    Major news broke today regarding WMDs in Iraq. How will Olby cover it? Let's find out.

    Prolific emailer Keith Olbermann began with a litany of Bad News from Iraq: kidnappings, bombings, killings. Olby played two clips from the Senate debate: Joe Biden touting the concept that they're in a "civil war", and a clip from Chuck Hagel who was criticizing the phrase "cut and run". You gotta give Krazy Keith kredit: he can run one (D) and one (R) and still present only one side of the issue.

    KO wanted to know if this is now civil war in Iraq, and Wolffe equivocated ("troubling signs", "sectarian violence"). The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann pulled another stale rabbit out of his old hat. You know, the parlor trick where, no matter what the subject, it's somehow bad for Bush. In this particular instance, it was the President's trip to Baghdad:

    Is that junket now at risk of backfiring in the same way that the, uh, the Top Gun Mission Accomplished thing on the aircraft carrier did three years ago?

    Much was made of a memo from the US Embassy in Baghdad. In fact, Krazy paid much more attention to this memo than he did to the Zarqawi documents found on the terrorist's laptop. And, almost as an afterthought, Keith brings up the WMD news by blaming the messenger (Sen Santorum):

    But, but, in Pennsylvania, where Senator Santorum is down 18% in the polls in his bid for reelection, he has apparently declared that WMD has been found in Iraq? Is this desperation? Does he have information the rest of us don't? What, what's he talking about?

    Wolffe dismissed it as old news, just "traces". Given that this was announced less than three hours earlier, Wolffe must have done some serious cramming on the story. Or not. Then KO went out of his way to mention that the mother of one of the two murdered soldiers is "against this war", followed by a recycled NBC piece about the family of Private Tucker, who expressed no such sentiment. Countdown has yet to give any real details about the manner of these executions, perhaps because their barbarity suggests not a home-grown insurgency but rather Al Qaeda terrorism.

    Can you believe The Great Leak Case was once more one of the top stories? In the #4 slot, KO was again obsessing about people raising money for Scooter Libby's defense. The superbly talented broadcaster stumbled his way through a description of the attendees, referring to the "former Secretary Energy", then correcting himself and identifying him as "Spencer Abram". This was a cue to introduce the triply discredited David Shuster, who, for reasons known only to the Almighty, is still shameless enough to show his face on television. Our attention wandered but we thought we heard Slippery Shuster come up with another brilliant prediction: "I'm convinced Scooter Libby will be indicted." Thanks, Dave. Here's a cookie. Go away.

    The #3 story was all about Dan Rather's exit from CBS, filled with little snarky asides from Krazy Keith--you know, the sort of wisecracks that, if made by somebody at Fox about MSNBC, result in a "worst person" nomination. Michael Wolff (no relation to Richard of Newsweek) joined in the fun.

    #2 was another "story my producers are forcing me to cover". At least that's what Keith "I answer to no one" Olbermann claimed. It was cross-promotion for a new American Idol ripoff, that, just by happy coincidence, premieres tonight on NBC. That recycled network video was followed by: Brittney Spears, Kevin Federline, Corey Feldman, and Corey Haim. The prized #1 slot was reserved for a set-up about how difficult it is to cancel an AOL account. We cancelled our AOL with a polite, three-minute phone call.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 124th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still four.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (380) | | View blog reactions
    June 20, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • SCANDAL POLITICS - WILL SCOOTER LIBBY BE PARDONED?: Lawrence O'Donnell, Huffington Post contributor and political analyst
    • DAN RATHER IS GONE: Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly columnist, MSNBC political analyst, and author of "Attack the Messenger"
    • SEX WITH ROBOTS: Daniel Wilson, author of "How to Survive a Robot Uprising"

    "The Patriot Game"

    Prolific emailer Keith Olbermann began The Hour of Spin not with even sham outrage at the terrorists who mutilated and killed two US servicemen, but rather by making a political point. According to Keith, this incident represents a turning point in the entire war:

    Any semblance of a reversal of fortune for the US in Iraq eviscerated today with the discovery of the bodies of two missing soldiers.

    KO (whose newly streaked hair must have David Gregory wondering where his bottle of tint has gone) asked why these soldiers would have been alone at a checkpoint (Kohlman: an error was made, it's hard to second-guess), then quickly changed the subject. He wanted to know about the NYC subway plot: wasn't it really just made up? Kohlman obediently agreed. Yesterday Olby was upset that it wasn't made public. Today he's convinced it was a fake. What will tomorrow bring?

    Then on to the debate over the Iraq war, where, according to Krazy Keith:

    Republicans casting Democrats as uncertain about what course to take there, even unpatriotic; some Democrats saying Republicans are incompetent to handle whatever course is best. The GOP situation seems united if not necessarily thought out...

    Note the wording: "Republicans" casting Dems as "unpatriotic", but only "some Democrats" calling Republicans "incompetent". This is all straight from the Olbermann Playbook, where only Republicans question people's patriotism. You'll never hear about, say, Howard Dean impugning people's patriotism from Keith Olbermann. It doesn't fit the script.

    Who to bring in to discuss this issue? Let's see, last week we had John Murtha (D). So let's hear from the other side of aisle. On second thought, let's not. Instead, KO puts on Jack Reed (D). Some might just think there's a pattern here. Another one of Olby's patented leading questions:

    Have you been frustrated about where this debate wound up? I mean, it seems to be, err, equating a lack of saluting the administration with a lack of patriotism, that, that all criticism is wrong. Is that what we should be talking about?

    "Patriotism" again! Can anyone doubt what tonight's Countdown Talking Point is? Another bit of OlbySpeak:

    Does that mean our commitment in Iraq is indeed open-ended, no matter how the facts on the ground might change, or how, what they actually are?

    Oddly it never occurred to Krazy Keith that setting a withdrawal date is also a committment "no matter how the facts on the ground might change".

    The #4 slot was dedicated to Olby's latest Speculapalooza: President Bush could pardon Scooter Libby. He might. Then again, he might not. So he will, unless he doesn't. For this, Keith went straight to his unimpeachable source: the discredited, unbalanced Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell. O'Donnell is a Democrat strategist, so with Reed and Larry on tonight's Hour of Spin, it's time to review again the politicos and strategists Countdown has interviewed from each party. Freshly updated, The List:

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)

    Keith's excuse for this Big News was a Newsday speculative report (from a single unidentified source) that it might be "in the President's interest" to issue a pardon, so he turned O'Donnell loose. Larry has been hearing it "for weeks now" and said "it's a very real issue". Olby feigned skepticism, but we at Olbermann Watch know better: he trumpeted the story in the opening spiel, and gave a full segment to Countdown's deranged Nostradamus to feed the rumor mongering. And KO graciously neglected to mention Larry's abysmally inept track record of prognostication, just in case doing so might cause people to regard O'Donnell as a unhinged dingbat. The only thing missing was Slippery Shuster saying, "I'm convinced that Scooter Libby will be pardoned."

    The departure of Dan Rather in segment #3 became another "attack the media" rant, complete with Craig Crawford. Olbermann's Brain giggled and chuckled about how targeting Dan Rather was a Roger Ailes strategy and quickly reminded everyone that Ailes runs Fox News. Olby wanted to know how "the politics of 2004" contributed to Rather's exit, and Crawford nattered on about how he had "a big old target on his head for years". It was all because "the conservatives mounted a campaign against him". An amazing performance by Olby and the Brain, given that for all their blather, the faked National Guard memos--the cause of Rather's downfall--were never even mentioned!

    #2: Genetic research and cancer (recycled NBC report), Mark Cuban, Bruce Willis. #1: Sex with robots. The Media Matters Minute had a double shot against the evil, hated Fox News. One for runner-up Mike Jerrick (a special guest appearance lift not from Media Matters, but rather from TVNewser) for making a crack about MSNBC's ratings. KO, never one to pass up an opportunity for a personal attack (just read his emails), snarked:

    That's the Mike Jerrick who used to host PM Magazine?

    For the record, Mr Jerrick's program (Dayside, at 1:00 pm) gets over 750,000 viewers. Countdown (at 8:00 pm, primetime): 314,000.

    Of course the "worst person" was Bill O'Reilly (attack #96). It had to be so. All those people that the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann has on staff just to tape Mr Bill's radio show every day would feel slighted otherwise. It's unclear why Krazy Keith goes to all that expense; he just lifts the stuff from Media Matters anyhow. But when you are in the grip of an Olbsession, logic is always a casualty.

    There was no mention of The Olbermann Letters. The evil Bill O'Reilly was man enough to own up to his embarrassment on air, but not Kourageous Keith. Also spiked: the chaos in Ray Nagin's (D) New Orleans, and documents linking Saddam Hussein to the Taliban. The charge (from Rep Murtha and others) was that there was a cover-up of Haditha, but the investigation has concluded that there wasn't. The charge, of course, was heavily reported on Countdown; the outcome of the investigation has been ignored.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 123rd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now four.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (277) | | View blog reactions
    Amazon Slashes Price of Olbermann "Worst" Book

    NAMEIt's not due out for months but in the wake of OlbyEmailGate, Amazon is already slashing prices by 35% on Keith's "rip and read" compilation of old scripts being passed of as "humor" by the appropraitely named Wiley Books.

    The Book Description is a real laugher:

    Controversial, outspoken, and wildly entertaining, Keith Olbermann hosts a popular nightly newscast on MSNBC.

    [Book Cover courtesy of contributor David Lunde of]

    It continues:

    A key feature of Olbermann's unique and witty countdown of the day's top stories is his daily award for "The Worst Person in the World." Honorees range from dumb criminals to the likes of Tom Cruise, Amber Frey, Geraldo Rivera, the Coca-Cola Company, assorted members of the Bush Administration, and FEMA spokesperson Mary Hudak. Bill O'Reilly of Fox News has a bumper crop of gold medals. From sports figures to schoolteachers, no one is exempt from Olbermann's ire.

    One hundred and twenty of these incisive presentations, featuring bronze, silver, and gold medal recipients, have been packed into this tongue-in-cheek treatise on the past year's events. Along with actual transcripts, Olbermann shares his methodology for selecting the winners from the vast pool of possibilities presented by each day's news. Finally, he selects his top pick for the "worst of show" and reports some of the fallout from his awards, such as the mysterious disappearance of certain remarks from a transcript on Rush Limbaugh's Web site after Olbermann called them out on Countdown.

    In the style of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and Al Franken, Keith Olbermann's The Worst Person in the World presents a brash and scalpel-sharp appraisal of the depths to which humans can slide socially, politically, and morally–and what fun it can be to find out.

    Keith Olbermann (New York, NY) is a veteran broadcaster who may be best known as the anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997. He has also hosted primetime news programs and anchored the World Series broadcast, and received the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the events of 9/11.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (26) | | View blog reactions
    OlbermannWatch Jumps to #3 in Google Page Rank for "Olbermann"

    I never understand exactly how Google works so maybe this is different on your browser but...

    As of today, when I search for "Olbermann" in Google it lists OlbermannWatch as the #3 search result ahead of "" and the infamous Wikipedia Entry for "Keith Olbermann".

    The #1 and #2 entries are for Keith's pages on MSNBC.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (12) | | View blog reactions
    June 19, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • AMERICANS HELD HOSTAGE IN IRAQ: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    "Think Positive"

    It's Monday, Keith is back from vacation, and we're turning over a new leaf. No more negativity and cynical criticism of the man who is "the future of television". It's time to focus on the positive about Krazy Keith Mr Olbermann.

    Mr Olbermann mentioned in passing the Zarqawi documents, noting:

    Accepting both possibilities, that it was all too good to be true, or that it really was true and just convenient...

    He summarized the case of the kidnapped soldiers, gave a briefing on the possible launch of a North Korean missile, then went to Dana Milbank from the esteemed Washington Post to discuss the "domestic fallout". Mr Olbermann wanted to know:

    Given how upbeat the President was last week after Zarqawi was eliminated, how self-congratulatory his supporters were...did the kidnapping just burst that Iraq optimism bubble of last week?

    Mr Olbermann also asked about the White House "spin" of criticizing media coverage:

    Does it wash any more? Does it resonate in, in, with the American public, at any, to any degree?

    He asked about Vice-President Cheney, who thought that with the new government in Iraq, the insurgency very well could be in its "last throes":

    Should not he get hammered for that? Is this remark by the Vice-President not patently ridiculous?

    What better evidence of the fairness of Keith Olbermann could the critics possibly desire than his fair, even-handed questioning of Mr Milbank?

    A taped report on the New York subway plot followed, with Mr Olbermann wondering why the threat wasn't made public. Of course Mr Olbermann's complaints in the past have been about too many terror threats being made public. His about-face on this issue just proves again how fair and balanced he really is. Or does it show inconsistency or hypocrisy? No, we must not think those negative thoughts.

    In the #4 position, the floods in Houston, via a taped NBC report. Then "oddball", followed by a segment on global warming. Al Gore, who did his extended interview with Larry King last week, was Mr Olbermann's guest.

    We hope Mr Gore's appearance puts to rest all that hateful talk about how Countdown doesn't present all points of view and shuts out Republicans and conservatives. In fact, to settle the issue once and for all, we made a list of the politicians and political strategists that Countdown has interviewed over the past several weeks:

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)

    Oh. We really wanted to see a more balanced list than that. No, we must be positive. Olbermann compared global warming skeptics to flat-earthers, and suggested the opposition to Gore's position was based on Biblical fundamentalism ("the earth is only 10,000 years old anyway"). Keith tossed in a couple of quotes from people who didn't believe in Gore's theories, but the Veep dismissed them (twice, with virtually identical wording each time) as "outliers" who are funded by "front groups" funded by "polluters who want to confuse people". After all, who would want to believe these stuffy professors when Dr Gore has spoken?

    "Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call", even though Dr Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center, the chief meteorologist of AccuWeather (Joe Bastardi), and Professor William Gray of Colorado State University have all ridiculed any connection between recent hurricanes and global warming. They're all being paid by polluters to confuse people, no doubt. Uh-oh. We're having a hard time maintaining this new attitude.

    Keith Olbermann was obviously prescient when he predicted weeks ago that Gore's movie would be a huge smash:

    Get Al Gore's star ready for the walk of fame.... The former vice president truly packing them in. "An Inconvenient Truth" jumped from 22nd to 9th place when it expanded, from four screens nationwide to 77 and that roll out, no doubt, far from over.

    Since then, it expanded to 404 theaters, and sure enough, it has rocketed up the charts from 9th to...12th. It grossed $623,000 on Sunday. ("Cars" grossed $11,610,000.) Perhaps Olby needs to run the trailer, uncut and for free, a few more times on Countdown to get ticket sales up. Then again, maybe this movie's runaway smash status is something like the continuing, growing outrage over Bill O'Reilly and Maldemy (the grand total of four Yahoo News items on this escalating fury has now dwindled to three). Man, we are really recidivating now.

    The #2 slot was a recycled NBC report on bullies on school buses, Caught on Tape! Then Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Brittney Spears, and internet Star Trek stories.

    In the Media Matters Minute, Tom Shales was a runner-up for commenting that Robin Roberts was "too butch". Said Olby:

    Maybe he should cut back on the gratuitous, loaded insults like "too butch".

    Are those anything like the gratuitous, loaded insults about Ann Coulter? Such as:

    She's not as talented as Michael Moore, and she's not as attractive.


    Appearing in "Playboy" and getting divorced, neither of those being scenarios Ann Coulter is ever going to have to deal with in her life.

    Or the gratuitous, loaded insults about Ms Coulter's private parts, or telling people they should perform a certain anonatomical activity with their mother?

    OK, we can't take it any more! There's no way we can sustain this facade about the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann--who thinks he can throw around insults like confetti at a parade, but nobody else can. What about The Olbermann Letters, huh, Krazy? If we can hear about loofahs and falafels for months, why can't we hear about The Olbermann Letters? Ah, that felt good.

    KO's choice for "worst person": Cal Thomas, for these comments. Exactly why this makes Thomas "worst person" was left unexplained. Oh wait, because Media Matters ran it. Right, we forgot.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 122nd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still five.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (123) | | View blog reactions
    Technical Difficulties - RESOLVED

    The problem withb the "Drudge" post and the "A Whitney Brown" post were fixed; you can read/post comments on them again.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    June 18, 2006
    Matt Drudge Skewers Olbermann

    On his radio show tonight, Matt Drudge commented on The Olbermann Letters. The clip begins with Matt replaying a classic bit of Olby fake news: another KO "report" that was proven false the very next day but never corrected or retracted [mp3 audio]:

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (23) | | View blog reactions
    June 17, 2006
    What happened to AWhitneyBrown's diary?

    A. Whitney Brown, former Saturday Night Live cast member/writer and former/current star in the Air America galaxy, has removed a post to his Daily Kos diary in which he claimed to have inside knowledge of what really transpired with the now infamous Keith "kill yourself" Olbermann emails leading to this exchange among Kos commenters:

    What happened to AWhitneyBrown's diary? by bumblebums

    My guess/Probably for fear of exposing his/her source by PsiFighter37

    Her?/I noticed he changed the title to 'What happened in this Diary', but he'd already canned it when I clicked by bumblebums

    too late - damage was already done/by someone in the comments who put the pieces together --  I will not repeat it here, but I am sure someone will be able to pull it up from something that was archived by teacherken

    I think I read it before there were comments/So, I missed the good stuff by katiebird

    Too bad/...I posted some GREAT comments in there. I was witty, funny, insightful, yada yada. Or maybe not... by DemfromDaBronx

    Wondering the same thing!/It was there when I went to sleep/passed out last night, now it's gone. I love that awhitneybrown guy! by Joes Steven

    I was about to commission an inquiry among the OlbermannWatch faithful to dig out the post from the cached archives when Becky at Relevant Torture tipped me off that the OlbyLoons had saved us all the trouble by posting what purports to be the text of the original post over at Democratic Underground:

    What really happened at Countdown

    by AWhitneyBrown
    Fri Jun 16, 2006 at 06:45:46 PM PDT

    I commented on this in an earlier diary, but it was pretty late, so I thought I'd make it a diary. This is rumor, but I totally trust the source, and I can't see why he/she would make it up.
    KO does answer some of his e-mail, but not a lot. It's a pretty funny picture thinking of him sitting at his keyboard banging out flame letters to all the assholes who e-mail him, but it's kind of a stretch when you actually think about it. The way it actually works is that interns, AP's, and assistants read and answer the e-mail.
    MSNBC, like all companies, is very sensitive about their employees being courteous to viewer complaints, no matter how profane they are.
    So here's what I heard happened. Take it or leave it.

    Those e-mails (and a bunch more besides) were actually written by a low-level AP, Intern, WA, assistant, I won't say which. That person (I heard there was more than one, on top of everything else) would be fired instantly for doing that.

    So Keith stepped up and took responsibility himself so no one would get fired. I also heard that absolutely no one in management believes him, and they know it had to have been one of three people, but they can't fire them all without knowing which one it was.

    For anyone that low on the food chain, it's a firing offense - but being above the line does have privileges!

    I still think it's a funny image of Keith banging out flame letters to Jethro out in Bumfuck, Idaho, but like management, I'm sorry to say it's pretty unlikely.
    So that's what I heard, make of it what you will.

    For those not familiar with A. Whitney Brown's work, he is a comedian who worked with Al Franken as a writer and cast member at SNL during the "lost years". He later worked on The Daily Show and, I think, at CNN briefly. He holds the unique distinction of being fired from Air America Radio BEFORE the network launched in March 2004. He was apparently brought back to Air America Radio (although I was unable to document that beyond a claim made on Wikipedia). Although originally from Michigan, I believe he lived in New York and Connecticut.

    Given his background it would come as no surprise that he would know Keith Olbermann and that Keith might just be his source. It's also conceivable that Al Franken is his source. There are at least enough dots here to start connecting them: Brown (I think) worked at CNN (as did KO), he lived in Connecticut and New York (as did KO), he worked at NBC (as did/does KO), he has strong ties to Air America directly and via having worked with Al Franken as an SNL writer (where KO has made numerous appearances). I would not be surprised if more connections between KO and Brown were to emerge. Brown also has an admittedly "unstable" history and it would not be hard to imagine that he spoke out of school when he wrote his Kos post which would explain why he took it down. Someone purporting to be Brown made a claim along these lines on DU in the comments section below the DU post on the Brown/KO/Kos post:

    Something like this happened at the Daily Show

    If this is Brown, he is now claiming that he was about to be fired by Comedy Central for leaking information about Jon Stewart replacing Craig Kilborne (ironically, to The New York Daily News) when another Comedy Central employee took a bullet for him: Brian Unger. Yup! The same Brian Unger who is KO's fill in on Countdown, suggesting that Unger is also a candidate as Brown's supposed source.

    I have already said that I was genuinely shocked when I read the unexpurgated emails posted by "Joe". Like others I found the emails to be abusive and obscene. So, I would not have a tough time believing that what Brown posted turned out to be true.

    So, is KO really a hero for falling on his sword to protect a low-level AP, Intern, WA, assistant? I imagine there are going to be quite a few current and former colleagues of Olbermann who will find that hard to believe but in OlbyLoonLand anything is possible.

    Even if we were to accept Brown's claim, doesn't this also mean that KO's first dealings with the new management team at MSNBC (Griffin/Abrams) was to LIE. And isn't this just the kind of thing that can only pour gasoline on the the firing of former MSNBC President Rick Kaplan.

    Suprisingly, a DU commenter may have gotten it about right

    there is a problem here.

    While we will never believe anything but this story (now that we have heard it), KO's enemies will believe it was all a fabrication, designed to get him off the hook. They'll never believe it. The most it's done is poke a possible hole in what they thought was an airtight case against him.

    They will still claim that because he apologized in public, he must be guilty; if he can admit that, why can't we? In short, they'll try to make this into his Loofah/Falafel incident, in which nothing can be pinned on him for sure, but for which he will carry the scars forever. That's what they wanted, and that's what they created.

    And because we know KO has a temper, the story was, to some extent, believable. It was only the other parts of it that didn't add up, such as the idea that after 25 years in the business he wouldn't know how to deal with crappy feedback, would have no filter between it and him, or would have tons of time to reply. His enemies would believe that with ease...his fans, with more difficulty.

    It's a toss-up. The good news is, it all turns out to mean a whole lot of nothing as far as we're concerned, and makes KO more aware of how formidable his enemies are so he's more careful. The bad news is, it gives his enemies an argument they can use against him to make him look terrible and us look like idiots for believing the "farfetched fairytale" described above (just like we don't believe Bill O'Reilly didn't do what he did to Andrea Mackris simply because she accepted the money to drop the charges).

    However...there is one last piece of good news...which is that, just as we find it consternating that Bill-O remains on the air despite the Mackris flap, KO's enemies will find it just as consternating that HE remains on the air.

    Will some people just throw up their hands and say "A pox on both their houses"? Sadly, yes. Will everyone on both sides go on believing what they want to believe? Yes.

    But that was going to happen anyway...right?

    The sad news for us is that they still drew blood.

    Here's what we get: KO still on the air. Which we already had.

    Meanwhile, here's what they get: a scandal they can throw up at us every time they need something to use against KO. Even if it doesn't hold water, they will never believe this "crap" about how he "took a bullet for someone lower on the food chain." Never.

    And they'll keep looking for ways to finally do him in.

    Of that, we can be sure.

    NOTE: This post was updated a few hours after posting after OlbyWatch Contributor Brandon Coates sent me a link with the fuller version of the DU version of the A. Whitney Brown post that was taken down from Daily Kos. I elected to note the change here rather than above so as not to make the post too hard to read/follow. I will also add a note in the comments about the change.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (70) | | View blog reactions
    June 16, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • HOUSE DEBATES THE WAR: Rep Jack Murtha
    • PRIVACY RIGHTS: Prof Jonathan Turley

    Comedian Brian Unger, substituting for comedian and prolific emailer Keith Olbermann, began The Hour of Spin by stating that the Congress today wasn't debating the war, it was debating the "patriotism of Democrats". After a string of Democrat strategists on Countdown all spouting the party line, tonight they decided to be fair and balanced. Instead of a Democrat strategist, they brought on a Democrat lawmaker: Jack Murtha.

    In the Repeating a Lie Makes It True Department, Unger continued to flog yesterday's now-discredited story (amnesty for killers of American troops) as if it were gospel. The rest of his interview was so toothless it made Larry King look like Michael Savage, complete with fatuous nonsense about Murtha being "personally attacked" on the floor of the House (actually Murtha personally attacked the Republican!). This propaganda-fest was spread over two segments: a nice bit of free PR for the left. Naturally conservatives don't get even a one-segment interview on The Hour of Spin

    The failed comedian claimed Cheney said the Iraq war "has actually prevented further terrorist attacks here in the US". What Cheney said: it was "in part responsible" for the absence of terror attacks. Is this called doctoring a quote? Someone call Slippery Shuster and get a ruling! And in discussing privacy and the NSA, Countdown continued in its biased, propagandistic tradition of never interviewing a guest who argues in favor of the NSA program. So they dragged in Turley again.

    Unger kept harping on how poorly the war was going, but for the second day in a row didn't report on the Zarqawi documents that paint quite a different picture. Also for the second day in a row, no mention of the upturn in both Bush's poll numbers and public opinion regarding the war. Newly-translated documents that link Saddam Hussein to the Taliban were also tactfully avoided.

    We didn't bother with the rest of the show. We're taking a long weekend to steel ourselves for the return of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. He will bring fairness and balance back to Countdown by interviewing another Democrat politician: Al Gore.

    UPDATE: Newsbusters take - MSNBC: Murtha Is 'Personal Attack' Victim, As Murtha Insults Rove's 'Fat Backside'

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (37) | | View blog reactions
    Abrams Asserts Authority over KO

    TVNewser reports that Dan Abrams signed off as the host of the Abrams Report this evening with a jab at nemesis Keith Olbermann in what is quickly escalating into a major power struggle at the sagging network:

    Abrams (tonight): As you may have heard, I have a new job, running MSNBC.

    Apparently Keith didn't get the memo:

    Olbermann (last week): the man put in charge of MSNBC isn't Dan Abrams, it's Phil Griffin."

    Abrams (tonight): I just couldn't manage an entire network and host my show every day

    Olbermann (last week): [Abrams is]...the upper extreme of middle management.

    Abrams (tonight): I hope you'll recognize a little bit of me throughout the network.

    Olbermann (Monday): I don't answer to anybody

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (13) | | View blog reactions
    Olby Fave Stoops To New Low

    According to our friends over at, Larry Johnson has been a guest on Countdown 9 times, most recently to defend CIA mole Mary O. McCarthy.

    Today Keith's pal opines:

    Karl [Rove] is a shameless bastard. This could explain why his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out.

    At this rate Johnson may be guest hosting Countdown soon.

    RELATED NOTE: Greg Sargent of The American Prospect is challenging NBC for not ruling out future appearances by Ann Coulter on the Today Show. Apprently NBC is not too concerned because NBC booked her on Leno.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (11) | | View blog reactions
    Malkin: KO "obscene, abusive, unhinged jerk"

    Welcome Michele Malkin readers to OlbermannWatch, where we watch the "obscene, abusive, unhinged jerk" so you don't have to!

    - thanks for the link Michele!

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (27) | | View blog reactions
    More F-Bombs from KO

    NAMEFirst, thanks to gossip blog Jossip for linking OlbyWatch in their Britney Cries post.

    Second, thanks to Jossip for demonstrating, once again, that KO is the gift that keeps on giving>:

    COUNTDOWN VIEWER: You know, I think I may actually have Celiac disease because I get cramps, the runs, and I vomit every time I watch your program. By the way, how's it feel being bitch slapped by whatsherface Grace...can it get any worse for you????

    KEITH (supposedly): Sorry you're such an idiot -- you were briefly entertaining. And as to making fun of celiac disease, go f--- yourself.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (24) | | View blog reactions
    June 15, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • HOUSE DEBATES THE WAR: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent and MSNBC political analyst
    • THE DEMOCRATS PLAN: Bob Shrum, Democratic political adviser and political analyst

    Tonight The Hour of Spin had need of a political analyst, so they turned to Shrummy. The last time they had a political analyst on was, well, last week: Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell. And by sheerest coincidence, both are Democrats! Who says Countdown isn't fair and balanced? They give you the full range of viewpoints: from far left to deranged left.

    Unger must really be auditioning for Olby's job. He began with a litany of distortions and lies worthy of The Master himself:

    The Iraqi Prime Minister floating a proposal that would pardon insurgents who have attacked American troops, but were not involved in the shedding of any Iraqi blood.

    That's what the Post claimed this morning, but this afternoon the Iraqi government shot down the story, stating absolutely that the amnesty would not apply to anyone who had injured or killed any coalition troops. Unger, in true Olbermann fashion, reported the Post's version, but completely ignored the correction. Wolffe did the same, so the entire Countdown audience, all 300,000 of them, were deliberately misinformed by another misleading, false story.

    The American President apparently OK with that.

    Huh? According to the Associated Press

    Bush suggested he would not like to see terrorists given amnesty as part of the process. "If somebody has committed a crime, I don't know whether or not they'll be that lenient, frankly," Bush said.

    So where did Unger get the idea that Bush was "OK with that"? He made it up! But wait, there's more:

    Republican lawmakers have been debating a measure that essentially ties the war in Iraq to the war on terror, a link that has been proven not to exist.

    Amazing! There is no terrorism in Iraq. It's been "proven", because a failed comedian says so.

    In talking with Schrum, Unger twice lied that Karl Rove called Kerry and Murtha "cowards", and Schrummy picked up on it, talking about how ironic it was that Rove would "throw around the word 'coward'". But Rove never said it. Where did Unger get that from? He made it up! This interview had so many softballs it could have been Krazy Keith himself asking the questions.

    When Presidential poll numbers are down, Countdown rushes to report them. And when they are up, as we have documented many times, there is no coverage. So with Bush back up to 40%, Countdown doesn't mention it. They had more important news, like an exclusive interview with Brittney Spears. Not to mention the segment on the popularity of gray hair. How is it that they neglected to interview David Gregory about his chemically enhanced mane of gray?

    Needless to say, the loathesome epistles of prolific emailer Keith Olbermann were totally ignored. From the rest of Olby's peers on MSNBC, the silence is, as the cliche goes, deafening. Not a word of support, not a word of condemnation either, prompting viewers to now ask whether Keith Olbermann, with his crude, hateful comments, is the new spokesperson for MSNBC.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (55) | | View blog reactions
    MSNBC Wants You!: NewsVIPs

    From today;s Coundown Newsletter: Your opinion matters to us. Join our new News VIPs forum and express your opinions on the news. You could win $1000 just by signing up. Click here to join.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    More Emails Surface: KO Dismisses Abrams as "middle management"

    Maybe KO would be better off just shutting down his computer while he's on vacation because his habit of engaging in vitriolic email exchanges keeps landing him in hot water. In a bizarre email exchange over something called the the Mearsheimer/Walt paper...

    ...a man named James Morris managed to connect Dan Abrams new role at MSNBC with Chris Matthews, the "Israeli lobby" in DC and the supposed neo-con management of the Iraq war. For reasons that hard to fathom, Olbermann engages Morris on a variety of topics but failed to win Morris or his pals over:

    Olbermann may stand in as the current darling of the libs, so desperate for a corporate media personality to turn on the Bush administration, but when the rubber meets the road he is basically a shill for the Israel Lobby and ultimately the neocons.

    Not surprisingly, Morris published his exchange with KO on a message board called War Without End. Mixed with some rambling, anti-semitic clap trap are KO's responses:

    "Was this [HuffPo entry announcing Abrams new job] a special page devoted to the Delusional, or was it a coincidence?"

    "...apart from the fact the site you've linked me to is anti-semitic paranoia, if you'd look at the announcement today, the man put in charge of MSNBC isn't Dan Abrams, it's Phil Griffin."

    "Because he is not the "head," he's the General Manager - the upper extreme of middle management."

    "Sorry. I haven't mentioned the report you refer to, because in my news judgment it's trivia and falsely predicated."

    "...please keep your prejudice to yourself -- don't write to me again."

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (52) | | View blog reactions
    TVNewser to Rescue as KO Shows Who's "stupider, wronger, or dumber"

    UPDATE/CAUTION: This post contains comments which purport to be one of the two email exchanges which were the basis for the Lloyd Grove column linked below. The language contained in the unexpurgated exchange is extremely crude so be forewarned that those who are offended by vulgar language should not read the comments section of this post:


    Brian Stelter, known for removing posts to TVNewser that Keith finds objectionable, has rushed to defend his liberal heartthrob once again, this time impunging the integrity of Lloyd Grove for publishing "reader emails" and "gossip".


    Isn't that the entire premise of the TVNewser site?

    Relying on that old standby, making your point by quoting those who have made your point for you, Brian expresses the following sentiment:

    > An e-mailer says: "Let me get this right: Two people keep emailing Keith Olbermann in order to harass him, and then send his equally insulting responses back to Lloyd Grove. And Grove will not reveal the antagonists' names?!?! Way to be balanced."

    Apparently, it's OK for TVN's "e-mailer" to remain anonymous while demanding that Grove's "e-mailer" be disclosed. Don't try to follow the logic of this latest TVN post because there is none.

    As for the latest installment of Grove v. Olbermann...

    We've been hearing about these emails for a few days now and they certainly don't reflect well on Olbermann. Apparently he used the "f-word" a few times. Tsk Tsk.

    Here are highlights provided by Grove:

    "Given how far you are from knowing your a- from your elbow about my industry, you couldn't be stupider, wronger, or dumber..."

    "Go - your mother."

    "You 'Americans' still watching that evil f- O'Reilly?"

    I'm not sure what the basis is for TVN's "e-mailer" to claim that the intent of the e-mailers were to "harrass" Keith or that the emails were "equally insulting". Have these emails been published somewhere? Or is "e-mailer" actually a literary device that allows Brian to get Keith's message out?

    Regardless of Keith's rationale, you really have to question KO's judgement here. Anyone with half a Brian brain knows that anything you put into an email may end up being public. More so if you are a public figure, responding to people who you don't know, clearly don't like you and have an agenda. I can assure you that KO is hugely steamed about this but instead of lashing out he ought to look in the mirror. Message to Keith: "Why pass out ammuniton to your enemies?"

    Based on my own experience with Olbermann, I woud not be surprised if he has been seeking legal advice. He already learned from the infamous Sileo emails that his emails are not "copyrighted" just because he says so (you can copyright an email if you want but "no one" ever does).

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (101) | | View blog reactions
    Dave Lunde of Who's Stupid Now?

    with stupid

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    June 14, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • KARL ROVE: Wayne Slater, author, "Bush's Brain"
    • FEMA FRAUD: Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste
    • TOM CRUISE AND BRANGELINA: Michael Musto, Village Voice

    Comedian Brian Unger, substituting for comedian and prolific emailer Keith Olbermann, led off with the President's press conferece. He said Bush was trying to "sell the idea that everything's beginning to come up roses" in Iraq. That led into a report from David Gregory who said the President "repeatedly resisted the temptation" to sound optimistic. Who you gonna believe, the clown or the correspondent? Maybe this is Countdown's attempt at "fair and balanced".

    The FEMA segment was about fraudulent claims after the hurricanes. Unmentioned were the complaints back at the time that the amount of the aid was too small, and it wasn't coming fast enough. Surprise, surprise, the faster you hand out government money, the less accurately you can screen who gets it.

    Finally, in talking to Slater, the ex-Comedy Channel entertainer ticked off some of "Karl Rove's work", including "managing the death of Zarqawi". See? It really was another Karl Rove trick!!

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (42) | | View blog reactions
    ***READ THIS: Best Way to Read Olbermann Watch***

    I conducted a little survey of Olbermann Watch readers and discovered...

    ...that few of you are familiar with RSS and, not surpisingly, few of your are using RSS Aggregators to pull down the Olbermann Watch feed. That's something we need to fix because many of you are making it to hard on yourself in trying to keep up with Olbermann Watch and any other blogs you might read.

    I'd like to take a monent to tell you a little bit about RSS and get you started in the road to discovering the joys of reading blogs and news web sites using RSS. Please trust me on this: once you start using an RSS Aggregator (also called a "News Aggregator") to read blogs you will wonder how you ever did without.

    The best part is that I can get you started in all over 3 minutes so PLEASE whether you are a clear-thinker or an OlbyLoon take a moment to keep reading...


    You may have noticed the orange icon in the header of Olby Watch and the admonition to "subscribe" to the site. That icon links to the RSS feed for this site. I created a special version of our feed using a service called Feedburner which allows me to add all sorts of bells and whistle to the feed including the ability to splice in other feeds from Flickr and

    The feed from is especially important because it is how I am producing the new "mini-blog" which is a significant enhancement to the site. It allows me to link all of the Olby related blog posts and news items I find concerning Keith Olbermann without disrupting the flow of posts to the main part of the site. You will see what I mean once you get started with RSS.


    Now, about RSS...

    RSS is a made-up term and is often said to stand for Real Simple Syndication which makes sense because that's what it does. You "subscribe" (add a link) to an "RSS Feed" (structured text that is encoded in such a way that it can serve up text, images, video and audio to those who with software that let's them "read" the feed) in your "RSS Aggregator" (also known as a News Aggregator it is a piece of software that knows how to make sense out of the RSS Feed.

    If you think about this for a moment you will realize that this is nothing really new because you have a special piece of software that can make sense out of structured text that can serve up text, images, video and audio already. It's called a web browser. You also have email software that can do the same thing. In fact, RSS Aggregators are often built in to web browsers and email programs but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    There are many ways to receive an RSS feed but they basically breakdown into either web-based (e.g., bloglines) or client-based. The client can be stand-alone (e.g., Pluck), part of a web-browser (e.g. Firefox) or part of an email client (e.g., Outlook). The new version of Internet Explorer will be able to read RSS feeds which will really open people's eyes to this wonderful technology.

    Whatever you use, what you will see in your RSS Aggregator is a series of headlines and as much of the text as you desire to receive...maybe just the first 100-200 characters to get a sense of what the item is about. You click on the headline and are taken to the blog post or news story that is linked in the item. In other words, you only go to the site if you KNOW there is something you want to read.

    I generally tell people to go sign up at and try that. The suggest a few sites that you might want to add (don't forget to add Olbermann Watch). It's free, you don't have to download anything and they will get you started quickly. Once you get the idea you might find that you prefer something in a browser like Safari or Firefox or a stand-alone client like Pluck. Whatever works for you.

    Most blogs and many news sources publish in RSS format. You can usually find the feed by locating an orange rectangle that says "XML" or "RSS". Some browsers have "auto-discovery" so you don't even need to look for the feed. If you look at web sites for CNN, MSNBC or The New York Times (among thousands of others) you will see what I am talking about. In fact, you'll soon realize that these orange boxes are EVERYWHERE.

    I can read OlbermannWatch in my browser. So, why bother with RSS?

    Once you start reading web sites and blogs using RSS you will wonder why you ever did anything else. Instead of you going to check a site to see if there is anything new, the post or news items is added to the RSS feed. Your "RSS Aggregator" polls that feed on whatever schedule you set and will both
    display a little number like in your email inbox indicating how many new "messages" are in your reader AND grab either the headline, the first few words or the entire post/news items (as you specify). In other words, you don't surf the web - the web comes to you. And it comes to you in discrete snippets of information according to whatever specifications you set. The time savings alone - from not having to wait for pages to load - justifies using RSS Aggregators.

    Overtime you will find all sorts of other uses for RSS Aggregators that have nothing to do with reading news sites or blogs. For example, Netflix puts out an RSS feed for new movies they have available; a local power company puts out news alerts to customers via an RSS feed; eBay will allow you to monitor an auction via RSS, Amazon will keep you informed about new cameras or books, and so on.

    It's been called "Tivo for the web" - what you want, all in one place, on your schedule.

    RSS is also the basis for podcasts...where the publisher not only adds text to the feed but audio or video files.

    If you still want to learn more just google for "What is RSS" and you will tons of information.

    So, why am I pushing RSS?

    Three reasons.

    1) I am a true believe in RSS and think it makes people happier and I want my readers to be happy (even the muddled OlbyLoons).

    2) The only way to get BOTH the main blog posts and the mini-blog posts is through the spliced feed I built in Feedburner. That combined feed (available via the orange icon at the top of the page) is the way I'd like everyone to read the site.

    3) I want you to keep reading my site and if you use an RSS Aggregator you don't have to "remember" to come to my site because my site will come to you. The more readers I have using RSS the more readers I will have who don't forget to visit the site.

    So, what are you waiting for?

    Click here and get started! And don't forget to add the Olbermann Watch feed!!!!

    Mark Glaser at MediaShift on the PBS web site has two excellent articles on RSS.

    Your Guide to RSS

    How to Make RSS = Really Satisfying Syndication

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann: Rita Cosby "dumber than a suitcase of rocks"

    Hell hath no fury like a gossip columnist scorned, as Keith Olbermann is finding out this morning as peruses today's Lloyd Grove column in The New York Daily News - "It's 'Putdown With Keith Olbermann'":

    Olbermann ...apparently has precious little respect for [Rita] Cosby. "Rita's nice," Olbermann wrote to a fan from his MSNBC E-mail account, "but dumber than a suitcase of rocks."

    ...a Cosby intimate gasped when informed of Olbermann's E-mail. "That's incredibly disappointing," he said.

    and then there's this...

    In his E-mail, Olbermann was also dismissive of then-MSNBC President Rick Kaplan, who left the network last week with six months to go on his three-year contract.

    "And Kaplan?" Olbermann wrote to his fan. "He was the producer of that special last night - now known as the Kanye West Show."

    More room in the phone booth for Keith.

    UPDATE: predictably, it's 9:23 am and still no mention of Grove's column this morning on TVNewser, just as there was no mention of Olbermann's "I answer to no one" crack about Dan Abrams.

    UPDATE: just as predictably, Brian posted on the Grove column an hour after OlbyWatch pointed out that he was once again ducking anti-KO media stories.

    UPDATE: The Cable Game: Cosby criticism just more sucking from the "energy vampire".

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (93) | | View blog reactions
    June 13, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • PRES. BUSH IN BAGHDAD: Dana Milbank, Washington Post national political reporter
    • CELEBRITIES AND RELIGION: Paul F. Tompkins, comedian

    Unger first dealt with the President's trip to Iraq, minimized as "stagecraft", a "photo-op", and a Tony Award worthy bit of "stagecraft". But the real fun came in the second segment (#4 on the backwards "news" hour). How was David Shuster to explain all those imminent Rove indictments he's been trumpeting for months? That's when Slippery Shuster's whirlwind spin went ballistic.

    Desperately backpedaling to cover his own sorry reportage, Slippery first shifted the responsibility to those "lawyers" who, until tonight, were his excellent, thoroughly reliable sources. Then it was Fitzgerald's fault, because he only charges cases that are slam dunks. (Wouldn't he then have a perfect win-loss record? How come he doesn't?) Unger thought Fitzgerald showed "remarkable restraint" because he didn't obey Shuster's predictions and indict Karl Rove. And don't forget it was Luskin's fault too, because his Svengali-like mind control convinced Fitzgerald not to go forward.

    It was everybody's fault except David Shuster's.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (35) | | View blog reactions
    Roving Reporters

    Karl Rove will not be indicted. The news must have hit Krazy Keith like a ton of bricks. How is it that reality can be so far removed from what the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann has been telling the world for months?

    Here is a quick rundown of some of the coverage from Olby, David "Slippery" Shuster, and the Countdown Cronies. How perceptive it was! How positively prescient in anticipating every twist and turn of the case! Surely another Edward R Murrow award is in order for this brilliant record of reportage:

    July 18, 2005:
    FINEMAN: Karl Rove did leak. I mean, that is a leak.
    OLBERMANN: But realistically, the bar was just raised from involved in to committed a crime.

    October 6 2005:
    LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Well, he definitely is a target of the investigation now. There shouldn't be any doubt about that. This case is long past the stage where he would have gotten what they call a target letter. I've spoken with a number of U.S. attorneys today who say this is not a situation in which you get a target letter at this point, even if you are a target.... every word his lawyer has said today is consistent with the possibility that Rove could be indicted next week.

    Oct 12, 2005:
    OLBERMANN: ...the latest terror threat, the reported bomb plot against the New York City subway system, in terms of its timing. President Bush's speech about the war on terror had come earlier the same day, as had the breaking news of the possible indictment of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation.

    October 25 2005
    OLBERMANN: The political blog, "The Washington Note," quoting what it colorfully calls an "uber-insider source," who says, "One to five sealed indictments will be handed up tomorrow. Probably more rather than less. The recipients already know. It will be made public in a news conference on Thursday."

    Nov 3 2005
    OLBERMANN: It says Libby, Libby, Libby on the arraignment, 'raignment, 'raignment. Will it soon also say Karl Rove?
    JIM VANDEHEI: I think we're talking weeks, not months. Most of the people I've talked to, both that are close to Rove and are close to the investigation, say that it's just a couple of things that Fitzgerald is trying to wrap up, and that he will let Karl Rove know one way or the other whether he is going to be charged or whether he will not be charged. I think we should know that by the end of this month.
    OLBERMANN: ...could this be new information? And if it might be new information, could that be raising the prospect that somebody has in some way come forward in the past three or four days?

    Dec 9, 2005:
    OLBERMANN: Viveca Novak may not be Karl Rove's get-out-of-trouble-free card after all. Her testimony reportedly conflicts with that of Rove's attorney.... If Luskin's revelation of the Novak-Luskin conversation is presumably all or most of what kept Karl Rove from being indicted through the first grand jury, does it follow that if the Luskin account falls apart because of that March-October timeline difference, that the result could be an indictment of Mr. Rove?
    SHUSTER: It certainly seems that way, Keith. And Luskin himself has told us for several weeks now that Karl Rove remains under investigation, and that this is certainly a potential outcome.

    April 6, 2006:
    OLBERMANN: Also in his filing, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that he won't be calling Karl Rove or Stephen Hadley or George Tenet as witnesses at trial.
    SHUSTER: Federal prosecutors say that you don't usually call somebody to the witness stand if you are thinking about making them a target in a separate case. And that would complain Karl Rove and Stephen Hadley, who clearly might have testimony, all from this particular case.

    April 20, 2006:
    OLBERMANN: Karl Rove exits stage right, just an acknowledgment of the importance of the midterms, just freshening up the White House staff. Or was it to shift him out of the spotlight because the Plamegate grand jury is again looking to indict him? David Shuster with the breaking news!
    SHUSTER: every single case we have found, Keith, that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, when he designates somebody as official A in an indictment, that person eventually does get indicted themselves.... So I think it's fair to assume that perhaps the new White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, saw the prospects that Rove could still be in some trouble and decided, You know what? We want him focusing on the elections anyway instead of policy.

    April 26, 2006
    OLBERMANN: So that Mr. Rove appeared voluntarily today, given the enormous possibility that he could have contradicted previous testimony, and thus digging a deeper hole for himself, might someone conclude that he had nothing to lose, that talking his way out of being charged is a risk he needed to take?
    SHUSTER: Absolutely. And we've been given every indication that Karl Rove felt he had no other opportunity, that he felt that the evidence that his own lawyer had provided to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that was supposed to clear Karl Rove out of all of this, that didn't work.

    April 27, 2006:
    BRIAN UNGER: Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN, the Duke Cunningham corruption probe, now with hookers. The only thing more compelling than that, a Karl Rove indictment. And it looks like we might be getting one of those too.

    April 28, 2006:
    SHUSTER: The bad news in all this for Karl Rove is that it means that after three and a half hours of testimony, where he's answering a wide variety of questions on Wednesday, his fifth grand jury appearance, the prosecutors were not willing to clear Karl Rove, nor were they willing to give any sort of signal that Rove's answers satisfied the grand jury.

    May 5, 2006:
    SHUSTER: Well, the tea leaves seem to suggest that Karl Rove is going to get indicted.... He went to such great lengths today to try to avoid mentioning Karl Rove or talking about his status. Now, that, in and of itself, seemed to signal something unique.
    OLBERMANN: More rocks being overturned, and more worms beneath.

    May 8 2006
    SHUSTER: Well, Karl Rove's legal team has told me that they expect that a decision will come sometime in the next two weeks. And I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (62) | | View blog reactions
    Rove Cleared, Olbermann Silent - OPEN THREAD

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House senior adviser Karl Rove has been told by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald that he will not be charged in the CIA leak case, according to Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer.

    "In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation," Luskin said in a written statement Tuesday. "We believe that the special counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."

    UPDATE: Bush Makes Suprise Visit to Iraq...MSNBC yanks Countdown tape in midstream...second time in four days since Kaplan firing that KO pulled from morning slot.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (41) | | View blog reactions
    June 12, 2006
    Who is Merkle923?

    Alex Gordan Alex Gordan is a 25 year old baseball player in the lowly Kansas City Royals baseball organization. Without playing a game in the majors, Gordan has achieved iconic status in the world of baseball card collecting (his rookie card is selling for thousands of dollars on eBay) by failing in the world of professional baseball (failing to make the Royals 25-man roster and being sent to the minors).

    Enter Keith Olbermann, baseball card collector extraordinaire.

    We here at OlbermannWatch prefer to confine ourselves to Keith Olbermann's public life - what he says and does on TV and in the press regarding his public persona. We've known for some time that Keith is a major league baseball card collector (pardon the pun) and active eBay'er but have left that issue off the table because it's a private matter. In fairness to Keith, he's worked very hard to build his reputation on eBay (he is graded as one of the best buyers on eBay) and there was no reason for OlbyWatch to muck around with that.

    Recently, however, Keith's personal passion has erupted in a very public controversy which has the baseball card collecting world abuzz with speculation, wondering whether Keith Olbermann may have connived with Topps, a publicly traded company that is, among other things, the oldest of the MLB licensed manufacturers of baseball cards, and retailing giant Walmart. The aim? To peak renewed interest in baseball card collecting by creating a run on unopened boxes of Topps cards at Walmart and boosting sales of Topps cards. There's no telling whether there is any merit to these claims but Olbermann certainly has more than a passing interest in all of this. Not only is KO an avid collector who would stand to benefit from a run up on baseball card prices but he is (or has been) employed by Topps as a writer and an "advisor".

    So who is Alex Gordan and what does he have to do with Keith Olbermann?

    Alex Gordan was drafted by the Royals in 2005 (#2 overall pick) after leading the University of Nebraska baseball team to the College World Series championship. He did not sign a contract until last September. Meanwhile, about a year ago, the Major League Baseball Players Association decided that card manufacturers could only make rookie cards for players who either made the 25-man roster or played in a major league game the season before. Gordon didn't qualify on either count. Topps apparently did not get the memo. They printed a limited number of the Alex Gordon card number 297 and shipped them to Walmart. When the mistake was discovered, Topps was forced to pull the card from its set, turning Alex Gordan's "rookie" card it into a coveted "error card".

    Tuff Stuff, a leading card collecting "zine", recently questioned whether Olbermann had sought to artificially inflate the value of the Gordan card.

    MSNBC's Olbermann pursuing Topps Gordon cards

    [Olbermann] paid $7,500 in an online auction for a BGS 9.5 version of the Gordon Topps No. 297 card that was pulled by Topps because of the new rules concerning what constitutes a "rookie card."...Olbermann has spent more than $60,000 in the past month. Since he's entered the bidding for Topps Heritage cards, he's helped drive the final price from auctions closing at around $100 all the way up to $275 in the past couple weeks. He's purchased eight of the last 11 sold on eBay and a total of 10.

    "Well, clearly I didn't 'single-handedly pump' the 2006 Topps No. 297," Olbermann told Tuff Stuff in an e-mail. "But, obviously, after I started buying copies the hobby realized the actual scarcity and implications of Topps withdrawing an already-published number, which they've never done before."

    Tuff Stuff apparently based its reporting on the activities of eBay User ID Merkle923, one of the most aggressive buyers of baseball cards on eBay. Merkle923 has been buying on eBay for more than seven years, completing close to 600 transactions and leaving in his (or her) wake a trail of satisfied eBay sellers. Merkle923 has completed 572 transactions with 99.7% of eBay'ers leaving positive feedback such as "Great transaction", "Very fast payment" and "a pleasure to deal with"

    So, is Merkle923 actually Keith Olbermann?

    To understand this question you need to know more about Fred Merkle. According to Wikipedia, the former New York Giants first baseman, committed an "infamous baserunning gaffe that cost the Giants the 1908 pennant" that became known as Merkle's Boner which ""can be used to describe any mental error that costs a team the game". In a game against the Chicago Cubs on September 23, 1908 ("923"), Merkle was on first base when a base hit scored a runner from third base. With the winning run safely home, Merkle failed to run all the way to second base, instead turning and running off into right field towards the Giants clubhouse as delirious Giants' fans stormed the field. Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers called for the ball and stepped on second base. After an appeal, umpires ruled Merkle "out", negating the run, and ending the game in a 1-1 tie. When the Cubs and the Giants finished the season tied for first place the game was replayed, the Cubs won (4-2) and took the National League pennant (they lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series).

    So what does "Merkle's Boner" have to do with Keith?

    Beyond being a recognized baseball historian (the list of first and third base coaches he compiled in his school days now sits at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY), KO is apparently fascinated with this play, even writing a foreword to the book "More Than Merkle: A History of the Best and Most Exciting Baseball Season in Human History" by David Anderson. Who knows? Maybe KO feels a special kinship with Merkle after his own "baserunning error" - a serious injury that occurred when KO banged his head running for the number 7 train at Shea Stadium (the Mets were MLB's "replacement" for Merkle's Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. NOTE: the Mets team colors combine Dodger blue with Giants orange).

    Certainly, eBay sellers and Topps traders believe merkle923 is Keith.

    Clicking through the past seven years of transaction history, feedback includes the following: "Keith, I hope you enjoy your PSA 7 Old Judge....more than your others! : ) A+ps~", "thanks for fast payment Keith!", "Keith is the man! thanks a million, a asset to the ebay community", "Keith was Enfuego with this transaction. Super fast. An asset to Ebay !!!!!!!", "Excellent Repeat Buyer! Thanks Again Keith!", "Very fast payment!!!!! Thanks Keith. Good luck on completing the set.", "Extremely fast payment..Asset to ebay & FOX sports..thanks Keith!!!!!!", "Fast Payment & A Class Act from a Great Sportscaster - THANKS AGAIN!!", "great transaction. quick payment thanks!! a++ FOX sports rules", "One of the fastest on Ebay! Great to deal with! A+++ Thanks Keith", "# 1 as a Sports Show Host >>>>> #1 as an eBayer.Thanks for the Honor kind Sir.", "Fast Payment..great transaction..hope to deal with again...Thanks Keith", "I see a promising future in sports journalism for this young man", "Smooth Transaction! Thanks Keith", "Extremely prompt with the payment! Thank you Keith! Keep up the great lines!", "very fast payment!!! Keep up the good work at Fox!!! Thanks Keith", "Keith is proof that no one is too busy to enjoy eBay. Nice to connect with you.", "Very fast payment!!! Excellent ebayer!! Thanks Keith!!", "Fast Pay! Good Communication! Would Reccommend! Thanks Keith!" "Very professional, fast payment, A # 1 no matter what dan patrick says", "Very timely payment, a pleasure to deal with !!! --- thanks Keith...", "fast payment thanks Keith", "He hits the ball real hard! Thanks Keith it was a pleasure!", "I BLINKED AND PAYMENT WAS HERE....THANKS KEITH ! AAA+++", "Another smooooooth transaction from a GREAT repeat bidder!! Thanks Keith!!", "VERY FAST PAYMENT! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY THIS EBAY SELLER! A++! THANKS, KEITH!",

    Could all these eBay'ers be mistaken?

    Perhaps, but the most telling evidence is contained in the ebay Member User ID history for merkle923 which reveals that on May 30, 1999 merkle923 changed his User ID from "olbermann". More interesting is this feedback from eBay User ID "billy1954packers4yankees7pongo18", one of a handful of negative comments about merkle923:


    Works for NBC? Playing the big shot? Threatening people?

    Hmmmmm. Sound like anyone we know?

    There seems to be little doubt that merkle923 is, in fact, Keith Olbermann. The real question is whether there is any merit to the speculation out there that Keith some how conspired with Topps or Walmart to drive up prices. One certainly has to wonder whether KO leveraged his "insider" status with Topps to gain any unfair advantage in the high-priced world of rare baseball cards.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (57) | | View blog reactions


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • WAR POLITICS: Thomas DeFrank, New York Daily News Washington bureau chief

    What a coincidence. Tonight Bill O'Reilly is back from Gitmo with an exclusive inside report, including first-ever interviews with the interrogators. So Kourageous Keith, rather than taking him on, runs off and lets the other comedian guest host. Har.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (24) | | View blog reactions
    My KO Notebook Becomes New "OlbyWatch Mini-Blog"

    I've added a new feature to Olbermann Watch. Something called a " Feedroll". If you look down, along the right-hand column, below "recent comments" you will see a "mini-blog". I create this by "bookmarking" the page using a new web-based service called "" and then making a javascript "feedroll". Bottom line is that as I run across OlbyWatch relevant links I can quickly add them here rather than store them in my "KO Notebook" (really just a text file on my desktop) and then add them when the urge strikes. In other words, it will be easier for me to share the links with readers and they will be more timely.

    UPDATE: For those who use RSS (and you ALL should be using RSS) to read this site, I am attempting to splice in the RSS Feed from Feedburner into the Olbermann Watch feed from Feedburner. It is sorta working but the feed seems to want to include posts from my other site which is not KO related. Just ignore those posts for now until I get it sorted out. BTW, I also enabled some newer features from Feedburner including an "email this" link to each post, an "add to" link to each post and links indicating if there are any comments for the post and if there are any technorati links to the post (you will only see those if there ARE, in fact, links).

    For those who are interested I will explain further below, otherwise just start is something called a "social bookmarking" service. At it's most simple level is simple web-based bookmarks. Instead of bookmarks in your browser they reside on the web and can be access from any computer connected to the web. Things get interesting when you begin to add "tags" to each entry because then they become "sortable". They call it "social bookmarking" because the tags not only function within your own account but, if you make them "public", they can be seen by other users. What that means is that you might tag a page then notice that some people have also tagged two other related pages so you visit them and get additional insight into whatever topic.

    If you are interested to contibute links to this feed drop me a line. I'm not sure how to do it (yet) but I think I can set up a "network feed" where OlbyWatch readers could add links that are relevant to Olbermann Watch (KO News, blog posts about KO, any KO video being put up at Expose The Left, Crooks and Liars, YouTube or elsewhere, etc.)

    There are many other aspects to it.

    One of the more interesting (to me) is that you can create a “feedroll� sorted by the "tags" or "keywords to produce blogrolls or, in this case, a "mini-blog".

    A note on "Olbermann" tags.

    For a while now I have been tagging posts to this site as "Keith Olbermann" only recently realizing that the space meant that the tag would not work with many services that use tags (Technorati, Flickr, etc.). Therefore, as of today I am tagging all entries with just "Olbermann". There is no need to change the old posts because the services that use tagging will just see two tags: "Keith" and "Olbermann".

    If anyone were interested, I could create a link to ALL blog posts, flickr or posts (or others) that use "Olbermann" as a tag. For you bloggers that write about KO from time to time (pro or con), I might also be able to add a feed from your blog so that all of your KO-related posts show up here. I'll need to research how to do that.

    If you have questions on any of this, email me.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    June 9, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • PARTISAN POLITICS: Lawrence O'Donnell, political analyst and Huffington Post contributor
    • BASEBALL SCANDALS: Jim Callis, executive editor of Baseball America
    "It's Getting Coulter"

    One night of Zarqawi as the top story was enough for Keith. It was relegated to second-class citizenship on OlbyPlanet, because there was bigger news: Ann Coulter. Yes, Annie--three days later--is more important than Zarqawi. It's that vaunted Olbermann News Judgment at work.

    He ran, yet again, the same clips he ran before, and Reverend Keith kicked off another of his faux outrage sermons, demanding to know why Republicans on Capitol Hill refuse to condemn her. Like Keith demands that Democrats condemn Randi Rhodes and Al Franken? And he did that...when? Next, a series of demands from Democrats that GOP leaders speak out against Coulter. Isn't that what Keith just said? What a coincidence: OlbySpeak parrots Dem talking points.

    To provide impartial, nonpartisan, fair and balanced analysis, KO dragged in the discredited, deranged Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell, a "Democratic strategist". Like Keith brings on Republican strategists to analyze comments by Michael Berg and Harry Belafonte? And he did that...when?

    When Larry analogized her to Michael Moore, Olby, showing his class and intellect, delivered another cheap shot personal attack:

    It's kind of an uneven fight there; she's not as talented as Michael Moore, and she's not as attractive.

    What's next, Keith Olbermann making fun of fat people?

    After the break, the less important news of the day (Zarqawi) was on the plate. Because this racist terrorist wasn't dead when he was first found, Keith found a way to imply a sinister spin:

    Turns out, though, that technically "killed in a US air strike" might not be a completely accurate cause of death.

    Oh really? What then would be the cause of death? Drowning? The taped NBC report made no claim Zarqawi wasn't killed by the air strike, so what was Olbermann talking about? It doesn't matter. Just making an off-hand implication about a vague Konspiracy is enough to satisfy the credulous blue blog believers, and that's Countdown's target demographic. Thursday night's Hour of Spin finished dead last in the cable news ratings for its timeslot, so KO will go the extra mile to tailor the content for his fringe following.

    After oddball, #3: baseball scandals. #2: DNA evidence (via Monica Novotny), Paris Hilton, Keifer Sutherland, the Dixie Chicks. #1: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Paul McCartney, Heather Mills (all via two regurgitated network reports).

    For all the talk of Ann Coulter, baseball, and Brad Pitt, there just wasn't time for Keith to report on something else. Something that he has brought up in the past, time and time again. Here are two examples out of many:

    • the Iraqi government stuck in neutral...Lawmakers still deadlocked over its cabinet choices.
    • How secure and stable is a new government if the new government fails to reach agreement on a defense minister and a head of police?

    Now what happens when those ministers are appointed, and a complete, permanent ruling government is formed? The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann ignores it. He ignored it Thursday night. He ignored it tonight. It made for a great bloody shirt he could wave to use it against the Bush administration. But the minute those slots are filled and he can't use the issue as spin any more, all of a sudden it's no longer news. Not one bloody word. More of that vaunted Olbermann News Judgment? No, just abject agit-prop from cable's most dangerous demagogue.

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 112th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 5.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (69) | | View blog reactions
    My Advice to NBC News

    Jeff Jarvis posted this question: If you had a network...:

    I'd be interested to hear what you have to say. Here's my take:

    Jeff has a good point and a bad point...

    Making MSNBC the anti-Fox News Channel is silly. Whatever propaganda Media Matters for America is putting out, the reality is that most large news organizations are sympathetic to the lib/dem point of view. There is no pent-up demand for a cable news network that is as liberal as Fox is conservative. If there were Rupert Murdoch would have created a liberal version of FNC.

    How about putting the MS back in MSNBC?

    Skip politics and focus on being the "WIRED" news network. Jeff is old enough to remember that as originally conceived (or at least promoted), MSNBC anticipated the connected, broadband world we now live in (at least in the US). Now that we actually live in that world why not go back to the original game plan and make MSNBC the most wired of the cable news shows.

    They could start by streaming the show on the web 24/7. They ought to be able to figure out a way to compensate cable and satellite providers for offering their programming through the web.

    On the web site the screen could take up a corner of the screen (with a button to expand to full screen) and the rest of the home page would be synchronized to the content in the newscast. Those scrolling tickers would be clickable on the a newsstory aired the site could serve up links to related stories on the web including blog posts that link to the version of the story. Every segment on every story could be packaged as a video podcast and displayed on a page with the text version of the story. Those video podcasts could be distributed over segmented ("tagged") RSS feeds. A real effort should be made to promote all of this by not only making the site blog-friendly but doing segments/interviews of the people making news or generating buzz in the blogosphere (note: not having noted bloggers as pundits as was tried).

    The newscast on cable/satellite should move towards the Bloomerg News Channel format with lots of information wrapped around the box except when showing video/images that are of particular interest. There is little value to providing full screen video of Chris Matthews talking to John Murtha. Why not show an interview like that with lots of information about Murtha, his critics, a scrolling set of viewer comments...make the newscast more like pop-up videos on MTV. Maybe limit the viewer comments in some way to cut down on the clap-trap...registered "super-users", a team of 1,000 selected bloggers, whatever...just not any idiot with a modem. During time slots when MSNBC is running taped material like Headliners and Legends give web viewers the option to watch alternative programming - maybe have someone who has developed a following like Monica Novatny or the guy with the headphones on Tucker Carlson or even some of the analysts like Jack Jacobs do their own little mini-shows, interviews, etc. I'm sure they have lots of people working there who would be thilled to have their own "show" on Maybe these shows become something like a farm system for the MSNBC cable channel.

    I have loads of other ideas along these lines but to put it simply, if I were running MSNBC I'd be looking at how best to leverage my online strength to become a meaningful media outlet - that would mean sublimating the cable channel to and making the shows more blog-like (in other words, more like Countdown with Keith Olbermann which mixes and matches repurposed newsreports, youtube-type videos, commentary and stories generating buzz on the blogs.)

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    Cox Blasts Olbermann on RightTalk Radio

    I appeared on "Hoist the Black Flag with Ace & Karol" on RightTalk Radio the other day and they put up a podcast of the show. You can listen to the podcast here.

    To jump to the Olbermann Watch segment let it load and click in about 40% through and you will hear me come on the show. For some reason they don't actually give my full name but maybe that's for the best!

    Safe to say, I was brilliant and this is a "must listen" broadcast for all clear-thinkers.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    June 8, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • ZARQAWI KILLED - THE IMPACT ON THE WAR: Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst and Newsweek White House correspondent
    • JASON GRIMSLEY RAID: Rob Dibble, fmr. Major League baseball pitcher, XM satellite radio show host, and co-host of "Best Damn Sports Show Period"
    • THE SHILOH SHOTS: Michael Musto, Village Voice

    "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.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (135) | | View blog reactions
    June 7, 2006
    *****MSNBC President Fired For Low Ratings, KO Next? ******


    Kaplan Fired. Countdown readied for the chopping block! much for "stability" over at a move that might explain KO's leap back into the arms of Dan Patrick and ESPN several months ago, NBC News fired MSNBC President Rick Kaplan. Brian over at TVN has the internal emails from Kaplan and from his now-former boss. No wonder KO is going to Yankee games when he is supposed to be doing his show. He obviously doesn't care anymore.

    Here's a laugher from Kaplan:

    "...we've increased MSNBC's viewership 25% in primetime and 19% in dayside. Over just the last year, we've had great success across the board, with Hardball and Countdown coming into their own. All of our primetime programs have improved tremendously in their production and content."

    I don't think he was hired to bump up Countdown from 200,000 viewers to 300,000 viewers a night.

    NBC News President Steve Capus tries to top Kaplan on the laugh-meter...

    "MSNBC has been and continues to be an enormously important asset in the NBC News portfolio."

    There is no doubt this is a day long pined for at OlbermannWatch. Clinton pal and uber-liberal Kaplan was never going to dump Keith no matter how low his ratings went. Now all those "conditions" KO laid on Kaplan when he was brought back to MSNBC are out the window. I think we are looking at KO going pretty soon. I don't see him staying on air until his contract is up next February.

    Capus warns informs MSNBC staffers "Soon, I will have an announcement for all of you about MSNBC's new leadership. During this period of transition I will call on the department heads at MSNBC to manage their respective units and report to me."

    I think the time has come to start up an MSNBC Dead Pool. My money's on Countdown biting the bullet before the November elections.


    Matt Sheffield at Newsbusters links to TVN and adds a few comments.

    Jeff Jarvis asks for recommendations on what to do with MSNBC.

    Brent Baker at Newsbusters "eulogizes" Rick Kaplan

    AP TV writer David Bauder and noted-"KO Lover" lifts quotes from TVN to write his story on Kaplan and adds:

    With his increasingly liberal tilt and ongoing feud with Fox's Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" show has shown growth for MSNBC

    NY Post TV writer Janet Whitman borrows heavily from both Bauder and Brian in her report. She has one direct quote in the piece that is oddly sourced:

    MSNBC is anxious for bigger moves in the ratings race, particularly in the coveted 24-to-54 year-old demographic - a person with knowledge of Kaplan's exit said.

    Since this story was broken on TVN and went out on the AP wire it seems like "a person with knowledge of Kaplan's exit" it could be anyone but the mention of the 25-54 demo and that she took quotes from TVN makes me wonder whether the source is none other than our pal Brian Stelter at TVN.

    Lisa de Moraes TV writer at The Washington Post and charter of the He-Man KO Lovers Club and a leader in the "Save KO" movement claims Countdown with Keith Olbermann was Kaplan's greatest accomplishment at MSNBC.

    Kaplan had more success with shows he inherited than those he created. The number of viewers watching Keith Olbermann's "Countdown," for instance, has climbed nearly 50 percent among viewers overall, though it came in fourth during May, behind FNC's Bill O'Reilly, CNN's Paula Zahn and CNN Headline News's Nancy Grace.

    Olbermann was up 70 percent among viewers 25 to 54 years old, which is the target demographic group of news programming. In the demo, Olbermann's show now ranks No. 2 in its prime-time slot -- something MSNBC has not accomplished in prime time in more than five years -- behind O'Reilly's show, but edging out Zahn and Grace.

    I guess former top MSNBC Producer Phil Griffin did not like his old boss Erik Sorenson, Kaplan's predecessor, too much. He's quotes as saying: "Rick came in and got the stench out".

    Inside Cable News explores potential winners and losers at MSNBC. A few OlbyWatch readers show up in the comments.

    Gawker has a slightly different take:

    ...the famously antagonistic former ABC and CNN executive, and a shockingly tall Jew - announced late yesterday that he’s leaving the network after two and a half years, in which time he barely budged the news network’s anemic ratings. His departure was widely expected, given MSNBC’s performance on his watch...

    Jim Romenesko has the internal MSNBC memo

    Inside Cable News notes that Imus stated on-air that Kaplan told him he had been fired.

    Howard Kurtz weighs in on Kaplan:

    Rick Kaplan out as president of MSNBC: He was actually making modest progress with shows such as "Countdown," although other ideas (Deborah Norville, Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley) bombed. But 2 1/2 years without major improvement is a long time when you're the No. 3 cable news network.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (75) | | View blog reactions


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • DISTRACTION POLITICS; GAY MARRIAGE BAN FAILS; HADITHA PROBE: Col. Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's fmr. chief of staff
    "Preaching to the Choir"

    What happened? Was the Yankee game rained out tonight in The Big Apple? Oh, it was. That must be why Keith Olbermann showed up for "work". KO claimed, without evidence, that the gay marriage amendment was designed to "distract" from Iraq, adding that it was an attempt to "pander to the base". He quoted the parents of Matthew Shepherd, then segued into Haditha. This gave Olby the excuse to kick off his interview with Bush-basher Wilkerson using another of his patented leading questions:

    Is Haditha some sort of inevitable, if unplanned event, uh, er, as the result of an administration that declared the Geneva Conventions irrelevant?

    KO broached the subject of leaving Iraq, which Wilkerson didn't think was a good idea. Olby shifted to WMDs; Wilkerson said there had been skepticism but the CIA was sincere in believing the intelligence was correct, and did not "cherry-pick". Maybe it was "psychological group-think", he opined. Keith turned to Valerie Plame, the talking point of last resort, where Wilkerson was more accommodating, going on to say the military is in "desperate shape". Of course Larry bashed Rummy; anyone who defends the Secretary will have a long wait before they get to sit in the Countdown chair.

    #4: Election analysis by the doubly discredited David Shuster. It was no surprise that Slippery Shuster immediately made excuses for the Democrats losing the old Duke Cunningham seat, leaving out the fact that the Dem candidate's percentage of the vote was pretty much the same as what Kerry got in 2004. Not exactly a huge shift there. Slippery rapidly moved into Tom DeLay and scandal investigations. And despite new revelations in the case of William Jefferson (D), he didn't even get a mention. Wonder why.

    After oddball, a new baseball scandal, then another of the night's constant teases for his upcoming Ann Coulter bash. "Outrage pours in across the country", bellowed Keith. Is this anything like the continuing, growing outrage over Bill O'Reilly? We checked Yahoo news about that again tonight, and got the same four results as last night. But it's growing. Keith said so.

    In the #2 slot, it was back to another favorite Olbermann theme: Attack the Media! But in this case, attacking is a good thing, because it was Krazy Keith doing the attacking, and the writer being attacked was Ann Coulter. (All those teases were to keep blue blog readers tuned in well into the second half hour.)

    With a graphic reading "SHAMELESS", KO referenced the continuing, growing outrage over Malmedy again (yeah, right) then ran a clip of Tucker Carlson arguing with Coulter (carefully avoiding where Tucker agreed with her). He quoted from "a written statement" from the leftist 9/11 widows, without telling whom they gave the statement to: the far left Crooks & Liars. Then the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann moved in for the big finish:

    Back to my allusion to the nightmare of having to defend Ann Coulter at a sanity hearing. That was inappropriate, because it was insufficient. Imagine, in fact, defending her on judgment day, trying to find her soul.

    Preach on, Reverend Olbermann! Hallelujah! Olby Be Praised!

    For the rest, we got Catherine McPhee (still no retraction of Olby's fake news on this front), Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Brittney Spears...the usual Voyage to the Bottom of the Barrel. Meanwhile, nothing in the "news hour" about the UN criticism of the US, or further developments in the Canada terrorism investigation.

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 110th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 5.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (25) | | View blog reactions
    KO and Mom Diagnose Meredith Viera as "Crazy"

    As Dan Patrick recounted his experience at a recent golf outing with NBC luminaries like Matt Lauer and Stone Phillips, KO took the opportunity to let the world know (AGAIN) that his teacher-mother took care of Meredith Viera's kids and that he and his mom agreed that Viera was "crazy". Keith continued his rant when Dan Patrick sequed into Matt Lauer's interview of Ann Coulter (she's crazy too) and even managed to work in Bill O'Reilly.

    Source: The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio (note: segments of "The Big Show" portion of the broadcast are available for free at the iTunes Music Store, to listen to the entire show you must register here

    h/t to a loyal OlbyWatch reader who wishes to remain anonymous

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (12) | | View blog reactions
    June 6, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • "FAST FOOD NATION": Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation" and "Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food"
    • CELEBRITIES AND WEDDINGS: Heather and Ben Klein, Oprah crashed their wedding

    With comedian Keith Olbermann absent, comedian Brian Unger took over, and made the lead story Tom DeLay eating at a French restaurant. No, we're not making this up. Then a lot of contrived concern about signing statements with shape-shifting pundit Howard Fineman. Neither of them mentioned that signing statements have been used by Presidents for half a century at least. Unger pretended it was just Bush not enforcing laws he didn't like. He left out that this President, like the ones before him, has a duty to uphold the constitution, and uses signing statements to reserve his right not to enforce unconstitutional provisions. A procedure, by the way, authorized and encouraged by the Justice Department of one Janet Reno.

    The rest of the Countdown:

    #4: Ann Coulter's "indefensible" statements re her new book and "6/6/06" stuff
    #3: Why federal food police should regulate this, ban that
    #2: Internet dancing man, American Idol
    #1: Oprah Winfrey

    Since it went unmentioned by comedian Brian Unger, we thought we'd check up on the continuing, growing, expanding avalanche of outrage over Bill O'Reilly's Malmedy mixup. So we did a search of Yahoo News, where a major story can generate hundreds or thousands of listings. The result: four entries (two of them from The Huffington Post). Not one listing of print coverage in any major (or minor) newspaper or magazine. But the outrage is continuing and growing. Keith said so.

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 109th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 5.

    UPDATE: John Amato has the Laurer-Coulter video and the Olbermann-Coulter video

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (84) | | View blog reactions
    June 5, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • GAY MARRIAGE; WHY ISN'T THE CANADIAN BORDER A CONCERN?: Dana Milbank, Washington Post national political reporter
    • COULD THE NEW YORK TIMES HAVE PREVENTED 9/11?: Steve Engelberg, Judith Miller's former New York Times editor
    • FACTOR FICTION: Paul Rieckhoff, fmr. U.S. Army Reservist and executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

    "Making It Up Is Easy to Do"

    It's 8:00 pm Monday, Keith Olbermann is on, and The Spin Starts Here. The debate over the "gay marriage amendment" is headlined by KO with the fair, impartial, unbiased headline "FEAR AND DIVISION". Keith pretended like it is something extraordinary for Congress to debate things that are unlikely to pass, and compared banning gay marriage to slavery. Dana Milbank (minus garish garb) said it's all an attempt to "rile up the conservative base", and made a funny, saying that protesters insist "same sex marriage will lead to more masturbation". Well, Keith thought it was funny, but The Laughing Stagehand was silent.

    A recycled NBC report from "Whatever" O'Donnell on free trips for Congressmen mentioned Katherine Harris (R), Tom DeLay (R), John Boehner (R), but no Democrats. Apparently they never take such trips. Then the #4 segment, about something "hinted at" in a tip supposedly given to Judith Miller ahead of 9/11. A problem here: Miller is not well-liked in the blue blogs. KO can hardly give her a prized interview slot. So he brought in her former editor, who of course doesn't have any personal information regarding the tip. As a result, the segment was speculation. For his part, Engelberg basically said they got a whole lot of tips, this one wasn't that much different, and "we didn't have much". Perfect, an entire segment about nothing.

    Back in the opening spiel, Keith bellowed about "the continuing anger" over O'Reilly's Malmedy confusion. That's as dishonest an introduction as Krazy Keith has intoned. It's precisely because the anger has not continued, and in fact has barely registered, that the Man Tan man decided he had to stoke the fires with another segment tonight.

    He teased this "story" again at the end of segment one. Then another promotion at the end of segment two. Not to rest on his laurels, KO teased it a fourth time before the half hour break: "Veterans of Iraq are incensed!" Why all this hyping? Generally, the stories that get the most promotions on The Hour of Spin are the ones intended to elevate their terminally ill ratings (American Idol, Tom Cruise, etc). Keep the gullible from changing the channel. So the real purpose of Olby's mock outrage becomes apparent: do something, anything, to make some noise and try to attract more than the measly 258,000 viewers who watched The Hour of Spin's last outing. (Mr O'Reilly was doubtless much more satisfied with his audience of 1,981,000.)

    KO delievered Attack #95 in the #3 slot, regurgitating his carnival pitchman voice of "outrage". He played the same clips he ran last week, and again he made the unfounded charge that "Fox News had scrubbed clean" the transcript (as we pointed out at the time, the transcript wasn't the work of Fox News at all). Now, said Olby, "they changed it back". To change it back would mean it read "Malmedy" before it read "Normandy". Where's the evidence of that, Keith? He never showed any because he didn't have any. He made it up!

    Then, based on nothing at all, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann said:

    O'Reilly blase response to his own malicious remarks suggests he still has some doubt about the truthfulness of the story of Malmedy.

    Huh? Let's diagram this sentence. "Blase response"? Opinion, but we'll let that pass. "Malicious remarks"? Of course, Olby has to claim that Mr Bill confused the Malmedy massacre on purpose, out of an intent to slander American troops. That's the meaning of "malicious". Just a bit of projection there, KO, that you might want to take up with your therapist. And "doubt about the truthfulness"? Where did Krazy Keith get that idea from? He made it up! Making it up is certainly easier than telling the truth.

    Follow: Olby set the table with Bill O'Reilly deliberately slandering US troops, rather than just misspeaking in the heat of a debate. Then he throws in from left field the notion that Bill didn't believe even believe the Malmedy massacre happened. Next a little history lesson about how anti-Semites of the time, and Joe McCarthy, didn't believe it either. Get it? Bill O'Reilly is a Jew-hater. He probably doubts the Holocaust as well. Connecting all these dots, and a few others that aren't there, KO moves in for the coup de grace:

    Sen Joe McCarthy, and evidently Bill O'Reilly, believe that the real victims in this story of 84 American servicemen at Malmedy, the real victims were the Nazis.

    A guy misspeaks in the midst of a debate, corrects himself afterward, and four days later an envious, failing hack paints him as an anti-Semitic Nazi. Character assassination, Keith Olbermann style.

    KO introduced Paul Rieckhoff as someone who was "enraged" over all this. Keith knew just what sort of questions to ask his latest anti-administration guest:

    To, uh, the detail of Malmedy, and how first 60 years ago Joe McCarthy tried to turn this SS bloodbath into an American war crime, and now how casually Bill O'Reilly has done nearly the same thing, is that just a bizarre coincidence or does it underscore a lot of what you have seen among those who are waving the flag the fastest and singing the anthem the loudest relative to how they really feel when it comes right down to it about the troops?

    Another Olbermann smear: people who are patriotic must really loathe American forces, and are probably Jew-hating Nazis to boot. Of course by this point, the whole construct of Keith's slander isn't even questioned. And you know Rieckhoff isn't going to say to him, um, Keith, when did Bill O'Reilly ever say he didn't believe the Malmedy massacre happened? Didn't he misspeak and then correct himself? No, those questions were tactfully avoided. Instead, the "outraged" Rieckhoff, who was never even moved to tap out a blog entry documenting his outrage, fell right into the game plan:

    We need to get down to brass tacks here, find out what went on, let a thorough investigation run its course, and keep the American people informed with people from a position of credibility, like military veterans, like General Clark, not like Bill O'Reilly.

    Credibility? Military veteran? Which of these applies to Keith Olbermann, again? No matter, Rieckhoff attacked O'Reilly and George W Bush, and praised leftist Wesley Clark. Olby wondered of O'Reilly: "Why do you hate our troops?" Mission accomplished.

    #2: recycled NBC True Crime video, Al Gore, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie. Worst person: the mayor of Omaha (a nonpartisan position). Then #1, the "now debated report" about Katherine McPhee singing at TomKat's wedding. No, Keith, it's not "now debated". It was false when you reported it. It was false when it appeared on the internet. It was false when McPhee denied having ever met Tom or Kat. For all your insistence that Bill O'Reilly should admit he was wrong and apologize, he at least has done the former. You won't do either one as you desperately try to obfuscate to cover your embarrassment.

    Olby's guest "expert" said Katie met McPhee at a Scientology meeting. But McPhee says they've never met. She goes on to say "I think she's a Scientologist". But McPhee says she is not. Is Ms Milito making stuff up too? She's sure on the right show for it.

    Big dog that didn't bark: nothing whatsoever about the terror arrests in Canada or possible ties to persons in the US. Olby's probably saving that for a Special Report on how the curious timing points to Karl Rove as orchestrator of the whole thing.

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 108th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now 5.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (92) | | View blog reactions
    June 2, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • IRAQ MASSACRES: Col Jack Jacobs, MSNBC
    • BRITTNEY SPEARS: Michael Musto, Village Voice
    • AMERICAN IDOL: Katherine McPhee invited to sing at TomKat wedding

    "Kat Scratch McPheever"

    The Man Tan Man started The Hour of Spin with accusations against US troops, including one that has been disproven: the BBC report regarding Ishaqi. Olby did not mention that the video the Beeb used as their source came from a group that sides with the terrorists. KO thought it was a big deal that Tony Snow didn't know if the President had been briefed on two alleged incidents or three.

    When Colonel Jack Jacobs came on, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann showed his true colors again. Just yesterday he was accusing Bill O'Reilly of slandering US troops, while out of the other side of his mouth Olby was implying that Haditha was not an isolated incident. Tonight, he was at it again:

    The pictures of the dead bodies there show what appear to be bullet wounds. They don't show signs of bodies being crushed by falling debris, as the military has claimed.... Does any of that seem questionable to you, or at, uh, a minimum, perhaps, slapdash?

    A superb example of how OlbySpin can be used to smear US troops. Even though they have been cleared by an investigation, Krazy Keith continues to imply that they are guilty of something, based on video provided by terrorists! American Forces: Guilty until Proven Innocent, at least on OlbyPlanet.

    Col Jacobs provided even-handed analysis, despite Olby's leading questions, like this one that parrots Murtha talking points:

    Is this s-, kind of thing evidence of fatigue of, uh, of of the military, the overstretched criticism that we keep hearing about the US military in Iraq, in Afghanistan, elsewhere around the world, that we're too thin and it's, it's now showing up on the ground?

    The main reason we keep hearing it is because Keith Olbermann keeps repeating it. Olby continued:

    Some might argue that President Bush does not appear to have been impacted enough by the war in Iraq...

    Some might argue? Who would those "some" be? The leading blue bloggers? Or the host of Countdown? It doesn't matter which; ideologically they are indistinguishable. This was a lead in to regurgitated NBC video from Norah "Whatever" O'Donnell about how the Presidency ages Presidents. Then the #4 story, framed with an oh-so-clever bit of OlbySpin:

    Homeland Security: the primary goal of any government, or our own propaganda attempt? If the administration boasted of foiling a terror plot against the Brooklyn Bridge, then took the bridge off the official list of national iconic possible terror targets.

    Get the hint? There was no plot against the Brooklyn Bridge. The guy who was found guilty must have been framed by the evil US government. And just in case that was too subtle for the gullible viewers of Countdown, KO reinforced the insinuation by resuscitating his Krazy Keith Konspiracy: terror threats are phony, and are just for political manipulation. There followed more recycled video from the network mothership about Homeland Security grant allocations.

    In the #3 slot, crimes against gas station personnel. Yes, more regurgitated video. Then Monica Novotny with a feature on courtroom artists who draw celebrities. #2: Brittney Spears, Kevin Federline, and the creepy Michael Musto. The latter was promoted from the #1 death slot (reserved tonight for a best-of-the-month oddball fest) because he is just so witty, clever, and uproariously funny. Then on to Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes. And with the TomKat story Keith was at his absolute journalistic best:

    Internet reports say the couple has already decided on a wedding singer... It's Katherine McPhee from American Idol, TomKat's new favoritest singer ever.

    Internet reports? Hey, that's good enough for Olby. In fact, he insisted:

    Now, I am not making this up!

    Krazy Keith claimed the singer had met TomKat at a Scientology center and they became fast friends, so they asked her to sing. It's another Olbermann Scoop! The only problem is that it's false. It's more Olbermann "fake news". Katherine McPhee has been saying publicly for several days now that:

    1. She is not a Scientologist.
    B. Nobody has asked her to sing at Tom Cruise's wedding. Nobody.
    III. She has never even met Tom or Katie.

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann scratches again. But hey, why bother with going to the source when you can cite "internet reports"! Why bother with verifying a story before broadcasting it to the world? Or rather, broadcasting it to the smallest 8:00 pm audience in cable news? With Krazy Keith there's no stopping the relentless tide of bull even briefly enough to check one fact.

    A New York Post (Rupert Murdoch owned) writer was one "worst person" runner-up; the other was the New York comptroller who inelegantly praised Sen Chuck Shumer by saying the Senator would like to shoot President Bush between the eyes.

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 105th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 6.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (126) | | View blog reactions
    June 1, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • THE HADITHA MASSACRE: Maj Gen John Batiste
    • DC POLITICS: Howard Fineman, Newsweek
    • AMERICAN IDOL: Maria Milito

    "Six Shooter"

    It was clear from the opening spiel that tonight's Countdown would increment the magic number by one. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The lead story was Haditha again, and in tried and true Hour of Spin fashion, Keith Olbermann brought in an anti-administration, anti-Rumsfeld ex-General to opine. How many pro-Rumsfeld ex-Generals has he ever featured? (No, don't bother. Rhetorical question.)

    Eager to disparage whatever action the military takes, Olby led off by criticizing the additional training ordered for the troops:

    Forgive me but aren't American troops already trained in how to behave on a battlefield? Are they not taught what acceptable behavior is and what it's not, and if they do not have that knowledge is a seminar the answer at this point?

    After that, KO fired another round:

    The incident at Haditha is described as an isolated case; is there, is there something of a conflict there, can it be both isolated and yet require all the troops there to have to go through core values training because of it?

    Yes, use the incident to suggest that the entire complement of troops in Iraq are bloodthirsty murderers! Klassic Keith. But let's not forget the administration. Knowing that he is talking to a General who wants Rumsfeld's resignation (as if he would talk to one who did not!), Olby tossed this softball:

    Can the incident at Haditha, should the incident at Haditha, be traced back directly to the leadership of the Secretary? Is that a fair straight line to draw, or is it too condemning of the secretary?

    What do you suppose Batiste's answer was? Suffice it to say, he hit KO's softball pitch out of the park. Another talking point successfully delivered to the credulous. The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann suggested that there had to be a "full scale coverup" involved, and the "interview" ground to its conclusion.

    In the #4 story, Olby found a poll from Quinnipiac University to declare George W Bush the worst president in modern history. KO also noted that Bill Clinton came in third place for worst, and second place for best President. Hmm. Isn't there something missing here, like who came in first place for best President? Why would Krazy Keith deliberately leave out that particular poll result? Oh, that's why. Meanwhile, Rasmussen shows the Bush approval rating at 39%. Of course that didn't get reported on The Hour of Spin. Howard Fineman, Pundit for All Occasions, opined that the President "hasn't helped himself much at all", and KO suggested that even the GOP base "isn't buying this stuff" (gay marriage bans, flag burning, etc).

    Instead of holding it for the "worst person" segment (where a member of the British liberal Democrat party was named for blaming his affair with a hooker on baldness), the obligatory O'Reilly attack (#94) was elevated to the #3 slot, with Krazy Keith stating it is a "simple fact" that "Fox News is neither fair nor balanced". Well, he should know something about being unbalanced. After a lengthy, snide introduction, calling Mr Bill "the Sisyphus of morons", KO loaded his weapon and commenced fire. He insisted that O'Reilly slandered dead American servicemen. Long story short: Mr Bill referenced the Malmedy massacre, talking about how US servicemen had gunned down SS prisoners. Of course, Malmedy involved Germans doing that to Americans. Keith Olbermann was off and running:

    No errors corrected, no apologies offered, no stopping the relentless tide of bull even briefly enough to check one fact.

    Well the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann is one to talk about corrections and apologies, given the number of times we have documented his outright lies about Mr Bill--never corrected or retracted.

    It wasn't good enough for KO that O'Reilly admitted afterward that he his words were unclear, because he was talking about the US reaction to Malmedy, when surrendering SS prisoners were in fact gunned down rather than taken prisoner. "Wrong answer!" bellowed Keith, who then went on to claim that Fox News doctored its transcript because instead of "Malmedy" it reads "Normandy". Krazy Keith repeatedly leveled this charge at Fox:

    Why has Fox altered the transcripts?...

    An embarrassed Fox News yet again tries to rewrite its own history...

    Fox washed its transcript of O'Reilly's remarks...

    The rewriting of past reporting worthy of George Orwell...

    Another klassic Keith misfire. The transcript, which as far as we can tell has not been altered since it was first posted, wasn't doctored, or even created, by Fox News. As the web page clearly notes:

    Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. ( ), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription.

    So despite Krazy Keith's ravings, it turns out that the transcript was prepared and created by an outside company--one that performs the same service for CNBC and MSNBC! So will KO retract his smear of Fox News? It seems safe to say that there will be no errors corrected, no apologies offered, no stopping the relentless tide of bull even briefly enough to read all the way to the bottom of a web page. Bill O'Reilly was man enough to clarify and correct his words. Will Keith do the same? Do pigs fly?

    You should have seen the false indignation and phony moralistic outrage Krazy worked up to conclude this segment! It had all the sincerity of a snake-oil pitchman at a carnival sideshow. And this coming from someone who minutes earlier implied that Haditha was not an isolated incident, but something endemic to the ethics of all US troops in Iraq. What a hypocrite!

    That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 104th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now 6.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (174) | | View blog reactions