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Keith Olbermann raised his arm in a Nazi salute, holding a cardboard cutout of Bill O'Reilly before his face. This was his way of getting attention from the press, distracting from the ongoing scandal of The Olbermann Letters, and smearing O'Reilly as some sort of rampaging fascist.
But is this the same Keith Olbermann? The same Keith Olbermann who has crusaded against broadcasters, politicians, and others who throw around Nazi comparisons to demonize their opponents? How does Olby's latest stunt track with the moralizing lectures he has delivered against others? The Olbermann Watch Research Division has the answer to that question.
The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann has never hesitated to attack others who cheapen the horrors of Nazi Germany by applying the label to present day controversies. Senator Rick Santorum, one of Olby's favorite targets, got a sermon from The Future of Television on May 23, 2005:
...a tape turned up of him comparing The New York Times to Nazis... is Senator Santorum's threshold for comparing things to Nazis a little lower than we thought?
On another occasion he berated an emailer who called him a Nazi (without bothering to mention when he himself compared Ken Starr to Heinrich Himmler). But the most salient comments come from the Definitive Olbermann Exposition on the subject of Nazi comparisons:
There's no place for the reference in this culture.... Apologize profoundly and profusely, burst into tears if you will, but the analogies are wrong, offensive, and deeply hurtful. And I speak as a European of protestant descent.
More over, this particular moment in our history is no time to pour more ice into the crevices of our national political discourse. We have enough of the makings of fighting in the streets, enough of the rancor that preceded the caning of Senator Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, without people throwing the devils of the 20th Century into the mix.
In fact, it would be a really good idea, for the sake of the country...if the three distinguished gentlemen resigned, or at least announced they would not run again. Because apologies or not, they are at best, carrying the disease of branding other American leaders - no matter how wrong-headed some of those "others" might seem to you - with the same kind of vitriol that enabled the rise of the Nazis in Germany.
Stop it, stop it now, stop it for good.
Now the question is, does Keith Olbermann's advice apply to everyone except Keith Olbermann?