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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
We really weren't in the mood tonight for the fevered fantasties of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. Maybe it was the opening spiel, where he bellowed that the US asked England to pull the trigger on arresting the terror plotters--something that was known last week but Olby made sound like new, incriminating evidence. The administration is making "political hay" out of the terror arrests, the plot really wasn't imminent, the Brits wanted to wait a week and catch them in their "dry run". It was apparently beyond Olbermann's comprehension that permitting a dry run to take place might just put people in danger should the run, for whatever reason, cease to be dry. It was one tired spin point after another, all referenced last week, all brought back for an encore presentation.
KO gave "great thanks" to a prerecorded Lisa Myers report, played up a disagreement between Dick Cheney and Tom Ridge, and that was the cue for Dana Milbank. Lacking lurid livery, Dana dismissed the timing issue that Keith had been hammering incessantly, while Olby cited Hillary Clinton's opinion of Cheney as representative of the "conventional wisdom". Then it was time for Keith to again paint some GOP action as bad or ill-advised. This time he claimed that Cheney's comments on the Lamont race overshadowed the benefit Republicans could have gained from his victory. (Huh?) Even Milbank wasn't about to swallow that incoherent theory.
#4 Airport screening, security funding, and Michael Boyd, who operates a business that makes profits by convincing airlines that they need his expertise. Boyd is a crank who whines that everything being done by everybody is wrong and none of the security improvements are real--just by coincidence all good reasons to purchase his firm's services.
Then there was Krazy Keith's Top Ten List of terror incidents that coincide with politics: a "pattern of exploiting fear for political gain". Don't get the impression that there's much new here. He replayed the same interminable propaganda piece he ran last October. The only difference is that back then, MSNBC forced him put on an opposing point of view. Even that minimal concession to journalistic integrity was dispensed with on tonight's Hour of Spin.
Middle East developments were relegated to a few minutes of taped reportage in the #2 slot. (And yes, Keith offered the playback machine "great thanks" when it was finished.) This was followed by the major story of the evening (since it's the one that all the promos for tonight were about): Samuel L Jackson and his new movie. The promos claimed Keith had him as a guest; the truth is that Monica Novotny did a taped interview with him some time ago, and tonight they just ran the interview. Actually no, they didn't even do that. Olby's endless propaganda film took so much time that they could only play one sentence from the interview. But fear not, you can see the whole thing on Thursday, which is handy for A-Mess-NBC. They don't even have to make new promos--they can just re-use the ones they've been playing for the past three days.
Like we said above, we were really not in the mood for Olbermann tonight, and when Michael Musto showed up, that was our cue. Olbermann, Musto, talking about Boy George? That's about an eleven on the repellant-meter. We're outta here.