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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
JON BENET RAMSEY: Lawrence Schiller, author
POLITICIZING THE ALLEGED, PURPORTED, SUPPOSED TERROR PLOT: Dana Milbank, Washington Post
ZOGBY POLL FINDS AMERICANS ARE ILL-INFORMED: Mo Rocca
Dan Abrams has a vision for A-Mess-NBC, and for Countdown. Serious news coverage has gradually been cut back on The Hour of Spin, in favor of tabloid stories, attacks, gimmicks, and celebrity fluff. The promos for Countdown focus on celebrities, tabloid news, and even Bill O'Reilly attacks. Tonight the renovation of Countdown faced its ultimate test. There has been an arrest in the Jon Benet Ramsey case, and all the known facts about it could be relayed in about ten minutes, tops. But on Countdown this story dominated the opening spiel, and consumed more than two-thirds of the hour. Abrams will be studying the overnights very closely come tomorrow afternoon.
Of course there was still room for OlbySpin. The Republicans are "politicizing" the terror war again, because the staunchly apolitical B.J. Clinton says so (his comments were "remarkably telling" according to KO). But the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann said not one word about politicizing from the (D) side of the aisle, including two specific examples we brought to his attention yesterday.
Dana Milbank, devoid of dashing duds, echoed Keith's spin about the President campaigning on the terror issue, claiming he was telling people to "be afraid". Neither of them said one word about Ed Markey (D) who held a press conference in DC about port security, telling people to be afraid--and then, when something happened in Boston, took a plane and held another press conference there to the same effect. On The Hour of Spin, politicizing is only news when Republicans do it.
And then there's this. Newpaper reporter Jill Carroll was kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq, and it was Big News on The Hour of Spin. Olby made it one of his featured stories day after day after day:
Jan. 18: Our fourth story on THE COUNTDOWN, threats, kidnapping and terror, beginning with the desperate effort to secure the release or rescue of the abducted American journalist, Jill Carroll.
Jan. 19: Our next guest with unique insight, perhaps, into what Jill Carroll is going through. Former NBC News correspondent Kevin Sites has been covering the war in Iraq since it began.
Jan. 20: But we begin our third story on the COUNTDOWN tonight on this 25th anniversary of the day the embassy hostages were released in Iran, with the agonizing wait in Iraq for word on the fate of Jill Carroll. Our correspondent in Baghdad in Preston Mendenhall.
The discredited Keith Olbermann gave heavy, repeated coverage of a newspaper reporter kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. Yet for three days straight he has not uttered one word about the Fox News reporter and camerman who were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. Why the double standard?