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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Like the carnival pitchman selling snake-oil, Krazy Keith launched into his opening spiel suggesting that ABC's 9/11 film quoted "Republican talking points", and spoke of cancellation:
The pressure mounts!
Clearly the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann himself was about to apply some of that pressure. He then decried "fear and smear" and "9/11 spin from the President", citing B.J. Clinton and self-admitted thief and liar Sandy Berger as objecting to its content. After reading off the talking points of the Clintonistas, he introduced Mahoney, to supply even more talking points. ABC is "careless with the truth"; the movie has "factual mistakes". KO ran a clip from Louise Slaughter (D) about the film, but neatly snipped out the part where Ms Slaughter admitted she hadn't seen the thing. Ain't editing grand?
Nobody mentioned what Bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer (no Bush supporter he) tells us: the eight to ten times the Clinton administration had a chance to secure or kill Bin Laden and declined to do so. And nobody appeared to defend the right to artistic expression or freedom of the press. It was another one-sided presentation on The Hour of Spin. They name streets after programs like this: "One Way". (Coming up: our "special comment" on Keith Olbermann's offensive against the first amendment.)
Our latest update of The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown, identified by party):
Next it was on to "Mister" Bush's speech, the Pakistan truce again, and a snarky reference to another Presidential slip of the tongue. Then a series of clips: Hillary Clinton, Patrick Leahy, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin (all D). This was the setup for Craig Crawford, aka Olbermann's Brain. The Chuckling Commentator, sounding more than ever like a cross between Pat Robertson and Floyd the Barber, said Bush's speech was "like reruns of Seinfeld". Olby wanted to know of Bush:
Politically, who's he trying to push around here?
Brain said it was all an attempt to "bait the Democrats", and then ironically likened the President to Barney Fife! Then it was another brilliant Olbermann insight:
Does anybody see the similarity in the tactics that we saw today? The President cites bin Laden as one of the reasons we're in Iraq, and four hours later Al Qaeda comes out with the latest tape... Is there, is, is, somebody gonna, er, a large part of the American people going to recognize at some point that there are parallels between these two things?Stop the tivo! Is our favorite discredited sports guy using the Al Qaeda media release to link the terror group to George W Bush? We ask because it was only a few days ago that Rev Olbermann sermonized thusly:
the attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word, media, the honest, patriotic, indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters with the evil of Al Qaeda propaganda. That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is unAmerican. "Mister" Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters. We will not drink again.
Apparently Olby decided to take a nice, big gulp of those "un-American" waters himself. It's wrong, you see, to link Americans to Al Qaeda--but not when Krazy Keith does it. After sarcastically suggesting that the administration has a big stack of Al Qaeda tapes it doles out when needed, Olbermann thanked Brain who chuckled his exit, stage left.
The #4 story was a hit piece on Rummy, dealing with "corporate concerns". It was a typical Olby investigative report, which is to say that it consisted of his rerunning a video piece regurgitated from NBC. There followed another tease for the story of the reporter who got beat up. In each of the multiple promos for this segment Olby implied that the cameraman should have dropped everything to run to his aid. KO finally got to this item in the #3 slot:
Usually...if there is a photographer or videographer present, he intervenes and quickly. Not of course on Fox.
Olby promised he would discuss the "ethics" of all this before running a lengthy recycled video about the incident. He then brought on Tony Zumbado who said he would have put the camera down as soon as the first punch was thrown. In the background, KO muttered: "Exactly". Keith made an off-hand comment that the victim was "glad" the cameraman acted as he did, and left it at that. So why was he glad? Olby never said. In truth, the victim was more than glad. Here are his words, words that Olbermann, of course, never reported:
He was my lifeline. He really preserved what happened. Had he put the camera down, and we turned this into a bar room brawl, it would have been he said, she said. No one in the world would have known. It would have been this man's word against ours.... You don't see it on the video, he came and sat on the man to try and control him.... The video protected me.
The #2 slot brought us recycled video about a kidnapping and Katie Couric. And after multiple teases for Paris Hilton, the #1 story was...Paris Hilton! Comedian Jeffrey Ross was there to explore every knook and cranny of this momentous story.
In the worst person segment, guess which book Olby was pimping? George Allen (R) was a runner-up, for proposing a bill before Dick Durbin could do so. KO implied that it was more than coincidence. The winner was a polling company that made up numbers rather than doing the real work; Olby managed to turn it into a shot at the Bush administration. Correction and Update: Our first report on "Mister" Bush references was too low. After recalibration and rescanning, tonight's MisterMeter rating is actually: 3 [GUARDED]. By contrast, tonight KO referred to B.J. Clinton as "President Clinton" or "The President" five times in eight minutes, while never calling him "Mister" Clinton.
And now our "special comment" about Keith Olbermann and his assault on the first amendment. Mr Olbermann has often attacked freedom of speech (Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly), and freedom of dissent (condemning ABC for a movie he hadn't even seen), and freedom of the press (urging that John Gibson, Glen Beck, and others leave the airwaves) Now he attempts to stifle the honest, patriotic, indeed vital questions and questioning of the Clinton administration's failure to apprehend Usama Bin Laden.
This is still a democracy. And as such, all voices count, not just those that agree with Mr Olbermann. Had he proven any of his prior claims of omniscience--about Karl Rove's "indictment", about his own ratings, about Fox News and its transcripts, about Bill Frist, about Brit Hume, about Matt Drudge, about the contents of the NIE, about John Gibson, about Ken Melhman, about Bill O'Reilly--we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept Olbermann's "omniscience" as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.
But to date, Mr Olbermann has proved little besides his own arrogance, and his own hubris. In what country was Mr Olbermann raised? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America? This is a warning for our time, when sports broadcasters think they (and they alone) know everything, and brand those who disagree: "discredited", or "fatso", or "buffoon", or "infamous, deplorable", or "idiot", or "dog", or "stupid", or "swine", or "un-American", or "worst person in the world".
Mr Olbermann's unparalleled and unprincipled attack on dissent has an even more venomous side angle. It will be to Mr Olbermann's deep public regret that he has followed the far-left activists and deep blue blogs down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his opinions, or even question their authenticity, to the Nazis of the past.
It thus becomes necessary to remind Mr Olbermann that his recent Nazi "kick" is an awful and a cynical thing, made more so in the wake of his attack on ABC's right to free expression. And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history for yet another quote, from yet another time, and ask it of Mr Olbermann: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"