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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
The Hour of Spin began with the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann sounding grumpy and sour. KO breathlessly reported the possibility that the 9/11 movie might be pulled from the schedule. If this sounds like the same "possibility" he reported yesterday, that's because it is. After rattling off some quotes from a carefully selected assemblage of pundits (carefully selected to all agree with Keith), Olby took a shot at the New York Times. Yes, it's the classic Olbermann Attack the Media strategy again! But why would KO launch an assault on The Old Gray Lady?
The answer is simple: they reviewed the movie (attn Keith: after seeing it) and declared it to be even-handed ("blame is spread pretty evenly across the board"). Yikes, we can't have that on OlbyPlanet. So KO went after a factual inaccuracy in the write-up, without, of course, mentioning that The Times deemed it to be fair to both parties. He had to avoid that like the plague, since it exposed his previous claim (the movie "blames Democrats and Democrats alone") as another Olbermann lie.
The interview with Nicoletti was a "Countdown Exclusive!" He is a retired FBI agent who hangs around Hollywood looking to work on films (it appears Oliver Stone has hired him). He signed onto the 9/11 film to monitor how accurately they portrayed the FBI, and found "several scenes" that he objected to. What was the nature of the "inaccuracies"? Some sort of political slant? Or was it what he was there to monitor, the depiction of FBI standards and procedures? Oddly enough, through the entire interview, he never specified, and ace journalist Krazy Keith was so curiously incurious that he didn't bother to ask. Clear-headed readers will come to their own conclusions as to why that would be.
Then to reinforce the spin of the Clintonoids, McLarty was next in the Seat of Honor. KO said the script is "full of holes" and has "flaws in the historical timeline". Should they pull it entirely? Three guesses what the Clintonoid said, and the first two don't count. Olby and McLarty kept bringing up the 9/11 report as if it were the Bible and this film was intended to be a sermon. KO has yet to report that the program is based not just on the 9/11 report but also on The Cell. Funny, he didn't ask that author on to comment on the movie. Herr Olbermann asked if there is a "true political agenda" behind the film, but McLarty punted.
Time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown, identified by party):
Oh great day! This story is so big, so huge, so momentous that it's going to get a whole nuther segment, to explore the "motivations" of the people who are trying to "alter history". Translation: it's time for a little character assassination. But the discredited sports guy faced a quandry. He had a White House Clintonoid on yesterday, and today as well. Where can he find a willing accomplice for Phase II of his attack on free expression? To the rescue: Judd Legum from ThinkProgress, one of those websites that's from way out there where the busses don't run; he's also from the Center for American Progress, known for their twisting of facts.
Legum jumped right in: the writer is a "conservative", he "appeared at the Liberty Film Festival". Aha! Olby brought up an obscure Christian youth group, and--what do you know--the director of the movie is on their board. Aha! Their mission is to have a "positive influence" on movies. AHA! Legum said something about an "untitled history project" which is from an "evangelical advocacy group" and maybe this movie is it. The Da Vinci Code-like connections become more and more sinister. KO took the direct quote "positive influence" and used OlbySpin to rephrase it: "remake Hollywood in their own image". So many leading questions, so little time. One example
Is, can you characterize "Path to 9/11" as, as, as a, uh, stealth attack in the culture wars?
After an obsequious response, Legum got not only a "great thanks" but also a "good work on this". And we knew we were in for a sterling night of propaganda when the teaser for the next story (Al Qaeda/Iraq) was bannered: "Link Lies". Oh, and Olby regurgitated yesterday's hilarious innovation: making fun of Katie Couric's ratings. (Again? If KO ever had an original thought, it would die of loneliness.)
The parade of talking points took a momentary break for one minute of news (killer caught). Then Herr Olbermann was on to the "deception" that led to the Iraq War. The report itself was a Lisa Myers rerun from the NBC Nightly News. After Olby gave "great thanks" to the tape spool that played the story, it was time for Dana Milbank, divested of dashing disguise. Doesn't this "documented" report show that what Cheney and "others" said was "not true"? Who were the others? Like, say, Jay Rockefeller? For some reason, Krazy Keith didn't mention this Democrat senator who claimed Saddam represented an "imminent threat" to the USA. Follow-up:
At what point do we get an assessment of whether or not our political leaders misused, cherry-picked, inflated, conflated the intelligence they had?
We were lied to about this. That's the simplest way to put this.
The #2 story was the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek, via recycled NBC video, followed by Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Brittney Spears, Clay Aiken, and more, "analyzed" by "comedian" Paul F Tompkins.
Worst Person segment Media Matters Minute Book Pimping Segment, KO was able to report on a guy with a penis pump, while saving his venom for "Bozo the Clown", aka Brent Bozell. Well at least the conservative slot got filled tonight. There was also new video of the Bucky Phillips arrest, forcing Olbermann to (oh no!) wing it:
The arrest tonight of Ralph Bucky Phillips, in custody there, having turned himself in to police, uh, off the America's, uh, Most Wanted, the Top Ten list from the FBI.
No one can ad-lib breaking news like Keith Olbermann. He managed to muddle together the FBI, John Walsh, and David Letterman, all in one sentence!
The evening's "great thanks" count: 6. With all the talk of the 9/11 show there were many mentions of "President Clinton", but never once did Olby call him "Mister" Clinton. References to the current occupant of the White House were scarce, but Olby still managed to find an opening, as evinced by tonight's MisterMeter reading: 1 [LOW].