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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Keith Olbermann launched into his patter citing McCain, Graham, Warner, and Colin Powell. What a surprise. And he also previewed another unsavory serving of Matt Lauer's free PR for a convicted child abuser. But the lead story (#5 on the backwards broadcast) was about Republicans "spurning" the President:
He made his case for legislation that would, among other things, rewrite a key provision of the Geneva Conventions known as Common Article 3...
The Spin Starts Here. The legislation would not, and could not, "rewrite" the Geneva Convention. What it could, and would, do is define what practices are and are not cruel and inhumane treatment. Olby went on to quote Powell's statement that detailing, for the first time, which practices are covered would somehow put US troops at risk. Because our captured soldiers have always been treated in accord with the Geneva conventions. Or something.
KO played a lengthy series of clips from today's Tony Snow press conference (the same presser that A-Mess-NBC passed on covering live in favor of updates and replays of the Lafave kerfuffle). Then it was on to complaints by the IAEA about a Congressman who happened to be--you guessed it!--a Republican.
Oh no, it's Olbermann's Brain again. Craig Crawford, Countdown's Chortling Consultant, was giggling before Olby even asked one of his leading questions. Brain claimed that it was "strange" that the President didn't build more personal relationships on The Hill, as KO said if we "rewrite" the Geneva Conventions, then our enemies can do the same and torture our prisoners. Like, they don't? Then Krazy Keith asked of Bush:
Did he just lose part of the Republican Party?
Brain, of course, replied: "Y-e-e-e-s-s". Herr Olbermann blathered about a "slippery slope", Brain chuckled about "my way or the highway". After some chit-chat about UBL, KO amusingly asserted that he had been "inundated" with comments on his "special comment". Then, with the peculiar reasoning that only OlbyLogic can explain, he added:
Given that the comment has now been viewed at least a quarter of a million times on one internet webset, website alone, we will be replaying the 9/11 comment in its entirety tomorrow night...
If so many people can see it online any time they want, why is KO replaying it tomorrow night? Doesn't that make it something like a 250,001st rerun? Or has the collapse of his one-night ratings surge necessitated more truckling to the blue blogs? Krazy Keith also flogged his upcoming Today show appearance on Friday (usually the lowest-rated weekday edition, which shows good sense on somebody's part).
After some bash-Bush clips from the late Ann Richards, Herr Olbermann led into the long-awaited first commercial break with teases for his revisionist Great Leak Case report and, naturally, Deborah Lafave! But the #4 story was preceded with "breaking news" about tainted spinach. Of course this news was introduced with a reference to Popeye.
Next KO swerved into The Great Leak Case, insisting that the latest turn would not be "the final twist" in this example of how the adminsitration tries to "discredit its critics". Infamous quote-doctorer David Shuster said "many people believe" that Robert Novak was under "deeper investigation" than has been acknowledged, despite Novak's statement to the contrary. These "many people" are probably the same ones who convinced Slippery Shuster that "Karl Rove will be indicted", something Herr Olbermann took great care not to mention.
In a classic example of Slippery's legal ignorance, he stated:
But Novak was not cleared, and that suggests to a number of lawyers in this case that prosecutors had more problems with the actions of Bob Novak in this entire episode than they did with Richard Armitage.
Stop the tivo! It is an established rule of law, courtesy of nine sages known colloquially as The Supremes, that the recipient of a leak who publishes it has committed no crime. He cannot be prosecuted for it! So what in the wide world of sports is Slippery Shuster talking about? He was triply discredited an hour ago. Now he is, what, quadruply discredited? Sounds about right.
Slippery went on to talk about "the neocons in the White House", mentioning that Novak had been told he's not going to be charged in any of this. Stop the tivo again! Not two minutes ago Shuster was claiming Novak had not been cleared. Now he's saying the opposite. Quintuply discredited.
A promo for an upcoming segment on Brittney Spears's spawn, then another fine, fine edition of "oddball" and more teases for Deborah Lafave. We skipped over that entire repellent spectacle, and not just because Dan Abrams had already replayed it over and over ad nauseam throughout the day. If we want to listen to the narcissistic ramblings of someone who preys on younger victims for sexual favors, we have the entire rest of the hour for that.
The #2 story: the Canada school shooting, like the #3 story, a rerun (this time from ITV). Then the Anna Nicole Smith case, the "purported" (used twice) UK terror plot, and Harry Potter. The #1 story was about celebrity births, including a large helping of Cruise News! The creepy Michael Musto "joked" about babies without pupils and Fred Flintstone.
KO used the Media Matters Minute to again hype his Today show appearance and pimp his book: as we write it is #106 on amazon, while O'Reilly's latest tome, not even on the market yet, is #193. (OlbyLoons: just click on the image to your left to go directly to amazon where you can buy the book.) Michael Savage got a mention for some dumb comment about women in the US Senate. The winner was a College Republican club who organized a tag-like game where people "catch an illegal immigrant" and a test of marksmanship by firing at cardboard cutouts of Hillary and John Kerry. KO bellowed that this was "inducement to assassination". This obscure gang of young GOPers were slammed as "worst persons", while Keith has so little problem with a movie that depicts the killing of "Mister" Bush that he not only refuses to criticize it, he doesn't even report on it!
Among the quiescent canines, the most notable is Olby's careful avoidance of the poll numbers he trumpeted nightly when Bush's ratings were on the downslide. Today more polls show the Presidential approval numbers moving up, and one survey has the generic Congressional ballot choice (Dem/GOP) tightening to just three points. But none of this is news on Countdown, and won't be until the numbers start heading in the other direction. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 4 [GUARDED].