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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
In the opening spiel Keith Olbermann regurgitated one of his most demagogic, deceitful distortions. Clip of the President:
It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the actions of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.
My "special comment" tonight, why, for that statement, the President owes an apology to this country. 
The top story dealt with efforts at compromise over interrogation techniques, spun by the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann as an attempt to use methods "banned under the Geneva Conventions". Quote from Lindsay Graham over what Olby called "secret evidence", meaning that there is a reluctance to turn over classified intelligence to terrorists. A clip from Bush's address regarding literacy.
The Wolffe Man said negotiations on interrogations are "intense", KO again lied by talking about "rewriting" Common Article 3, so Wolffie could gush over McCain, Warner, and Lindsay Graham. Keith wondered if "Mister" Bush had "any credibility left"; the Newsweek pen pusher predicted a "cool" response at the UN.
Then Olby said there is another element in all this:
...getting "Mister" Bush to apologize, to you and to me, for what he said about this debate last Friday.
Then KO read off--again!--the President's "unacceptable" quote that he had just played minutes before, adding:
...that phrase, "it's unacceptable to think", running contrary to everything in this country's past. The President owes us an apology. A "special comment", tonight, later on Countdown. 
Not even ten minutes into the hour, and he's already teased it twice! After all, rerunning his last "special comment" did so well for him on Friday that he went from fourth place to...fourth place! A mention of Al Gore's upcoming book. If he runs true to OlbyForm, when it hits the book stores Gore will suddenly start doing "special comments" every other night to try to get its amazon rankings up.
In the #4 slot, the Papal controversy, conveniently relegated to a recycled NBC report. After another tease for his "special comment"  came tonight's Emmy-worthy edition of "oddball", followed by--what else?--another plug for the s.c. . Two kidnappings were in the #3 position; taped reports gave the details, and Keith gave "great thanks" to the machine that played the video. Oh, and did you know Olby was giving a "special comment" tonight? Just in case you didn't, there was another tease .
#2: Pandas (another rerun from NBC), Anna Nicole Smith, Willie Nelson, Pete Rose, and--would you believe it?--another promo for the s.c. . Then, after holding off until the last possible Nielsen minute, the discredited sports guy finally permitted the world to hear his latest desperate plea for relevance. Here is Herr Olbermann's rambling, nine-minute jeremiad, in its entirety:
The President of the United States owes this country an apology. It will not be offered, of course. He does not realize its necessity.
There are now none around him who would tell him or could. The last of them, it appears, was the very man whose letter provoked the President into the conduct, for which the apology is essential. An apology is this President's only hope of regaining the slightest measure of confidence, of what has been, for nearly two years, a clear majority of his people. Not "confidence" in his policies nor in his designs nor even in something as narrowly focused as which vision of torture shall prevail -- his, or that of the man who has sent him into apoplexy, Colin Powell.
In a larger sense, the President needs to regain our confidence that he has some basic understanding of what this country represents -- of what it must maintain if we are to defeat not only terrorists, but if we are also to defeat what is ever more increasingly apparent, as an attempt to re-define the way we live here, and what we mean, when we say the word "freedom". Because it is evident now that, if not its architect, this President intends to be the contractor, for this narrowing of the definition of freedom.
The President revealed this last Friday, as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.
The former Secretary of State, Mr Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism." This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.
Reporter: Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?
Bush: If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic. It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.
Of course it's acceptable to think that there's "any kind of comparison". And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary. Even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.
Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists. Some will think that there is no similarity, or, if there is one, it is to the slightest and most unavoidable of degrees. What all of us will agree on, is that we have the right -- we have the duty -- to think about the comparison.
And, most importantly, that the other guy, whose opinion about this we cannot fathom, has exactly the same right as we do: to think -- and say -- what his mind and his heart and his conscience tell him, is right.
All of us agree about that. Except, it seems, this President.
With increasing rage, he and his administration have begun to tell us that we are not permitted to disagree with them, that we cannot be right. That Colin Powell cannot be right. And then there was that one, most awful phrase.
In four simple words last Friday, the President brought into sharp focus what has been only vaguely clear these past five-and-a-half years, the way the terrain at night is perceptible only during an angry flash of lightning, and then, a second later, all again is dark. "It's unacceptable to think," he said.
It is never unacceptable to think. And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on one topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context, he takes us toward a new and fearful path -- one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.
That flash of lightning freezes at the distant horizon, and we can just make out a world in which authority can actually suggest it has become unacceptable to think. Thus the lightning flash reveals not merely a President we have already seen, the one who believes he has a monopoly on current truth. It now shows us a President who has decided that of all our commanders-in-chief, ever, he alone has had the knowledge necessary to alter and re-shape our inalienable rights.
This is a frightening, and a dangerous, delusion, Mr. President. If Mr. Powell's letter -- cautionary, concerned, predominantly supportive -- can induce from you such wrath and such intolerance, what would you say were this statement to be shouted to you by a reporter, or written to you by a colleague?
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government." Those incendiary thoughts came, of course, from a prior holder of your job, Mr. Bush. They were the words of Thomas Jefferson. He put them in the Declaration of Independence.
Mr. Bush, what would you say to something that antithetical to the status quo just now? Would you call it "unacceptable" for Jefferson to think such things, or to write them?
Between your confidence in your infallibility, sir, and your demonizing of dissent, and now these rages better suited to a thwarted three-year old, you have left the unnerving sense of a White House coming unglued--a chilling suspicion that perhaps we have not seen the peak of the anger; that we can no longer forecast what next will be said to, or about, anyone who disagrees.
Or what will next be done to them.
On this newscast last Friday night, Constitiutional law Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, suggested that at some point in the near future some of the "detainees" transferred from secret CIA cells to Guantanamo, will finally get to tell the Red Cross that they have indeed been tortured. Thus the debate over the Geneva Conventions might not be about further interrogations of detainees, but about those already conducted, and the possible liability of the administration for them.
That, certainly, could explain Mr. Bush's fury. That, at this point, is speculative. But at least it provides an alternative possibility as to why the President's words were at such variance from the entire history of this country. For, there needs to be some other explanation, Mr. Bush, than that you truly believe we should live in a United States of America in which a thought is unacceptable.
There needs to be a delegation of responsible leaders -- Republicans or otherwise -- who can sit you down as Barry Goldwater and Hugh Scott once sat Richard Nixon down - and explain the reality of the situation you have created. There needs to be an apology from the President of the United States. And more than one.
But, Mr. Bush, the others -- for warnings unheeded five years ago, for war unjustified four years ago, for battle unprepared three years ago -- they are not weighted with the urgency and necessity of this one. We must know that, to you, thought with which you disagree -- and even voice with which you disagree and even action with which you disagree -- are still sacrosanct to you.
The philosopher Voltaire once insisted to another author, "I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write." Since the nation's birth, Mr. Bush, we have misquoted and even embellished that statement, but we have served ourselves well, by subscribing to its essence. Oddly, there are other words of Voltaire's that are more pertinent still, just now.
"Think for yourselves," he wrote, "and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."
Apologize, sir, for even hinting at an America where a few have that privilege to think and the rest of us get yelled at by the President.
Anything else, Mr. Bush, is truly unacceptable.
The same twisting of words and semantic tricks of last Friday made no more sense when delivered by Reverend Olbermann from his pompous pulpit. Hyperbole ("spat through his teeth") does not equal credibility. No amount of semantic hanky-panky and selective editing can transform a simple colloquialism into some sort of clarion call for totalitarianism. Smugness ("Mister" Bush), phony outrage ("frightening", "dangerous"), and stale guilt-by-association smears ("Richard Nixon") do not make for heroic journalism. They are the tools of demagogues, tricksters, and propagandists. And they are at heart un-American, as is Herr Olbermann's "special comment".
his book the book that bears his name was Job One in the "worst person" spot. John Boehner (R) got attacked in this "nonpartisan" segment, as did a Halliburton subsidiary. A piece by the writer of ABC's 9/11 miniseries exposed again many of the lies Krazy Keith told about it, but it got no mention. Olby spiked any report on the investigation into Sen Menendez (D); ditto the racial slurs posted on the campaign website of Ben Cardin (D). On The Hour of Spin KO protects his party's candidates. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 11 [DANGER!]
UPDATE: Keith put the text up on his blog.
UPDATE: Olbershere Roundup
"The man deserves a Medal of Freedom"
"Oh my yes"
"bravo to Olbermann for standing up to this bully once more"
"one of the precious few decent, honest voices in the American broadcast media today"
"another stunning special comment tonight"
"Olbermann Is Our Hillbilly Of The Week For His Commentary"
"Keith Olbermann may have saved the life of America last night"
"Keith Olbermann is a hero. Simple as that"
"Go send Keith some love"
"He's doing it again"
"I wonder if I can get Keith Olbermann from Netflix..."
"We need a few more Keith Olbermannâ€™s in the media"
"Olbermann spanks Bush"
"another poignant moment in television history"
- TPM Cafe
"an over-the-top demand for an apology from President Bush"
"If this were Showtime at the Apollo Olbermann would have had his ass chased off the stage a long time ago."
"I thought Olbermann had reached the nec plus ultra of nastiness with his suggestion a couple weeks ago that the Bush administration represented "a new type of fascism."Â I might have been wrong."
"I couldn't make this up"
"Let's just say if this was a Tom Jones concert and Olbermann was Jones and the left-wing blogs were fans in the audience, they would be throwing their underwear at him."
- Hot Air
"Olberman, languishing in late-night TV hell for quite a while, has finally found a schtick which works. Inflammatory and hateful speech, usually inaccurate, which is satisfying to a certain segment of the population and helpful to his ratings. Propaganda 101. Find out what the public wants to hear and give it to them. And it is to that particular segment to which he's aimed his screeds. "
- Q & O
"let's not get all giddy over Mr. Olbermann's 'bravery' at 'speaking truth to power'. Bravery requires risk, and, as Mr. Olbermann knows to a certainty, he risks nothing."
- Q & O