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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? Probably none of them, given how Countdown is still mired in a poor fourth place among 8:00 pm cable news offerings. But that didn't stop the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann, who launched into his opening spiel bellowing about Colin Powell (six days later and he's still flogging this story!), the UN speech, and Halliburton. (snigger "He said Halliburton!" snigger)
The lead story was "Mister" Bush vs Colin Powell. Quotes from the Washington Post. Olby characterized the quotes as regarding a plan to "rewrite" the Geneva Conventions, but that was just another Olbermann lie. The quote from Gen Powell mentioned "modify", "clarify", and "redefine", but never used the OlbySpin term "rewrite".
KO then swerved to the President's UN speech, missing its main thrust and choosing to summarize it thusly:
At the UN he divided the world at large into two groups: us and them.
The Wolffe Man was asked if the "silence" that "prevailed" during the "Mister" Bush's speech pretty much tells the story of how he was received at the UN, and Wolffie was quick to draw comparisons to the standing ovation that Annan was given. Olby dragged Powell into it again, referencing how "damaging" the Bush/Powell dispute is and looking to magnify it as much as possible:
Could it mushroom, could this get really big on the domestic political front?
The Wolffe Man, knowing which side his bread is buttered on, made a passing reference to the President's Rose Garden reaction, the one that Herr Olbermann has been twisting like a pretzel for the past several days. Wolffie earned himself an invite to return, for sure. KO went on to make the bizarre claim that George Schultz is one of the people who is "supposed to be leading" the Republican Party, "at least symbolically". Yeah, those GOPers have Schultz Day Dinners, name airports after him and everything! He's the heart and soul of the Republican party. The air must really be thin up there on OlbyPlanet.
Then we got another appearance from The Perfessor, because hearing from him less than a week ago just wasn't enough. Krazy Keith's first question had nothing to do with legalities at all--he wanted The Perfessor to speculate on Powell's motives, which JT was more than happy to do, since it allowed him to spout off about American is actually creating more terrorists and the usual talking points.
Olby brought up how "torture" results in "falsely positive" information that can't be trusted. But since KSM gave up "truly positive" information that proved to be true and led us to more terrorists, it is therefore not torture at all. So whatever we used on KSM, that's what we use from now on. It's not torture, and it works. Problem solved! Neither KO nor the Perfessor seemed to grasp this elemental logic.
For his part, Turley claimed there's no need to "redefine" the Geneva Conventions, adding "we've never had to do this before". This is patently preposterous on several levels. The Supreme Court "redefined" Common Article 3 by applying it to international terrorists, when by its own plain language it only applies to civil wars. And how many Protocols interpreting the Geneva Conventions have been proposed and/or passed since 1949? We don't expect a dim bulb like Olby to know about these, but certainly a distinguished Perfessor ought to be aware of them. Was JT abysmally ignorant, or deliberately fabricating to earn himself another trip to The Hour of Spin? We report, you decide.
Then, as if to emphasize for the clear-headed readers of Olbermann Watch how much of a rehash all this chit-chat really was, KO asked Turley the same question he asked him last Friday, even admitting as he did that he was repeating the question. It was the Krazy Keith Konspiracy about Bush trying to cover up something about past interrogations. Surprise, surprise, Turley gave the same answer he gave last Friday (he thinks this, "there is a feeling that", it's possible that, etc).
Is Olby so lazy that he can't even come up with a new question? Talk about phoning it in! On the other hand, repetition is a key factor in successful propaganda, so maybe there was a deeper purpose in all this regurgitation of last week's spin. With Krazy Keith tossing in notions of "criminal action" against the President, and the Perfessor adding spice to the stew by citing violations of "international law", it didn't matter to Herr Olbermann how stale the whole thing was. It served its purpose.
It took a while, but we finally got to the #4 story: a lengthy clip, rerun from the network mothership, of Brian Williams's interview with the "President" of Iran. Oddball was introduced with a rambling discourse about Washington's "Farewell Address", a bit of damage control after Olby's appalling ignorance regarding Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was exposed for the world to see right here on Olbermann Watch.
The #3 slot was predicated on a report that Halliburton (snigger "He said Halliburton!" snigger) offered an injured driver a medal, but only if he wouldn't sue the company. Scandalous! Outrageous! To most attorneys (maybe even The Perfessor) this is what is generally known as a "settlement offer". But it served as a hook on which to hang a segment about "war profiteers".
"Documentary filmmaker" Greenwald, there to get free PR for another of his dishonest propaganda videos, is an incompetent tyro whose main claim to fame was the film "Xanadu". This incoherent mess was so bad that a yearly award for worst movies (the Razzies) was created, just so they could hand one over to Greenwald. Given his inability to display even the merest modicum of competence, Mr Xanadu found that he could survive in a niche market by selling dishonest far-left propaganda to a tiny but vocal gang of blue blog buffs. The perfect Olbermann guest!
As is his practice when promoting extremist documentaries, KO ran excerpts from Mr Xanadu's video, to set up the usual string of anti-business talking points. Corporations are "hurting the morale" of our military, because their employees are paid more. Their CEO salaries are "an obscenity". They are "breaking the law". Then Olby went into campaign mode, talking about "scare tactics" by Republicans, and asking:
If the Democrats did take over Congress or at least the House, what would change in terms of war profiteers, if anything?
That slow-pitched softball allowed Mr Xanadu to proclaim Henry Waxman (D) has been a "hero", and he'll send people to jail. Then, just in case the message was too subtle for the credulous Countdown crowd, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann hammered it home:
As Harry Truman did, a Democrat, during a Democratic adminsitration.
OlbySpin at its most anvilicious.
#2: The space shuttle (rerun from NBC), Anna Nicole Smith, baby Abby, Peter Gammonds. #1: More pandering to Howard Stern.
his book the book that bears his name again led off the "worst person" department. Conrad Burns (R) got a nomination for flying on a corporate plane. Sen Menedez (D), under federal investigation, and Senate candidate Ben Cardin (D), who permitted racial slurs on his campaign website, have yet to have their difficulties so much as mentioned on The Hour of Spin. But that's because this is a "nonpartisan" segment, don't you know. In a stunning development that will be big news everywhere, Bill O'Reilly was "worst" (tied with Al D'Amato) because he dared to disagree with John McCain. Then Olby added:
I did a search engine thing on Billo's name. It came back "no matches found for Bill O'Reilly; did you mean Bill Orally?"
The Laughing Stagehand loved that, even if KO's claim was a steaming pile of dung.
Meanwhile, we know how time and again Krazy Keith has devoted segment after segment to "Mister" Bush's ratings, or the fortunes of the GOP Congress. As long as they were in decline. The latest Gallup poll has the President's approval ratings at their highest point in months, and the generic ballot question finds the two parties tied among likely voters. Big news, right? Well, news anyhow? Sorry, not on The Hour of Spin, where the discredited sports guy only harps on surveys when they show "Mister" Bush going down. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 4 [GUARDED]