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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
SEE UPDATE BELOW
The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann sailed into his opening spiel like Jimmy Swaggert at a revival meeting. Makes sense. Olby, too, is basically just preaching to his choir. The NIE. Fox News. RNC mudslinging. Clips of Bill Jefferson Clinton: "conservative hit job". KO bellows:
The end of George Bush's free pass! 
Keith is on fiyah! Alert the blue bloggers!
The lead story was about the NIE, a "sweeping assessment" according to KO, because the selectively leaked portion in the New York Times said so. Then it was off to tonight's grand installment of Attack the Media:
Chris Wallace attempted to shift blame for 9/11, for the war on terror, if not for Iraq itself, onto Mr Clinton.
Keep this in mind. We'll watch for Olby to play the clip where Mr Wallace does this.
The Wolffe Man came over to play, but KO immediately shifted the discussion back to the NIE. Why didn't he ask him if Chris Wallace was some sort of evil Rovian right-wing extremist? Could it be because even Wolffie would tell Keith that Wallace's only crime was committing journalism? Yeah, shifting the topic back to the comfortable world of the NIE was the best move here. Then with a straight face, Krazy Keith asked The Wolffe Man if the adminstration was trying to "blame the media". Earth to KO: didn't you just do that yourself?
After Great Thanksing Wolffe, Olby got back to Chris Wallace, the presumptuous bastard who dared to ask Bill Jefferson Clinton about UBL. KO ran more clips of B.J. attacking Wallace.
Time for the next lefty to take the chair: Jonathan Alter. KO wanted to know if there was a pre-interview agreement breached, but Alter was reluctant to play along. He said it's another example of Clinton's temper, and added:
I don't think there was any pre-ground-rules breached or anything like that, and I don't actually fault Chris Wallace at all.... I don't think he was right that somehow Fox was out to get him on this...
Uh-oh. What's the discredited sports guy to do? Come up with a Krazy Keith Konspiracy (KKK). Tonight's version, it's all about the NIE:
Did the whole thing give the Republicans cover on the NIE, divert the discussion for a while...
Alter pointed out, quite sensibly, that the interview was taped on Friday, long before the NIE story broke. Another swing and a miss for Mr Merkle. Note that Mr Alter didn't buy into either of these spin points; they'll come up again later. However Alter bailed him out by changing the topic to how "devastating, devastating" the NIE leak was.
Oh, wait, did we say "leak"? Back when the President legally declassified an NIE, Olby was up in arms, accusing the President of leaking and suggesting that he'd have to fire himself. But the discredited sports guy didn't raise a peep about this leak, or who did it, or whether that person should be fired. Different strokes for different votes.
KO wanted to know if the "inspiration" they got from Clinton could "change the picture" for the midterm elections. That's our Olby: he'll find a pile of steaming dung and conclude that he's just been given a pony.
Another tease  for Keith's "special comment" preceded the #4 story. It's "Capitol Hill testimony". Retired officers "testified" about how bad Rumsfeld is. It was a "Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing". Sounds pretty impressive, but what is Olbermann not telling us this time? For all his official-sounding descriptions, this was not a Senate hearing, or even a Senate session. It was a bunch of Democrats who gathered a handful of disgrunted ex-Generals in a hearing room for an election-year PR stunt. This pretend "hearing" is what Olby would call "politicizing the war on terror", if it had been held by a bunch of Republicans.
It was all about "an administration not listening, and not telling the truth". The same famliar faces (Batiste, Hammes, Eaton, etc) were there crooning the same song they've been singing for months. Where was the news? There wasn't any! But even the lamest Democrat propaganda can find its way to The Hour of Spin.
Then Olby promoed his "special comment" :
Former President Clinton getting sandbagged by Fox News...
Does KO have short-term memory loss or what? Despite what his own guest said not ten minutes before, here's Krazy Keith, lying that Clinton was "sandbagged". Just how can someone be "sandbagged" in an interview where the ground rules said that no topics or questions were off the table? Olby is going to have to work overtime to make his latest attempt to attack the media fly.
After oddball, there was--surprise!--a plug for the "special comment" . You know, those special comments that, if you do them time after time, just aren't special any more? Yeah, those special comments. The #3 story was about the ban on liquid carry-ons. Uh-oh, we have a feeling we're going to hear "purported" very soon:
The purported plot to blow up several passenger jets...
Bingo! KO cited Ed Markey (D) before relegating the story to some rehashed NBC video. And then, just for a change of pace, Olbermann teased his "special comment" . Plus car races (video reruns from MSNBC), Oprah, Mel Gibson, and that #@#@! special comment again .
Of course, the book had to be pimped. Olby claimed it has "broken into the New York Times best-seller list at #18", neatly sidestepping the inconvenient fact that this list only has 15 slots. Classic Olbermann Onanism. KO slammed a car dealer who was promoting a sale by calling it a "jihad on high prices". We don't recall when he ever spoke out against any of the real, actual, genuine fatwahs or jihads that actually, well, kill people. Another victim was an old regular on Olby's enemies list: "Senator Rick 'Man on Dog' Santorum". His crime? He participated in a debate this afternoon with a Green Party candidate, but a Judge had ruled a few hours earlier that the Green guy didn't have enough signatures. The cable station decided to let him participate anyhow. And this makes Santorum evil, why? Don't ask. Keith "Man on Fan" Olbermann has spoken.
The "worst person" was...(there's hardly any suspense any more)...Bill O'Reilly. This was more Olbermann self-aggrandizement, as he claimed that O'Reilly "kept running away from me" at a Yankees game. What was Olby doing? Stalking him? Chasing him? Wagging a finger in his face, the same finger he uses to write Countdown? OK, show of hands, who wouldn't run away from this obsessed head case?
At long last, held until the last possible Nielsen minute, yet another "special comment". KO said Clinton was:
...bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster.
Attn: Send this tape to the Edward R Murrow Award Committee. Because Murrow always called other reporters monkeys.
The nation's freedoms are under assault...
The nation's marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would quit....
Bill Clinton has spoken the truth...
Clinton has taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us, action as vital and courageous as any of his Presidency....
The Bush administration did not try...
The President has been given the greatest pass for incompetence and malfeasance in American history...
To hear him bleat and whine and bully at every opportunity...
We should simply sigh and keep our fingers crossed until a grownup takes the job three Januaries from now....
Mister Bush has now moved unmistakably and without conscience or shame towards rewriting history, and attempting to make the responsibility entirely Mr Clinton's....
He keeps saying this, but where was the clip of "Mister" Bush ever saying it? Olby continues:
As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst Presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him by proxy. Thus the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon. Consider the timing. The very same weekend the National Intelligence Estimate would be released and show the Iraq War to be the fraudulent failure it is....
Geez, this is exactly the KKK that your own guest shot down less than an hour ago. Welcome to Short Attention Span Theater.
The kind of proof of incompetence for which the adminstration and its hyenas at Fox need to find a diversion in a scapegoat. It was the kind of cheap trick which would get a journalist fired, but a propagandist promoted, promise to talk of charity and generosity but instead launch into the lies and distortions...
More Olbermann lies. As we noted, all topics were on the table for this interview. And as for Wallace being a propagandist, here's another example, one you won't hear from the discredted Keith Olbermann. Now why do you suppose he didn't tell you that? Olby continues:
Mr Clinton was brave. Then again, Chris Wallace might be braver still. Had I, in one moment, surrendered all my credibility as a journalist and been irredeemably humiliated as was he, I would have started a new career selling seeds by mail....
How could Krazy Keith possibly surrender something he doesn't have? Coming soon: Burpee Seeds, mailed to your door by Edward R Olbermann. Olby continues:
Disney was the first to sell out its corporate reputation with The Path to 9/11...
The basic plotline was this: because he was distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton failed to prevent 9/11...
The right-wingers...who sandbag Mr Clinton with it at news interviewer, have simply skipped back its most glaring flaws....
What in the Wide World of Sports is this madman talking about? Chris Wallace never once mentioned Lewinsky. Another Olbermann lie. KO continues:
Who on earth conducted the Lewinsky witchhunt?...
Um, that would be Janet Reno, who appointed the Special Prosecutor and even expanded his authority. Olby continues:
Who distracted whom?
The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mister Bush, were carefully manufactured and lovingly executed not by Bill Clinton, but by the same people who got you elected President...
We have your sleazy and sloppy rewriting of history, designed by somebody who evidently read the Orwell playbook too quickly...
Bingo! Orwell reference.
You did not try. You ignored the evidence.... Then you blamed your predecessor. That would be the textbook definition, sir, of cowardice...
When was it again that "Mister" Bush blamed Bill Clinton? We kept waiting for this clip, just like we waited for the clip of Chris Wallace shifting the blame for 9/11 to Bill Clinton. But they never came. KO continues:
You have failed us anew in Afghanistan, and you have now tried to hide your failures by blaming your predecessor. And now you exploit your failure to rationalize brazen torture, which doesn't work anyway...
See above. And see Brian Ross.
There it is, sir. Are yours the actions of a true American?
How many times have we heard America's most dangerous demagogue rail at Tony Snow, or "Mister" Bush, or Rumsfeld, or any of them for being critical of reporters, or raising their voices to them, or looking cross-eyed at them. Do we not recall KO intoning about our "deep national shame" because someone in government dares to take exception with "those loyal Americans who disagree with his policiesâ€”or even question their effectiveness or execution"? All of a sudden, when it's B.J.'s policies that are the subject, Olby does a double-flip, full-reverse half-somersault and it's time to demonize dissent! Don't try to make sense out of it. It's OlbyLogic.
This was Reverend Olby at his most sanctimonious. As each "special comment" tries to top the previous one, they become increasingly preposterous and frenzied. This latest embarrassment, chock full of unsubstantiated drivel, citing nonexistent statements, never documented, is so farcical it could seal Herr Olbermann's fate once and for all.
In the battle for viewers, Olby's Friday Night lovefest with B.J. Clinton couldn't even beat the
O'Reilly Kasich Factor. In fact, KO just barely eeked out a third-place finish. Book sales aren't what they used to be: he's sunk to #117 on Amazon, while Mr Bill stands at #10. Hey, could that be why he didn't do his usual comparison between the two? Could that be why a planned report on Pakistan's Musharraf "exploiting the war on terror" to sell books was hastily replaced with another unhinged rant? We report, you decide. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 9 [SEVERE].
UPDATE: Inside Cable News has a strong reaction to tonight's "special comment":
Keith Olbermann called FNC's Chris Wallace "a monkey posing as a newscaster" for his question that got Bill Clinton all riled up. This is beyond patently ridiculous. It's offensive.... It appears to me like it's almost as if he feels has to top himself with each new commentary. Be more outlandish...more daring...more critical. At some point he was bound to go too far. And tonight he did just that. Olbermann should apologize to Wallace.
UPDATE: Condi Rice slams Clinton claims as "flatly false". That Condi is commenting suggests this ain't over by a long shot. Today asked two leading political analsyts to discuss Clinton v. Wallace again this morning; in a suprise both analysts were Democrats (Carville and Begala).
UPDATE: The L.A. Times has published a terrific editorial by Andrew Klavan which begins "THERE'S NO LIMIT to what a man can do. "President Reagan used to say, "if he doesn't care who gets the credit." Former President Clinton's motto seems to be a little different: "There's no limit to how much credit a man can get, if he doesn't care what he's actually done."
Former President Clinton's motto seems to be a little different: "There's no limit to how much credit a man can get, if he doesn't care what he's actually done."
Marc Parent: after he promised 'brimstone and fire' on his ESPN radio show, and his website previewed a new 'special comment', the left wing internet blogs exploded in anticipation.
Metafilter: ...students of politics and media will be reviewing this clip for years to come as a little cultural watershed.
Crooks and Liars: Keith pulled no punches and launched another smack down on Bush and FOX News...
Brilliant at Breakfast: Keith ups the ante.
The Mahablog: another of his blistering special comments.
Newshounds: Keith Olbermann delivered what has to be THE best synopsis of the Bush Presidency and its Machiavellian machinations.
Bark Bark Woof Woof: With his recent commentaries Mr. Olbermann joins the honored ranks of Edward R. Murrow, William F. Buckley, and Bill Moyers as wordsmiths on television.
Shakespeare's Sister: His takedown of the Bully-in-Chief is brilliant.
The Democratic Daily: the great Keith Olbermann kicked it up a notch.
Liberal Values blog: While most of the media remains cautious, Keith Olbermann continues to speak out against the Bush Administration and their Orwellian attempts to rewrite history...
Relevant Torture: ...every one of these glorious rants has been like a breath of fresh air in a smoke-filled room.
Op-Ed News: another presentation of the truth for the ages
Drunk with KO I agree with everything that Keith Olbermann said and applaud him for saying it.
Question Everything: incredle
PaganDancer Journal: Keith Olbermann points out some glaring facts the Bush Admin and his paid for sycohphants (FAUX news) don't want people to be reminded about.
Daily Southtown (Sun-Times): Keith Olbermann is a rational intellect
Warbly: Our Murrow, Keith Olbermann has brass balls. His seems to be the lone voice in the corporate media willing to call this authoritarian administration what it is.
Daily Kos: Two words to describe the special comment: Fucking WOW!
Newsvine: Keith's delivery is powerful and he saves the best for last.
A Man Out of Time: ...a verbal surgical strike.
Still awaiting the insights of Americ-nt
Hot Air: There's nothing so pathetic, or entertaining, as someone stupid trying to sound smart; the fact that itâ€™s happening on national TV every night makes it almost too good to be true.
The Poor Man Institute: Olbermann is as shrill as Tiny Tim sucking a balloon full of helium and then blowing sixty-four octaves above middle C on a giant dog whistle right in your ear.
186k per second: kookier and more incoherent with every word
The Cable Game: The invaluable Olbermann Watch caught Olbermann uttering epithets that would likely get a mere mortal TV talking head fired, or at least castigated.
ICN: his successive criticisms on the Bush administration in recent weeks have gotten shriller and shriller. It appears to me like it's almost as if he feels he has to top himself with each new commentary. Be more outlandish...more daring...more critical. At some point he was bound to go too far. And tonight he did just that. Olbermann should apologize to Wallace.
Done with Mirrors: Olbermann Becoming That Which He's Supposedly Been Attacking All This Time. In other words, the flip side of the coin of the sloppier, less responsible, cynical, time-elliding, history-selective, context-disregarding, willfully reductive, and manipulative parts of his mirror image in the ideologically rightist part of media.
Newsbusters: In Latest Rant, Olbermann Demeans Wallace as 'Monkey,' Bush as Not 'True American''
Ankle Biting Pundits I can't decide if Keith Olbermann is unhinged, mentally ill, supremely arrogant, smug, filled with hate, obsessed with conspiracy theories, or just plain stupid. I have to think all are somewhat true.
The QandO blog: stunningly vicious and, as usual, dead wrong, Keith Olbermann speaks out, this time giving his opinion on the Clinton interview on Fox News Sunday.
Hugh Hewitt/Townhall Blog: If you want an all-too-clear glimpse into one half of our political system's current derangement, Olbermann's rant provides it.