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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Olbermann Week in Review. Monday: attack Fox News. Tuesday: more attacks on Fox News. Wednesday: still more attacks on Fox News. Thursday: even still more attacks on Fox News. So we come to Friday: yet on top of that even still more attacks on Fox News.
The opening spiel: Bob Woodward's book (covered yesterday), Roger Ailes (yesterday and the day before), Mark Foley (R), George Allen (R), and a supersized oddball. Olby led off by bringing up the NIE report (all week) and the Woodward book (yesterday).
It's a "dysfunctional adminstration", "Mister" Bush didn't want his cabinet to use the word "insurgency", "Mister" Bush's parents had misgivings about Iraq. What's more, Cheney was calling weapons inspectors with locations to look for WMDs. (Sounds like the Veep was himself convinced of their existence, like all those other intelligence agencies around the world.)
Clips from Bob Woodward on CBS being interviewed by Mike Wallace. Hmm. If Chris Wallace is a "monkey", does that mean his dad is just an elderly simian? Keith didn't tell us. Clips of Rumsfeld (R) saying he hasn't read the book (not surprising, since it's not on sale yet) and Tony Snow (R). Clips of Levin (D), Schumer (D), Reed (D).
Olby asked Dana Milbank, shorn of showy regalia, about whom the President is listening to, using one of his trademark leading questions:
Is that credible any more? Do we need to start wondering if the only voices he listens to are the ones inside his own head?
Dana didn't even bat an eye at the irony of Krazy Keith accusing someone else of being delusional. Instead he served his usual human-Xerox purpose, reiterating OlbySpin by citing Abizaid, ex-General Batiste, and John Murtha. It occured to us at this point that much of what appears in this book might contradict the assertions in Tommy Franks's tome. Let's check the wayback machine for all the coverage the Franks book got on Countdown. Um...hold on...it's got to be here somewhere...oh, wait. Never mind.
KO described the whole thing as "the outing of the President's dishonesty", DM talked of circling the wagons, and Olby spoke of the book as a "galvanizing force" for the Democrats. Herr Olbermann has identified a lot of things over the past few months that were going "galvanize" the Democrats. Abramoff, Rove, PlameGate, Scooter Libby, Bill Clinton... He's bound to hit one eventually.
Just in case referencing ex-General Batiste didn't make the case strongly enough, the discredited sports guy announced that Batiste will be the latest in his series of anti-adminstration guests on Monday. After a short bit on Iraq (rumors of a possible military coup), the first commercial break mercifully came into view. But not before a tease for Olby's attack on Roger Ailes.
There followed another tease about Roger Ailes ("the round man" ). There would have been another half-dozen except that the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann bumped his latest attack up to the second (#4) slot. With his copy of "Fat Insults for All Occasions" at the ready, Olby lit into "the rotund refugee from the Ministry of Truth" . He lied that Chris Wallace broke an "agreement" on ground rules, and read a quote that he described as Ailes speaking "between pies" .
Then Keith decided to flash back to the elder Bush, and a contentious interview with Dan Rather. KO claimed Ailes had set the whole thing up, and had "scripted" Bush's responses. Of course, Krazy Keith added that when Ailes speaks, "don't get your hands too close to his mouth"  and called him a "fat ass" .
Cue Craig Crawford, the chortling pundit (aka Olbermann's Brain). Olby said that the "bad publicity" over the interview "galvanized the Democratic party". Again? More galvanizing? There isn't enough zinc on the planet for all this galvanizing. "Monkey" Olbermann claimed that Bush the elder's comeback to Rather was on cue cards, while Clinton just ad-libbed and he "beat Chris Wallace senseless".
Remember that Brain wrote a book "Attack the Messenger", the thesis of which was that politicians demonize reporters for political effect. Brain chorlted about the elder Bush/Rather interview as "deconstructed" in his book as a quintessential example of "attack the media". He said a CBS cameraman (impartial source!) told him Roger Ailes had Bush's "attack" scripted on a cue card.
After all the cackling and sniggering, it boiled down to this. Elder Bush attacking a journalist: bad because he used cue cards. Bill Jefferson Clinton attacking a journalist: good, because he didn't have cue cards. Perhaps in his next book, Olbermann's Brain will explain which reporters it's OK to attack. Or possibly he'll just publish a list of the politicians who have permission to go after journalists of their choosing. Here's a shortcut to that list: all the ones with a (D).
Olby wondered of Fox "why are their ratings down?", leaving out that the ratings of all the cable news channels are down. He added that Ailes "looks a little like Rod Steiger playing Napoleon" . Brain snorted that Fox preaches "to the base" and that makes it harder to branch out. KO added a final shot: "
I'm sure Mr Ailes wishes that personally he could stop broadening out.
Congratulations, Olbermann. You have made fun of a fat man's weight no less than seven times in 10 minutes. [Video!] That's what makes your show so smart and intellectual. You're really quite the man.
#3: The Mark Foley resignation and the George Allen controversies. The latter led to another fascinating personal reminisence by Keith "Man on Fan" Olbermann--something about George's Allen father, the point being that it somehow makes Allen the younger a liar. Then the n-word controversies, and "another" alleged eyewitness account of same. This was a report from David Shuster (covered yesterday on Hardball), rerun for the viewing pleasure of Countdown viewers.
There was a mention of one of the many people who have publicly insisted that Allen never used the n-word. Needless to say, none of those people was interviewed. But there was something different about this report as it aired tonight. Something that was there on Hardball, but not in the version that aired on The Hour of Spin. Are you ready for this? It's a pip.
Slippery's piece included the eyewitness saying how she would have gone after Allen even if he were a Democrat. But there was a context for this. On Hardball, Shuster's report also included the salient fact that the eyewitness he was interviewing, as well as another alleged ear-witness to the n-word, were both Democrat activists. They support, campaign, and work for Democrats. What happened to that part when it ran on Countdown? They cut it out! Why? Because Keith Olbermann doesn't host a newscast. He runs The Hour of Spin.
In a hilarious postscript, Slippery made mention of allegations about James Webb, but refused even to say what they were until he could interview the accuser on camera and give him "scrutiny". Apparently the Washington Post, which reported this business on Thursday, all of a sudden is too unreliable to be the basis for a report on Countdown. This is hilarious because Olby has been reporting the n-word charges about Allen since Day One of the allegations--based on newspaper reports--without interviews or "scrutiny". Hey, it's George Allen. To hell with scrutiny!
After oddball: Virgin's in Space, followed by Anna Nicole Smith, Rosie O'Donnell, and great oddball moments of September. Two politicians made the "worst person" list. Amazingly, both had an (R) after their names. In the ratings race, Olby eeked out a third place finish on Thursday. Krazy Keith's pimping of the book that bears his name was shameless tonight, but it is only #60 on amazon, while Mr Bill's is #8. Curious how KO is not doing those amazon comparisons any more. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 4 [GUARDED].