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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
The last Hour of Spin before The Big Day. Olbermann bellowed his way through the opening spiel: Iraq, Bush, Neocons, "military newspapers", voting machines, and--wouldn't you know it--a last-minute Speshul Komment. We wondered last week if he could squeeze another one of these in before the election. What do you know? Krazy Keith never disappoints.
Just as Matt Drudge predicted, Olbermoronn made repeated references to the "timing" of the Saddam verdict. The Neocons are "condemning" the White House over Iraq. Ken Adelman and Richard Perle were cited based on a release from Vanity Fair, but not any of the criticisms of how their words were represented.. Poll numbers were cited: McCaskill/Talent tied, Cardin up 3, Menendez up 7, Casey up 13, Brown up 6, Webb up by 1, Burns/Tester tied, Corker up 12--with Olby noting here, uniquely, that "other polls" are closer.
Who better to put all this in perspective than the chortling pundit himself, Craig Crawford, aka Olbermann's Brain. First topic: the neocons and the "military papers", and Olby wanted to know if that won't impel voters to desert the GOP. Even Brain didn't expect much of an impact. Again Olbermann questioned the "timing" of the Saddam verdict (Drudge really has his number), and invoked Rule #1: it's bad for Republicans because it puts Iraq "on the map". Then KO assessed Senator Dole on Meet the Press:
It seemed to be outside the realms of rationality.
Olby ought to know; he lives in those precincts. And Mr Speaking Truth to Power revealed just how much scrutiny he believes Democrat candidates should be held to:
Especially the party not in power being asked to produce its plan to solve a situation it did not get into.
Hilarious. Only Republicans deserve to have their words scrutinized. Because Democrats had no role in going to Iraq. Like Kerry didn't vote to get into the situation? Hillary didn't? Carl Levin didn't? The air is thin up there on OlbyPlanet.
Some talk about the close races and Brain was great thanksed and sent on his way. Another Speshul Komment plug (we're tired of counting them--just figure he will tease it at least a half dozen times). In the #4 segment, Olby attacked Rick Santorum for saying that while Democrats may have the polls, he has workers at the polls. "Worthy of Josef Stalin", intoned Herr Olbermann. No, we don't get the connection either, but you must not try to make sense out of it. It's OlbyLogic. Then a "new trick" the eeevil Republicans are using: robo-phone calls. KO claims they are eeevil because they mention the name of the Democrat opponent and people who hang up early will never realize they were being "badgered" by the GOP, not the Dems. There's a stretch that the India Rubber Man couldn't top, but it parrots the Democrat talking points, so it's news on Countdown.
Cue leftist Jonathan Alter, who seemed to swallow Krazy Keith's notion that robophoning violates do not call laws. Of course, neither cited any law that they claim was actually broken. (Actually, most all such laws specifically exempt charitable solicitations and political activity.) Alter moralized that "you can go to jail for this", and "Fat Ass" Olbermann brought up various voter problems, citing, of all sources, "Project Vote", a far-left outfit run by a guy from ACORN (see dogs not barking, below).
Alter got great thanksed and oddball was played, where Monkeymann had the affrontery to pick on poor Jane Skinner of all people. He has not shame! And then the #3 slot, at which point we flash back to our pre-show post:
Why doesn't Citizen Keith just abandon all caution and, say, bring Howard Dean in to do a free five-minute commercial for the Dems? Nothing would surprise us.
Sure enough, Howard Dean got five minutes of free publicity to promote the vote Democrat agenda. Naturally Keith didn't even bother with what real journalists would say, something along the line of "We asked the RNC Chairman to appear and he declined". Because he didn't, and would never, invite the RNC chairman. And saying he did would use up his nightly allotment of Olbermann lies, and he still has a Speshul Komment to deliver.
Edward R Olbermann's tough, probing questions to Dr Dean:
Dean spewed his talking points without one even mildly challenging question. No critical follow-ups. Pure softball. The only thing missing was Olbermann handing Dr Demento a check on live television. Rerun video from NBC played up the Ted Haggart story again, with KO proclaiming that people who are "holier than thou" turn out to be "holier than nobody". Gotta love those generalizations. Then Neil Patrick Harris and Borat.
In the Media Matters Minute, Bill O'Reilly was cited for reporting inside information about an investigation into an abortion mill doctor. In teasing this, KO claimed that O'Reilly's reporting was possibly "illegal". It's another Olbermann lie. If printing the Pentagon Papers, classified information, and top-secret government programs is not a crime--as Monkeymann's own expert, The Perfessor, has said repeatedly--where did Olby get the idea that Mr Bill reporting something could possibly be illegal? He made it up! So much for the discredited sports guy's view of freedom of the press.
Finally, saved for the last possible Nielsen minute, we got Olby Speshul Komment [see APPENDIX]. It was a last-minute production (bumping Mo Rocca--the first time we've ever missed him!), but this GOTV screed for the Democrats had all the requisite elements: the repeated, arrogant "sirs", and even the obligatory Turn to Camera 3, just as his writers scripted it. Read it, digest it, and puke.
Dogs that did not bark: Keith keeps talking up election trickery but has yet to say one word about the ongoing investigation into the left-leaning ACORN, even though federal indictments have been handed down. To protect the Democrats chances to take over the Senate, Edward R Olbermann, who siezes on every GOP misstep, has refused to report on Ben Cardin's (D) bizarre claim that the Patriot Act predated his 20 years in Congress. And Olbermoronn still has avoided any mention of Harold Ford's (D) religion-bating, asserting that Democrats love the Lord, but Republicans don't.
Olbermann's book The book that bears Olbermann's name fell drastically to #660 at amazon, while Mr Bill's "Culture Warrior" rose to #11. At Barnes & Noble the OlbyTome continues its downward spiral at #2,775, and O'Reilly's best-seller stands at #18. Friday's Countdown found Krazy Keith in his customary third place slot, both among all viewers and in Keith's coveted, all-important, critical, beloved "key" demo. Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 3 [GUARDED]
APPENDIX: Keith's Speshul Komment:
Olbermann: Where are the checks, balances?
Bush has been 'making it up' for too long, and the people have let him
We are, as every generation, inseparable from our own time.
Thus is our perspective, inevitably that of the explorer looking into the wrong end of the telescope.
But even accounting for our myopia, it's hard to imagine there have been many elections more important than this one, certainly not in non-presidential years.
And so we look at the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein yesterday, and, with the very phrase "October, or November, Surprise" now a part of our vernacular, and the chest-thumping coming from so many of the Republican campaigners today, each of us must wonder about the convenience of the timing of his conviction and sentencing.
But let us give history and coincidence the benefit of the doubt--let's say it's just "happened" that way--and for a moment not look into the wrong end of the telescope.
Let's perceive instead the bigger picture:
Saddam Hussein, found guilty in an Iraqi court.
Who can argue against that?
He is officially, what the world always knew he was: a war criminal.
Mr. Bush, was this imprimatur, worth the cost of 2,832 American lives, and thousands more American lives yet to be lost?
Is the conviction of Saddam Hussein the reason you went to war in Iraq?
Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the weapons of mass destruction that did not exist?
Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the connection between Iraq and al-Qaida that did not exist?
Or did you go to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here?
Or did you go to war in Iraq because you felt the need to wreak vengeance against somebody, anybody?
Or did you go to war in Iraq to contain a rogue state which, months earlier, your own administration had declared had been fully contained by sanctions?
Or did you go to war in Iraq to keep gas prices down?
How startling it was, sir, to hear you introduce oil to your stump speeches over the weekend.
Not four years removed from the most dismissive, the most condescending, the most ridiculing denials of the very hint at, as Mr. Rumsfeld put it, this "nonsense."
There you were, campaigning in Colorado, in Nebraska, in Florida, in Kansas -- suddenly turning this 'unpatriotic idea' into a platform plank.
"You can imagine a world in which these extremists and radicals got control of energy resources," you told us. "And then you can imagine them saying, 'We're going to pull a bunch of oil off the market to run your price of oil up unless you do the following.'"
Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you've stayed the course, having belittled us about "timelines" but instead extolled "benchmarks," you've now resorted, sir, to this?
We must stay in Iraq to save the $2 gallon of gas?
Mr. President, there is no other conclusion we can draw as we go to the polls tomorrow.
Sir, you have been making this up as you went along.
This country was founded to prevent anybody from making it up as they went along.
Those vaunted Founding Fathers of ours have been so quoted up, that they appear as marble statues: like the chiseled guards of China, or the faces on Mount Rushmore. But in fact they were practical people and the thing they obviously feared most was a government of men and not laws.
They provided the checks and balances for a reason.
No one man could run the government the way he saw fit -- unless he, at the least, took into consideration what those he governed saw.
A House of Representatives would be the people's eyes.
A Senate would be the corrective force on that House.
An executive would do the work, and hold the Constitution to his chest like his child.
A Supreme Court would oversee it all.
Checks and balances.
Where did that go, Mr. Bush?
And what price did we pay because we have let it go?
Saddam Hussein will get out of Iraq the same way 2,832 Americans have and thousands more.
He'll get out faster than we will.
And if nothing changes tomorrow, you, sir, will be out of the White House long before the rest of us can say we are out of Iraq.
And whose fault is this?
Not truly yours. You took advantage of those of us who were afraid, and those of us who believed unity and nation took precedence over all else.
But we let you take that advantage.
And so we let you go to war in Iraq to oust Saddam or find non-existant weapons or avenge 9/11 or fight terrorists who only got there after we did or as cover to change the fabric of our Constitution or for lower prices at The Texaco orâ€¦?
There are still a few hours left before the polls open, sir. There are many rationalizations still untried.
And whatever your motives of the moment, we the people have, in true good faith and with the genuine patriotism of self-sacrifice (of which you have shown you know nothing), we have let you go on making it up as you went along.
Unchecked and unbalanced.