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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
The opening spiel found Olbermann barking about the Iraq Study Group, hawks and doves, Hoyer vs Murtha, the white powder case, the MLK memorial, and Britney. First on the docket was the Iraq: the Baker Commission, phased withdrawal, benchmarks (with the obligatory clip of David Gregory hectoring Tony Snow), and the McCain plan (more, not fewer, troops). This was when the Wolffe Man showed up.
Rule 1 is always on the table, and Olbermann played that card, asking Wolffie:
Did this just get more complicated for the White House today?
Of course it did. The Wolffe Man said Democrats are "empowered", and Republicans are trying to "put distance" between themselves and the President. KO portrayed Tony Blair's statement as the British "breaking away from the Bush policy", and Wolffie gave a nebbishy, mushy, all over the map answer. He was great thanksed, and McCaffrey was brought in. Once again, Edward R Olbermann was at the top of his game:
I want to start with the, where where we ended, with Richard McCain calling for more troops.
O.K. The General said Richard's plan is not feasible, then Olby asked about the "political" solution (phased withdrawal), wondering if it could:
...also serve in this case as a military solution for Iraq?
McCaffrey referenced beltway politics, and said he would prefer to see this sort of stuff being done in private, but the Dems will push it publicly, and Baker's boys will provide additional justifications. He also called for "direct engagement" with Iran and its neighbors, because "we can't win it on the ground".
#4: Politics 2006 and 2008. Rerun video from NBC on the new Congress. #3: "Mister" Bush and his "hubris", the set-up for a frame that Bush 41 is behind some of 43's changes (like Gates replacing Rumsfeld--despite the fact that 41 was neither consulted nor informed of this move). Olby brought up the Baker Commission again, noting that its makeup had "Bush 43's virtual fingerprints" all over it. Um, we think he meant to say "Bush 41's virtual fingerprints". Time for Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News, who said that 41's guys are "much more pragmatic" and that's why the policy is certain to change. And Alan Simpson is there as the "eyes and ears" of Dick Cheney.
#2: The MLK groundbreaking (more recycled reportage from the network mothership), Borat, and the feds who arrested the purported fake purported anthrax mailer. The New York Post was attacked again for reporting the news (hey, it's not like they published top-secret classified government programs or something harmless like that!). KO made sure to mention that the guy was targeting liberals (but see dogs not barking below). The #1 story was Federline/Brittney, with Keith "Man on Fan" Olbermann warning viewers: don't have sex on videotape. Have it in private, in a hotel room, with cheap wine and a disposable tie. And then make sure you tell your victim never to call you again.
In the "worst person" segment, "Fat Ass" Olbermann began by doing a loud, manic pitch for the book that bears his name, practically begging people to get his amazon rankings up. Then his runners-up ("worser") were a pair of officers at a Lenawee County Jail. First he pronounced it as Len-a-WEE. Then he "corrected" himself, and said, "I'm sorry, Len-AH-wee County Jail". (Actually, it's Len-a-WAY. Har.)
Dogs that did not bark: Nancy Pelosi's endorsement of John Murtha did not find Krazy Keith railing about a "culture of corruption". This despite the fact that supporting an unindicted co-conspirator as leader has triggered outrage from ethics activists. A high-level Al-Qaeda leader is captured in Afghanistan, and, true to form, KO spiked the story. And Herr Olbermann was eager to report on the "right-winger" who was arrested for sending fake anthrax letters, but it's more than mere happenstance that Olby never reported on similar letters sent to a conservative talk station and to a right-wing talk show host. We can't have that on OlbyPlanet.
Olbermann's book The book that bears Olbermann's name surged to #475 at amazon, while Mr Bill's "Culture Warrior" is #17. At Barnes & Noble the OlbyTome sunk to #3,076, while O'Reilly's book stands at #30. And Mr Bill's literary triumph sits in the #3 slot on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Friday's ratings must have come as a disappointment to The Future of Television News. Olby again lost audience from Hardball, and despite competing not against his nemesis but against The Kasich Factor, KO was back down to fourth place, both in total viewers, and in his critical, beloved, all-important, coveted "key demo". Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 2 [LOW]