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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
The spiel made Anna Nicole Smith the top story of the night promising "full coverage", plus Senate Republicans, the great "distraction" of Pelosi's plane (blamed on "comedian Rush Limbaugh"), The Great Leak Case, and the maybe murderous astronaut. All that and less on this edition of The Hour of Spin.
Just to take a stroll down memory lane, let's make note that during dozens of Countdowns that featured coverage of Ms Smith, Edward R Olbermann portrayed her as crazy, a drunk, a drug user, and made jokes about her uterus. Tonight, of course, "Man on Fan" Olbermann wasn't making with the misogynistic snark, and listened politely as his guest analogized her to Marilyn Monroe. Olby teased the plane segment: Republicans "more worried about that than worried about Americans dying in Iraq". Pretty ironic, given that Monkeymann himself was more concerned with Anna Nicole Smith than with Americans dying in Iraq.
Next The Great Leak Case, which also concerned Oralmann more than Americans dying in Iraq. Clip of Russert with Brian Williams regurgitated from NBC, which did not mention Russert's violation of confidentiality. Slippery Shuster showed up and actually talked about cross-examination, possibly because there wasn't any direct testimony and Olby had to have a segment. But Slippery didn't disappoint. Russert was "badgered", "ridiculed", "attacked", and even--gasp!--"interrupted" by a lawyer who "thundered". Bias, much? Amazingly, Slippery didn't go into any details about these exchanges, and instead played more of the Libby Grand Jury tapes, which weren't even part of today's testimony! And just to put the cherry on the sundae, Slippery, at KO's urging, gave a recap of the prosecution testimony in the trial thus far, witness by witness, naturally omitting the cross-examinations. You know that earned him Great Thanks.
Post oddball, the "Republican machine and possibly the Pentagon" are trying to "throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus" [Ding!]. It's all fantasy and fiction, according to Citizen Keith. But first he dealt with the debate over Iraq. Clip of Harry Reid (D), clip of Tony Snow. Then the "great distraction" of Pelosi's plane envy. KO tried to make it look like it was all the doing of the Sgt at Arms, and asserted that it's those "right-wing pundits" who are claiming Pelosi requested an "extravagant" plane.
Stop the tivo! Right-wing pundits are saying it? Here are Matt Lauer and David Gregory this morning, neither of them "right-wing pundits":
Clip of Pelosi (D) asserting her rights "as a woman" and blaming it all on Rumsfeld! No clips of Pelosi-Plane critics. Time for Howard Fineman, Pundit for All Occasions. Olby's first question invoked Rule #1: It's Bad for Republicans, Because. In this case, because they'll be seen as unserious. Naturally Howie agreed (despite Lauer and Gregory, above). Great Thanks.
#2: The maybe murderous astronaut; #1: More on that crazy, drunk, drug-using person with a funny uterus. In the Media Matters Minute, Jonah Goldberg (conservative), for a bad Iraq prediction, and for not paying off on a bet that the other party (Juan Cole) never accepted (Blue Blog Source: Wonkette).
Silenced schnauzers: Once again, The Great Leak Case coverage was sanitized to protect Tim Russert. You can pore over some of these live summaries to get an idea of just how much Olby & Company left out. For all his fulminating about Da Plane, Da Plane, Olbermoronn never reported that Nancy Pelosi wanted the military to fly her not just to and from the Congress, but also to partisan Democrat events, even ones only three hours' drive away. Herr Olbermann is still protecting Jimmy Carter and John Edwards. He is loyal to his Party Leaders. Other news spiked by "Fat Ass" Olbermann: Iran threatens strikes against US interests. Scooter Libby gets support from an unexpected source. North Korea agrees to disarmament talks.
Olbermann's book The book that bears Olberman's name stands at #5,504 at amazon.com, while "Culture Warrior" is #156. (It's gotta be that 2-for-$25 sale!) The OlbyTome is #2,737 at Barnes & Noble; O'Reilly's book is #216 there, and is now in its 18th week on the New York Times bestsellers list. Wednesday's Countdown did better than average, coming in a decent second, though still utterly clobbered by The Factor in total viewers, and in the critical, beloved, all-important, coveted "key demo".