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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Republicans in revolt. Guiliani gave to Planned Parenthood. Wolfowitz not being supported by the Europeans. A supernova. Pardoning Paris Hilton.
UPDATE: video & transcript below
Iraq and Republicans in "revolt". Three weeks after General David Petraeus testified on Capital Hill that he would be able to judge the success of "the surge" in September and Republicans took the position that they would be willing to wait to evaluate the situation at that time Keith is pounding the Democratic talking point that statements made today to this effect somehow represents a shift, that Republicans are "in revolt". This is more of the Nixon analogy at play - that as Jonathon Alter pined for yesterday - when Republicans come to Bush and tell him he has to get out of Iraq the war will end. Howard Fineman seriously jeopardized his chances at getting "great thanksed" after uttering the words "the fact is he's probably right" referring to Bush's assessment of the risk of a quick pullout from Iraq. Whoops! Obviously Keith was not listening to Fineman's answers as he inadvertently "great thanksed" the heretical Fineman.
#5 2008 Campaign - Presidential Positions. Olbypocrisy Alert - on a given day Olbermann would be celebrating a Republican who had donated to Planned Parenthood but when that Republican is Rudy Guiliani that's bad. More flogging of a Chuck Hagel candidacy with Chris Cilizza advancing the counterintuitive notion that a Hagel run would hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Gore, Thompson and Gingrich.
Another terror plot thwarted but on OlbyPlanet it is all just a big hoax perpetrated by the FBI and enabled by a "credulous" media. Seems the FBI "claims" it broke up a plot to attack Fort Dix but really the six plotters were just "morons". Didn't we just have some moron, working alone, kill over 30 people with two handguns in Virginia? Wasn't that the way Zacharrias Moussoui was described. Didn't the FBI catch the 1993 World Trade Center bombers because one of the "morons" went back to the truck rental office to get back his deposit? Didn't a border patrol agent catch of the Millennium Plot bomber because the "moron" was caught with a cache of explosives in the trunk of his car, wasn't Richard Reid the "moron" who was unable to light the fuse in the bomb in his shoe? Does Keith have some special knowledge that the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were intellectuals? How about the 7/7 bombers in London? Or Madrid? Or Bali? Apparently on OlbyPlanet to be a "real" terrorist you have to have gotten a 2400 on your SATs.
Why is that any time a terror attack is successful U.S. Olbermann rushes to portray officials as "morons" but when these same officials prevent an attack its just a scam to "terrorize" Americans cooked by the Bush administration where the plotters always morons and the threats are never "serious". Oh, except when the terror attack is directed AT OLBERMANN. In THAT case, even if the "attack" is laundry detergent shoved into an envelope, a "special" comment is in order.
#4 Wolfowitz - at the top of the show we heard how the Europeans were so anxious to get rid of Wolfowitz they were willing to allow Mr. Bush to choose his successor. Moments later we hear that there is a "six decade tradition" of allowing the U.S. to pick the head of the World Bank. Well...which is it? Hey! This is OlbyPlanet where two diametrically opposed statements can both be true. Why? Because Keith says so that's why! Of course, Keith never stops to ponder why this "tradition" exists. In fact, it is a bit more than a "tradition" as we will soon learn.
Thankfully someone with more than a passing familiarity with the term "international monetary system" joined Keith before he made a bigger fool of himself - John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal. Turns out that when the U.S. created the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund they made a deal that the U.S. would pick the head of the Bank and the Europeans would pick the head of the Fund and that undoing one end of the deal would create many complications. This "tradition" might also have something to do with the U.S. being the primary source of funding for the World Bank. I suspect many Americans would be OK with allowing the Europeans to pick the President of the World Bank if they would also switch places with the U.S. on the level of giving to the "bank".
What we never do get here is an intelligent discussion of why exactly the Europeans want Wolfowitz out in the first place. It is surely not about this nonsense over his girlfriend. And nothing has been said about Wolfowitz supporters at the World Bank - the Africans. Prompted by Olbermann, Harwood offers that the reason viewers might care about the issue is that it is another example of "the rest of the world" not liking Americans. Of course, what he means by that is that SOME European governments are anti-Bush which is hardly news.
It's not until the very end of the segment that we learn WHY the Europeans are upset with Wolfowitz - that he has made a major push to reduce corruption at the World Bank. And who are the beneficiaries of this corruption? Hmmmm. Maybe the same people who benefited from the UN Oil for Food Scandal, the Olympic Games scandal and so on - the Europeans. All of which explains why the Africans are SUPPORTING Wolfowitz - less corruption means more money going to the people who need it and less of it ending up in numbered accounts in Zurich. Of course, on OlbyPlanet it would never do to report that the white Europeans are attempting to oust Wolfowitz and the black Africans are fighting to keep him as president.
OddBall - golf, sheep, cows marrying.
Newsmakers - John Facenda, amateur chemist, drunk driver takes road test.
Supernova - Derrick Pitts talks about a giant star.
Irony Watch - at least here in the New York market the segment on Paris Hilton was preceded by...a commercial for Hilton hotels with the tag line "travel should change your perspective/Travel should take you places". Ummm. You mean like prison?
#2 - Unusual sentences - canned report from Michelle Kosinski on a woman who was sentenced to wear a sign says she stole from Walmart and other unusual punishments.
Keeping Tabs - Sanjaya, Ty Pennington, George Michael.
Media Matters Minute (Worst Person in the World) brought to you by Daily Kos and Crooks and Liars - Chris Cox (no relation) of the NRA defending the rights of terrorists to purchase weapons (Daily Kos), Rep. Ted Poe of Texas quotes Nathan Bedford Forrest who was a terrorist (Crooks & Liars), Dick Morris of Fox Noise (it just gets funnier every time you hear it doesn't it?) who said the purpose of the war in Iraq was to make killing Americans more convenient for terrorists (Daily Kos).
#1 - Paris Hilton with Michael Musto on her pardon request. Creepy led off by gratuitously mocking her physical appearence by comparing her to a Georgia O'Keefe cowskull - apparently unaware or unconcerned that Maria Shriver worked for many years at NBC News. Keith had an odd reaction. I cranked up the volume on my TV pretty loud and was able to distinctly make out Olbermann humming along as Musto was talking. Weird. Musto was stinking up the joint so badly he was reduced to explaining to Keith "these are the jokes". Whoops. It just got worse. Musto went too far even for Keith saying that it would not be good for Paris to watch "The Simple LIfe" at the prison because the other prisoners will want to "melt down her gold fillings, and her dog and her vagina and stuff". Sure sounds like a clip for another "Great Moments" video.
Olbermann's book The book that bears Olbermann's name crash landed at #4,682 at amazon.com, but "Culture Warrior" is #379. (It's that 2-for-$25 sale!) Another scratch for the OlbyTome went continues to be unranked at Barnes & Noble due to NO SALES!; O'Reilly's book is #1,005 there, and is one of the top five books of 2006 per Publishers Weekly. Monday's Hour of Spin eeked out a "win" over Paula Zahn in total viewers but Olby was crushed in Brian Stelter's favorite metric of success - the "coveted" demo. The tally: Zahn 202,000 v. Olbermann 138,000. Of course, both shows were CRUSHED by The O'Reilly Factor which had about four times as many viewers as Olbermann. This after KO was trounced Friday by a guest host (Michelle Malkin). Tonight's MisterMeter reading: 2 [GUARDED]
UPDATE: video & transcript