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To understand how Keith Olbermann concocts his ritual character assassinations of people on his enemies list, one must appreciate the modus operandi involved. More often than not, Olby spots an attack in a blue blog, preferably a Fox hating one, lifts it without checking, contorts the content even further to suit his own agenda, and then for a big finish tosses in a healthy dose of name calling, ridicule, and personal attacks.
This week brought us an egregious example of OlbyCarthyism, one that appears to have had its genesis at one of David Shuster's favorite sources, Talking Points Memo. They excerpted a few sentences from a four hour program: an exchange the Fox & Friends hosts had with Geraldo Rivera regarding the Fort Hood massacre. The article links to, but does not embed, a snippet of video. But even this skimpy documentation was too much information for Olbermann, who attacked all three hosts by cropping things even further and just quoting their questions and ignoring the answers. Here he cites Gretchen Carlson:
CARLSON: Could it be that the military was exercising political correctness in not approaching him as seriously as they would have had he not been a Muslim?Why does this question make Ms Carlson a "worst person" nominee? After all, MSNBC's employee Clift van Zandt made a similar point about political correctness, and just today NBC's own David Gregory asked a question that echoed Carlson's about the military missing warning signs. Will they be named "worst persons" by Olbermann? There was a lot more that Gretchen Carlson said--not merely the questions she posed (the job of an interviewer) but her own analysis--that Keith Olbermann neatly avoided telling his viewers about. Before asking that verboten question, she noted:
CARLSON: It puts any Muslim American in a tough situation here because by all accounts most Muslim Americans living here are living here peacefully. I mean, this is the extreme element--potentially--of this religion, and we don't know exactly if the religion was his motivation or not, or if it was the act of war, or that he went nuts. I mean, we don't really know right now.There's no way Olby is going to let that be heard! Olbermann's distortion of Carlson is pretty bad, but his defamation of Peter Johnson Jr is even worse. Here is the quote as Olby cites it:
JOHNSON: You won't countenance special screenings for Muslim soldiers, will ya?Olbermann attacks Johnson for this cropped quote as if Johnson were calling for such screenings. Again, neither Olby nor Talking Points Memo (which frames this statement as Johnson "grilling" Geraldo, as if they were disagreeing) bothers to note anything Johnson said before that interview, which just might shed some light on the situation. Here is what he said after a statement from a CAIR spokesman calling for Americans to remain calm because the motives of the attacker are not known:
JOHNSON: Well that's absolutely accurate, and it calls for restraint, and it calls for concern for fellow citizens. And obviously whether an assailant is Christian, or is Muslim, or is Jewish, is irrelevant.What? How can that be? Olbermann wants you to believe Johnson is some sort of depraved racist! Well Keith did have that one-sentence quote as "proof". But even that one sentence has been falsified--doctored to change its meaning and intent. Here, in context, is precisely how the exchange between Peter Johnson and Geraldo Rivera went down. After Brian Kilmeade asked if there should be special screenings for Muslim soldiers, Geraldo disagreed. After Geraldo rambled a bit away from the question, Peter Johnson jumped in:
JOHNSON: You can't, you won't countenance special screenings for Muslim soldiers, will you?This is the exact opposite of what Olbermann claimed. Peter Johnson Jr was not supporting "special screenings". He was agreeing with Geraldo Rivera and arguing against them! But that doesn't matter to Olbermann, who slanders him as a "worst person" based on his dishonestly cropped quote. Par for the course on Countdown.
RIVERA: You know, it's a hard--
JOHNSON: You can't. As a civil libertarian, can you countenance that, Geraldo Rivera?
RIVERA: It's a hard step for me to take, to countenance. This is an American born person.
JOHNSON: Yeah it is!
RIVERA: This is not a naturalized citizen.
But wait, there's more. We haven't yet dealt with Olbermann's specialty: over-the-top insults and name-calling. In this instance it was to accuse Fox News of, among other things, racism:
OLBERMANN: Since we're asking questions, I have one for Carlson, Johnson, and Kilmeade. You guys ever wonder if you all succeeded inside a company like Fox mostly because you're not Muslim or black or Asian or Hispanic?We noted above that Olbermann was careful to quote only questions, but not answers. This of course made it easy to strip all context from the discussion, but now we find there was another reason. Because the person the Fox hosts were talking to was Geraldo Rivera. You know, the fellow whose successful Fox News program beats MSNBC and CNN weekend after weekend? Now we're not sure, but we think Geraldo is Hispanic. You know, like Julie Banderas. That's the other reason why Olby avoided even mentioning Rivera. Because if he had, how could he wail that Fox News won't allow Hispanics to succeed? Oh that racist FNC! If only it could be more like MSNBC, where Hispanic anchors are plentiful. Why MSNBC is a veritable haven of Muslims, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics:
Originally posted at johnny dollar's place.