Olbermann's New Anti-War Signoff Mocks "Mission Accomplished"

After President Bush delivered his speech on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in April 2003 welcoming U.S. troops home from Iraq and declaring an end to major combat operations, the media for some time sought to embarrass Bush each time American soldiers were killed by recounting how many U.S. troops had died since that speech, and by referring to the "Mission Accomplished" sign displayed at the time. On Monday February 6, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show to resurrect references to that speech with a new addition to his regular signoff, which he has repeated each day during the past week, in the form of recounting the number of days it has been "since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq."

Olbermann, who has long used his Countdown show to criticize President Bush regarding the Iraq War, has typically ended each night's show with words similar to, "That's Countdown for tonight. Keep your knees loose. Good night and good luck," before balling up a piece of paper and tossing it toward the camera. On the February 6 show, Olbermann first inserted words into his signoff tallying the number of days since the display of the "Mission Accomplished" sign. After the final segment on Monday, the Countdown host ended his show: "That is Countdown for this, the 1,012th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck." Olbermann repeated this recounting each night of the week. (Transcripts follow)

Exact transcripts for each night's signoff are shown below:

From the February 6 show:

Keith Olbermann: "That is Countdown for this, the 1,012th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."

From the February 7 show:

Olbermann: "That's Countdown for this, the 1,013th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."

From the February 8 show:

Olbermann: "That's Countdown for this, the 1,014th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."

From the February 9 show:

Olbermann: "Our MSNBC coverage continues next with Rita Cosby Live and Direct, and that's Countdown for this, the 1,015th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."

From the February 10 show:

Olbermann: "That's Countdown for this, the 1,016th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. A reminder to join us again at midnight Eastern, 11PM Central, 9 Pacific for the late edition of Countdown. Until then, a special presentation of Lockup: Inside Louisiana is next. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck."