Brokaw Chides Olbermann for 'Unfair' Crack About Hillary

During MSNBC's live coverage of Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw appeared visibly annoyed at a crack made by MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann at Hillary Clinton's expense -- ironic given the timing of reports that Chris Matthews and Tim Russert are not happy with the ultra-left face Olbermann is giving MSNBC. Shortly before 8:00 p.m., after Brokaw finished describing what he called the "very strong credentials" and "remarkable stories" of Barack Obama and John McCain, Olbermann chimed in: "And a third one trying to shoe-horn her way into those, the coverage of the first two."

After flashing for a moment a disapproving frown, Brokaw chided Olbermann for disrepecting Clinton: "Well, I think that's unfair, Keith. I don't think she shoe-horned her way in." Brokaw then went on to recount her electoral accomplishments, contending that she "will have some real bargaining power" on behalf of blue-collar workers and women. (Transcript follows)

Olbermann clarified: "And the question raised here was the timing of the vice presidential talk, but we'll have more time to talk about that in the next two hours.

Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Tuesday June 3 Democratic presidential primary coverage on MSNBC:

TOM BROKAW: So all those experiences have formed him, and he does come from what I think is a kind of post-60s family background. His father came from Africa. His mother came from the Great Plains. He lived around the world. And as we get ready for the 21st century, those are very strong credentials. On the John McCain side, 5 1/2 years in the Hanoi Hilton, from a long, distinguished military family. His life has been about service to his country. He was a wild child, by his own admission, as well, and then got into the United States Senate, married Cindy, and six months ago, we were saying he had no shot at this nomination, and won, too. So we have two remarkable stories taking shape here tonight, it seems to me.

KEITH OLBERMANN: And a third one trying to shoe-horn her way into those, the coverage of the first two.

BROKAW: Well, I think that's unfair, Keith. I don't think she shoe-horned her way in. When you look at the states that she won and the popular vote that she piled up, and the number of delegates that she has on her side, she's got real bargaining power in all of this. You'll remember it was on that New Hampshire primary night when people were saying she can't survive the next 24 hours after just Iowa, and here we are at the end of the calendar. And she looks very strong in one of these states tonight, and will have some real bargaining power, and has people, which I think we ought not to overlook, there are a lot of poeple who voted for her who might have been denied that if she'd dropped out -- blue-collar workers and especially women, and it's a delicate time for Barack Obama as he now deals with her because he does not want to disenfranchise them come the fall.

OLBERMANN: And the question raised here was the timing of the vice presidential talk, but we'll have more time to talk about that in the next two hours.

BROKAW: We will indeed.

OLBERMANN: Thank you, Tom.