Olbermann Slanders McCain as Agreeing with 'Racism and Religious Hatred'

On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used a sloppily worded statement by an 83-year-old decorated veteran, retired Colonel Bud Day, who volunteered for both World War II and the Vietnam War, and who ended up spending 30 months as a POW, a man whom Olbermann called "dangerously deluded" and derided as a "slob" and a "clown," to paint John McCain as agreeing with what the MSNBC host referred to as Day's "racism and religious hatred." After quoting part of a recent statement by Day in which he referred generically to "the Muslims," instead of "Muslim extremists," as wanting either to "kill us" or to force Americans to "kneel," Olbermann suggested that McCain "agrees" that Muslims in general are the enemy. As he tagged Day as "Worst Person in the World," Olbermann slammed McCain: "And you heard him [Day]: John agrees with him. As of tonight, John's campaign has refused to repudiate Day's racism and religious hatred. Maybe John needs to get rid of this clown but fast. Bud ‘The Muslims are Going to Kill Us' Day, today's ‘Worst Person in the World.'" (Transcript follows)

While Day's generic reference to "the Muslims" was inappropriate and deserves correction, in part of the same statement ignored by Olbermann, Day seemed to contradict the idea that he might view all Muslims as the enemy as he declared that America should "support the Iraqi government." Day: "And out here in the Panhandle, there's a ton of retired military, and they all expect our government to get in there and support the Iraqi government, get them to the point where they can carry on on their own, and then get the country stabilized and hopefully have a government along with Israel in the Middle East who has some kind of a relationship with us."

Audio of the relevant statement by Day can be found here.

And, contradicting Olbermann's claim that McCain believes Muslims in general are the enemy, on Friday a Fox News article reported that "A campaign spokesperson for McCain said Day intended to say Islamic extremists — an important distinction as some Muslims feel inappropriately discriminated against since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday July 18 Countdown on MSNBC, followed by a transcript of some of Day's statement:

#From the Friday, July 18 Countdown:

KEITH OLBERMANN: But our winner, speaking of dangerously deluded, Swift Boater Bud Day, John McCain's fellow Vietnam POW, trotted out on a conference call with reporters by the Republican party of Florida. Says Mr. Day, quote, "The Muslims have said either we kneel or they're going to kill us. I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel."

"The Muslims." Not terrorists, not even Islamo-fascists, but "the Muslims." The Muslims who are opposing terror with us, the Muslims who have given authorities the world over leads and tips about terrorists, the Muslims who live peacefully and contribute to our nation. And you heard him: John agrees with him. As of tonight, John's campaign has refused to repudiate Day's racism and religious hatred. Maybe John needs to get rid of this clown but fast. Bud "The Muslims are Going to Kill Us" Day, today's "Worst Person in the World."

#Below is a portion of Bud Day's statement:

BUD DAY: John McCain will obviously be identified with the war because he has advocated the surge, he has said the war on terror is the most important thing that we have to have. And people forget, out in the press out in the public, that we're at war. Right now, we don't have any choice. The Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us. I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anyone that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel. And out here in the Panhandle, there's a ton of retired military, and they all expect our government to get in there and support the Iraqi government, get them to the point where they can carry on on their own, and then get the country stabilized and hopefully have a government along with Israel in the Middle East who has some kind of a relationship with us.