On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann disputed a claim by a New York Times article that there exists a truce between FNC and MSNBC as he accused the Times’s Brian Stelter of ignoring Olbermann’s denial that such a truce existed, and contended that the story was a "misinterpretation" of the Countdown host’s own pledge from June 1 to discontinue Bill O’Reilly’s inclusion in the show’s regular "Worst Person in the World" segment because Olbermann blamed O’Reilly for abortion Doctor George Tiller’s assassination.
During Monday’s "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann awarded the third place dishonor to Stelter: "Mr. Stelter asked me at least twice last week if there was such a deal, and I told him on and off the record there was not, and I told him I rather obviously would have to be a party to such a deal, and I told him that not only wasn't I, but I had not even been asked to be by my bosses. And he printed it anyway, and I had even written to him that this was merely a misinterpretation of an announcement I made here on June 1 that because Bill O'Reilly of Fox News had abetted the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, he'd become too serious to joke about..."
Then, after having chastised FNC earlier in the segment for not firing Glenn Beck after Beck called President Obama a "racist," Olbermann called O’Reilly a "racist clown," as he decided to return O’Reilly to the "Worst Person" segment, and recycled an old smear of O’Reilly based on a controversial quote from the FNC host that was widely distorted by the media almost two years ago. Olbermann did not provide the context that O’Reilly was interviewing NPR’s Juan Williams – who is himself black, and moderately liberal – about Williams’s book on race relations in America, and was criticizing the media for its negative portrayal of blacks which, by O’Reilly’s own account, contrasts with reality. After reading the O’Reilly quote, Olbermann continued: "Bill thought there might be a human sacrifice between the salad and the entree. Racist clown. Imagine dinner chez Bill-O: ‘I’m happily surprised you haven’t stabbed me with the steak knife, dear.’"
For first place in the "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann sourced the same article that he had earlier attacked as inaccurate as the Times’s Stelter quoted Rupert Murdoch as claiming that he had muzzled O’Reilly and other FNC hosts to avoid getting FNC’s parent corporation in trouble, as the Countdown host sarcastically pretended to side with O’Reilly over Murdoch.
Below is a complete transcript of the "Worst Person" segment from the Monday, August 3, Countdown show on MSNBC:
KEITH OLBERMANN: First, time for Countdown’s number two story, tonight’s "Worst Persons in the World," brought to you tonight by Fixed News, celebrating six days without having fired Glenn Beck, even after he called the President of the United States a racist, and even after they basically claimed he didn't really work for them. The bronze to Brian Stelter of the New York Times. Front page story, front page story Saturday about a, quote, "deal in which," as the headline read, "Voices from Above Silence a Cable TV Feud." Problem: Mr. Stelter asked me at least twice last week if there was such a deal, and I told him on and off the record there was not, and I told him I rather obviously would have to be a party to such a deal, and I told him that not only wasn't I, but I had not even been asked to be by my bosses.
And he printed it anyway, and I had even written to him that this was merely a misinterpretation of an announcement I made here on June 1 that because Bill O'Reilly of Fox News had abetted the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, he’d become too serious to joke about, and I would thus stop doing so – an announcement that would obtain unless and until, of course, I felt like changing the rule again later since this is not the Constitution here, it’s a half-baked television newscast, and I make all the rules.
So, tonight’s runnerup, Bill-O the Clown. After the arrest of Professor Gates, the Frank Burns of news went back to his excursion two years ago to meet some black people. "Remember when I went up to Sylvia's and had dinner with Al Sharpton and said on my radio show, you know, Sylvia’s is just like any other restaurant in America, it's a nice place with nice people. I got served great. And then, the left wing turned it into ‘I was denigrating,’ saying, oh, he didn't think Sylvia's was going to be nice."
Yeah, that's not what you said. Bill-O, on September 19, 2007: "I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks. Primarily black patronship. It was the same. And that's really what this society is all about now. There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, ‘M-F-er, I want more iced tea.’ You know, I mean, everybody was, it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense [of] people were sitting there and they were ordering and having fun, and there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."
Bill thought there might be a human sacrifice between the salad and the entree. Racist clown. Imagine dinner chez Bill-O: "I’m happily surprised you haven’t stabbed me with the steak knife, dear."
But our winner, Rupert Murdoch. How would you like to be Roger Ailes right now or Bill O’Reilly or anybody else who thinks they decide what goes on even for a minute on Fox News Channel? Rupert Murdoch, according to the New York Times piece, has muzzled Bill-O, kept him from speaking his mind because, as the Times put it, what Bill-O said, quote, "could create real consequences for Fox's parent corporation."
How dare you muzzle O’Reilly, Mr. Murdoch? How dare you, sir? This is the essence of corporate interference in the marketplace of ideas, and it is shameful, and, "Avast ye, matie!" Solidarity, brother Bill. Free yourself from your corporate shackles. Solidarity! Rupert Murdoch, who could never get away with that here, today's "Worst Person, argh, in the World"!