Inaccurate Olbermann Ridicules O'Reilly for Relaying Accurate Item from 'Hilariously Inept Right-Wing Web Site NewsBusters'

Erroneously recounting a Tuesday NewsBusters post I wrote about how, unlike ABC and CBS, the NBC Nightly News did not report the lowest U.S. death level in May for any month since the war in Iraq began, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Friday night made FNC's Bill O'Reilly his “Worst Person in the World” runner-up for “picking up some of his features from the hilariously inept right-wing Web site NewsBusters.” Olbermann proceeded to claim that NewsBusters had “criticized our colleague Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News for leading Monday's newscast not with the lower May casualty figures from Iraq, but with a story on how underfunded mass transit system can't keep up with increased ridership caused by the rape of the driver by Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and their oil buddies.”

But Olbermann is the inept one. The June 2 NB item did not scold Williams for failing to lead with the development (nor, of course, for any “rape” of drivers by Bush), but for not mentioning it at any time in his newscast: “ABC and CBS on Monday night managed to squeeze in -- more than 20 minutes into their evening newscasts -- brief mentions of how in May the fewest number U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq in any month since the war began five years ago. But not NBC Nightly News.”

Derogatorily impersonating O'Reilly, Olbermann recited O'Reilly's Wednesday hit on Williams as his “pinhead” of the night. Olbermann then asked and answered about O'Reilly: “Surprised that you're a blithering sociopath cutting and pasting items from NewsBusters? No, I am not...”

MP3 audio clip of Olbermann (1:13, 430 Kb). Windows Media video (4.8 MB)

As opposed to Olbermann who often cuts and pastes from Media Matters and other left-wing sites to find people to ridicule in his “Worst Persons in the World” segment?

Bill O'Reilly in his “Pinheads and Patriots segment” on the Wednesday, June 4 The O'Reilly Factor:

On the pinhead front, both Charles Gibson and Katie Couric told their viewers that in May U.S. casualties in Iraq were the lowest since the war there began. But somehow, NBC's Brian Williams neglected to mention that. Somehow, old Brian could not work that in, even though his network was the biggest offender of the explosion de jure in Iraq -- carnage without context -- that we exposed last year. Since then it has stopped. Anyway, for ignoring what he has to know is an all-important story for America, Brian Williams is a pinhead. Questions: Are you surprised?
Olbermann's silver in the Friday, June 6 “Worst Person in the World” segment on MSNBC's Countdown:
The runner-up: Bill O, who continues to mail it in, now picking up some of his features from the hilariously inept right-wing Web site NewsBusters, such as one that criticized our colleague Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News for leading Monday's newscast not with the lower May casualty figures from Iraq, but with a story on how underfunded mass transit system can't keep up with increased ridership caused by the rape of the driver by Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and their oil buddies.

Bill O said [impersonating O'Reilly's voice]: “On the pinhead front, both ABC and CBS told their viewers that in the month of May U.S. casualties in Iraq were the lowest since the war there began, but somehow NBC's Brian Williams neglected to mention that. Somehow, old Brian couldn't work that in. For ignoring what he has to know is an all-important story for America, Brian Williams is a pinhead. Questions? Are you surprised?”

Surprised that you're a blithering sociopath cutting and pasting items from NewsBusters? No, I am not. Surprised that you don't have a clue about what's all-important or news to Americans like any casualties in Iraq are too many, Bill, and the country's being strangled by big oil? No, I am not. Surprised that you're going on 59 and he's 49, yet you refer to him as old? No, I am not.
My June 2 item, “NBC Nightly News Spikes News About Fewest Troop Deaths of War,” began:
As lead-ins to short reports on the posthumous presentation of a Medal of Honor, ABC and CBS on Monday night managed to squeeze in -- more than 20 minutes into their evening newscasts -- brief mentions of how in May the fewest number U.S. servicemen were killed in Iraq in any month since the war began five years ago. But not NBC Nightly News. (And Sunday's Today and Nightly News, as well as Monday's Today, also skipped the good news.) NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday led with worries that “because it's been underfunded for decades, mass transit may not be ready for all the Americans leaving their cars behind,” and ran his short update, on the Medal of Honor going to Army Private First Class Ross McGinnis, without anything about the decline in troops killed.
Fill-in ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos set up his report on the White House ceremony presenting the honor to the parents of McGinnis by dampening the positive news with the total death number:
The Pentagon reported 19 American troops were killed in May. That's the lowest monthly toll since the war began. The total number of Americans killed in the war is now approaching 4,100.
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric also noted the total, but CBS didn't display it on screen, as she painted the fewest killed as “perhaps” a sign violence is going down:
In Iraq, a sign perhaps that violence is decreasing. In the lowest monthly death U.S. toll since the war began, 19 Americans were killed in May. The total U.S. toll for the war is now 4,086.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center