While MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can hardly contain his glee at smacking around Rush Limbaugh over the taken-out-of-context "phony soldier" remark, it's notable that Olbermann himself essentially smeared Gen. David Petreaus as a phony at best and a traitor at the worst well before the Iraq war commander ever gave his assessment before Congress.
Indeed, before MoveOn.org issued the infamously juvenile "Betray Us" ad, Olbermann's minions plastered "Will Petreaus Betray Us?" in on-screen graphics during his August 16 program. [See also YouTube video appended at bottom of post]
Chatting with guest and liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on that program, Olbermann trashed the Petreaus report as a "ghost-written" concoction of the Bush White House, bound to be replete with partisan spin. Alter agreed, saying Petreaus has always been a "political" general, although he backtracked a bit to also say Petreaus was a "straight-shooter."
While Olbermann consistently used his "Countdown" program in the weeks leading up to the Petreaus report/congressional testimony to bash the general and the progress of the war in Iraq, Olbermann simultaneously gave a platform to anti-war veterans active in VoteVets.org including senior advisor and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark as well as vice chairman Brandon Friedman, who also appeared on the August 16 program immediately after the "betray us" segment.
VoteVets, the same group attacking Limbaugh for the "phony soldiers" remarks has always opposed the troop surge and Petreaus strategy as an "escalation" of the war and insisted that, "if you support escalation, you don't support the troops."
Olbermann, content to surround himself with anti-war veterans who question the patriotism of any and all supporters of the troop surge (in and out of uniform), added one final swipe at Limbaugh when thanking VoteVets ad star Brian McGough for appearing on the October 3 "Countdown":
KEITH OLBERMANN, host: Brian McGough. A veteran of the Iraq war, a recipient of the Purple Heart. Great, thanks for your time. And once again, since Mr. Limbaugh will not say this, thank you for your service on behalf of all of us in this country, sir.
McGOUGH: Thank you very much, and thank you for having me on.
OLBERMANN: Our pleasure. And honor.