Liberal Columnist Slams Olbermann Over 'Crazy, Sick' Scott Brown Attack

Howard Kurtz, CNN Anchor; & Margery Eagan, Boston Herald Columnist | NewsBusters.orgMargery Eagan, a liberal columnist for the Boston Herald, ripped MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN over his “homophobic, racist, reactionary” label of Senator-elect Scott Brown on the night of the Massachusetts special election: “This is crazy...it’s sick.”

Eagan appeared during the lead segment of the CNN program with Jonathan Martin of Politico and conservative CNN contributor Amy Holmes. Anchor Howard Kurtz played Olbermann’s smear of Brown nine minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour, and after asking Holmes for her take, he played a sound bite of Glenn Beck’s recent dead intern crack against Brown. Though Kurtz asked Eagan for her response to the Beck sound bite, she primarily attacked the MSNBC host, lumping in the conservative talk show host in passing.
EAGAN: Listen, I think Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann have both taken leave of their senses. You know, I was a Martha Coakley fan. I thought she was a great D.A. But I know Scott Brown. He’s a great guy. You can’t help but like the guy. He strikes me as a wonderful family guy. He’s out there mowing the lawn. His wife, Gail Huff, has been a great reporter on Channel 5. Racist? A homophobe? Sexist? I mean, this is crazy. His politics are different than mine, but it’s sick.
Earlier in the segment, Kurtz mentioned how Daily Show host Jon Stewart poked fun of Olbermann’s overreaction. By her reaction, the Boston Herald columnist joins Stewart in rebuking the MSNBC host’s channeling of the left-wing netroots.

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Reliable Sources segment on Sunday morning:
HOWARD KURTZ: I want to play a little sound from the debate that got a little bit heated on some of the cable channels as the Massachusetts race was heading toward its climax. Here’s Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, talking about- let’s just say he’s not a big Scott Brown fan.

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC: In short, in Scott Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.

KURTZ: Too far?

AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I can’t even believe that was allowed on the air, frankly.

KURTZ: That’s live.

HOLMES: It was so irresponsible. It’s ugly. It’s just completely unfounded, and he’s talking about the same voters, by the way, who voted for Barack Obama- 62 percent, who elected Deval Patrick, an African-American, for governor. And he’s saying in one year, they’ve turned into a racist [sic] because they don’t support Martha Coakley? That doesn’t make sense.

KURTZ: The next night, after Jon Stewart made fun of him, Olbermann came back and said he had been a bit over the top lately- point taken, sorry.

And Margery Eagan, I’ve got one for you. Here’s the comedy stylings of Glenn Beck, actually- and I don’t want to make light of this- he’s invoking the tragedy of the woman who had worked for Gary Condit, whose name-

MARGERY EAGAN, BOSTON HERALD COLUMNIST: (unintelligible) Chandra Levy (crosstalk from the other panelists)

KURTZ: Chandra Levy, of course. This is what he had to say, Glenn Beck, talking about Scott Brown.

GLENN BECK: I want a chastity belt on this man. I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy. I’m just telling you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (laughing) It’s just a creepy moment.
                
BECK: This one could end with a dead intern. This one could end up with a dead intern.

KURTZ: Margery Eagan, your reaction to that?

EAGAN: Listen, I think Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann have both taken leave of their senses. You know, I was a Martha Coakley fan. I thought she was a great D.A. But I know Scott Brown. He’s a great guy. You can’t help but like the guy. He strikes me as a wonderful family guy. He’s out there mowing the lawn. His wife, Gail Huff, has been a great reporter on Channel 5. Racist? A homophobe? Sexist? I mean, this is crazy. His politics are different than mine, but it’s sick.

JONATHAN MARTIN, POLITICO: Isn’t it schtick, Howie?

KURTZ: Yeah, but at what point- but at what point does schtick become irresponsible schtick?

MARTIN: Fair enough- yes.

HOLMES: I think Keith Olbermann well passed that point with that commentary.
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center