Nazis? Olbermann Takes His War On O'Reilly To Comedy Central

Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert’s nightly conservative/O’Reilly-mocking show "The Colbert Report" invited on MSNBC host Keith Olbermann Tuesday night to double up on the O’Reilly bashing. It started predictably, before the word "Nazi" came out:

Colbert: "Why do you have a problem with my hero, papa bear Bill O'Reilly? You guys have been going at it, hammer and tongs."

Olbermann: "Well, Stephen, he's an idiot."

Colbert: "You say that like it's a bad thing. I think he sees the world simply, okay? Without all your complicated facts."

Olbermann: "We're both saying the same thing. He's an idiot."

Did Olbermann really have to drag out the word "Nazi"? Oh yes, even if it violates Jon Stewart’s "Hitler reference" comedic principle from that other Comedy Central show. Colbert drew out the spat O’Reilly had with Olbermann fans on his syndicated Westwood One radio program:

Colbert: "Isn't it illegal for anyone to say the name Olbermann on his radio show now?"

Olbermann: "Apparently so."

Colbert: "Tell me what happened."

Olbermann: "Apparently last week or the week before somebody called up and used my name. He cut them off and then explained that they'd be getting a little visit from Fox security and that Fox security would then contact the local authorities. So Mike from Orlando, ‘will be getting a little visit.’ (Said in mock moron voice.) Two or three of these people who did call up and mention my name actually got phone calls from Fox security. [Here's one claim of that.] Which is, you know, fascinating if, you know, we're living in, say, Nazi Germany, it’s a good idea. Otherwise it's kind of....you're going to arrest people who disagree with you."

When Colbert joked about Keith egging on the callers, he protested: "Why would I have them call O'Reilly? I would encourage people to put their money into something smarter. Like Enron stock." Economic jokes are more than a little lame when the competitor you're trying to combat has seven times your ratings.

Olbermann also repeated his line (used at least on C-SPAN) that O’Reilly likes hassling people shorter than him (Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo). He joked about the Andrea Mackris sexual-harassment claim. When Colbert joked that O’Reilly and Phil Donahue both "tagged Marlo Thomas," and that O’Reilly has great taste in women, Olbermann cracked, "Well all of that is on the record and on tape." That's always an interesting line from someone who boasted of "dry heaves" from his "moral force" telling him not to report on the Lewinsky scandal any more.

Lamest Olbermann joke? When Colbert joked that Olbermann cannot be trusted because he'll admit he sometimes wrong, Olbermann made up this jokey boo-boo: "I just, I misread that day the list of instructions that I get every morning at 9 A.M from Hillary Clinton."

UPDATE: If you can't enough of Olbermann feuds, here's another. (More here.)

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis