Olbermann Gives Backhanded Apology to Giuliani

As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington made some irresponsible misrepresentations on Tuesday's "Countdown" of a seemingly innocent statement by Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

At the end of the article, the following question was posed: Does anybody believe Olbermann and/or Huffington will apologize for their erroneous defamation of Giuliani?

Well, sports fans, we now have our answer, for in their own way, Keith and Arianna perfectly demonstrated how liberals apologize when they make a mistake insulting conservatives: continue insulting them.

For instance, on Friday's "Countdown," Olbermann actually did apologize for the error, but then immediately began his "Worst Person in the World" segment giving all three dishonors to Giuliani. I kid you not (portions of LexisNexis transcript follow, video available here):

OLBERMANN: And a correction and an apology tonight; on Tuesday`s COUNTDOWN we followed the reporting of the Associated Press from Londonary (ph), New Hampshire. Its correspondent quoted Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani in a speech there Monday night as having criticized some Democratic candidates for their willingness to ask questions first and shoot later; "it`s not like this happy romantic world in which, you know, we`ll negotiate with this one and we`ll negotiate with that one," the AP reported at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Monday night, "and there will be no preconditions and we`ll invited Ahmadinejad to the White House. And we`ll invited Osama to the White House -- I mean, Hillary and Obama are kind of debating, you know, whether to invite them to the inauguration or the inaugural ball."

We predicated a segment with Arianna Huffington Tuesday night on Giuliani`s criticisms of Senators Clinton and Obama and criticized him for claiming Democrats would invite terrorists to the White House. Then on Wednesday night, 21 hours after our newscast, the Associated Press issued a retraction of its original story, that implied its reporters had misheard Giuliani, who did not refer to Ahmadinejad and Osama, and instead referred to Ahmadinejad and Assad, Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The, which we played on Tuesday night, nearly a day before the Associated Press made its correction, showed both what Mr. Giuliani actually said and why there was widespread confusion about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s not like this happy, romantic world in which, you know, we will negotiate with this one and we will negotiate with that one, and there will be no preconditions. We will invite Ahmadinejad to the White House and we will invite Assad to the White House. I mean, Hillary and Obama are kind of debating whether to invite them to the inauguration or the inaugural ball.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Fair enough. However, watch how Keith blamed it all on the AP while supporting his erroneous contention:

OLBERMANN: While there are obviously mitigating circumstances regarding this mistake, the Associated Press took 47 hours to make its correction, and ironically, even if Giuliani had referenced the Democrats potentially inviting Ahmadinejad and Joe Smith, the characterization of his remarks claiming Senators Clinton and Obama would be willing to bring terrorists to the White House is still surprisingly accurate.

On September 24th of this year, Mr. Giuliani said of Ahmadinejad, to an audience in Portland, Maine, quote, his government of Iran is considered to be the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

Despite all of that, none the less, Mr. Giuliani was misquoted by the Associated Press and on this newscast. And for that to him, and to you, I apologize.

Excuse me, Keith, but do you disagree with the assertion that Iran is considered to be the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world? If not Iran, what country holds this distinction?

Rather than explain why Rudy's assertion on September 24th was in any way errant, Olbermann IMMEDIATELY went back on the attack:

Oddball`s plays of the month next. First time for COUNTDOWN`s Worst Persons in the World. The bronze to Rudy Giuliani for telling an audience in Portland on Tuesday -- or rather New Hampshire on Tuesday that Senators Clinton and Obama might, quote, invite Ahmadinejad to the White House and will invite Assad to the White House. I mean, Hillary and Obama are kind of debating, you know, whether to invite them to inauguration or the inaugural ball?

What, you get a pass because you didn`t say they would invite bin Laden to the inauguration, just the despots of Iran and Syria? The heck you do. We will wait so see if Mr. Giuliani issues a correction and an apology.

Our runner-up, Rudy Giuliani, who has now said at least twice about Tuesday`s Democratic debate, quote, I thought I won the debate the other night because I was mentioned more often than any of the Democrats were. The "Chicago Tribune`s" political blog "The Swamp" went back and checked. Giuliani was mentioned by the Democratic candidates a total of six times. Senator Clinton was mentioned by the Democratic candidates who were not her a total of 21 times.

So we will wait to see if Mr. Giuliani issues a correction and an apology.

And our winner, Rudy Giuliani, you know about his ad in New Hampshire in which he claims that when he had prostate cancer his chances of survival here in the laissez faire health care system in the United States were 82 percent, but, quote, under socialized medicine in England, they would have only been 44 percent? He was already getting hammered on those numbers. The American Cancer Society said the actual five-year survival rates are 99 percent here, 74 percent in England.

The difference in largely because men in England who don`t have symptoms still rarely get themselves tested early. Today the controversy got worse. The Giuliani campaign says it got its numbers from the conservative Manhattan Institute, which in turn says it got the numbers from a public health research group called the Commonwealth Fund. And today the Commonwealth Fund says these numbers are seven years old, out of date, have been misinterpreted and are now misleading.

So we will wait to see if Mr. Giuliani issues a correction and an apology. That`s Rudy Giuliani, today`s Worst Person in the World.

Some apology, wouldn't you agree?

Honestly, this is how children do it, Keith. If you had any shame, you should be ashamed.

Sadly, Olbermann's partner in slime conceivably did worse in an article published at her blog Thursday ironically titled "Unhinged: Giuliani Buys Into His Own Testosterone-Fueled Myth" (emphasis added throughout):

With each passing day -- and each bellicose, over-the-top, spittle-enhanced pronouncement -- Rudy Giuliani is revealing that he has the soul of a thug and the disposition of a tyrant. His behavior on the stump shows Jimmy Breslin nailed it when he described Giuliani as "a small man in search of a balcony." (Don't forget, Il Rudy cleaned up Times Square and made the subways run on time.)

Pay particular attention to how the following included the accurate person from Rudy's quote:

Giuliani's latest testosterone-fueled rant found him arguing that if we hadn't invaded Iraq, Saddam (who had no nuclear program) would be "becoming nuclear right now," and making the jaw-dropping and stomach-turning claim that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "are kind of debating whether to invite" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar Assad "to the inauguration or the inaugural ball." (At least he seems to accept that it will be a Democrat making out the guest list in January '09.)

[...]

If a Democratic presidential candidate - or even a mere Congressman like Pete Stark -- had said that Bush was going to invite the nuke-happy Ahmadinejad to the White House for a celebration, the airwaves would be filled with demands for an apology and an emergency session of Congress would be called to pass a resolution condemning the unpatriotic insult. John McCain said that MoveOn "ought to be thrown out of" the country for calling General Petraeus "General Betray Us." But the front-runner for the Republican nomination suggests that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would want to party with tyrants, and he gets a free pass from the traditional press. Why? Does a potential Hillary-Rudy match up offer too many good story lines to be derailed by increasing evidence of Giuliani's readiness for a well-padded room?

Yet, this clearly wasn't the cause for Huffington's ire two days prior:

If that was a Democrat saying that they-there would have been demand every for an apology that there would have been an emergency session of Congress and resolution condemning such remarks. Remember, after all John McCain said that Moveon should leave the country, should be thrown out of the country because they called General Petraeus - "General betray us." And here is Giuliani daring to insult his Democratic opponents by saying that they would invite Osama bin Laden to the White House? That is really something which should not be accepted.

So, which is it, Arianna? Should Congress condemn Rudy for saying that Democrats want to invite Osama bin Laden to the White House or tyrants to the White House?

Oh, that's right. Now that the AP issued a correction, you've changed your story, too:

Of course, if the media ever do get around to holding Giuliani's feet to the fire, they need to do it accurately -- not like the AP, which initially misreported Rudy's crack about Clinton and Obama inviting Ahmadinejad and Assad to the White House. The AP reporter heard "Assad" as "Osama" and many in the media, including me, went with the erroneous AP story -- in my case until I heard the sound byte myself.

Isn't that convenient? It's all the AP's fault.

Yet, what Huffington ignored was that Keith played the video clip of Giuliani's statements while she was on his program Tuesday. Maybe she should have paid attention instead of foaming at the mouth over something Rudy never said.

Maybe even more ironic, both of these liberal activists strongly advocate diplomacy with Ahmadinejad and Assad. As such, their current disdain for Giuliani's statements is a delicious mixture of disingenuousness and hypocrisy.

With that in mind, both Huffington and Olbermann have shown their lack of character by issuing non-apology apologies whilst continuing to attack the recipient of their phony regret much as kindergarteners do.

Should we have expected anything else?

While you ponder, just imagine that these two supposed journalists are highly revered by their sycophant devotees. What does that tell us about the state of the union?

*****Update: Allah at Hot Air comments --

Notice also how the error gets shunted off onto the Associated Press even though Olby played the videotape with the accurate quote right before his own discussion of it with Arianna. Acknowledging that he ran it at the time, he insists “the tape … shows both what Mr. Giuliani actually said and why there was widespread confusion about that.” Er, no, it doesn’t. It’s clear as day what Rudy actually said. You just didn’t pay enough attention to notice.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.