Keith Olbermann has turned down the Dallas Tea Party's invitation to come to its one year anniversary gathering this Saturday to see just how diverse its members are.
As NewsBusters reported Monday, in response to Olbermann's claim that Tea Partiers are all white, the Dallas group produced a video demonstrating how wrong the "Countdown" host was while asking him to attend Saturday's festivities so that he could see for himself.
On Tuesday's "Countdown," Olbermann declined (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Tonight's quick comment, and an invitation to tea. In response to my comment last week noting the near total segregation of Tea Party events, the Dallas, Texas, group has invited me to their shindig on Saturday. I appreciate their invitation, but with my Dad still in intensive care all this time, I've only been able to leave New York one night in six months. Now we should have been able to leave it at that. But unfortunately the Dallas Tea Party group also put out a video which as one gullible website Mediaite put it, "Highlights the remarkable lack of diversity on MSNBC's line-up. Judge not lest ye be judged." As to people of color, while the Dallas Tea Party video shows pictures of only the white anchors here, the narrator claims, "We see a whole lot more at our events than we see on MSNBC. In fact, we have more diversity on our three-person steering committee than on your entire TV network line-up."
While I'm not exactly in charge of this, and I'm not going to drag people into this by name when they were not the ones attacked, that will probably be a surprise to one of our regular daytime news anchors and one of our nighttime newscasters, and the two part-time newscasters, and the dozen minority anchors and reporters who often join us from the broadcast NBC network, and the seven salaried contributors to MSNBC, to say nothing of the regular guests. So the Dallas Tea Party has one representative of diversity on its steering committee, and there appears to be six minority people besides her speaking or shown in its own video. And a diarist at Daily Kos examined photos of the Dallas Tea Parties, and identified three others. This mind you is out of the hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands the Dallas group claims to represent. So, once again, this time directed to the Dallas group: Where are the people of color? And instead of worrying about inviting me, shouldn't you be inviting them?
So, Olbermann cited eleven nameless MSNBC employees out of the thousands that work for the organization, and in his view that settles the debate.
Note: Olbermann was being hypocritical in this defense since he attacked rival Fox News Channel for being insufficiently racially diverse even though it is similar to MNBC in not having non-white anchors in top positions.
Speaking of color, one has to wonder what color the sky is in his world.
That said, no one expected Olbermann to actually accept the DTP's invitation.
After all, that would be like -- ahem -- journalism.