Keith Olbermann Revises History to Praise Clinton and Bash Gingrich

Keith Olbermann on Monday revised history to praise former President Bill Clinton and bash former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In the opening segment of MSNBC's "Countdown," the host railed against a proposal by Republicans to once again reintroduce the balanced budget amendment.

Olbermann pointed out to his tiny audience that this was "also pushed by then Speaker Newt Gingrich as part of the 1994 Contract With America."

With total disregard for historical facts, the "Countdown" host continued, "Gingrich failed to pass it, President Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, created 22 million jobs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KEITH OLBERMANN: Sick of Democrats accusing them of having nothing to improve the economy but ideas from the Bush era, Republicans are planning to introduce instead a bold new initiative from the Gingrich era. Our fifth story tonight, it's called the balanced budget amendment, but it's real objective is to protect the rich from tax cuts, and without those tax cuts, Republicans will not tell us how they would balance the budget, even if they do give us a few hints, as you'll see. It was Republican Senator Jim Demint telling the newspaper The Hill that when Congress returns after the August recess, he and his colleagues, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham, will introduce a resolution to amend the U. S. Constitution. The balanced budget amendment, also pushed by then Speaker Newt Gingrich as part of the 1994 Contract With America, would prevent the federal government from spending more than it takes in. But, and there is the rub, it also has a clause barring any tax increases without a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress. Gingrich failed to pass it, President Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget, created 22 million jobs.

Really?

Well, first of all, Clinton's tax hikes were part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Gingrich didn't become Speaker until January 1995.

Nice try, Keith.

But it gets worse, for what Olbermann conveniently omitted - like so many media members are currently doing to misinform the public about the difference between Republican and Democrat tax policies - was that Gingrich and the Republican Congress forced Clinton to sign the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 which cut taxes.

This was when the economy really took off as the GDP grew by 4.4 percent in 1997, 4.5 percent in 1998, 4.8 percent in 1999, and 4.1 percent in 2000. During this period, employers added over 12 million workers to their payrolls.

As for the budget being balanced, this also occurred after the 1997 tax cuts in years 1998 through 2001.

With this in mind, one seriously has to wonder whether the folks at General Electric and NBC consider this kind of shoddy reporting acceptable on their cable news network.

Consider that just a few minutes later, a regular guest on MSNBC, Arianna Huffington, showed an absolutely staggering ignorance of business, taxes, and economics.

Two hours earlier, MSNBC host Ed Schultz completely misrepresented the causes of the government shutdown in November 1995.

Exit question: would any other corporation in America tolerate such negligence from high-profile employees without at least a reprimand? 

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