MSNBC's Olbermann, Newsweek's Fineman Star At Fundraiser for N.Y. Chapter of Gay-Left Group

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and his frequent guest, Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, spoke Saturday at a fundraising gala for the New York chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay-left lobby and a major constituency group of the Democratic Party. All the other major speakers were New York or New Jersey Democrats. Olbermann was given HRC’s "Ally for Equality" Award for his MSNBC commentaries against California’s Proposition 8, which drew a standing ovation at the dinner.

Fineman introduced Olbermann in glowing terms: "He's not a liberal. What Keith is is an anti-establishment character who doesn't want people in power to get away with things." He added, "He rediscovered the role of journalism and that role is deeply informed judgment about people in power and about the morality of our country."

Fineman’s remarks at the libertine-left gala were reported by Paul Schindler of the Gay City News. Olbermann’s remarks are also on YouTube. He told a long tale about anti-Semitism and racism in New York and how he opposed them, and then moved on to homophobia: "When was the first time someone who disagreed with me politically decided they should answer me by blurting out or writing out a homophobic slur? Parenthetically, why the conservatives go to that first I’ll leave to the experts in criminal insanity – or those conservatives’ parents – to answer."

Olbermann insisted that a Google search shows that his name next to homophobic slurs brings tens of thousands of hits. He claimed the slurs on him prove "judging myself fairly, I’ve always been on the right side of this equation, too.

"What is most striking about all this I think is that we live at a time in which everybody, especially the purveyors of hatred and prejudice – against religions, or races, or sexual orientations, or height, or hair color – everybody believes they are also the victims of some kind of prejudice. The horrors of affirmative action, the destruction of the religious sanctity of marriage, or of course, bias in the media.

"Yet very few of these folks ever make the great mental leap. If you are a victim of prejudice, the particulars of the prejudice become almost irrelevant. It is the hate that counts. If you have been on the receiving end, if you are even for the briefest of moments merely mistaken for a member of a victimized group.... If you really are just brushed by this plague of hate, you have been given a gift. It's brief, it's cheap, it's everlasting -- you have, as the old saw goes, walked the mile in the other person's shoes. If are a victim of prejudice, you should now hate prejudice."

He concluded with the note that religious objections to "gay marriage" are ridiculous and "artificial traditions" comparable to objections to marriage among slaves:

"Marriage is about love and with so many enemies arrayed against marriage -- bad timing, poor health, infidelity, impatience, financial circumstances, tragedy, biology -- the thought that some people actually feel the need to lengthen that list with artificial traditions that have exactly the same relevance in today's world as the law that used to make marriage between slaves legally nonbinding. This thought continues to confound me. It is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

This is just more proof that MSNBC and Newsweek aren't just partners in partisan journalism -- but blatant partisanship in general.

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