Keith Olbermann on Monday cherry-picked a new poll to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to elected officials.
As he discussed new findings in a Daily Kos/Public Policy Polling survey about who thinks violence against the current American government is justified, the "Countdown" host highlighted the Tea Party's number while conveniently ignoring demographic groups that responded at an equal or higher rate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Keith Olbermann started his Special Comment Monday boasting that he was the only political commentator in America that has "expressed the slightest introspection, the slightest self-awareness, the slightest remorse, the slightest ownership of the existence" of violent rhetoric in the nation.
Roughly twelve minutes later, the "Countdown" host concluded his nonsensical blathering by stating, "In an actual open and shut slam dunk case in which a partisan of the Right attempted to kill one of the Left, the Right would blame the victim" (video follows with transcript and loads of commentary):
The Greek playwright Euripides said you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
On Friday, roughly 24 hours before J. Eric Fuller was going to be arrested for publicly threatening the life of a Tea Party leader at an ABC News town hall meeting, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann praised him via Twitter:
It is crystal clear that whatever Sarah Palin does, she is going to be mercilessly lambasted by America's so-called journalists.
Roughly 24 hours after attacking the former Alaska governor for having not spoken publicly since Saturday's tragic shootings in Tucson, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann criticized Palin for issuing a videotaped statement the morning of that event's memorial (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Ann Coulter):
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s special edition of Countdown on MSNBC, Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson joined host Keith Olbermann in linking the violent attack on Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords to political rhetoric, presumably by conservatives, and suggested that such public figures must be careful to avoid inciting mentally disturbed individuals. Moments after noting comments by Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik complaining about violent rhetoric on radio and television, Olbermann brought aboard Robinson for further discussion.
While Olbermann at one pointed noted that "We don't know enough about the motives of the man they have in custody," he later posed, "I've never been convinced still that most of the people saying these things actually want to see people shot. What, though, does that matter at this point if people are being shot? How straight a line does it have to be from the one to the other?"
Robinson asserted that "intent doesn’t obviate the crime," and linked political rhetoric to violence by the mentally ill with guns:
Well, I think this is a case in which intent doesn't obviate the crime. No, I think most of these people who say these violent sounding things about how evil your government is and what it's doing to you and who quote Thomas Jefferson about democracy needing to be watered by the blood of patriots and that sort of thing, I don't think they actually intend people to take this seriously, but it can and there are people who are unbalanced who have access to guns who do take it seriously, and we should know that by now.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since Saturday's tragic shooting spree happened in Tucson, liberal media members have predictably blamed the incident on prominent conservatives, in particular former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Appearing as almost the lone voice of reason, the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz Saturday evening denounced his colleagues for behaving so unprofessionally (photo courtesy AP):
As he hosted a special two-hour edition of Countdown on Saturday night to cover the violent attack on Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ended up delivering a "Special Comment" in which he called for an end to the use of violent imagery by political figures of all ideologies, even apologizing for his own history, but he also at one point seemed to describe Sarah Palin and other conservative public figures as "slightly less madmen" than the gunman who attacked Giffords. Olbermann:
We will not because tonight what Mrs. Palin and what Mr. Kelly and what Congressman West and what Ms. Angle and what Mr. Beck and what Mr. O'Reilly and what you and I must understand was that the man who fired today did not fire at a Democratic Congresswoman and her supporters. He was not just a madman incited by 1,000 daily temptations by slightly less madmen to do things they would not rationally condone.
Although the MSNBC host only provided one example of his own past misdeeds - which involved a comment he made about Hillary Clinton in April 2008 - Olbermann’s own history also includes a June 2006 case in which he depicted an image of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, and in October 2008 when he showed a cartoon image of FNC’s Bill O’Reilly being beaten bloody by the Stewie Griffin character from a Family Guy DVD extra scene. And just in November of last year, Olbermann complained that President Obama would likely negotiate with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over tax policy "instead of kicking him in the ass."
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Washington Post staff writer and Newsweek columnist Ezra Klein defended Obamacare and warned Republicans against attempting to repeal the law as he contended that some provisions are popular with the public. After host Keith Olbermann asked if Democrats should "relish rejoining the fight over health care reform" because it could hurt Republicans, Klein urged Democrats to fight. Klein:
They should be going to war over it. It's an incredibly important achievement for them, and if Democrats cannot defend a deficit-reducing bill that brings health care insurance to 32 million people and allows folks with pre-existing conditions to get any insurance they want, if they can't defend that, frankly, they, on some level, don't really deserve to be a party. If you can't defend the best thing you've done in a generation, then you've got some political problems that are bigger than anything the Republicans are doing to you.
The Washington Post writer eventually predicted that Republicans would be embracing and defending Obamacare by the year 2050. Klein: "In 2050 Republicans will be saying, ‘How dare you cut Obamacare?’"
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson said on national television Thursday that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has a history of saying "crazy-ass things."
After doing so on MSNBC's "Countdown," Robinson was offered $100 by Keith Olbermann if he would title his next article using exactly those words (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Matt Taibbi - contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine - ridiculously accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Tea Party activists of racism in the form of using "coded language" to refer to "Mexican immigrants and non-white inner city, Democratic-leaning voters" as he responded to a soundbite of Boehner talking about having a social safety net for those unable to work, but that should perhaps exclude those who refuse to help themselves.
After host Keith Olbermann played a clip of the House Speaker contending, "But do we have a responsibility to help those who won't compete? I would have serious doubts about that," Taibbi found it "amazing" that Boehner "would say it so openly," and went on to suggest that the House Speaker was showing signs of racism, tying in Tea Party activists. Taibbi:
It's amazing that he would say it so openly, but I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they're railing against government welfare. I say, "Well, do you see any contradiction there?" "No, I deserve this. I work hard. It's those other people."
And we know who they mean when they say "other people." It's Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that's, it's coded language when he uses that kind of language.
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman - also a political analyst with MSNBC - spoke favorably of the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, asserting that "this historic vote will be remembered as a very important one in the social history of the United States," and, as he admitted that independent Senator Joseph Lieberman "takes a lot of guff on this network," gave the former Democrat-turned independent Senator "credit where credit is due" for supporting the measure.
Fineman went on to predict that, because the Republican House next year will seek to undermine various pieces of legislation passed by Democrats - which he referred to as "historic" - that President Obama will be running against a "‘tear down’ Congress." Fineman:
The dynamic of the next two years is going to be to re-litigate and reargue all the legislation that Obama and the Democrats for the most part passed in the first two years. That means efforts to defund, to delegitimize, to get rid of, you know, all the historic legislation that was passed these first two years, and spending is going to be the way to do it. ... So it's not that Obama's going to be running against the "do nothing Congress." The President is going to be running against the sort of "tear down Congress"because that's going to be the mode of the next two years.
Fineman also notably used the term "progressive" - the preferred term of liberals - instead of the word "liberal" as he referred to the left wing of the Democratic party, and contended that Republicans "went pedal to the metal on the fear strategy on immigration" as he explained why the Dream Act failed to pass the Senate.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Olbermann responds via Twitter.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Monday went after MSNBC's Chris Matthews for making fun of New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight.
Choosing to defend their colleague, Keith Olbermann and his crack research team on Wednesday incompetently responded with a poorly-researched cherry pick from a July 2009 installment of "Your World" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last January, when a number of white conservatives used words like "arrogant" and "cocky" to refer to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann asserted that they really meant Obama was an "uppity" black man: "When racist white guys get together and they don't want to be caught using any of the popular epithets in use every day in this country about black people - and there's a chance one of them, or worse still a white guy who doesn't get it might wander in and hear the conversation, when there's a risk even in saying ‘uppity’ or ‘forgetting his place,’ the racist white guys revert to euphemisms and code words. And among the code words that they think they're getting away with are ‘cocky,’ ‘flippant,’ ‘punk,’ and especially ‘arrogant.’"
On Thursday’s show, reeling from disappointment that President Obama compromised with Republicans to prevent tax increases, Olbermann celebrated a former Hillary Clinton supporter as a "Nostradamus" because, during the 2008 presidential campaign, he gave a speech warning that President Obama would not fight hard enough against Republicans.
But the clip shown also included this Clinton supporter - Tom Buffenbarger of the machinists union - accusing Obama of having his "nose in the air." Buffenbarger also called the then-Senator's supporters "latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies":
Do a media company's political activities affect the way its subsidiaries report the news? The folks at MSNBC sure think so. That channel's hosts have insisted ad nauseum that Fox News parent company News Corporation's political actives compromise the ability of Fox to report the news fairly and accurately.
But MSNBC has, as I have noted before, shilled for policies that would enrich its parent company, General Electric, under the guise of "environmental awareness." Today the Washington Post exposed yet another such conflict, reporting that GE took $16 billion in loans from the Federal Reserve during 2008 and 2009.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann showed viewers just how on top of things he is Monday attacking Bristol Palin for something that was announced more than a year and a half ago.
During his newly renovated "Worst Person in the World" segment, the "Countdown" host gave Palin top honors for being The Candie's Foundation's abstinence spokesperson (video follows with transcript and commentary):
National Public Radio is right to defend itself against charges of Nazism leveled at the radio station by Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who has since apologized for the remark. But NPR decided to make the leap from defending the station to attacking Fox News as uniquely disposed to Nazi comparisons, an absurd claim on its face.
There are commentators on both sides of the political spectrum who routinely prove Godwin right. But being the predictably-liberal news outlet that it is, NPR invoked vague claims by far-left Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (neither his ideological leanings nor the multitude of his most recent baseless Fox accusations are mentioned) to paint FNC as unique in its invocation of Nazism.
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, after guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post predicted that Republican Congressmen would be reluctant to extend unemployment benefits, host Keith Olbermann asserted that, referring to congressional Republicans, "They don't live in this world. They don't live in this country. And I think we'd be better off if they didn't live in this country."
Later, during the show’s "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann attacked FNC’s Roger Ailes for the second consecutive night - this time for his recent attack on NPR and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. Olbermann addressed Stewart directly, suggesting that the Daily Show host was wrong to lump MSNBC in with his criticism of FNC, and also suggesting that the side representing FNC and conservatives is "close to playing with its poop." Olbermann: "Thanks to Mr. Ailes for proving my point about false equivalence. And an aside to Mr. Stewart: Jon, I told you so. I mean, I might disagree with you, but I'd never think you were crazy or hateful. But Maher is right. One side sticks to the facts, and the other side is close to playing with its own poop."
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, Keith Olbermann featured a "Worst Person" segment for the first time since indefinitely suspending it over two weeks ago as the MSNBC host decided to go after Pamela Geller, whom he called a "buffoon"; Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who committed the sin of lumping MSNBC in with FNC while criticizing cable news; and frequent target FNC’s Roger Ailes.
In awarding the first place dishonor to Geller, he linked her opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. Olbermann: "But our winner, Pam Geller. If anybody committed the original sin of stirring up the blind, stupid anger that is religious hatred in this country, it’s this buffoon."
He soon added: "Well, there is a problem with the two minutes hate:You may lose control of it, and it may come back to attack you. It spread from a proposed Islamic center in New York to an actual mosque bombing in Jacksonville to protests in Tennessee to this moronic anti-Sharia law law in Oklahoma and now Phoenix."
Ed Schultz on Tuesday ratcheted up his anger over Rush Limbaugh's "Driving Miss Nancy" comments basically calling for the conservative talk radio host to be fired.
For the second time in the last three "Ed Shows," Republican strategist Ron Christie was there to add some sanity to the discussion pointing out the "double standard about applying racial outrage when it deals with black Democrats as it deals with black Republicans."
"I don't remember any outrage on the air waves, on your show or on Joe's show, when Harry Belafonte referred to Colin Powell and Dr. Condoleezza Rice as house slaves" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to respond to former ABC anchor Ted Koppel’s inclusion of him and MSNBC in his recent Washington Post op-ed criticizing the modern news industry. After praising former news man Edward R. Murrow for taking a stand on Senator Joseph McCarthy and Walter Cronkite for doing the same on the Vietnam War and Watergate, Olbermann complained that, unlike himself, Koppel had "worshiped before the false god of utter objectivity" instead of going after the Bush administration over the Iraq war, and claimed that last week he criticized President Obama more than Fox News primetime did President Bush in eight years. Olbermann:
Moreover, while Fox may be such, we are not doctrinaire. I cannot prove it, so I'll have to estimate it here, and if I'm proved wrong I'll happily correct it, but my intuition tells me I criticized President Obama more in the last week than Fox's primetime hosts criticized President Bush in eight years.
And, even though Olbermann has a history of distorting the words of conservatives to portray them in the worst possible light, and of passing on incorrect information without retraction, Olbermann congratulated himself for recently deciding not to include misinformation about President Bush on his show, and suggested that FNC or CNN would not have made sure not to include such incorrect information. Olbermann:
Keith Olbermann and the heads of NBC - including former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw - are apparently in the middle of a civil war over the "Countdown" host's recent campaign contributions that resulted in his brief suspension.
According to the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, the deepening sense of anger and frustration with Olbermann's behavior could lead to his eventual departure from MSNBC:
If MSNBC were consistent, Keith Olbermann would not have been the only on-air personality disciplined for making political contributions.
For those who don't watch his "Countdown" program (which would be most of the country), Olbermann was suspended "indefinitely" after it was learned he donated money without approval from management to three Democratic congressional candidates. The problem for MSNBC was not only Olbermann's failure to get permission, but that he anchored part of the network's Election Night coverage. Apparently at MSNBC, the chair you sit in matters more than the content of your journalistic character.
Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday scolded Rachel Maddow for using the word "teabagger" to describe members of the Tea Party movement.
Appearing on "The Rachel Maddow Show" for an oftentimes quite interesting interview, Stewart also criticized others on MSNBC for taking this vulgar joke way too far (video follows with transcript and commentary):