Rosie O’Donnell, the newly installed co-host at "The View," observed the 9/11 anniversary by stating that America "squandered" world support and the next day she asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam."
O’Donnell wasn’t the only media member to use September 11 as a pretext to bash America. CBS veteran Andy Rooney suggested in his "60 Minutes" commentary that America start acting in a way that "wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us." MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann went further, accusing President Bush of "impeachable" offenses and "lies."
Appearing on another network, but continuing in the same vein, Sean Penn talked to CNN’s Larry King and mused about the President bringing fascism to the United States...
Appearing with NBC's Matt Lauer on the Today show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann discussed his recent vitriolic attack on President Bush from the September 11 broadcast of his Countdown show, during which Olbermann had accused Bush of a "crime against" 9/11 victims for not accomplishing the construction of a memorial at Ground Zero, and had accused Bush of the "impeachable offense" of "lying by implication" regarding the Iraq War. While Olbermann's inflammatory comments were not quoted by Lauer or Olbermann, the MSNBC host rationalized his rant by comparing it to President Bush's speech to the nation "politicizing 9/11 in his own way." Olbermann: "I might add that I was on the air two minutes before the President was politicizing 9/11 in his own way. I don't see that there's much difference." Olbermann also contended that views similiar to his shared by a segment of the American population were "not being articulated in the mainstream media." Olbermann: "I thought that there was a part of the persona of the nation not really being articulated in the mainstream media." (Transcript follows)
There appears to be no joy in libville tonight, sports fans. The huge bounce in viewers that the Great Left Hope – aka Keith Olbermann of MSNBC – enjoyed after his much maligned tirade against President Bush on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 has dissipated as quickly as a campaign promise by one of the politicians he so reveres.
As reported by TVNewser, Olby’s newly born faithful must have found something better to do Wednesday night – as if they had limited options – for his total number of viewers declined by almost 200,000, or a whopping 28 percent from Tuesday. And, as is typically the case, Olby trailed the pack of cable news programs in the 8PM EST time slot, once again getting trounced by Paula Zahn, Nancy Grace, and, especially Bill O’Reilly who garnered more than four times the viewers as the K-man. Nice job, Keith!
Three days after delivering a "Special Comment" (which can be found with video here) on his Countdown show denouncing President Bush on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann announced that not only will he replay his "Comment" on tomorrow night's Countdown due to being "inundated with your comments and requests," but also announced that he will appear on tomorrow's Today show to "discuss the 'Comment' and other political matters." In Monday night's "Special Comment," Olbermann charged that the President had committed the "impeachable offense" of "lying by implication" to get America into a "fraudulent war" in Iraq, and called the President's "reprehensible inaction" in securing the construction of a memorial at Ground Zero a "crime against" 9/11 victims. It is also likely the MSNBC host will be promoting his recently released book, Worst Person in the World, which is based on a regular segment on Olbermann's show which sometimes features political targets and, according to an MRC study, has targeted conservatives for ridicule eight times as often as liberals. (Transcript follows)
By now, many of you likely heard about the embarrassing and utterly disgraceful comments made by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as reported here and here. Judging from ratings figures the following evening, Olbermann’s vitriol was a hit with his viewers.
As reported Wednesday by TVNewser, Olbermann’s ratings skyrocketed on Tuesday. His showing was good enough to put him ahead of CNN’s Paula Zahn and CNN Headline News’s Nancy Grace in the 8PM EST time slot, a feat that KO rarely achieves. His estimated 695,000 viewers was 34 percent more than the 518,000 that actually watched this atrocity Monday evening – which was also, as typical, fewer viewers than watched Paula Zahn and Nancy Grace. This was also 75 percent more than the 397,000 viewers KO had on Friday, September 8.
Keith Olbermann used the solemn occasion of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to launch a no-holds-barred political attack on President Bush, as you can see in this September 11 Countdown video. Olbermann also added to the poor taste of his bad timing with this quote from an episode of the Twilight Zone called The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street:
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts... attitudes... prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone.
As reported by NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth here, Keith Olbermann on Monday’s “Countdown” was in full attack mode on America’s president. Now, some might cynically say that he does this every evening, and they might have a point. However, yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and Olbermann’s behavior was disgraceful. Given the solemn nature of this occasion, Olbermann’s rant might be the worst performance by a supposed press representative in recent memory. In fact, this seemed as mean-spirited and unacceptable as the comments made by Bill Maher on ABC shortly after the 9/11 attacks that resulted in his termination.
With that in mind, I have sent the following message by e-mail to Dan Abrams, MSNBC’s new general manager. For those that are interested in sending Mr. Abrams their views on this subject, I included e-mail addresses at the end of this post that hopefully will maximize the likelihood of such messages reaching his desk:
At the very end of Monday's Countdown show, during his latest "Special Comment" (also posted on his Bloggermann Web site) attacking the Bush administration, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann unleashed one of his most vitriolic attacks on the President, accusing him of "lying by implication" to get America into a "fraudulent war" with "needless death" in Iraq, which Olbermann referred to as "an impeachable offense." Olbermann: "The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war on the false premise that it had something to do with 9/11 is lying by implication. The impolite phrase is 'impeachable offense.'" He also bizarrely seemed to blame President Bush for the delays in building a memorial at Ground Zero, as he branded Bush's "reprehensible inaction" as a "crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you [Bush] mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it." After accusing the President of "forgetting the lessons of 9/11," Olbermann obnoxiously concluded: "May this country forgive you." (Transcript follows)
Video of the last two-thirds of Olbermann's nearly nine-minute long rant (5:45): Real (4.4 MB at 100 kbps) or Windows Media (3.7 MB at 81 kbps), plus MP3 audio (2 MB)
I'm not going to waste my time fisking Keith Olbermann's rant against President Bush on tonight's Countdown, but the gist of tonight's "Special Comment" was basically that President Bush has used 9/11 to drive a wedge between Americans, bring the country into an unjust war, and should be impeached.
Have a look at the poll that Keith Olbermann flashed during this evening's Countdown.
Try to put aside your politics for a moment to describe - in all objectivity - the most striking aspect of the poll results. I'd say it's the fact that by a margin of almost 2:1, Americans feel more safe rather than less safe since 9/11. Pretty good accomplishment by the Bush administration, you might say.
So how did Keith Olbermann characterize the results? "55% combined think we are either as safe or less safe" since 9/11.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who in late 2003 devoted a fraction of the time to CBS's The Reagans movie as he has just this week to liberal complaints about ABC's The Path to 9/11 (he's led Countdown with it for two nights in a row), castigated MRC President Brent Bozell for supposed hypocrisy in criticizing The Reagans while not denouncing the new 9/11 movie. Naming Bozell his “Worst Person in the World” on Friday's show, Olbermann ridiculed him as “Bozo the Clown: Right-wing hysteric Brent Bozell weighing-in in his usual light-weight manner.” Olbermann quoted how on The Path to 9/11, Bozell wrote in his column that “as a docudrama, it has taken certain poetic license with history,” but on the Reagan movie Bozell said “there is no such thing as creative license to invent falsehoods about people. I don't care who you are, you don't have that right.” Olbermann snidely lectured: “Hey, Brent, when you look in the mirror, how many faces do you see? The rest of us count at least two. Brent Bozell, today's Worst Person in the World!”
Olbermann ignored how saying the movie takes “poetic license” is criticism and how on Wednesday's Scarborough Country, Bozell asserted: "I think that if you have a scene or two scenes or three scenes, important scenes, that do not have any bearing on reality and you can edit them, I think they should edit them.”
Keith Olbermann's ongoing campaign against the Bush administration is now resonating so well with liberals, Democratic leaders in Washington are starting to quote the MSNBC host publicly. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was so impressed with Olbermann's August 30 attack on Donald Rumsfeld for a speech in which the Defense Secretary referred to the appeasement of Nazis before World War II, the Democratic leader read from Olbermann's comments while making a speech on the Senate floor. In turn, Olbermann was so proud of this recognition that he played a clip of Reid's speech during the "Top Three Sound Bites" segment on Wednesday's Countdown show. (Transcript follows)
On Tuesday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show to attack President Bush's speech in which the President had compared modern day terrorists to Nazis and talked about Osama bin Laden's stated plan to launch a "media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government." Reminiscent of his recent "Special Comment" attacking Donald Rumsfeld and comparing the activities of the Bush administration to those of fascists, Olbermann again used a "Special Comment" segment to attack Bush for "linking" al-Qaeda to the media, "that familiar bogeyman of the far right," and branded Bush's words as "un-American."
The Countdown host accused President Bush and Vice President Cheney of "often attacking freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press." Olbermann also bizarrely took exception with Bush comparing terrorists to Nazis, arguing that terrorists would be "emboldened" by the comparison. Olbermann concluded by his own historical comparison, asking Bush: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" an echo of remarks made by Joseph Welch made to 50s senator Joseph McCarthy. (Transcript follows)
Is MSNBC about to leave its offices in Secaucus, New Jersey, and be absorbed into other facilities owned by parent company NBC? According to The Hudson Reporter (hat tip to TVNewser), this appears to be the case: “The geographical division of the new leadership has helped fuel the rumors that NBC will close the Secaucus site and consolidate broadcast operations in Manhattan.”
TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, who has been following developments at MSNBC quite closely, believes such a relocation would be all about dollars and cents:
On Friday night, MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough featured opposite takes on a Friday Washington Posteditorial proclaiming that the recent revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original leaker of Valerie Plame's identity discredits Joe Wilson's accusations about a White House conspiracy to punish him by ruining his wife's career. On his Countdown show, Olbermann slammed the Washington Post for its "startling conclusions" and attacked the logic of the Post's reasoning. On Scarborough Country, Scarborough hit the New York Times and other media, including "left-leaning TV hosts," for not following the Post's lead and correcting its "character assassination" of the Bush team. Scarborough also delved into the inaccuracy of some of Wilson's claims about his trip to Niger and whether it really contradicted Bush's State of the Union claims about Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium. And while Scarborough presented some balance on his show by allowing one of his two guests to defend Wilson (Rachel Sklar after Wilson critic Christopher Hitchens), Olbermann followed his normal routine of choosing guests who will bolster his anti-Bush views, this time in the form of Wilson/Plame attorney Melanie Sloan. (Transcripts follow)
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann continued his attacks on the Bush administration over its current series of speeches defending the Iraq War. Hosting interviews with three Bush critics from the left (Senator Barbara Boxer, the Mayor of Salt Lake City who led a protest against Bush's "lies" and John Dean, who labeled Donald Rumsfeld an "authoritarian"), the Countdown host provided a forum to attack the administration without any Bush supporters for balance. Olbermann also patted himself on the back for his Wednesday night diatribe against Rumsfeld (NewsBusters item with video) by citing the "thousands of [Countdown viewers] who responded so kindly," and continued his attacks as he claimed that the Defense Secretary, while employing "vicious" rhetoric and "embracing" the "methods" of "fascists" in his recent speech "against your right to dissent," claiming that Rumsfeld was "throwing dissent under the bus." The Countdown host also labeled some of Bush's logic in arguing Iraq's importance in the war on terrorism as "nonsense." Olbermann rounded up his big anti-conservative night by naming conservatives Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Senator Conrad Burns as his three nominees for his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment. (Partial transcripts follow)
Do you remember the scene in The Naked Gun where Leslie Nielsen, as police detective Frank Drebin, pretends to be a major league baseball umpire in order to be able to search the players to see who might be the assassin?
The very first pitch is dead over the heart of the plate, but Frank hesitates before finally, timidly, calling 'strike.' The crowd roars in approval. Frank gets a taste for the positive feedback, and by the third strike is bellowing out his calls, making flamboyant hand gestures, even doing a moonwalk.
A similar phenomenon might be occuring with Keith Olbermann. As noted here, in a closing 'Special Comment' on last night's show, he accused the Bush administration of representing "a new type of fascism." Daily Kos and Democratic Underground exploded in paroxysms of joy, and deluged the show with thousands of approving emails.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night used his Countdown show to deliver a vitriolic personal attack on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “a reality check of Donald Rumsfeld's incendiary speech, a special comment on his attack on your right to disagree.” Olbermann concluded his program with a six-minute diatribe against Rumsfeld: “The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.” Olbermann equated the Bush administration with “the English government of Neville Chamberlain” which "knew that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated.” The MSNBC star charged, “The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.” The U.S., Olbermann asserted before concluding with Edward R. Murrow's "we must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," now “faces a new type of fascism.”
Olbermann opened his hour by claiming that during a Tuesday speech before the American Legion convention, Rumsfeld “compared critics of the current war in Iraq to those who tried to appease Adolf Hitler and the Nazis before World War II.” In fact, Rumsfeld simply worried about how not all realize how “we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism” from the Islamic world. Olbermann brought aboard DNC Chairman Howard Dean, proposing to him: “Is it, do you know, technically possible to impeach a Secretary of Defense and have we gotten to that stage after these remarks?” (Transcript follows. I realize Mark Finkelstein beat me on some of Olbermann's rant, but this post has additional quotes and video)
Looking back, it all seems so predictable. The relentless criticism, the countless sneering jabs from Keith Olbermann directed at the Bush administration were building to an inexorable climax. It came tonight. Olbermann flatly accused the Bush administration of representing "a new type of fascism."
Though the denouement was inevitable, the proximate cause of Olbermann's tirade was Donald Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion on Tuesday in which he suggested that opponents of the war in Iraq have adopted the same attitude that slowed a military response to Hitler. Rumsfeld asserted that radical Islam represents "a new type of fascism."
Florida senatorial candidate Katherine Harris drew a voluminous amount of media attention for her recent comment that the separation of church and state is "a lie." Another Republican Senator, the liberal Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island, made this liberal error during an August 26 debate with his conservative primary opponent:
Lincoln Chafee: "Rhode Island was founded on separation of religion, separation of church and state....‘Full liberties of religious discernment,’ I think is in our charter and, uh, when we wouldn’t sign the U.S. Constitution, 1789, until we got the same liberties, the same separation of church and state, that we had here in Rhode Island, in the federal Constitution. It took us 13 months as Rhode Islanders, until we got in the First Amendment, first words of the First Amendment in the Constitution, separation of church and state."
Not only is the phrase "separation of church and state" not the first words, it’s not in the First Amendment at all. (Presumably Mr. Chafee was attempting to refer to the Establishment Clause, which is not the same thing in word or meaning.) Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s "Countdown," had this to say about Katherine Harris and her comments on August 24:
Mouthy liberal former sportscasters of a feather stick together. On Wednesday night's Countdown, former ESPN/Fox Sports anchor Keith Olbermann mocked the NFL for even considering renouncing their deal to let Bryant Gumbel broadcast games on the emerging NFL Network. MRC analyst Scott Whitlock noticed that he tried to pile more laughs on Gumbel's apparently side-splitting comments that Eugene Upshaw was a leashed pet of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue:
"First, time for COUNTDOWN’s latest list of nominees for ‘Worst Persons in the World.’ The Bronze to the National Football League. It is reportedly considering dismissing Bryant Gumbel who was to do play-by-play of games on the NFL`s own TV network. Gumbel claims the league`s current commissioner owned a leash on which he kept the executive director of the very pliant Football Players Union. Mr. Paul Tagliabue called Gumbel`s comments ‘uninformed and quite inexcusable.’ No truth to rumors that union head Gene Upshaw called the comments, ‘Roof. Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff.’
Jonathan Alter, the Senior Editor of "Newsweek," last night told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that Democrats regaining power is the only way to hold the Bush administration accountable for its "incompetence." Appearing on the August 23 edition of "Countdown," he exhorted Democrats to inform voters of this fact:
Alter: "I think it`s really important for the Democrats to remind the voters that this election is really about accountability, because there hasn’t been any. The only way you can get any is to get at least one chamber of Congress."
According to Alter, this is the only scenario under which the Democrats will, at long last, be able to punish the President:
Alter: "Otherwise, you can`t hold hearings to hold their feet to the fire. You have no subpoena power, forget impeachment and all the rest of that, just getting basic answers to questions about why this administration has been incompetent. In order to do that, you`ve got to get some control and some power back. And that`s what this election is really about."
"Countdown" host Keith Olbermann has questioned the timing of terror arrests and alert levels before, but on the August 22 edition of the MSNBC show, he indicated that democratic governments are using the fear of terrorism, the same terrorists they are "supposedly" hunting:
"It is a fair question to be skeptical of the skeptics to ask why would the British police, why would anyone exaggerate the threat of violence fueling unwarranted fears? But theoretically, at least, it is clear that both terrorists and governments, supposedly hunting terrorists, have motives, both of them have motives, to keep people afraid."
Olbermann utilized the arraignment of British suspects in the plot to blow up U.K. airplanes as an opportunity to replay a ten minute long segment, entitled "The Nexus of Politics and Terror" from last October. In the piece, negative events for the Bush administration are linked to their proximity of terror warnings. The "Countdown" host prefaced the story, which aired at 8:35PM EDT, by questioning if the arrests in England have been hyped:
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann bolstered the ruling by Federal Judge Ann Diggs Taylor against the Bush administration's controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect. Referring to the ruling as a "judicial smackdown" and a "stunning ruling" against the program, Olbermann repeatedly referred to the NSA program as monitoring "our" phone calls or "our" emails. The MSNBC host further contended that since the program was revealed, "anybody who had actually read the Constitution" believed it would eventually be ruled as "patently illegal." Olbermann's guest discussing the topic was liberal law professor Jonathan Turley, who labeled Judge Taylor's ruling as a "very thoughtful opinion" and called efforts by conservatives to discredit her as a liberal Carter appointee as "distasteful." By contrast, CNN and FNC featured guests who questioned Judge Taylor's judicial wisdom. (Transcript follows)
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who never accuses Democrats of "playing politics" with Iraq and the war on terrorism, opting instead to join them in attacking President Bush, continued to slam Bush for "playing politics" with terrorism, which Olbermann labelled as "something that should matter to all of us." The Countdown host, who regularly signs off his show by recounting the number of American troops killed "since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq" to embarrass Bush, on Wednesday's show highlighted recent comments by former President Clinton accusing Bush of "playing politics" with the London plane bombing plot. Guest Dana Milbank of the Washington Post lamely joked that "it's a matter of time until the whole JonBenet lead turns into an al-Qaeda business." (Transcript follows)
On Wednesday's Countdown show, while reporting on a recent Zogby poll which found that more Americans can name two of Snow White's dwarves than can name two of America's Supreme Court justices, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann took the opportunity to joke that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are "Dopey and Grumpy." The Countdown host also took a shot at President Bush by bringing up Bush's failure to name world leaders in a pop quiz during an interview with Boston TV journalist Andy Hiller in November 1999, and suggested to comedian Mo Rocca that Bush's lack of knowledge is to blame for "current world affairs." Olbermann: "Can you think of any consequences at all that could have stemmed from that candidate's level of knowledge? Is that being reflected at all in the current world affairs?" (Transcript follows)
No matter which way the facts are pointing, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can find a way to entertain an anti-Bush conspiracy theory on his Countdown show when the administration announces a terror alert.
Last week, when it appeared the British had decided when to arrest suspects planning to bomb airplanes, Olbermann pushed the theory that administration members used their foreknowledge to tailor attacks on anti-war Democrats to take political advantage of the impending arrests. But, in light of news that the administration, instead of waiting for the terrorists to board planes and make test runs, pressured the British to make the arrests a week earlier than the British had wanted to, Olbermann has started pushing the theory he probably wanted to push in the first place: that President Bush timed the arrests so he could use the news to discredit anti-war Democrats right after they denied renomination to pro-Iraq War Senator Joe Lieberman. (Transcript follows)
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has a history of pushing conspiracy theories questioning whether the Bush administration has politically timed terror alerts or the release of terrorism-related stories for political advantage. Since the timeline of the current terror plot story was controlled by the British, one might expect Olbermann to take a break from his fascination with such ideas. But, true to form, the Countdown host still found a way to insert an anti-Bush conspiracy theory into the story, as he questioned whether some of the Bush administration's recent criticism of Democrats for ousting pro-Iraq War Senator Joe Lieberman had been timed to exploit the terror story that would soon break. (Transcript follows)
Keith Olbermann's regular media critic guest, Michael Musto of the Village Voice, called Ann Coulter a 'bastard' on last night's Countdown.
The topic was the news that Vanity Fair has picked celeb photographer Annie Liebovitz to snap the first pics of Suri, newborn daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. There is controversy as to whether Suri actually exists, given that, months after her announced birth, there have been no photos or sightings of the child.
Musto is clearly a skeptic on the subject. When Olbermann asked him what we should expect from Liebovitz's images of Suri, Musto responded with this strained effort to draw a connection to the left's bête noire :
"We should expect an image of a pillow. An illegitimate pillow, mind you. A bastard pillow. What's the word for a female bastard? Ann Coulter! An Ann Coulter pillow!"
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a prominent organization that has been combatting anti-Semitism and bigotry for 90 years, has issued a letter to MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann. The letter, dated July 28, 2006, takes serious issue with Olbermann's repeated use of the Nazi salute while badgering Bill O'Reilly. The body of ADL's letter begins as follows:
We are deeply dismayed by your ongoing use of the Nazi "Sieg Heil" salute, both on your program and in public appearances -- including the recent Television Critics Association press tour -- while holding up a mask of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly.