Olbermann Only Slams Insight Magazine When it's Not Bashing the Bush Administration

As reported by NewsBusters, Keith Olbermann during Monday’s “Countdown” declared Insight magazine as part of a quartet of the Worst Persons in the World. Its crime? Publishing an article suggesting that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) attended a Muslim madrassa as a child.

In reality, KO should point that castigating finger at himself given that he hasn’t always been so critical of the conservative magazine. In fact, in the eight other times that a LexisNexis search identified KO referenced Insight, he quoted from the publication quite warmly as if it was a credible source (h/t NewsBusters member “mlong”).

What did all those eight instances have in common? Well, if you guessed that the magazine was criticizing President Bush or a member of his administration, you’d be correct.  

Hysterically, the most egregious example of Olby’s hypocrisy on this issue was him actually using an Insight article to declare Karl Rove “The Worst Person in the World” on September 6, 2006:

But our winner, Karl Rove, attacked by the conservative publication "Insight" which quotes a senior GOP source which claims "The White House funneled millions of dollars through major Republican Party" contributors to Senator Joseph Lieberman`s primary campaign." Quotes the same source as saying "Lieberman took the money, but said he would not play ball." Which means either Lieberman is a genius or he`s dishonoring the great tradition of political corruption in this country.Deputy White House chief of staff, Karl Rove, today`s "Worst Person in the World."

Pretty amazing, wouldn’t agree? Yet, that’s just the beginning, for KO actually felt confident enough in this publication to reference one of its articles four times in three consecutive nights. In fact, he practically began his March 14, 2006, program by citing the article in question:

Whether the president is even aware that the government`s only 9/11 prosecution might be falling apart, questionable, according to a new article in the conservative magazine "Insight." It reports that President Bush is said to focus on only two issues now, Iraq and the upcoming `06 elections, delegating everything else to cabinet members and senior aides.

Moments later, he said the following to his first guest of the evening: “When did 'Insight' magazine turn into a Bush-bashing outfit?” I guess it's fair to quote from a conservative publication that is a "Bush-bashing outfit."

Olby also referenced the same article the following day: “If the thing in 'Insight' magazine yesterday was correct, he`s only focused on the election itself upcoming and Iraq.”

Amazingly, KO referenced it again the next evening: “Sporting the third-lowest approval rating since modern political polling began, the president, if the conservative magazine 'Insight' is correct, has delegated everything except Iraq and the reelections and the telling of rug stories."

Not bad for the “Worst Person in the World” that Olby described as part of a quartet of “mongrels” as he incredulously questioned why they should be “legally allowed to pretend they‘re justified in calling themselves news organizations.”

Yet, this wasn’t the only time that KO referenced an Insight article on consecutive evenings. This came from the February 7, 2006, “Countdown”:

Our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN, you haven`t really made it into the Black Museum of American Political History until you`ve created your own list. Karl Rove may have just made it, congressional sources telling the conservative digest "Insight" that Mr. Rove has been twisting arms to ensure that the Senate Judiciary Committee`s investigation of the domestic spy program does not bear any fruit, threatening any Republican member of the Senate who dares buck the administration`s authorization of domestic wiretaps without warrants.

Incredibly, KO referenced the same article to Rep. Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) the following evening: “We mentioned on this news hour last night that the conservative publication ‘Insight’ reported that Karl Rove warned Republicans in the Senate that if they were to challenge the president on the NSA spy program, that they should not count on support from the White House during the fall elections."

Imagine that. Twelve months ago this publication was credible enough to reference in a question to a member of Congress. But now it’s a mongrel!

Yet, there were other citations by Olby such as this one on November 15, 2006:

If the White House shakeup spreads further than Donald Rumsfeld, at least one person may have the ultimate immunity. Karl Rove will remain in the White House through January 2009, according to a report coming from "Insight" magazine, which is a sister publication of the conservative newspaper "The Washington Times."

In fact, Olby referenced the magazine twice that evening:

So why would Mr. Bush keep the boy genius who masterminded the loss of Congress, despite the most sophisticated voter turnout operation and most aggressive gerrymandering in history? "Insight" magazine explaining, "`He knows too much,` a source said. `The last thing the president wants is another published memoir and book tour of life inside the White House."

KO also referenced Insight on August 6, 2006:

Tonight, we top our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN with a rare peek into the top levels of delicate, high-stakes geopolitical diplomacy. The conservative magazine "Insight" says the president overruled Secretary of State Rice`s plea to position the U.S. as a mediator, or at least a damper, in the Middle East crisis, and claiming also a State Department source said, quote, "One Jewish friend of Bush actually called up a senior Israeli official and began yelling, `What the hell`s going on here? Are you going to fight, or what?`"

Finally, this from February 27, 2006:

Last thing here, there`s another report on the Internet today, it`s not the first one, concerning the long-term job prospects of the vice president. The current events magazine "Insight," conservative publication, quoting GOP sources that envision Dick Cheney retiring within a year. This has been speculated about since well before the `04 election. Is there, is this just more of the same speculation-wise, or is there some there there?

What does this tell us? Well, in Olby’s eyes, conservative publications are just fine and dandy when they are bashing a Republican. However, the moment they say anything untoward about a Democrat, they are mongrels.

As a result, Keith, it is really you who are the Worst Person in the World!

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