Olbermann Revels in 'Racist' Limbaugh Getting Yanked Like Imus: 'Best Thing I've Heard'

Keith Olbermann opened his Wednesday MSNBC show by displaying video of Rush Limbaugh on screen as he smeared conservative talk radio as “racist,” asking, “Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He then delighted Thursday night when guest Sam Seder, of the far-left Air America Radio, predicted “the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you're going to see this sort of same type of reaction.” A pleased Olbermann exclaimed: “It's the best thing I've heard in a couple of days. From your lips to God's ears!” Olbermann had asked Seder: “How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?”

With “SELECTIVE OUTRAGE: Imus Was Not Alone” on screen, Olbermann teased Wednesday's Countdown by wondering: “Where's the other outrage? Rush Limbaugh calls Barack Obama 'Halfrican-American.' Michael Savage says the Voting Rights Act means 'a chad in every crack house.' Neal Boortz says Cynthia McKinney looks like a 'ghetto-slut.' Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He soon cued up race-hustler Jesse Jackson: “Why are there not efforts to remove them from the air?”

Olbermann's crusade to remove conservatives from the air matched the spin forwarded Tuesday night on CNN's Paula Zahn Now, as recounted in Matthew Balan's NewsBusters post. Zahn set up an April 10 taped piece: ”Conservative Rush Limbaugh, who has offended just about every minority group, drew special criticism for attacking actor Michael J. Fox.” After regurgitating that controversy, Zahn moved to the very same quote highlighted by Olbermann: “Limbaugh later apologized. But the criticism for that low blow hasn't stopped him from lashing out at presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, calling him 'Halfrican.'” Viewers then heard audio of Limbaugh: “Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement, Halfrican-American actress Halle Berry. As a Halfrican-American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican-Americans.” Zahn proceeded to highlight the same Boortz comment about McKinney as Olbermann would do 24 hours later.

Olbermann and Zahn are humor-challenged since Limbaugh's “Halfrican-American”quip was obviously a play on “African-American,” since Obama had a white mother and an African father, not a charge that he's only half American.

A brief transcript of the relevant portion of the exchange between Olbermann and Seder on the April 12 Countdown:
Keith Olbermann: “I'll ask you the ten million dollar question: How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?”

Sam Seder of Air America: “I'll tell you something, well I think one there's a certain expectation that they're going to hear it more from Limbaugh although, you know, he, Dick Cheney was on his program several weeks ago. I listened in to Limbaugh today and he's already warning his audience that they're going to be coming for Limbaugh next. And I think, frankly, he's got to be a little bit worried now because the bar has just been raised. I mean, corporations have said we're not going to tolerate this any more and the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you're going to see this sort of same type of reaction.”

Olbermann: “It's the best thing I've heard in a couple of days.”

Seder, over Olbermann: “I hope so.”

Olbermann: “From your lips to God's ears!”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center