Olbermann Suggests Chertoff "Gut Feeling" Terrorism Comment Politically Timed
On Tuesday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann voiced his latest consipiracy theory regarding Bush administration officials politically timing the release of terror warnings or terrorism-related news to distract attention from stories embarrassing to the administration, as Olbermann seized on comments by Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff that he has a "gut feeling" that terrorists are more likely to strike during the summer. While interviewing Newsweek's Richard Wolffe, the Countdown host brought up his suspicions. Olbermann: "How about my gut feeling that Mr. Chertoff said this so that the lead story on the newscast on ABC would not be Iraq or Alberto Gonzales or that USA Today poll, but that it would be this, you know, 'gut feeling' of his, plus a vague sky-is-falling story about an al-Qaeda cell, which even the people in Homeland Security say is just nonsense?" (Transcript follows)
Wolffe responded that Chertoff may be trying to "cover his rear end" for not having more concrete intelligence on terrorism, suggesting America is not getting enough results for the money that is spent for homeland security.
Olbermann concluded: "Yeah, the 'gut feeling' has been described as 'breaking news.' Actually, a 'gut feeling' would be closer to 'breaking wind.'"
Below is a complete transcript of the exchange from the Tuesday July 10 Countdown show:
KEITH OLBERMANN: Lastly, Richard, just as the President is trying to defend his strategy in Iraq and invoking people's grandchildren and children and their security, the Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff reveals this "gut feeling" about an increased risk of terrorist activity here this summer. His "gut feeling." How about my gut feeling that Mr. Chertoff said this so that the lead story on the newscast on ABC would not be Iraq or Alberto Gonzales or that USA Today poll, but that it would be this, you know, "gut feeling" of his, plus a vague sky-is-falling story about an al-Qaeda cell, which even the people in Homeland Security say is just nonsense? And this stuff about Mr. Chertoff's guess, am I, is my gut reaction here better than his or as worthwhile as his?
RICHARD WOLFFE, Newsweek: There may be another explanation, which is that he's trying to cover his rear end because he doesn't have real intelligence about what these people are up to, but they're just a vague feeling. Look, we've gone from color coded warnings to the intestinal rumblings of Michael Chertoff. It's amazing what you get for all those billions that they spend on Homeland Security.
OLBERMANN: Yeah, the "gut feeling" has been described as "breaking news." Actually, a "gut feeling" would be closer to "breaking wind."