On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann hosted left-wing actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo to discuss FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg’s recent enumeration of the "five worst offenders" of what Bill O’Reilly called the "far-left smear machine,"and Garofalo took the opportunity to paint conservatives as angry racists who inspire violence from some of their non-intellectual followers. Garofalo: "The right wing has a way of always having an enemy, whether it be immigrants or Arabs or brown-skinned people, black-skinned people, homosexuals, women. They all, kind of, rally around an enemy, an other, that they can get mad at. And death does occur."
After accusing conservative activist Grover Norquist of "handing out talking points" to a "right-wing machine," and after mentioning former Vice President Cheney’s recent contention that President Obama’s policies would endanger the nation’s homeland security, Garofalo called the "personality type" that she claimed motivates some non-intellectual conservatives a "scourge" and an "unfortunate part of our society." Garofalo: "A lot of the people in the right-wing base are not the most intellectual people in the world, not the most savvy people in the world, and they are definitely quick to anger, and quick to blame other people. ... it's a very sad, sad thing, and it's part of the human nature of a personality type that tends to identify as Republican or conservative. And it's an unfortunate part of our society. It's a scourge on our society." Olbermann concurred: "It is, indeed."
The MSNBC host introduced the segment by recounting a portion of the Monday, March 9, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC in which Goldberg designated Garofalo as number five among the "worst offenders" of what O’Reilly called the "far-left smear machine," and then Olbermann blamed Goldberg for a murder spree in Tennessee. Olbermann: "That one of Mr. Goldberg`s last lists inspired a mad man in Tennessee to shoot up a church full of innocent people because he could not shoot the people on Mr. Goldberg`s list did not give Mr. Goldberg pause for thought. Nothing seems to."
After Garofalo spent the first few minutes making lame jokes about her and Olbermann’s participation in a secret organization, the conversation took a more serious direction as Olbermann intoned that "there is a dark, dark side" to making lists of people to castigate. Referring to a remark by O'Reilly that there would be much "payback" for Goldberg in his latest venture, Olbermann proclaimed: "The last time there was payback and Goldberg was involved in it, and making lists of people, people wound up dead. I mean, there is a dark, dark side to stuff like this?"
The MSNBC host apparently saw no irony in his own daily "Worst Person in the World" list in which he designates three nominees for the title – as he often uses the segment to attack conservative public figures – or his vitriolic "Special Comment" attacks on President Bush and other conservatives.
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Monday, March 16, Countdown show on MSNBC:
KEITH OLBERMANN: After whining about how the left smears the right by besmirching reputations and tossing out a bunch of big words like "guttersnipe" and "glitz-ocracy," we thought we’d devote part of this week to letting you get to know your top five Bill-O and Bernie Goldberg left-wing smear merchants, the ones whose reputations they besmirched last week. Our number one story, Janeane Garofalo, the fifth most powerful liberal in the media. That one of Mr. Goldberg`s last lists inspired a mad man in Tennessee to shoot up a church full of innocent people because he could not shoot the people on Mr. Goldberg`s list did not give Mr. Goldberg pause for thought. Nothing seems to.
Thus playing Igor, or "Eye-gor" to O`Reilly, his five worst offenders in the mainstream media are as follows: Number five, Ms. Garofalo; number four, Bill Moyers; number three, DailyKos.com; number two, the evil New York Times; and number one, the totally irrelevant MSNBC.
The two rocket scientists were briefly not unanimous about that fifth slot.
BILL O`REILLY, FROM FNC’s THE O’REILLY FACTOR: Okay, but she has absolutely no influence at all. She failed at Air America.
BERNARD GOLDBERG, FNC ANALYST: She’s representative, she’s representative of the bigger group of the Hollywood elite.
O`REILLY: No, she is. That’s a good point. When you put them all together, the cacophony of nonsense – I love that, the "cacophony of nonsense."
OLBERMANN: And if anybody knows their cacophony and their nonsense, it’s him. Joining us now, comedian, actress, political activist and fellow left-wing smear merchant Janeane Garofalo. Good evening and congratulations.
JANEANE GAROFALO, COMEDIAN: Thank you, Keith. And, as you know, the machine likes to operate in a much more clandestine manner. But now that we’ve been exposed, I might as well discuss it. As you know, we meet alternate Wednesdays inside the eye on the pyramid on the dollar bill, and we rent the space from the Knight`s Templar, contingent upon how clean we are after the meetings. But you know all this. I`m just sharing it with the wider populous. I`m a little uncomfortable now that it’s been exposed though, because we’ve been going for years.
OLBERMANN: I know.
GAROFALO: The machine, it takes a lot of work, and I`m a little bit sorry that I`m just number five. I would have really liked to have been number two or even number one. But maybe next year.
OLBERMANN: You also notice that we do, in fact, send out a "dress similarly" memo every day so that there’s some sort of color coordination.
GAROFALO: Yeah, well, we have the pink on. I know. But I love casual Fridays the best. And, as you know, on the next Wednesday meeting, it’s 50s day. Last time it was backwards jeans day, and that was a lot of fun. But now we’re going to do `50s day. And I`m really looking forward to it.
OLBERMANN: Sadly, having been born in 1959, I just show up as I`m normally dressed, because I am – every day is `50s day for me. But I was wondering aloud last week if you were a wizard of some sort, or had magical powers and just hadn`t informed us about this at the meeting. The fact that Goldberg named you as one of the leaders of the smear machine. Do you, in fact, have these powers? Or, you know, rationalize or explain your position in this list.
GAROFALO: I do have magic powers. Again, I would prefer to keep them secret, much like the vampires. As you know, the Vampire Rights Amendment Act was passed in the Deep South recently. There’s a documentary about it called True Blood on HBO. And they like to operate secretly. I myself like to keep my powers under wraps, if you don`t mind.
OLBERMANN: Well, you’re using one of them to annoy Bernard Goldberg, which would seem to be sort of like – that`s just sort of practice, right?
GAROFALO: Yeah, Bernie Gold-, I like to call him "Goldie."
GAROFALO: Yeah, and he is absolutely right. And I want to emphasize again the machine has been going and going. We used to be an advertising agency in the early `70s called Sache and Sache, and were responsible for "That`s One Spicy Meatball." Do you remember that one?
GAROFALO: "I can`t believe I ate the whole thing," that was us. And the feather in our cap is the "no fat chicks" bumper sticker, which, we really got a lot of mileage out of that one. That`s the machine.
OLBERMANN: All details about the machine aside, Bill-O noted to Bernie, "this is the greatest assignment you could ever get, payback unlimited." Payback for what? Because the last time there was payback and Goldberg involved in it, and making lists of people, people wound up dead. I mean, there is a dark, dark side to stuff like this?
GAROFALO: Yes. There is. Going back to – if we’re going to get serious about this, and I guess we’re forced to when other kind of very damaged people really respond to some of the right wingers` message – and the reason they accuse the left of having a machine is because they themselves do. There really is a right-wing smear machine in place. Whether it`s all the regressive radio hosts, and even some of the right-wing churches, and then right-wing candidates. And, as you know, during the Bush administration, they used to invite some of the radio hosts to actually meet with candidates. And Grover Norquist has those meetings, where the talking points are created and handed out to all and sundry in the right-wing machine. And, unfortunately, they do have a base that listens to this. And because their life isn`t working, they want to blame all the wrong people. And the right wing has a way of always having an enemy, whether it be immigrants or Arabs or brown-skinned people, black-skinned people, homosexuals, women. They all, kind of, rally around an enemy, an other, that they can get mad at. And death does occur. I mean, and this has happened in abortion clinics.
GAROFALO: It’s happened, as you said, just recently. And, unfortunately, it may happen again.
But the guys like Bernie Goldberg, they don`t care. You know, it means nothing to them. And Dick Cheney going on those – was it Meet the Press on Sunday?
OLBERMANN: No, it was CNN with John King.
GAROFALO: John King? What does he care? You know what I mean? What does it matter? He just keeps spreading fear, you know, claiming that we’re less safe because of something Obama does, and claiming that the government wants to expand, all these kind of things. Unfortunately, a lot of the people in the right-wing base are not the most intellectual people in the world, not the most savvy people in the world, and they are definitely quick to anger, and quick to blame other people. And it’s just – it’s a ridiculous thing. You know, I don`t know what to say about it other than it’s a very sad, sad thing, and it’s part of the human nature of a personality type that tends to identify as Republican or conservative. And it’s an unfortunate part of our society. It’s a scourge on our society.
OLBERMANN: It is, indeed. Janeane Garofalo, political activist, currently appearing in 24, and the fifth ranked liberal in media. At least you get a plaque.
GAROFALO: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: That’s Countdown for this the 2,137th day since the previous President declared "mission accomplished" in Iraq. I`m Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.