Olbermann Renews 'Teabagging' Attack on Scott Brown, Cuts His Victory Speech

While it is well known that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is the most viciously liberal voice to host a news program within the mainstream media, even he normally tones down his anti-conservative, anti-Republican vitriol when anchoring special events like election results. But during MSNBC’s coverage of the Massachusetts special Senate election, Olbermann’s presentation was more rabidly partisan than if the Democratic National Committee itself were producing the show.

As he anchored a special 10:00 p.m. edition of Countdown, Olbermann not only used one of his "Quick Comment" segments to repeat his infamous attack from the day before on Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown, but he also impatiently interrupted Brown’s victory speech, and, while Brown was still speaking, went on to give a second "Quick Comment" blaming Tea Party protesters and Fox News for the vulgar "tea bagger" term being attached to the Tea Party movement.

At 10:19 p.m., Olbermann delivered a "Quick Comment" in which he sarcastically pretended that he would apologize for his attack on Senator-elect Scott Brown from the previous day in which he had called Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees."

But instead, the MSNBC host renewed the attack and added the word "sexist" because Brown did not respond to an out of line attack from an audience member on his opponent, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, which Senator-elect Brown may not even have heard. Olbermann began his "Quick Comment":

I wanted to apologize for calling Senator-elect Scott Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees." I’m sorry, I left out the word "sexist."

Olbermann went on to call Brown "horrifically unqualified" for the Senate and challenged conservative critics to prove him wrong in his attacks on the Massachusetts Republican.

At about 10:41 p.m., after Brown had spent 10 minutes on his victory speech, Olbermann grew impatient as the Massachusetts Republican started teasing his daughters and joking about his conversation with President Obama, as the MSNBC host jumped in and cracked: "Before we get to the chowder recipes of the family, we’re going to take a pause to discuss this."

FNC notably showed all 27 minutes of Brown’s victory speech, as well as all eight minutes of Coakley’s concession speech, with the exception of a brief interruption at 10:00 p.m. when Greta Van Susteren cut in to take over the reins from Sean Hannity and introduce the 10:00 p.m. hour of coverage. CNN only showed about the first seven minutes of each speech. MSNBC had also shown all eight minutes of Coakley's concession speech, which started several minutes before 10:00 p.m. while Rachel Maddow was hosting and ended several minutes after 10:00 while Olbermann was hosting.

At 10:50 p.m., while Senator-elect Brown was still speaking, Olbermann returned from a commercial break and exclaimed, "My God, he’s still talking!" before delivering his second "Quick Comment" of the hour blaming Tea Party activists and FNC’s Griff Jenkins for first using the term "tea bag" as a verb, a word which Olbermann and other MSNBC hosts later picked up on to mock Tea Party activists by hinting at the vulgar sexual meaning of the term. Olbermann began his comment by again indirectly calling Brown a "tea bagger":

My God, he’s still talking! Senator-elect Brown is still giving his victory speech tonight in Boston. Howard Fineman will help me wrap it up -- if he wraps it up -- in a moment. First, the second of tonight’s "Quick Comments." The tea baggers have elected their first guy tonight, and, thus, they will expecting legislation by tomorrow making it a death penalty offense to call them "tea baggers."

After recounting one of the earlier uses of the term "tea bag" used as a verb by a Tea Party activist and by FNC’s Griff Jenkins, Olbermann concluded: "Thus, the verb to ‘tea bag’ was invented by the tea baggers themselves. And the correspondent who put it on TV was one Griff Jenkins of Fox News. Send your complaints to him."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the 10:00 p.m. hour of the Countdown show from Tuesday, January 19 on MSNBC:

10:19 p.m.

KEITH OLBERMANN: Lawrence O’Donnell joins me next on the future of health care reform, but first we stay in Massachusetts for the first of tonight’s "Quick Comments." I wanted to apologize for calling Senator-elect Scott Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees." I’m sorry, I left out the word "sexist."

And I left out the story of the day Brown, upset by online criticism from some students, went to the school and swore at the entire student body. I’m very sorry. For all the blowback from the right on this comment from people who regularly mutter worse things about Barack Obama in their sleep, when it came to the facts that I cited to paint this picture of this horrifically unqualified Senator-elect, we have heard nothing – no contrary evidence, no refutation, not even a plausible excuse. And to the point of excuse, it can be argued that Brown should have been given the benefit of the doubt after a supporter shouted at him that they should "shove a curling iron up Martha Coakley’s butt" that he did not hear that, that when Brown then said "we can do this," he was not responding to the lunatic in the crowd.

But the Boston Globe makes an unanswerable point about that. Even if Brown really didn’t hear it, where was his later statement decrying the obscenity and violence his supporter had suggested? Not only did Mr. Brown not offer even the mildest reproach, but when pressed for one by Senator Kerry, Brown replied only that people are tired of John Kerry’s partisan politics. In Senator-elect Brown, we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, sexist, ex-nude model, tea bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. And if he or you don’t like that characterization, my answer to you is simple: Disprove it because he hasn’t.

10:41 p.m.

OLBERMANN: Before we get to the chowder recipes of the family, we’re going to take a pause to discuss this.

 

10:50 p.m.

OLBERMANN: My God, he’s still talking! Senator-elect Brown is still giving his victory speech tonight in Boston. Howard Fineman will help me wrap it up -- if he wraps it up -- in a moment. First, the second of tonight’s "Quick Comments." The tea baggers have elected their first guy tonight, and, thus, they will expecting legislation by tomorrow making it a death penalty offense to call them "tea baggers." It is thus useful to remind them and you how the term originated and with whom. A TV news report aired last March 14 in which a correspondent described the original protest act. Quote, "Take a tea bag, put it in an envelope, and mail it to the White House." Adding, "ReTeaParty.com has a headline: Tea bag the fools in D.C. on tax day." Thus, the verb to "tea bag" was invented by the tea baggers themselves. And the correspondent who put it on TV was one Griff Jenkins of Fox News. Send your complaints to him.