On his MSNBC Countdown show on Wednesday night, Keith Olbermann, who described the Fox News Channel as “just a brand name, not a description,” named FNC's Brit Hume his “runner-up” in his daily “Worst Person in the World” gimmick. What riled Olbermann? Hume daring to criticize as “'excessive' the TV coverage of Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela because, he said, Robertson has 'no influence.'” Olbermann sarcastically added: “Probably why Fox has had Robertson on their network ten times in the last year.” By that reasoning, Olbermann would have to consider influential the parade of lawyers, family friends and other hangers-on brought out many times a day on FNC and MSNBC to talk about the Natalee Holloway case.
In fact, Hume never said Robertson has "no influence." Hume suggested that Robertson's "political influence may have been declining since he came in second in the Iowa Republican caucuses 17 years ago and he may have no clout with the Bush administration" and that CNN's Bill Schneider had decided that Robertson has "little influence." (Nor did Hume say "no influence" during a later panel segment on Robertson.)
Links to Hume's original words and a full transcript of Olbermann's "worser” reasoning for Hume follows.
This August 23 NewsBusters article quoted the posted version of what Olbermann cited from Hume's “Grapevine” item in which Hume specifically castigated CNN. Today's MRC CyberAlert has the slightly different wording Hume used on the air.
Olbermann's ”worse,” the third runner-up was a malfunctioning security robot which sprayed smoke at Japan's Prime Minister and he crowned Victoria Gotti the winner for saying she has cancer when she doesn't.
Full text of Olbermann's August 24 hit on Hume: “Your runner-up: Brit Hume. Another reason that the phrase Fox News Channel is just a brand name, not a description. Hume criticized as 'excessive' the TV coverage of Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela because, he said, Robertson has 'no influence.' Probably why Fox has had Robertson on their network ten times in the last year. I'm now officially on the clock. I'm awaiting the traditional anonymous personal response from those at FNC so proud of their own work that they will not attach their own names to their comments.”