Olbermann Raises McCarthy and Rails Against Ingraham's “Unforgivable” Criticism
Olbermann asserted that the war of “the government versus the news has just escalated anew, and it is approaching a carpet bombing stage. Exhibit A, Wheeling, West Virginia, where Joe McCarthy started his string of the most memorable speeches, today's stop on the George W. Bush 'I am nothing if not deeply misunderstood ' Express.” After playing clips of Ingraham on Tuesday's Today show urging reporters in Iraq “to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off," Olbermann presumed that meant she had no concept of journalists who have given their lives: “That hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt...”
Video clip of Olbermann castigating Ingraham, and a little more of his insults (55 secs): Real (1.7 MB) or Windows Media (1.9 MB). Plus MP3 audio (330 KB). Bonus video of the 1988 Bush 41-Rather confrontation, cited by Olbermann, at the bottom of this posting.
After his rant against Ingraham, Olbermann's first question to his guest, Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, featured more insults: “With this frankly paranoid tone set by the administration and enacted by people like Laura Ingraham, is that what we're left with about Iraq, defending the actions conducted in this nation's name with desperation and stupidity?"
(Earlier Wednesday night NewsBuster Ian Schwartz posted an item, “Olbermann Attacks Laura Ingraham for Questioning the Media,” limited to Olbermann's rant against Ingraham.)
Olbermann led his March 22 program, as tracked by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
"Good evening. Our colleague Craig Crawford points to the day in 1988 when the first George Bush sandbagged Dan Rather during a live interview on CBS as the moment, the moment of the process of blaming the messenger became an essential ingredient in American politics. The actual origin of attacking the media certainly goes back to the 'nattering nabobs of negativism' speech of future felon Spiro Agnew in 1969, probably to the Alien and Sedition laws under President John Adams, maybe even to the case of the colony of New York versus John Peter Zenger in 1734. Our fifth story in the Countdown, whenever it started, it sure as heck ain't finished. And how well or how poorly the war in Iraq might be going, the one here on our soil, the government versus the news, has just escalated anew, and it is approaching a carpet bombing stage. Exhibit A, Wheeling, West Virginia, where Joe McCarthy started his string of the most memorable speeches, today's stop on the George W. Bush 'I am nothing if not deeply misunderstood ' Express. Say goodbye to that brief experiment of letting just anybody ask questions unscreened. This was almost an entirely military audience."After playing the comment to Bush which the NBC Nightly News had ignored, as detailed in this earlier NewsBusters item, Olbermann, with “Attacking the Messenger” as the on-screen footer, ran clips of President Bush at his Tuesday press conference talking about media coverage of Iraq, Ingraham on Tuesday's Today, Ingraham on Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor (“hours later,” after Today, “Ms. Ingraham sharing her thoughts with Ted Baxter himself, by which time some sane person had reminded her of the death of our own David Bloom at the war's outset”), how a CBS News poll last week (NewsBusters item on the poll) found more believe media coverage of Iraq is accurate than think what Bush says about the war is accurate and finally a piece from NBC's Richard Engel, which aired on Wednesday's Today, about the dangers to journalists in Iraq.
Olbermann then delivered this diatribe against Ingraham:
"A note about Laura Ingraham's comments: I've known her a long time. I'll, in fact, give you the caveat that I've known her socially. But that hotel balcony crack was unforgivable. It was unforgivable to the memory of David Bloom, it was unforgivable in consideration of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, it was unforgivable in the light of what happened to Michael Kelly and what happened to Michael Weiskopf. It was unforgivable with Jill Carroll still a hostage in Iraq. And it's not only unforgivable of her, it was desperate, and it was stupid."With “Blame the Media Backlash?” as his new on-screen footer, Olbermann moved to his first guest:
"As promised, a calmer voice, no doubt, in the person of Newsweek's White House correspondent Richard Wolffe....It's one thing to question if the media's being representative in its reporting from Iraq, but with this frankly paranoid tone set by the administration and enacted by people like Laura Ingraham, is that what we're left with about Iraq, defending the actions conducted in this nation's name with desperation and stupidity?"For a complete rundown of Ingraham's appearance on the March 21 Today and NBC's counter-story from Engel on the March 22 Today, see this March 22 MRC CyberAlert article with video of Ingraham, “To Gregory's Consternation on Today, Ingraham Scolds War Coverage.” NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein first posted items on Ingraham and Engel.
After an ad break: Helen Thomas.
Bonus video of the incident in which Olbermann claimed George H.W. Bush “sandbagged” Dan Rather, probably for this retort from Bush: “It's not fair to judge my whole career by a re-hash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? Would you like that? I have respect for you, but I don't have respect for what you're doing here tonight.” From the MRC's archive, the infamous confrontation over the Iran-Contra scandal, on the Monday, January 25, 1988 CBS Evening News, during which Rather told the then-Vice President and presidential candidate: "You've made us hypocrites in the face of the world!" Video of the interview, joined a couple of minutes into it and running through the end of it, rendered at 100 kbps for Real and 81 kbps for Windows Media to make the file size reasonable for the lengthy clip (6:35): Real (4.9 MB) or Windows Media (4.2 MB). Plus MP3 audio at 32 kbps (1.5 MB).