Olbermann Slams MRC's Bozell for Criticizing the MSNBC Host's Anti-Bush Diatribe

For daring to criticize Keith Olbermann's Wednesday night “Special Comment” rant against President Bush for inspiring “domestic terrorism,” the MSNBC host on Thursday night named Media Research Center President Brent Bozell his “bronze” nominee in his daily “Worst Person in the World” segment. Olbermann, who misidentified the MRC as the “Media Research Council,” proceeded to claim that Bozell was on the phone ordering men's underwear to don “on his head.” Olbermann ridiculed Bozell: “The bronze to funny man Brent Bozell, self-appointed President of the self-created Media Research Council, responding to my Special Comment last night with a press release headlined, 'MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Preaches Hate Speech.'...[T]his is the guy who wrote the Willie Horton ad and in the press release he calls me a 'brown shirt.' And he thinks other people are preaching hate speech. Buy this man a mirror!”

Moving to his next nominee, the designer of men's underwear in which “the fabric cup protrudes everything out in front instead of down toward the ground. The design of the underwear separates and lifts,” Olbermann sarcastically quipped: “I'm told Brent Bozell is on the phone looking to order a dozen -- to wear on his head."

Video clip (1:01): Real (1.8 MB) or Windows Media (2.1 MB), plus MP3 audio (365 KB)

Bozell “wrote the Willie Horton ad”? That 1988 ad, which continues to infuriate liberals, certainly has a lot of fathers.

Full transcript of Olbermann's first two of three nominees in his “Worst Person in the World” segment on the November 2 Countdown:
"Time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for Worst Person in the World: The bronze to funny man Brent Bozell, self-appointed President of the self-created Media Research Council [sic], responding to my Special Comment last night with a press release headlined, 'MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Preaches Hate Speech.' He offers himself up for interviews about me, to which I say, Brent, thank you, keep talking me up, mention 8pm Eastern if you can. Seriously, this is the guy who wrote the Willie Horton ad and in the press release he calls me a 'brown shirt.' And he thinks other people are preaching hate speech. Buy this man a mirror!

[over orange cartoon figure with blue briefs] "Our silver tonight, Sean Ashby of the Aussie Bums Company [?] in Sydney. His new product: The Wonder Jock men's underwear with a difference. Quote: 'The fabric cup protrudes everything out in front instead of down toward the ground. The design of the underwear separates and lifts,' he says. Listen, mate, I don't particularly need to be separated, thank you. But I'm told Brent Bozell is on the phone looking to order a dozen -- to wear on his head."
“MSNBC’s KEITH OLBERMANN PREACHES HATE SPEECH AND LIBERAL MEDIA ARE SILENT,” blared the headline over the November 2 MRC press release:
Alexandria, VA -- On MSNBC’s Countdown Wednesday, host Keith Olbermann, in a derisive 12-minute rant, claimed that President Bush was responsible for inspiring “domestic terrorism” against his critics and further suggested that Bush’s supporters are like the pro-slavery congressman who used a cane to attack anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner in the 19th century. Yet the liberal media, who constantly remind the American public about alleged hate speech on the political right, are not talking about Mr. Olbermann’s remarks.

Mr. Olbermann, addressing President Bush, said: “You instructed no one to mail the fake Anthrax [received by Olbermann], nor undermine the FBI’s case, nor call for the execution of the editors of the New York Times, nor threaten to assassinate Stephanie Miller, nor beat up a man yelling at Senator George Allen, nor have the First Lady knife Michael J. Fox, nor tell John McCain to lie about John Kerry. No, you did not, sir. And the genius of the thing is the same as in King Henry's rhetorical question about Archbishop Thomas Becket: ‘Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ All you have to do, sir, is hand out enough new canes.”

In response to Mr. Olbermann’s hateful comments and the hypocritical silence of the liberal media, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement:

“Mr. Olbermann’s comments are beyond partisan. They are radically extreme and hateful. If any conservative even came close to the tenor and bitterness of Mr. Olbermann’s rhetoric, the liberal media would assail them as hate-mongers who are dividing the country. And if he worked for a network, he’d be fired immediately -- or look at Michael Savage who, incidentally, was fired from MSNBC. But when a leftist like Mr. Olbermann spews his venom, the liberal media say…nothing.

“This is despicable. Mr. Olbermann is using his national program to hatefully savage the President with personal smears in order to help Democrats win in next week’s election. This is why the top liberal media are silent. A brown-shirted left-winger spews hate from an NBC-owned podium: That’s the face of liberal media today.”
The lead November 2 MRC CyberAlert item, with audio/video of Olbermann's November 1 diatribe, began:
On Wednesday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" not only to demand that President Bush apologize to American troops over the Iraq War, but he also blamed Bush for inspiring acts of "domestic terrorism" against critics, a la King Henry and Archbishop Thomas Becket, and bizarrely chose to inject racism by making a comparison between Bush supporters attacking the President's opponents and the 1856 caning of anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner by pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks, at one point even mentioning charges of racist "fear of miscegenation" in the current Tennessee Senate race.
For the full transcript of the rant, check Brad Wilmouth's NewsBusters posting, which at the moment, due to technical issues with NewsBusters, has reverted to an early version without video.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center