On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann branded Rush Limbaugh as the "extreme right," and made an analogy between Barack Obama talking about trying to divide jihadists from Muslim moderates during his inauguration, and the President's current efforts to isolate Limbaugh from other conservatives. Hosting Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter as guest, Olbermann began: "In his inaugural address, the President essentially tried to create a wedge between those who are reasonable and those who are not. Of course, he was talking about the Muslim world. Is it possible in this different context that he’s trying to do the same as he seeks bipartisanship with the Republicans, sort of, you know, separate, Mullah Limbaugh from the herd?"
Inspiring laughter from Olbermann, Alter’s opening act was to take a jab at Limbaugh’s past addiction to Oxycontin in distinguishing him from the Islamic mullahs: "Yes, I do think that`s what [Obama is] doing, although the mullahs don`t send their maid out into the parking lot to score drugs for them, so I`m not sure about the comparison."
During a phone interview with FNC anchor Megyn Kelly, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who already voiced disapproval of Barack Obama's attempt to suggest that Kissinger would agree with his intention to meet personally with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, on Saturday elaborated on his disagreement with Obama, and clarified his views on how America should negotiate with Iran. The segment began with a soundbite of Obama from the debate trying to lecture McCain about Kissinger’s views. Obama: "Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisors, who, along with five recent Secretaries of State, just said that we should meet with Iran, guess what, ‘without precondition.’ This is one of your own advisors."
Asked by Kelly if he supported having a President "meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions," Kissinger responded: "No, I don’t. I have argued that, at some point, negotiations with Iran are important. But it is my view that they should be on the working level, and that the President should not be involved until we know that we are close to an agreement, or that we know what the nature of the agreement is." Kelly soon sought clarification: "So, in other words, you favor negotiations at the lower level, perhaps all the way up to the Secretary of State, but you do not believe an American President should sit down without preconditions, as Barack Obama says he would like to do." Kissinger: "That is correct."
During a special edition of MSNBC’s Countdown show after Friday’s presidential debate, Keith Olbermann seemed to insert a joke about the weight of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger into a conversation about the performance of John McCain and Barack Obama. As previously documented by the MRC’s Matthew Balan, the Countdown host brought up McCain’s difficulty in pronouncing the name of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and liberal Air America and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow contended that Obama’s most memorable line was when he accused McCain of being "wrong" about Iraq. Referring to Obama’s line in which the Illinois Democrat incorrectly suggested that Kissinger agreed with him about meeting with dictators like Ahmadinejad, Olbermann, who has a history of making fat jokes about conservatives on his Countdown show, made a quip at Kissinger’s expense in which the MSNBC host seemed to pick on his weight: "Or, perhaps, throwing Henry Kissinger back in Senator McCain’s face, which is physically a tough act to do certainly."
Here is something that the media should focus on. In the debates tonight, Barack Obama said that even Henry Kissinger agreed with Obama that on a presidential level a diplomatic meeting with as rogue a leader as Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a good idea. McCain immediately said that this was not true, but the issue wasn't further addressed in the debate.
Well, now Henry Kissinger himself is attempting to set the record straight. Kissinger says that Obama was wrong, McCain was right. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has a short post to this effect on his TheBlog entry.
MSNBC's David Shuster continued the attack on Governor Sarah Palin for not allowing reporters in on meetings she attended at the United Nations. Fellow Newsbuster Ken Shepherd pointed out recently the media never complained over not having full access to Barack Obama's meetings with foreign leaders during his tour through the Middle East and later Europe.
However, Shuster's attack included a very edited down tape of Palin and Dr. Henry Kissinger, which attempted to make Palin look like she knew little of what was being discussed. Moreover, Shuster seemed to take delight in pointing out Palin's spokeswoman misspelled Kissinger's last name(my emphasis added throughout):
She even answered a reporter, 'great, great', when asked how it went. Perhaps Kissinger and the governor also discussed Glastnost, because later in the day the campaign issued the following mini manifesto:
We regret the mix-up and were happy that the pool had access to the Governor's meetings with President Uribe and Dr. Henry Kissenger[sic.]
Incidentally, we here at MSNBC did not misspell Dr. Kissinger's name. That version came from Palin's gang.