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."
Regarding Obama’s claim that Kissinger’s views on Iran are in line with his own, as referenced by Newsbusters contributor Warner Todd Huston, the former Secretary of State has voiced his disapproval of Obama’s description of his views. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard quoted Kissinger on his blog: "Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the 11:00 edition of the of the Friday, September 26, Countdown show on MSNBC:
RACHEL MADDOW: But honestly, I think because this is the first of three debates; because it was very long and very dense, and had no breaks -- probably the way most people are going to interpret this is with the juiciest sound bites that get played over and over again, and honestly I think the juiciest soundbites in this debate were attacks by Barack Obama against John McCain. When he said over and over again -- on Iraq, you were wrong. You said we would be greeted as liberators -- you were wrong. You said it would be easy -- you were wrong. That was probably the best soundbite of the entire night. That may be the thing that lives on past this debate.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Or, perhaps, throwing Henry Kissinger back in Senator McCain’s face, which is physically a tough act to do certainly.