How enraged is Keith Olbermann with Joe Lieberman for announcing that he would filibuster a health care bill that contains a government-control provision? Enough that, without presenting any evidence whatsoever, the Countdown host has slyly implied that Lieberman might be on the take from insurance companies in his home state of Connecticut.
You had to listen carefully, but Olbermann slipped the scurrilous suggestion into his diatribe against Liebermann on tonight's Countdown.
Here was Olbermann . . .
KEITH OLBERMANN: Two months ago, Lieberman offered different rationales including the public options's supposed unpopularity with the public. Except a new NBC News poll today finding that 73% of Americans think that people should have the choice of a public option. In his own state, 68% favor the public option, including 83% of Democrats, 73% of independents--and all those Republicans who already have one.
But his own state has other constituents--bigger people, if you will. Connecticut is insurance-company Ground Zero. Lieberman has gotten more than a million dollars in the last five years from the health insurance and medical sectors—a million that we know of.
Given the political contribution reporting requirements, it's hard not to interpret Olbermann's snide "that we know of" as other than a suggestion that Liebermann may have taken something off the books.
Olbermann has the courage of a man who knows that libel laws make it virtually impossible for a public figure like Liebermann to successfully sue him for slander. But that doesn't make the Countdown host's totally unsubstantiated charge any less contemptible.