During his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann normally chooses three nominees to be awarded the dishonor of that name. His three nominees are labeled as "Worse," "Worser," and "Worst." Citing the Houston Chronicle as a source, Olbermann tagged Barbara Bush with the label of "Worst" because of the earmarked donation that would require the buying of software from her son's company. However, the Countdown host failed to mention that the Houston Chronicle article also relayed, citing former President Bush's chief-of-staff Jean Becker, that the Bush family had given additional donations to the Katrina fund without any requirement as to how they should be spent: "Becker said she wasn't at liberty to divulge how much money the Bush family gave to the hurricane funds, but said the ‘rest of their donation was not earmarked for anything.'" (Transcript from Olbermann's show follows.)
Olbermann went on to attack the former First Lady: "You'd think if a woman has reached her 80th birthday she'd understand that if you make a donation to charity, then make the charity give the donation to your son, it's not a damned donation anymore! Barbara Bush, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"
Below is a complete transcript of Olbermann's attack on Barbara Bush from the Thursday March 23 Countdown show:
Keith Olbermann: "But tonight's winner, Barbara Bush, former First Lady, mother of the President. Houston Chronicle reporting today, and her chief-of-staff confirming, that Mrs. Bush made a generous donation to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, co-chaired by her husband, the former President, and former President Clinton. But there was a catch. The money she donated had to be spent, was earmarked for, was intended only for use for buying computer software programs for schools in Houston, computer software programs for schools in Houston that were sold by her son Neil. You'd think if a woman has reached her 80th birthday she'd understand that if you make a donation to charity, then make the charity give the donation to your son, it's not a damned donation anymore! Barbara Bush, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"