Olbermann Cherry Picks Poll to Bash Tea Party as Violent Threat to Elected Officials

January 18th, 2011 10:34 AM

Keith Olbermann on Monday cherry-picked a new poll to bash the Tea Party as a violent threat to elected officials.

As he discussed new findings in a Daily Kos/Public Policy Polling survey about who thinks violence against the current American government is justified, the "Countdown" host highlighted the Tea Party's number while conveniently ignoring demographic groups that responded at an equal or higher rate (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KEITH OLBERMANN: And today on this Martin Luther King Day, two former national leaders spoke about rhetorical violence. Former Vice President Cheney telling NBC News, quote, "Certainly, there`s nothing wrong with and I wouldn`t be critical about people who were saying, `Look, we need to be careful about our rhetoric. We need to treat one another with respect during the course of our political debates." Mr. Cheney, however, resisting the notion that violent rhetoric could fuel violent action.

Not so former President Clinton. In a statement on MLK Day, saying, quote, "We live in a world where what we say and how we say it can be read, heard or seen by those who understand exactly what we mean and by those whose inner demons take them to a different place."

A new poll taken after the shooting showing only a handful of Americans, 5 percent or 6 percent, calling violence against the current U.S. government justified, but 13 percent of the Tea Party says it is.

That's true, but as Mediaite's Tommy Christopher noted, the highest positive response to this question was 17 percent from folks aged 18-29.

Isn't it newsworthy after what happened in Tucson that the youngest people that can legally purchase guns in this country are three times more disposed to violence against the government than the nation as a whole, especially since the shooter was 22?

Apparently not to Olbermann!

And that's not the only group that polled at either the same or greater rate than the Tea Party.

"Other" under race scored at 14 percent while folks making less than $30,000/year pulled 13 percent. Also of note, under party affiliation, "Independent/Other" polled at 10 percent.

Some more interesting numbers from this poll were that Liberals polled at 7 percent, ahead of moderates and conservatives at 6 percent. This means Liberals not only polled higher than the rest of the country, but also higher than conservatives.

And, although whites and blacks polled at 6 and 5 percent respectively, Hispanics polled at nine percent. When combined with 14 percent for "Other" under race, this means non-white/non-black Americans see violence against the government as being far more acceptable than the entire nation.

Add it all up, and there were some very interesting findings in this poll. Yet Olbermann chose to focus attention exclusively on the Tea Party:

The folks at MSNBC.com also felt the need to highlight the Tea Party, as here's the picture promoting this segment at the cable network's website:

And this is the still shot viewers see before the video plays:

Is this really what qualifies as journalism at MSNBC?

Sadly, yes.