Keith Olbermann Invites Occupy Protesters To Andrew Breitbart Event

On Thursday night’s edition of Current TV’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, host Keith Olbermann delivered another in his series of “Andy Breitbart Video Rage Mashups,” in which Andrew Breitbart‘s meltdown (not a literal meltdown; Andrew Breitbart is a person, not a nuclear facility) at CPAC is edited together with scenes from Hollywood movies, in this case, The Big Lebowski. While introducing the segment, Olbermann said that Breitbart would be appearing at a Republican event at the San Marino Club in Troy, Michigan on Saturday, “in case any local Occupy groups would like to see what kind of self-immolation they can inspire this time.”

Olbermann wasn’t suggesting that Breitbart would literally set himself on fire, of course. He was using wordplay and hyperbole to convey the message that Breitbart’s behavior toward the Occupy protesters in Washington, DC had been explosive in a metaphoric sense, and that perhaps the appearance of Occupy protesters in Michigan would precipitate a similar outburst.

He went on to instruct the Occupy groups to “bring your videotape recordings,” by which he likely meant any video recording device. Most common video recording devices don’t use tape anymore, but rather, some form of digital memory, and he seems to have misspoken when he said “recordings,” and likely meant to say “recorders.”

The segment was part of Olbermann’s regular Worst Persons segment, in which he uses wordplay and hyperbole on three selected people each day, to convey the message that he views their actions negatively. He doesn’t literally think they’re the worst people in the world. The others to be so honored (using “honored” in the sarcastic sense; being named “Worst Person” is generally not considered an honor) last night were Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris (R–Allen County) for his political attack on the Girl Scouts,and Wisconsin state Rep. Joel Kleefisch for casting votes on behalf of his absent colleagues, a violation of Wisconsin Assembly rules.

Here’s the clip, from Current TV:

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Whitebart: Why is the Media Giving Andrew Breitbart a Pass?

I’ve watched the Shirley Sherrod story unfold from pretty early on, and the thing that strikes me now, after watching the umpteenth talking head panel about how the USDA, NAACP, and the White House rushed to judgment (on ABC’s This Week) is how the man who pulled the pin on this hand grenade, Andrew Breitbart, is being given a near-total pass. The lion’s share of this shit sandwich, meanwhile, is being eaten by the Obama administration and the NAACP. Even Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, despite all evidence to the contrary, has seen his share fed to the administration by virtue of his underling’s bullying name-drop when ordering Shirley to resign. What the fuck is going on?
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Exclusive: CPAC 2010 Photos #CPAC10

It’s been a week since I attended my first CPAC 2010 event, and I’m just now getting to put up the many pictures I took at the conference. I decided to give them each their own page, rather than one long entry that would take forever to load. Enjoy!

Exclusive Photos: Ed Morrissey and Mary Katherine Ham Eating…Arugula!!! #CPAC10

While it’s not on the same level as the end of Soylent Green, I’d say it at least stacks up with Animal Farm. MK pointed out that she can enjoy arugula while still recognizing the political problem it poses. And I can do this.


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ACORN Worker From Pimp Video Reported Incident to Police?

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Someone tweeted the link to this AP story this morning (I don’t remember who), and wondered if Fox News would be reporting this.  The headline is “Police: ACORN worker in video reported couple.”

With a hed like that, I wouldn’t expect Fox News to report that story, but if they actually read the story, I’m thinking they would.  As a defense of ACORN, this story is a miserable failure.  Here’s the meat:

National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling.

Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.

So, he didn’t actually “contact authorities” as much as he called up his cousin for advice.  And, he waited 2 days to do it.  Not exactly a slate-wiper.

No, the real defense of ACORN is that this story isn’t what the right is saying it is, and that its trajectory is a dangerous one for anyone the right doesn’t like.

ACORN isn’t perfect, that much is clear, and they’ve done a poor job of fending off this attack.  However, the willingness of the media, and the US Senate, to accept the findings of a partisan activist and his sponsor is truly frightening.  That willingness, according to a just-released study, extends back as far as the eye can see on the ACORN story.

Rachel Sklar posted a good summary of that report yesterday, which brings into stark relief that which most reasonable people who followed the 2008 campaign already know: coverage of the ACORN story has been uniformly unfair.  This report just gives us the numbers to prove it.

The shame of the current iteration of the ACORN smear is that the media, and the US Senate, have allowed ACORN’s enemies to be both prosecutor and judge, letting James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart decide which evidence can be seen, and how to interpret it.

Sure, O’Keefe’s tapes are damning, but he and Breitbart have refused to answer legitimate questions about O’Keefe’s “investigation.”  While ACORN has been defensive and evasive, O’Keefe and Breitbart have been given a pass for stonewalling, and even for apparent lying.  They went on record as saying that O’Keefe wasn’t turned away at any ACORN offices, a claim contradicted by police.  While Breitbart is happy to comment on self-serving aspects of this story, he refused to respond to questions raised about O’Keefe’s selective editing of transcripts, or O’Keefe’s funding.

The point is, O’Keefe’s reporting, as it has been presented, wouldn’t have gotten past any news editor in the country.  Breitbart is well aware of this.  He told me in a phone interview that his “strategy” of tightly controlling information about O’Keefe’s investigation, and rolling them out on a careful timetable, was specifically designed to force the mainstream media to cover this story.  In his view, he’s getting around some kind of bias.  In mine, he’s circumnavigating the editorial process, and doing it beautifully.

What’s more incredible is the contrast between the media’s response to O’Keefe’s tightly-controlled, factually light videos, and the work of Michael Moore, an activist filmmaker who is much more transparent about his methods.

Even more disturbing than that is the contrast between the Senate’s response to the decades-old health care crisis, versus the days-old ACORN crisis.

The problems at ACORN may, indeed, run deep, but we’ll probably never know, since they’ve been prematurely convicted in the public eye.  What we do know is that the Democrats in the Senate and the mainstream media have set a course for our country to be led around by the nose by the likes of James O’Keefe.  I guess the pimp costume really worked on them.

Correcting the Record on Andrew Breitbart and Karoli

An unintentional breach of privacy and confidentiality has occurred which has caused me to have to kill a story that I was working on.  Continue reading

Victoria Jackson and Sen. Jim DeMint Raise Nazi Spectre

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Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Senator Jim Demint, in a talk at the National Press Club, compared Obama’s America to Nazi Germany:

Part of what we’re trying to do in “Saving Freedom” is just show that where we are, we’re about where Germany was before World War II where they became a social democracy.

Whoah, there, Jim, wasn’t Germany’s bigger problem a guy named Hitler?  We don’t have anyone like that, do we?  Actually, DeMint has some pretty credible support on this.  Here’s noted political scientist and SNL alum Victoria Jackson talking about health care reform, and finishing his thought:

Hitler did this. He killed the weak, the sick, the old, and babies and races/religions he didn’t like. Hitler also controlled the media. (Where’s the public debate between scientists on “Climate Change/Global Warming?”) Hitler had the VW bug invented as the state car. What will O’s nationalized car be?

Wingnut comparisons of Barack Obama to Hitler are nothing new.  What I love here is the synchronicity, the juxtaposition.  DeMint tries the time-worn cliche of making superficial, clinical comparisons to the Nazis, and has Victoria Jackson there to (coincidentally) extend the metaphor for him.

Don’t these folks see how simultaneously comical and trivializing these comparisons are?  It’s like saying that mosquitoes are a Holocaust on your arms and legs.

Still, it’s nice that DeMint got Victoria Jackson to stand next to him on this.  Maybe the GOP can get Carrot Top as their next communications director.

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but maybe these folks are watching too much Star Trek.

Update: Below the Beltway makes a good point, outside my thesis, about a somewhat gentler Nazi reference by Al Gore.