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:

Keith Olbermann Brags About Getting Scooped

mediaiteworst

On last night’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann named two of my colleagues, Colby Hall and Robert Quigley, in his Worst Persons segment.  The reason for his bestowal of this honor (which, on the heels of a Bill O’Reilly shout-out, ought to have conservatives clamoring for cool Mediaite gear) was this piece of commentary by Quigley, and this followup.  I’ll let Keith explain it to you:

Now, I’m sure Colby and Quig will have their own response to this, but I just wanted to point a few things out.  First of all, Olbermann ends the segment by smugly waiting for an explanation as to how he could have put the kibosh on the ad, since he only heard about this unauthorized ad from that same Mediaite story.  You know what Mediaite’s response should be?  “You’re welcome, Keith!”  Whether you liked Quigley’s commentary or not, he scooped Olbermann about his-own-self fair and square.  (So did the Rachel Maddow Show, apparently.)

Secondly, remember that rule Keith cited about reaching out for comment before you write?  Does he mean like this, when he accused Dan Cooper of conspiring with Fox News to set up a fraudulent Twitter account in Olbermann’s name?  A Twitter account that turned out to be a legit one run by MSNBC?  Olbermann didn’t seek out fact one in this case, an example I bring up only because of my familiarity with it.

So, how did Olbermann set the record straight, several weeks after I, among others, advised his producers of the error?  By issuing the following non-apology pseudo-correction, which was stricken from MSNBC’s archived version of the segment:

Finally, I would point out that none of this changes the substance of what Keith Olbermann was saying in that Special Comment.  It was a fine piece of commentary that I praised when I first saw it.  My question, sir, then, is this, sir: If that Special Comment was worth the paper it was printed on, why on Earth would you deny Change Congress permission to use it?

Keith Olbermann Hits Billo, Abused Children, Way Below the Belt

Let me say, first, that Bill O’Reilly is an enemy of women, an enemy of children, and an all-around content-thieving scumbag.  I believe in redemption, but that piece of shit has a loooong way to go.

But, Keith, WE are supposed to be better than that.  By “we,” I mean all thinking, feeling human beings.  I got into a pitched Twitter battle the other with a liberal because I dared to criticize your over-the-top response to some gentle ribbing, and this is why.  We are supposed to be better than this.

You, sir, owe an apology to every child who has ever been tortured at the hands of a cowardly parent, for, no matter how that child turns out, the abuse is no laughing matter.

I’m referring to your Bill O’Reilly “Best Persons” segment from last night, which begins with this line:

In his nightly round of self-applause last night, designed to drown out the echo of daddy hitting him…

Here’s the video:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Update: The YouTube clip has been removed. Here’s a link to the MSNBC version.

Now, Keith, your value as an oasis of dissent during the Bush years cannot be underestimated, but hyour escalating mean streak threatens to ruin whatever good you have done.

This isn’t a new thing for you.  Almost a year ago, I reported on a Countdown episode in which you tried to shame Sarah Palin by making a donation to the Special Olympics, while also using a “short bus” graphic to mock the McCain campaign earlier in the show.  I contacted MSNBC to see if they’d stop using the graphic, and got no comment.  The “short bus” graphic remained.

Now, again, Bill O’Reilly is much, much worse, but he’s a special kind of prick.  His assertion that a kidnapped child enjoyed his years-long rape, alone, earns him that distinction.

You, however, have sunk to an unacceptable low, and you should apologize.

Thin-Skinned Olbermann Gets Torpedoed by LA Times

Steve Krakauer wondered, Friday, if the LA Times would make Countdown’s “Worst Persons” list for mixing Keith Olbermann’s newscast up with MTV’s “Jackass” in its TV listings.  Sure enough, it did.  In the number 3 spot, Olbermann went off on a long, mean-spirited rant to counter what he imagined to be an insult to his audience size.  Here’s the clip, followed by the Times’ hilariously brief, devastating rejoinder:

Read the rest at Mediaite!

Should the Washington Post Have Rejected Sarah Palin’s Op-Ed?

capntrade

Future former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post today, in which she roundly dismissed the idea of cap-and-trade.  The piece is generating quite a lot of discussion, including rebuttals from John Kerry and Sarah Palin From Several Months Ago.

Leaving aside the merits of present-day Sarah Palin’s argument, two of the responses to her piece got my attention.  First, HuffPo’s Art Brodsky posited the publication of Palin’s essay as further evidence of the decline of the Washington Post:

How does the Post regain its equilibrium? How does it recover not only from this disaster but also from the dismissal of popular blogger Dan Froomkin, whose sacking led to great protests from the readers the Post execs didn’t think existed?

Why, by putting the soon-to-be ex-gov on the op-ed page, one of the prime places of real estate left in the newspaper world? Not to put too fine a point on it — is there any sane person left over in the Post management?

I found the question intriguing, but not for the reasons brodsky gives.  Agree with her or not, cop to her expertise or not, Palin’s interconnectedness with energy policy is indisputable, making her voice newsworthy.

What I found interesting was this take, from my old stomping grounds, Politics Daily:

Palin Op-Ed Blasts Obama: A Prelude to 2012?

In case anyone doubts the presidential ambition of her save-the-economy essay, the last words should clear things up: “Yes we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.” Sarah Palin is serving notice that it’s a long while till 2012, with plenty of time to repair an image or, for that matter, create an entirely different one.

This reminded me of 2 incidents during the 2008 Presidential campaign, in whichthe New York Times rejected op-ed pieces from candidates.  The first rejected op-ed was from the Clinton campaign, a decision with which I disagreed.  The 2nd was from the McCain campaign, using the same rationale under stronger circumstances.

In both cases, the Times objected because they judged that each piece essentially consisted of little more than a campaign press release.

By this standard, if you buy Politics Daily’s premise, the Washington Post could be seen as simply renting its op-ed page to the Palin ’12 campaign for free.  It’s an interesting, but thin, premise.

Rather than attacking Palin’s standing or expertise, Brodsky might have been better served making his point on the merits of the piece.  While she attacks the idea of cap and trade that she campaigned on months ago, she presents absolutely no alternative to that policy’s central purpose, fighting global climate change.  As John Kerry points out, she fails to address it at all.

Does this fit in with the Washington Post’s editorial guidelines for op-ed pieces?  Let’s see:

Among the things we look for are timeliness (is it pegged to something in the news?), resonance (is it something that will interest Post readers?) and freshness of perspective (is it an argument we haven’t heard many times before?). You don’t need to have special expertise in a topic. But explaining how your background or experience informs your point of view can make for a more effective op-ed. You also don’t need to have an important title — and having an important title doesn’t mean we’ll publish your op-ed. In fact, because we realize that senators, business leaders, heads of state and the like have access to various platforms where they can express their views, we hold them to a particularly high standard when considering whether to publish them in The Post.

While Brodsky’s premise is wildly overstated, it’s tough to argue that Palin’s piece meets this bar, and tougher to argue that her clickability didn’t play a major part in the Post’s decision to carry it.

On the other hand, in the HuffPo and Politics Daily articles, both authors make the observation/assumption that Palin likely used a ghostwriter in composing the WaPo piece. This may be ignorance on my part, but I don’t think that’s a fair assumption. While it is quite common for politicians to use ghostwriters for memoirs and speeches, I’ve read nothing to indicate this is true of op-ed pieces. Even if it is a fair assumption, it isn’t one I see made about other politicians’ op-ed pieces. Either it’s commonplace, and not worth mentioning, or it isn’t, and thus worth checking.

I asked Governor Palin, via Twitter, if she could confirm that she had written the piece. She hasn’t responded, as she probably gets a million tweets an hour, but it was worth a shot. In any case, it was an insulting assumption, made without basis. It’s the kind of thing that feeds into Palin’s persecution complex, whereas criticism on the merits would be more than sufficient.

So, 13 Minutes of Teabagging is OK, But 1 Blowjob…

This is the clip that everyone’s buzzing about.  Tee-frakkin’-hee, Marcy Wheeler said “blowjob” on cable.  Look, I get censoring language on the networks, but I pay for cable so I can hear the cursing!  And blowjob isn’t even cursing.

Yeah, Shuster feels faint about the blow-j after this cocky tour de force:

What I found more interesting was my old pal, Matt Lewis, conceding that Bush got away with politicizing the DOJ, in order to argue that correcting that was also politicizing the DOJ.  Nicely done, Matt.  They never saw it coming.  Get it? Coming?

Today’s Quickies and…the Return of Quickies

Obama’s Little Helper: Sex Scandals – Jonathan Alter runs down all the ways the President has benefitted from OPOPP (Other People’s OPP), but I was particularly amused by his take on the ripples of the Lewinsky affair, a kind of Venus Butterfly Effect. (h/t Scoop44)

Joe the Plumber is Back! – The money quote is about having Sen. Chris Dodd “strung up,” but I was more amused by his Terminator-esque take on our Founding Fathers, who apparently came from the future to stop communism and socialism.

Is Wall-to-Wall Jacko Coverage “Off the Wall?” – This guy thinks so.

Stop the Presses! Democrats Undercutting Selves! – In other news, Sky Rumored to be Blue.
HuffPo’s (Unintentional?) Gay Porn Headline – But not as bad as their hed on passing the budget, “Government Gets Money Shot.”

What the Unemployed Have to Watch While You’re at Work Dicking Around on Youtube – HuffPo’s hilarious roundup of The Week in Hoda & Kathy Lee, “America’s most useless hour of news.”  Better than SNL.