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Media Matters Again Fuels Olbermann's Worst Persons Segment

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Posted on August 19 2009 8:33 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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On August 11 I blogged about how material from progressive media “watchdog” group Media Matters was ending up in leftist demagogue Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World segment.

At 1:32 this afternoon Media Matters posted an item highlighting a clip from The Rush Limbaugh Show. “Boss” Limbaugh played a popular clip from  a recent town hall meeting held by Congressman Barney Frank. In the exchange Frank mocked the questioner for her hyperbolic and totally unacceptable use of Nazi rhetoric to describe President Obama’s healthcare “reform” efforts. (And on this point he’s exactly right. Nazi references shouldn’t be tolerated unless there’s actual genocide going on.)

Here’s a video of the popular retort:

In Limbaugh’s talk radio commentary on the exchange he made a clever — albeit admittedly juvenile — joke about Frank’s invocation of spending time on other planets.

Isn’t it an established fact that Barney Frank himself spends most of his time living around Uranus?

Confession: I laughed when I heard it. Sure, it’s a cheap shot. Yeah, it’s the kind of thing we learned in third grade. And yes, it’s slightly homophobic. But funny is funny. When it comes to humor I don’t care from which ideology a joke emerges. If it makes me laugh then it’s acceptable.

But apparently Keith Olbermann wasn’t laughing when he named “Boss” Limbaugh the World’s Worst Person for these exact remarks:

You know what? I laughed at Olbermann too. His “Boss” Limbaugh impression is actually pretty amusing.

But far funnier than Limbaugh or Olbermann was the figure mentioned near the end of Worst Persons:

You know the late Bill Hicks’ description of Limbaugh don’t you? “Doesn’t Rush Limbaugh look like…” I can’t even quote it, you’ll have to go listen to it yourself.

Olbermann wishes more than anything that he could quote Hicks’s XXX-rated comedy routine (track 23 off of Hicks’ Rant in E-Minor, his best comedy CD and a gift given to me years ago by my dear friend Andy Bond.) It’s the single greatest satire of Limbaugh ever done. Nothing Olbermann could ever do would come close. Any Limbaugh fan with a sense of humor should appreciate the routine. After all, funny is funny.

rant in e minor

I’d just invoked Hicks in my post Monday about Media Matters. What a coincidence that Olbermann would mention him here! What isn’t a coincidence though is that this Limbaugh clip would make it into Worst Persons. This is the second instance in the past few weeks in which I’ve found a clear instance of Media Matters highlighting a clip in the morning or the afternoon and then Olbermann using it that night. And that about does it. Case closed: from Media Matters to Olbermann to millions of viewers. That’s one joke that doesn’t make me laugh.

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