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Sleazebags Talk Teabags: Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Part 16

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Posted on November 18 2009 2:11 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Keith Olbermann, who imperiously announces frequently that his is the number one news show in its time slot—despite drawing about 1/7 of the audience of The O’Reilly Factor—because he claims he is the “only real news program” in the schedule, sank to a new low (or revisited an old one) with his supposed “Number 1 Story of the Day” last night.

Olbermann devoted a full segment to a giggling, sleazy riff on the term “tea bagger,” with his smarmiest near-daily guest, the never-labeled corporate lobbyist Richard Wolffe.  The excuse?  That “tea bagger” was runner up for Word of the Year in the Oxford Dictionary.  (If you don’t know the obscene definition of the word, congratulations.  The Urban Dictionary has the definition  if you think you need to know.)

I’ll save some of the scummy back and forth for the second page for those who want to “read more.”  But after some pretty bad locker-room banter, as Olbermann claimed simultaneously that the protesters coined the term for themselves and that Countdown should be given credit by Oxford University Press, Olbermann and Wolffe got “serious.”  Seriously.  I guess…

OLBERMANN:  On a more serious note, as the news of the day becomes history, what will tea baggers become most known for?  For fracturing the Republican Party or offering a welcome home to a new and ugly strain of racism?  What is this word going to mean 100 years from now?

WOLFFE:  Here is a point of similarity with Sarah Palin.  There is this uncontrollable factor, undisciplined factor about the whole movement, which I think is a kind of weapon of mass destruction about the Republican Party.

Yes, as Independents go 2 to 1 against Democrats, it’s the Republicans who have been hurt by the Tea Party movement.  Keep telling yourself that, guys, and your smirky elitism is going to do wonders for your side, too.

Olbermann “teased” the segment with a smirk and a lie:

OLBERMANN:  The Republicans have, for many months now, put on a pedestal a hard right group whose name unintentionally evokes an action that cannot be described on television.  In our number one story in the countdown, the GOP has now, with a little help from us, officially co-opted the word “tea bagger.”  It is runner of for Oxford‘s word of the year.

It was Republicans who embraced tea bag as their symbol with tax day protests of President Obama‘s agenda, and it was Republicans who cluelessly referred to tea bagging as if it had no prior meaning. It was they who openly used the phrase that begged for double entendres.

The Republican talking heads like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have pushed their own vision of tea bagging down the throats of the original tea baggers who were in fact Libertarian supporters of Ron Paul.  Cincinnati tea baggers got a Boehner endorsement from the House Minority leader.

And the nation‘s tea bagging, of course, impossible without this man, Dick Armey, at the head of it.

Actually, all self-description by the protesters was always in terms of Tea “Party.”  They sent tea bags as a symbol.  it was David Shuster’s unbelievably obscene Countdown Segment on the eve of the April 15 protest that started the “tea-bagger” and “tea-bagging.”

Watch at the risk of your own stomach or blood pressure; and take care to wash your brain thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap after viewing: (Note that 2 minutes in, David Shuster falsely narrates the term into a Neil Cavuto quote in his read, though it is in brackets in the text—and that’s the LEAST sleazy part of the bit.)

Of course, Olbermann’s overstuffed ego can’t resist taking credit, so he immediately contradicts his just-uttered lie:

OLBERMANN:  “Tea bagger: as part of the political fabric.  I think “countdown” deserves a footnote of credit, if credit is the word for it, for that particular evolution of etymology, don‘t you?

WOLFFE:  I think my friends at Oxford may have a tea fixation, at least I hope it‘s that and not the other thing.

(LAUGHTER)  In any case, there is this tradition at the OUP, the Oxford University Press, that you can write in and claim usage, first usage, which you may or may not want to do.

OLBERMANN:  With all due respect to Oxford University Press, its definition has scrubbed away the prior meaning of the word, and in so doing, the attendant cluelessness of those who embraced this word in its new meaning, is this going to impede future historians both of the language and of the politics of our time?

WOLFFE:  Well, it‘s a family book.  I suppose there‘s that consideration out there. (LAUGHTER)

And on it went.

The after the Shuster scumfest, Anderson Cooper picked up on the phrase in his coverage of the April 15 Tea Party, and apparently the sage of political propriety David Gergen not only was familiar with the term, he found the smutty joke hilarious:

Of course, part of what makes this so revealing about these smug wannabe-elite media types, is that they are so sure that any sophisticated person would know the obscure parlance of  “teabagging.”  They think it reveals the people in the streets as rubes.

It tells us far more about the ugly side of the perfectly coiffed talking heads that want us to invite them into our homes every day.  There is only one justification for even these depraved individuals in thinking this is appropriate under the auspices– even a spinoff– of what was the home of the Huntley and Brinkley Report, and once one of America’s proudest news brand names.

That reason?  Pure blind hatred.

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