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A Bridge Too Far? Meltdown with Keith Olbermann Part 28

Posted on January 21 2010 2:49 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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In his hysteria over the Democrats losing “the Kennedy Seat” on Tuesday, Keith Olbermann, like Mary Jo Kopechne’s chauffeur, may have gone a bridge too far.

While there is no doubt that NBC (over) pays Olbermann  to be provocative and to be outrageously leftwing to fill a (shrinking) market niche; it will be interesting to see if Keith’s new employer, Comcast, is going to stand for deliberate slander of a prominent public figure.

Today, the invaluable and venerable Media Research Center does a devastating job of disproving every one of Olbermann’s “factual” assertions in his slanderous rant against Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown.

Last night, Olbermann defiantly repeated his smears.  Ironically, after being ridiculed for demanding Brown prove a negative to refute Olbermann’s earlier slander, this time Keith included provably wrong ostensibly supporting evidence which CAN be refuted—and refuted so easily that it should land Olbemann in hot water with his network—providing they have ANY standards left.

Here is the complete rant, with the sourced refutations, courtesy of the MRC’s research (along with a few of my own):

KO: We stay with the Massachusetts special Senate election for tonight’s first “Quick Comment.” Here’s the real takeaway from the election of Scott Brown: If the far right disagrees with it, it’s a lie. The latest is from an assistant editorial page editor at the Dallas Morning News named Michael Landauer who writes that I, quote, “smeared Brown all night sort of correcting the record in one rant, dismissing the responses to lies he had told earlier, and coming back with more name-calling.” Mr. Landauer is writing on the Internet, and, thus, in theory, has an infinite amount of space and time to fill. That was it – no refutations, no specifics, just the word “lies,” as if designating them were Mr. Landauer’s exclusive right.

DF—Check out the moderate Mr. Landauer’s response here.  I predicted shortly after Election ’08 that anyone who opposed the Obama agenda would be called racist.  Not sure I saw coming the day when challenging Keith Olbermann’s lunacy made one part of the “Hard Right.”

KO: I said Mr. Brown was irresponsible. Specifically, he swore at a hall full of high school students in 2007.

MRC--The Countdown host repeated a myth promoted by the liberal blog that, in February 2007, then-State Senator Scott “swore at a hall full of high school students” as he appeared before a group at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts. In reality, Scott was not alleged to have “sworn at” the students, but rather, he angrily responded to and complained about vulgar comments that some students had written about him and one of his daughters – comments which had been posted on the Facebook page of a pro-gay rights teacher at the school – as Scott read the uncensored comments from the site, naming some of the students, in front of the assembly. His actions sparked criticism because he read aloud the profane words as they appeared on the Facebook page, but he was not alleged to have “sworn at” the students.

DF—This is simply inexcusable.  It’s deliberately deceptive and provably wrong.

KO:  Last night, he paraded his daughters out and told the nation they were, quote, “available.”

DF—This is just silly– and sick. Brown is obviously an affable, transparent guy who made an old-fashioned joke about getting his daughters married off.  They hardly looked horrified at the time.

KO:  I said Mr. Brown was homophobic. Specifically, in 2001, he said that two women having a baby together was, quote, “not normal,” and, in 2007, he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

DF—Keep reminding the 70% of the voters who feel the same way, Keith.  Besides, look up “normal.”  Whatever you think of the issue, it’s an unusual circumstance, and therefore not “normal.”

KO:  I said Mr. Brown was racist. Specifically, in September 2008, a fellow guest in a TV interview noted Barack Obama’s mother was married when he was born. Mr. Brown returned to the oldest racial stereotype of them all when he said, quote, “Well, I don’t know about that, huh, huh.”

MRC: As for Olbermann’s claim that Brown was being “racist” in September 2008 when he seemed to hint that Barack Obama’s mother may not have been married when her son was born, Olbermann was quoting from a television appearance in which Brown was debating an unidentified woman, presumably the show’s host, who was pointing out an apparent double standard by conservatives in praising Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol after revelations she had conceived a child at age 17 out of wedlock. Scott apparently thought it relevant to recount that Barack Obama’s mother also gave birth at age 18, leading the unidentified female host to dismiss his point by responding that she was married at the time.

Notably, the timeline of events suggests Obama was conceived while his mother was still 17 and that she and Obama’s father became married three months into her pregnancy, which is quite similar to how Bristol Palin’s situation began.

Scott sought to find similarity between Bristol Palin and Obama’s mother as he responded, “Well, I don’t know about that.” After chuckling lightly, he continued, “But, more importantly, the fact is she had him at 18 years old.”

It is unclear what Brown was thinking about the circumstances of Obama’s birth – whether he was unsure of whether Obama’s parents were already married at the time of his birth or whether he was absent-mindedly alluding to Obama’s out-of-wedlock conception – but it is a stretch to claim Brown’s words as evidence of racism, especially since both Bristol Palin and Barack Obama’s mother were subjects of the conversation and are both white.

KO:  I said Mr. Brown was reactionary. Specifically, that is defined as “extreme conservatism, opposing political or social change.”

I said Mr. Brown was an ex-nude model – specifically, in the June 1982 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

I said Mr. Brown was sexist. Specifically, nine years ago, he said a woman Massachusetts state senator had, quote, “alleged family responsibilities.”

I said Mr. Brown was tea bagging. Specifically, as recently as the 2 nd of this month, Mr. Brown was the star of a fund-raiser with the Greater Boston Tea Party Group at Westborough Mass.

DF: Whatever.  Keep telling yourself  this is big stuff, dude.

KO: Then I said Mr. Brown was a supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. Specifically, this past Sunday, when a man at a Brown rally shouted they should, quote, “shove a curling iron up Martha Coakley’s butt,” Brown responded by answering, “We can do this.” Or, if that remark was unconnected to the shout, he never refuted, condemned, nor disassociated himself from the call to violence and even sexual assault. Scott Brown is an “irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, sexist, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.”

DF—We dealt with the insanity of Olbermann’s assertion of video proof of Brown’s supposed comment, which even the NBC transcriber called “intelligible” already  But MRC, with a day’s worth of research has shown that Olbermann’s fact-checkable assertion is also false.

MRC–But on Monday, January 18, 2010, at, in the article“Massachusetts Gets Ugly,” Ben Smith reported: “Brown called the supporter’s words ‘inappropriate’ and said he hadn’t heard them.”

And also on Monday, according to the Boston Herald’s Daily Briefing blog, in the article, “Brown Denounces Curling Iron Comment,” Hillary Chabot reported: “GOP U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown said a supporter’s remarks about shoving, ‘a curling iron up (Martha Coakley’s) butt,’ were innapropriate today. ‘If I had heard it I would have said something,’ said Brown today.”

DF—This is the game changer.  We are beyond opinion and legitimate argument here.  Olbermann made this statement and his NBC-paid producers allowed this on the air without even checking the BOSTON HERALD?  This is worse than Dan Rather.

KO– And all the rabid right-wing howling about that only helps prove it. The response to lies is to offer the truth. The response to truths you don’t like is to simply call them “lies.”

Keith Olbermann has crossed the line from opinion and spin to deliberate deception.  This is not a question of mere benefit of the doubt or bias toward a particular interpretation of facts.  There is no chance that Olbermann does not know he is lying, and if he does not, he and his research staff, are just too stupid to have paying jobs.

If this really offends Keith Olbermann, he is undoubtedly outraged by the choice of NAMBLA advocate Keith Jennings, who once covered up a minor’s sexual liaison with an exploitative adult,  as “Safe Schools Czar.”   No?

It may actually be time for letters to NBC and Comcast.  This is Dan Rather territory, and Keith’s new bosses need to take a serious look at what they are signing up for with this hate-talking lunatic.

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