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Monday, October 19, 2009
Examiner's West Unclear On the Concept
Topic: Washington Examiner

It appears that right-wingers are out for revenge over Rush Limbaugh getting squeezed out of a deal to buy the St. Louis Rams, and they're turning their ire toward (who else) Keith Olbermann.

And that's pretty much the way Diana West put in her Oct. 18 Washington Examiner column:

I will start with two words: Keith Olbermann. In addition to his nightly gig on MSNBC -- a numbing blend of Leftist politics and something approaching Tourette's Syndrome -- Keith Olbermann is a co-host of NBC's "Football Night in America," the pre-game show that leads into "Sunday Night Football." Naturally, that would be Sunday night NFL football.

This job makes Olbermann a public face of the NFL. And a public face of the NFL with many filthy things coming out of it. These include his recent pronouncement that Limbaugh claiming his own success paved the way for Glenn Beck is "is like congratulating yourself for spreading syphilis."

We could slap a headline on that -- "NFL talker compares star radio and TV conservatives to venereal disease" -- only trash talk against conservatives doesn't generate mainstream outrage.

Take Olbermann's noxious attack this week on Michelle Malkin for what he characterized as her "total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."

Get that? Olbermann calls an accomplished and best-selling conservative author, commentator, blogger, wife and mother (who also happens to be beautiful) a "big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick," but such dehumanizing venom doesn't count as controversial, or even lightly strain his NBC-NFL connection.

First, West overlooks the obvious point that Olbermann's harsh words weren't directed to anyone in the NFL -- unlike Limbaugh, who infamously complained that Donovan McNabb was overrated as a quarterback because the media wanted a black QB to succeed. That claim has largely gone unsupported, and West curiously fails to reference it.

Second, West falsely suggests that Olbermann bashed Malkin apropos of noting, omitting what it was Malkin did to provoke it. As the Washington Post describes it, Malkin sicced her readers on author Charisse Carney-Nunes regarding a YouTube video of children singing the praises of Barack Obama, even though she had nothing to do with the song:

She knew Malkin had driven criticism of President Obama's back-to-school speech, streamed nationwide, as an attempt to indoctrinate students. Now Malkin was asking about a YouTube video of New Jersey public school children singing and enthusiastically chanting about Obama from a Black History Month presentation.

By nightfall, Carney-Nunes's name was playing on Fox News and voice mails on her home phone and cellphone were clogged with the furious voices of strangers. The e-mails kept pouring in, by the hundreds, crammed with words spam filters try to catch: She was a "nappy-headed" traitor; she would lose her job and go to jail; she was Leni Riefenstahl, the filmmaker who glorified Hitler.


Carney-Nunes, swept up in a viral tornado of vitriol, had nothing to do with the children's song. She was doing an author's reading in the school that day.

Olbermann may have been over the top, but doesn't inciting people against an innocent person deserve some kind of response? West apparently doesn't think so, at least as long as the inciting is done in the service of bashing Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 PM EDT

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