Throwback Thursday: Will the US Senate Condemn Keith Olbermann, Just as It Condemned

2007-09-12BetrayUsOn Thursday, the US Senate voted 72:25 to resolve that it will “strongly condemn” and “specifically repudiate” any attack on General David Petraeus and the Army in which he serves so ably. That was a clear vote, by nearly three-fourths of the Senate, to condemn for its despicable full-page attack on Petraeus, which appeared in The New York Times on September 10.

Yet on September 12, Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard observed that Keith Olbermann had expressed himself by using the exact same “betray us” smear on his “Countdown” show, way back on August 16:

Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? The Petraeus report, less Petraeus, more betrayaeus (ph). The definitive assessment of the surge will not only not be written by General Petraeus, it will not be presented by General Petraeus. Secretaries Gates and Rice will be the messengers. The White House insists General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will be there to testify.

As a Nielsen sidelight, it’s interesting, of course, that when Olbermann said those hateful words, nobody noticed—what’s that about a tree falling in a forest and not making any ratings noise? But then, which quite possibly got the attack-Petraeus idea from Olbermann, took the same smirking locution, and put it in the Times—which does have a substantial audience and impact.

And the rest is history, now enshrined in the Congrssional Record. All those Senators who voted for the resolution ought to be proud of themselves, and all those who voted against it ought to be ashamed of themselves—and yes I mean you, Hillary Rodham Clinton. You’ve now made it clear where you stand, if the choice is between lefty billionaires and bloggers and our armed forces.

But of course, history never ends, until the final chapter is resolved and written. If is to be “strongly condemned” and “specifically repudiated” for its hateful speech, shouldn’t Olbermann suffer the same fate?

Cable Gamers and ordinary citizens should tell Olbermann, in no uncertain terms, what they think of such verbal hit-and-run.

But because Olbermann is obviously a rhetorical recidivist, there should be further action, too, beyond changing the channel: Specifically, why does MSNBC get away with keeping such a vicious person on the air? And even let him moderate presidential debates?

And let’s go further, in the spirit of true accountability—no more hiding behind layers of corporate bureaucracy! Why does MSNBC parent company NBC-Universal get away with ignoring Olbermann’s antics? And what about NBCU’s owner, General Electric? Where’s the accountability for corporate chieftains Jeff Zucker and Jeff Immelt? How long will we—viewers, shareholders, citizens—let those highly paid corporate suits get away with pleading ignorance about these diatribes by one of their employees? Don’t rich media execs have some sort of obligation to elevate the discourse, not degrade it?

Will the American people really let all Olbermann & Co. get away with the rhetorical assassination, directly and indirectly, of a great American? If Olbermann could be made to behave himself, the “civility” that liberals say that they prize would be greatly enhanced.

C’mon MSM: Do your part, for once, to help America.

Reposted from The Cable Game, 21 September 2007

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