Saturday, 08 March 2008


Ken Berwitz

Payback is a female dog, if you get my drift.  And if anyone ever had some payback coming it is keith olbermann.

olbermann is a relentlessly negative attack dog who smears people on a regular basis.  Bill O'Reilly is the most frequent, and most viciously set upon, target.  But there are plenty of others. 

One of them is Glenn Beck.

O'Reilly has never responded to olbermann by name, no matter how vile his attacks have become.  Presumably this is because they both air from 8 - 9PM weekday nights, and O'Reilly creams olbermann with more than three times the viewership.  

Why respond in kind and give this the appearance of an equal battle, when the other guy, ratings-wise, is a little child tugging at your sleeve.

But Glenn Beck has no such inhibitions.

So when olbermann dishonestly attacked him this week (dishonesty being ongoing premise of olbermann's show), Beck struck back. 

Here are the particulars, courtesy of Noel Sheppard writing for

Glenn Beck Bashes Olbermann's Ties to Media Matters and Think Progress

By Noel Sheppard | March 8, 2008 - 12:56 ET

NewsBusters has frequently reported the deplorable connection between MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and the Clinton front-organizations Media Matters and Think Progress.

On Friday, conservative radio host Glenn Beck marvelously illustrated just how this liberal alliance works, and showed how a few sentences transcribed by Olbermann's minions and taken out of context can easily be used to completely misrepresent their meaning and what the speaker was actually saying.

After being named one of "Countdown's" Worst Persons in the World for comments he made on his CNN Headline News program Tuesday, Beck deliciously explained how Olbermann, Media Matters, and Think Progress worked together to intentionally distort his words (audio available here, liberal website alert!):

GLENN BECK, HOST: You know what I am? You know what I am?

DAN ANDROS, PRODUCER: He doesn't deserve this.

GLENN: I am a multiwinner, multitime winner of worst person in the world. That's what I am, okay?


GLENN: And I think that's something to be proud of. I have just been crowned yet again worst person in the world by Keith Olbermann.

STU: And something -- I mean, you need to take this seriously. He is a smart man.

GLENN: He's a journalist, you know.

STU: Yeah, he's a journalist.

GLENN: He's a journalist. Media Matters I believe types stuff right directly into his TelePrompTer.

STU: No, no, I think this he have to copy and paste it.

GLENN: Do they really?

STU: If the connection is down, they do have to copy and paste it.

GLENN: Here's where -- watch this connection. This is a three-part miniseries that you're going to so enjoy. Here is Keith Olbermann dubbing me the worst person in the world. Go ahead.

KEITH: The bronze to Glenn Beck asking his guest, John McCain's pro apocalypse Hagee say, you've got to wake up, Barack Obama's making people cry and faint and everything else. There are people, and they say this about Bill Clinton who believe that he might even be the antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the antichrist? Why do you ask, Glenn? Worried about somebody giving you competition?

GLENN: Stop. Okay.

STU: (Laughing).

GLENN: That's funny.

STU: Oh, my God. How did he come up with doing the same joke you did? Oh, God, whew.

GLENN: Hang on, hang on. First of all, let's just notice that he was reading it. He didn't play audio from it. Now, why wouldn't he play audio? He had to read it. "And they say, Glenn, you've got to wake up. Don't you know that Barack Obama's making people pass out? So tell me, Pastor Hagee, is he the -- what are the odds that he is the antichrist?" Notice? And notice he also doesn't say Pastor Hagee's response. And notice also that he says that Pastor Hagee is pro Armageddon. I think we all are, aren't we? I mean, bring on the end of the world! Yeah!

All right. So why didn't he play the audio? Maybe because, listen to the audio and tell me if this sounds like a serious question to Pastor Hagee.

GLENN: Let me ask you -- because I get so much e-mail on this and I think a lot of people do and I've only got a couple of seconds. They say, Glenn, you in the media, you've got to wake up. Barack Obama's making people faint and cry and everything else and he's drawing people in and there are people, and they said this about Bill Clinton, that actually believe he might be the antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the antichrist.

PASTOR HAGEE: No chance. He has a lot of charisma. There's a media love affair with him right now. He is a very forgivable political person.

Do you see what Olbermann did here? He completely ignored the set-up to Beck's question. Take a close look at what was conveniently missing from Olbermann's transcript of Beck's statements:

Let me ask you -- because I get so much e-mail on this and I think a lot of people do and I've only got a couple of seconds. They say, Glenn, you in the media...

As such, Beck was posing a question raised by others, and, as can plainly be seen from the video below, doing it in a humorous fashion which gave no credence whatsoever to the notion that Obama is the anti-Christ. In fact, he was clearly belittling it as you can see here:

Not what Olbermann represented on Wednesday, was it? Now, let's look at how Think Progress transcribed Beck's words in its posting on Tuesday (emphasis theirs):

Beck: Is Obama the Antichrist?

Today on his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck asked Pastor John Hagee whether Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is the embodiment of evil:

There are people they say this about Bill Clinton he might be the anti-Christ. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?

Here's how Media Matters reported it Wednesday:

As the blog Think Progress noted, Beck wrapped up his interview with Hagee by asking him if Sen. Barack Obama might be the Antichrist: "There are people -- and they said this about Bill Clinton -- that actually believe he might be the Antichrist. Odds that Barack Obama is the Antichrist?" Hagee responded: "No chance." Beck has previously said of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "I think we may have found our Antichrist and our next president."

Interesting, yes? All three entities ignored Beck's set-up:

Let me ask you -- because I get so much e-mail on this and I think a lot of people do and I've only got a couple of seconds. They say, Glenn, you in the media...

Why do you think ALL THREE entities did that? Well, Beck had the answer:

GLENN: Okay, notice that I'm laughing all the way through it, if you could even see the audio, which, if he played the audio he would have to play the video. If you could actually see the video, you could see that I'm laughing as I say it, as I ask the question. Well, here's the best part, because what picked this up originally was, I don't even know, Think Progress. Think Progress, yes. Let's Think Progress. Do you know Progressive has "Progress" in it? It must be good. Think Progress is the first that picked this up on the blog. They're like, Glenn Beck thinks that maybe Media Matters then picked up the story and put a Glenn Beck think maybe and then they cut and pasted and put it in the TelePrompTer for Keith Olbermann: Glenn Beck thinks maybe he's the worst person in the world! Then Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported the story that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann should report. So if they could just now get Media Matters to alert Think Progress and so Think Progress could report that Media Matters reported that Keith Olbermann reported what Media Matters reported that Think Progress reported originally, it would be a feedback loop that would never end and everything would be perfect in the world.

The reason, the reason this is so unbelievably entertaining is because obviously the truth doesn't matter, but even more is it is so very predictable. In fact, it's so predictable, on what date, Stu?

STU: February 20th, Glenn.

GLENN: On February 20th, on this program I predicted this very thing to happen. Listen to the audio.
Archive: By the way, this is all going to be transcribed by Media Matters today as a completely dead serious conversation.

GRAY: I know, I know.

GLENN: There are going to be media alerts: Glenn Beck announces Obama is the antichrist. You watch, it's going to be everywhere.

And it was. Well, it was on three really credible sources. Think Progress, Media Matters, and Keith Olbermann, which is weird because I say it's three sources when actually it's really only one.
That's correct Glenn: one source directly tied to the Clintons. And nobody in the mainstream media -- especially not the good folks at MSNBC -- seems to care.

I have to say that I am enjoying this payback greatly.  Let olbermann get a taste of the bile he barfs out every night.  Right back in his face. 

And, more enjoyably still, unlike olbermann's version, this is HONEST bile.  Beck isn't using distortion and dishonesty the way olbermann does.

Go Glenn go.


Ken Berwitz

As you probably know, the New York Times "endorsed" John McCain over a month ago.  The reason "endorsed" is in quotation marks is that, since the field has been cleared and Mr. McCain is the presumptive nominee, the Times has done nothing but attack and slime him.

Two weeks ago, for example, it ran the incredibly disgraceful and journalistically unprofessional front page article suggesting an illicit affair between McCain and a younger female lobbyist.  There were no facts presented to support this allegation, only the suspicions of two former McCain campaign workers.  But it was on the paper's front page nonetheless. 

Since then, the Times has run several other stories about Mr. McCain, all of them deprecatory in nature.

And just in case you think  the paper's "we got him the nomination. now we can nail him" attitude is restricted to the executives at Times headquarters, please read the following article from which details an exchange between McCain and Elizabeth Bumiller, the Times reporter who is covering his campaign:

The John McCain Temper Meme

Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 8:28:14 pm PST

Youll never see a more perfect example of the medias left-wing bias than the opening paragraph of this Associated Press article on John McCains exchange with New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller: McCain flashes temper at reporter.

NEW ORLEANS - Republican Sen. John McCain, showing a flash of the temper he is known for, repeatedly cut off a reporter Friday when asked whether he had spoken to Democratic Sen. John Kerry about being his vice president in 2004. Everybody knows that I had a private conversation. Everybody knows that, that I had a conversation, McCain told the reporter. And you know it, too. No. You know it, too. No. You do know. You do know.

Notice anything missing from that little account of the exchange?

Was Bumiller standing there silently while this was going on?

Noshe was doing her best to interrupt McCain. But the AP thinks that only McCains side of this conversation is important.

John McCain may have a temper, and the media may be trying their best to hurt him for it, but I actually like this about McCain. Hes a human being, and hes willing and ready to fight back and show scorn to those who deserve it.

Like New York Times reporters.

UPDATE at 3/7/08 8:58:00 pm:

And if you really want to see how distorted and bizarre the mainstream media coverage of this incident is, watch the video: 'Why Are You So Angry?': McCain Gets Testy Over NYT Reporters Inquiry.

As you can see, showed how biased both the Times and Associated Press are regarding this one minute long non-event.  Do yourself a favor and watch the video.  It's a classic.

Rush Limbaugh has warned Republicans about this for years.  And whatever else he is right or wrong about, he has this one dead on. 

Limbaugh has said over and over again that "These people do not like you, even if they pretend to.  No matter how much deference they show you for a time, the minute they think they can take you down, they will."

Has the New York Times proved him right, or what?


Ken Berwitz

Although it is still early, already there have been several memorable lines from the 2008 presidental campaign.  The most recent is Susan Powers' characterization of Hillary Clinton as "a monster".

But the one that has stuck with me most came from Mitt Romney, when talking about Ms. Clinton's husband:

"The thought of Bill Clinton in the White House for four years with nothing to do scares me to death".

In this connection, it is worth reading today's lead editorial in the New York Post.  If you'll excuse a pun about one aspect of what Romney was probably referring to, it "fleshes" out the kind of activity Mr. Clinton might engage in:


March 8, 2008 -- Another day, another reason for Demo cratic primary voters to demand complete financial transparency from Bill and Hillary Clinton.

And, it seems, another reason for the Clintons to shudder at the prospect.

The Chicago Tribune reports that in 2004, the ex-president spoke at the Manhattan launching party of a new Web-search company partly backed by the Chinese government - in exchange for a donation of 200,000 shares of the Google-wannabe to his charitable foundation.

Two years later, with the company still in the red, he somehow managed to unload the stock for $3.50 per share - well over the mere cents it was judged to be worth - for $700,000 in total profit.

And that number is well above the $150,000 that Clinton typically commands for Manhattan speeches.

Nevertheless, he refuses to say who bought the stock - or why.

One wonders: Why is Bill Clinton so often involved in shady-looking deals?

True, there may not be any new revelations about Arkansas cattle futures, or the White House travel office, or illegal Chinese fund-raisers or . . . the list could go on (though Hillary's campaign wasn't thrilled when Sen. Barack Obama mentioned the scandals the other day).

But the Clintons remain the Clintons, so who knows what might come to light as the campaign progresses?

Particularly regarding Bill's foundation, whose major donors he refuses to reveal.

This is the same foundation, after all, that received a whopping $131 million from Canadian mining mogul Frank Guistra not long after he accompanied Clinton on a visit to the president of Kazakhstan, who quickly awarded Guistra's company a lucrative mining contract.

And a scant two weeks ago, the two were together at an A-list fundraiser in Toronto. "I love this guy," said Clinton.

No doubt.

New-found friends aside, influence-peddling is unseemly for any former president - and downright scandalous for the husband of a sitting US senator.

Can you imagine what kind of favors Bill's cronies would expect if his wife becomes president?

Such concerns are well-founded.

For example, federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library just blocked the release of hundreds of pages of White House documents related to the 140 pardons Bill granted on his last day in office - including that of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife just happened to be a major Clinton fund-raiser.

What might be hidden there?

There's only one thing for the Clintons to do at this point - and that's provide full financial disclosure, immediately.

Bill and Hillary have gamely promised that they'll release their tax returns on April 15 (even though Barack and Michelle Obama released theirs last year).

That's a start, if it actually happens.

Bill, meanwhile, needs to disclose all major donors to his charitable foundation and presidential library - and not just, as he promises, those who give after Hillary becomes president.

The country deserves to know who has paid (is paying?) for the Clintons' ear.

And it should go without saying that such information is especially relevant to Democratic primary voters.

Until recently, both Clintons have enjoyed one of the most amazing free rides in US media history.  No matter how many scandals, or how big they have been, mainstream media have always found a rationale for letting them off the hook.

Whether money scandals (usually the case with Hill and Bill) or pardons or whatever else, it never mattered.  The Clintons didn't do anything wrong, they were just being picked on by those mean  rightwing repugs/rethugs/republikkkans.

But now, in Barack Obama, the mainstream media have someone even more to their political tastes than the Clintons, so we are actually seeing a little real coverage of their past and present activities.  Not a lot, but at least some.  And today's Post gives us the latest chapter (approximately Chapter #54,628).

Bill Clinton with four years in the White House and nothing to do?  Yikes.

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