It isn't exactly giving away a state secret to say that Keith Olbermann is a creepy, ambition-crazed, ego maniacal hypocrite whose shtick used to garner himself fame and fortune - assuming the role of a Moonbat Howard Beale - is as pathetic as the stories his ex-girlfriends tell about his amorous "abilities". Rare is the conservative blog that at one time or another that doesn't find itself drawn to some Olbermann outrage and then picking him apart, piece by gooey piece.
Despite some degree of apparent squeamishness about him, to the inhabitants of the political nether lands who inhabit such places as the Democratic Underground, the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post, of course he is the answer to Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter all contained in one bug-eyed package. But it looks like Olbermann's inability to stick to anything even remotely resembling a principle has finally run afoul of some on the Left. In a Salon column that ran yesterday, author, litagator and columnist Glenn Greenwald took on Olbermann from the Left and the end result wasn't pretty.
What got Greenwald's hackles up was Olbermann's mendacity on the issue of Barack Obama's position on the FISA and telcom amnesty bill. Greenwald pegs how Olbermann's well cultivated outrage on FISA seems to be built on shifting sands when Obama essentially takes the same position on the issue that Bush does.First, his reaction to Bush's, before knowing about Obama's, stand:
The planet-cracking rant can be seen below:Greenwald cuts Olbermann no slack when his take on FISA changes when Obama decides to basically agree with Bush (at least until he decides not to):
On January 31 of this year, Keith Olbermann donned his most serious face and most indignant voice tone to rail against George Bush for supporting telecom immunity and revisions to FISA. In a 10-minute "Special Comment," the MSNBC star condemned Bush for wanting to "retroactively immunize corporate criminals," and said that telecom immnity is "an ex post facto law, which would clear the phone giants from responsibility for their systematic, aggressive and blatant collaboration with [Bush's] illegal and unjustified spying on Americans under this flimsy guise of looking for any terrorists who are stupid enough to make a collect call or send a mass email."
Olbermann added that telecom amnesty was a "shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of Fascism -- the merged efforts of government and corporations that answer to no government." Noting the numerous telecom lobbyists connected to the Bush administration, Olbermann said:
This is no longer just a farce in which protecting telecoms is dressed up as protecting us from terrorists conference cells. Now it begins to look like the bureaucrats of the Third Reich, trying to protect the Krupp family, the industrial giants, re-writing the laws of Germany for their benefit.Olbermann closed by scoffing at the idea that telecom amnesty or revisions to FISA were necessary to help National Security:There is not a choice of protecting the telecoms from prosecution or protecting the people from terrorism, Sir. This is a choice of protecting the telecoms from prosecution or pretending to protect the people from terrorists. Sorry, Mr. Bush, the eavesdropping provisions of FISA have obviously had no impact on counter-terrorism, and there is no current or perceived terrorist threat the thwarting of which could hinge on an email or phone call that is going through Room 641 of AT&T in San Francisco.
Strong and righteous words indeed. But that was five whole months ago, when George Bush was urging enactment of a law with retroactive immunity and a lessening of FISA protections. Now that Barack Obama supports a law that does the same thing -- and now that Obama justifies that support by claiming that this bill is necessary to keep us Safe from the Terrorists -- everything has changed.
Last night, Olbermann invited Newsweek's Jonathan Alter onto his show to discuss Obama's support for the FISA and telecom amnesty bill (video of the segment is here). There wasn't a syllable uttered about "immunizing corporate criminals" or "textbook examples of Fascism" or the Third Reich. There wasn't a word of rational criticism of the bill either. Instead, the two media stars jointly hailed Obama's bravery and strength -- as evidenced by his "standing up to the left" in order to support this important centrist FISA compromise:
OLBERMANN: Asked by "Rolling Stone" publisher, Jann Wenner, about how Democrats have cowered in the wake of past Republican attacks, Senator Obama responding, quote, "Yeah, I don't do cowering." That's evident today in at least three issues . . .Senator Obama also refusing to cower even to the left on the subject of warrantless wiretapping. He's planning to vote for the FISA compromise legislation, putting him at odds with members of his own party . . . But first, it's time to bring in our own Jonathan Alter, also, of course, senior editor of "Newsweek" magazine.Good evening, Jon.
JONATHAN ALTER, NEWSWEEK: Hi, Keith.
OLBERMANN: "Yeah, I don't do cowering." This is not just the man, but the campaign?ALTER: Yes. This is part of the message that is consistent across the last couple weeks and it comes down to one word -- strength. The United States is not going to elect a president that perceives to be as weak. You look weak if you're flip-flopping. You look weak if you're not taking actions that seem to be securing the United States against terrorists. And you look weak if you don't fight back against your political adversaries.
OLBERMANN: But this cuts, I mean, this terminology cuts in more than one direction here. Not cowering to Republicans is one thing in the Democratic, recent Democratic history, it's a thing that I think anybody who has a "D" near their name cheers, but not cowering to the left, not going along with the conventional, the new conventional thinking on the FISA bill, that's something altogether different, isn't it?
The dangers of the kind of politics Olbermann practices doesn't escape Greenwald as he notes that ejecting all honest and rational analysis can only lead to moral corruption and the acceptance of policies that are antithetical to what you believe actually works best for the people of the country, which is supposed to be the whole point of politics in the first place.
What Greenwald misses however is the fact that the whole Democratic Party is afflicted with the same condition that Oblermann has. But frankly, how can they not be? Barack Obama is a man of no particular knowledge or experience for the job for which he's running. He changes positions as frequently as Olbermann turns off girlfriends. The Left, which has invested him with near God-like powers, not to mention given him the Democratic nomination can either carry on the fantasy and follow him down whatever contradictory roads he chooses to follow next or jump ship on him. And you don't jump ship on Jesus.
Greenwald hasn't just written a column that deconstructs Keith Olbermann but deconstructs the whole Left side of the electorate as well. Sorry, Mr. Greenwald but Keith Olbermann is no aberration. Keith Olbermann is the Left.
But we on the Right have known that for quite some time.