Tonight on his MSNBC show Countdown, host Keith Olbermann did something really odd. He started a feud with The Dallas Morning News, because an editor there posted a blog that compared Olbermann to Glenn Beck and criticized his coverage of the special election. Olbermann fired back with a quick comment tonight.
Here is the video:
Olbermann said, “Here is the real takeaway from the election of Scott Brown. If the right wing 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, ‘smeared Brown all night, sort of correcting the record in one rant, dismissing the responses to lies he told earlier, and coming back with more name calling.’ Now 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, as if designating them were Mr. Landauer’s exclusive right.”
What did Michael Landauer do to deserve Olbermann’s wrath? He called Olbermann’s coverage of the special election sickening, and compared him to Glenn Beck. Landauer said, “Meanwhile, MSNBC did something far worse. It allowed its main extremist pundit, its answer to Glen Beck, to lead its live news coverage. When Scott Brown made a comment in his speech about how the networks may not even be covering him, I switched over to see Keith Olbermann ranting in a split screen, audio on Olbermann, of course. From what I see today on YouTube, he smeared Brown all night, sorta correcting the record in one rant, dismissing the responses to lies he had told earlier and coming back with more name-calling.”
To his credit, Michael Landauer posted a reply to Olbermann special comment tonight, in which he makes his position clear, “Keith Olbermann attacked me for attacking him for attacking Scott Brown. He says I have infinite space to explain what lie I am referring to. The link I had made it clear. He was lying about Scott Brown reacting to a vulgar comment at one of his rallies. He shared the response of the campaign, but asserted that Brown responded to the comment. There’s no evidence to back that up. And now he continues to assert that Scott Brown participates in a vulgar sexual act himself.”
As far as the comment that Brown supposedly replied to at the rally goes, who knows? Either Landauer or Olbermann could be right, so I don’t either one of them has much of a point there. In fact, I am not very sure what both of them are arguing about.
Apparently, Michael Landauer was expecting some actual journalism from Keith Olbermann, which means that he has probably never seen Olbermann’s show before. Keith Olbermann doesn’t do journalism. He is the liberal/progressive version of O’Reilly and Beck. Olbermann anchoring of major news events has been debated often, due to his inability to call it down the middle.
As far as the teabagger thing goes, Michael Landauer needs to get out from the cave he lives in, and understand the Olbermann was not referring to Brown performing a sexual act, but that the derisive name for the movement is teabagging, which is a name that the protesters themselves came up with.
Overall it seems kind of petty for Olbermann to be going after Landauer. I think Keith Olbermann needs to grow a thicker skin. Congrats to Michael Landauer. Keith Olbermann just made you a little bit famous.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association