Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where's the Outrage? Most of All, Where Are Countdown's Viewers?

On one of my rare periods of television watching, I came across the close of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." I did not know what the host was talking about, but I joined the broadcast just as he was calling for one of his fellow journalists to resign because of the bigotry he had supposedly manifested and then supposedly lied about.

Turns out, the alleged bigotry is nothing more than basic monotheism.

From the 12/27/05 Transcript:

John revealed a very ugly side to himself. He is one of those people who think all religions but his are mistaken. You know, the way a lot of these religious nut bag terrorists think.

“I would think,” Gibby said on a syndicated radio show, “if somebody is going to be—have to answer for following the wrong religion, they are not going to have to answer to me. We know who they're going to have to answer to.”

I tell you which religion john thinks is the only one that's right, but what's the difference? It's not the faith that's the issue. It's the intolerance. John Gibson, today's worst person in the world.


that phrase “wrong religion” actually sounds worse in context, isn't it?

It's the same kind of misunderstanding and perversion of religion to which we react in horror when we see it in terrorists who have twisted religion for their purposes. Might have been some commentators on some all access al Qaeda show on al-Jazeera talking about infidels.

And by the way, don't you get this creepy feeling of embarrassment

when somebody is trying desperately to be holier than now promptly

misquotes the Bible? “I serve a God who, with a finger of fire,” you just

heard Janet Parshall say, “wrote 'he will have no other Gods before him.'”

Actually, Miss Parshall, as any of us who have actually read the Bible know, the First Commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” That's not just a difference in pronouns. He's demanding exclusivity from those who believe in him. Nothing in there saying other people can't serve other gods in which they believe.


Now, instead, he's denying he said despicable things, things that where recorded for posterity and worse he is now trying to blame those hateful things on me. Ordinarily, when somebody gets caught saying to something as intolerant as this, their choices are A: to apologize, B: to resign, or C: to make sure there's no tape and try to lie their way out of it.

John, unfortunately, chose D: blame it on somebody else. The audio clip is the definitive answer, and I would hope John would have the self-respect to acknowledge what he said and to leave the airwaves for good, because between the remark and the denial, he has, sadly, forfeited his right to stay here.

Is it any wonder nobody watches TV? The host, whose forceful, declamatory closure to his presentation actually caught my attention, only appears incredibly smarmy in context. There's the prissy demand that ad-lib comments on radio are to be as well-considered and accurate as a fact-checked news article. There's the twenty-first century's equivalent to the argumentum ad Hitlerum, the reductio ad Al-qaedam. There's the casual and exclusionary dismissal of any religion which makes exclusionary claims. Oh, and the trivial demand that the speaker quit his job.

I don't quite know why Dan Abrams backed away from his statements, which seem perfectly orthodox, if a bit pompous. Perhaps he wanted to avoid a heresy trial. Nonetheless, Olbermann's sanctimonious headhunting is one more piece of evidence proving that Tolerance is also a jealous god who has inspired her devotees to nothing more than an empty vanity.

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