Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I Think Olbermann's Referring to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao

Although, like 99.92% of our nation, I don't watch him, failed sportscaster Keith Olbermann got some pixels on the web regarding his 13 minute rant about George Bush and golf. Here's one of the most offending parts:

Mr. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created, includes "cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives?" They are those in — or formerly in — your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes.

Only after some well deserved criticism of Mister Olbermann's denigrating our troops as cold blooded killers and equating them to the terrorists, Keith reacted and clarified his words, but he either lied* about what he meant or he made it worse.

Here is what Keith Olbermann said he meant to say:

No writer nor broadcaster is ever as clear and precise as he thinks he is.

Television goes by quickly and the viewer is not provided a copy of a script.

So it is possible that reasonable viewers might have been confused by exactly to whom I referred, especially considering I edited the original line:

"Mr. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created, includes cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives? They are called your cabinet. And your Pentagon."

During the editing process it seemed that was a little broad, that there appear to be men in both places, General Ricardo Sanchez, former Secretary of State Powell, perhaps even Secretary of Defense Gates, who did not merit inclusion in that list.

Obviously, my use of Mr. Bush's phrase "cold-blooded killers" did not refer to U.S. troops.

Oh, so the cold blooded killers are the cabinet members and the Pentagon. Which ones in the Cabinet? Maybe the lack of reference to the troops was not so obvious, after all. Who works in the Pentagon? Isn't it members of the American Armed Forces? So before the "editing" process, he specifically called the cold blooded killers members of the Armed Forces assigned to the Pentagon. Then he says he didn't mean members of the Armed Forces. Olbermann must think we're really stupid. I return the sentiment.

* Olbermann claimed on the Daily Kos site that very day that he did not edit out any sentence of his diatribe as Johnny Dollar clearly demonstrates.


As I read along I figured he meant Bush's cabinet. I never thought that the troops were the ones to which he was referring.

But then, it is funny, if we blame only the leaders, shouldn't we then excuse the rank and file terrorists as they are merely foot soldiers? Shouldn't we reserve our ire for leaders of the (terrorist) movements?

In any case, using the phrase "who are willing to use violence to achieve political goals" certainly did strike me as ironic years ago when I first heard it..... and it still is.
I'm with you about the phrase. Clauswitz said war was political goals achieved through violence, so it's really not that harsh a criticism to add that to "killers" but to call people cold blooded killers certainly means to me the ones who do the killing, which would leave out the brass in the Pentagon and the Cabinet. But it was ambiguous. Good comment. Thanks.
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