Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obamamann Oddball - Part Deux!

UPDATED: 27-JUN-08
A few weeks ago DWSUWF noted the glaring contrast between Keith Olbermann's coverage of Clinton and Obama on a similar issue. We compared classic high dudgeon Keith Olbermann "Special Comment" excoriating Hillary Clinton for failing to sufficiently denounce Geraldine Ferraro for her inappropriate comments, and two days later sitting down with Jonathan Alter to soft pedal Barack Obama's virtually identical response to a similar problem with Jeremiah Wright. Here we go again.

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald and his column today "Keith Olbermann: Then and Now", where he analyzes Olbermann's remarkably similar and truly jaw-dropping hypocritical coverage on the FISA question. I won't even try to add to his commentary, Glenn says everything that needs to be said:

"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 immunity 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."...

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..."
Read the whole column at Salon. I can't add to it, but I can do one thing that Glenn did not - post both video clips so you can witness one of the most gratuitous displays of world-class journalistic ass-kissing ever seen.

Damning George W. Bush for supporting the "fascist" FISA Telco Immunity provision:



Praising Barack Obama for "not cowering" before the left and bravely taking a stand in support of FISA, even with the Telco Immunity provision intact:



Excuse me. I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. What else can be said? This has to even be embarrassing for Obama. I mean, even messianic figures prefer their sycophants to display their devotion in a more subtle, restrained manner.

Back to Glenn for concluding comments:

"What's much more notable is Olbermann's full-scale reversal on how he talks about these measures now that Obama -- rather than George Bush -- supports them. On an almost nightly basis, Olbermann mocks Congressional Democrats as being weak and complicit for failing to stand up to Bush lawbreaking; now that Obama does it, it's proof that Obama won't "cower." Grave warning on Olbermann's show that telecom amnesty and FISA revisions were hallmarks of Bush Fascism instantaneously transformed into a celebration that Obama, by supporting the same things, was leading a courageous, centrist crusade in defense of our Constitution.

Is that really what anyone wants -- transferring blind devotion from George Bush to Barack Obama? Are we hoping for a Fox News for Obama, that glorifies everything he says and whitewashes everything he does? [...] The real danger is that those who defend Obama the Candidate no matter what he does are likely to defend Obama the President no matter what he does, too. If we learn in 2009 that Obama has invoked his claimed Article II powers to spy on Americans outside of even the new FISA law, are we going to hear from certain factions that he was justified in doing so to protect us; how it's a good, shrewd move to show he's a centrist and keep his approval ratings high so he can do all the Good things he wants to do for us; how it's different when Obama does it because we can trust him? It certainly looks that way. Those who spent the last five years mauling Bush for "shredding the Constitution" and approving of lawbreaking -- only to then praise Obama for supporting a bill that endorses and protects all of that -- are displaying exactly the type of blind reverence that is more dangerous than any one political leader could ever be."


UPDATE: 27-JUN-08

More importantly, as Greenwald notes:
"Two Democratic Senators actually fighting against the FISA bill -- Russ Feingold and Chris Dodd -- succeeded in blocking a vote in the Senate until after the July 4 recess (the vote is now scheduled for July 8). Jesselyn Radack -- the DOJ lawyer who became the whistleblower concerning the Bush administration's treatment of John Walker Lindh -- writes here about this success. It's only a temporary reprieve, but delays of this sort can enable further opposition to build and/or allow unanticipated events to intervene."
Stay tuned.



2 comments:

Chad said...

Brilliant analysis. Olbermann’s hypocrisy isn’t surprising. He drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago and he’s been hooked ever since. He’s every bit as dangerous as the neoconservatives he rakes every night on his show.

But what really appealed to me was the systematic way Olbermann pimped Obama. First there's Obama's: "Yeah, I don't do cowering." Then there's Alter speaking of Obama: "He's always been a politician; he'll always be a politician," to which I add my own little soundbite: "Yeah, that's precisely what scares me."

As for Olbermann, it's hard to believe that this guy is pulling down six figures a year for being a bad over-actor who reads well. He’s also a hypocritical, melodramatic, tripe vending, neo-liberal buffoon. But then that fits MSNBC's modus, doesn’t it? Too bad he's not even entertaining. Perhaps since he, along with Chris Matthews, believes the sun rises and sets in Barack Obama's shorts, they might consider throwing themselves under the O'Train as it makes its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I think it would be a fitting tribute to the incoming prez. And from a purely pragmatic point of view it's not a bad way to grease the rails, so to speak.

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Olbermann’s full-scale reversal on how he talks about these measures now that Obama — rather than George Bush — supports them. On an almost nightly basis, Olbermann mocks Congressional Democrats as being weak and complicit for failing to stand up to Bush lawbreaking; now that Obama does it, it’s proof that Obama won’t “cower.” Grave warning on Olbermann’s show that telecom amnesty and FISA revisions were hallmarks of Bush Fascism instantaneously transformed into a celebration that Obama, by supporting the same things, was leading a courageous, centrist crusade in defense of our Constitution.