Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pinhead, Know Thyself
(Edited to fix bad link in paragraph 2.)
Keith Olbermann of MSNBC might be the best news host on TV--and not just because his show is one (sometimes the only one) on cable news that liberals can watch without wanting to throw shoes at the screen. The guy is also just damn funny. Since MSNBC made Bill O'Reilly's enemies list yesterday, last night Olbermann figured he couldn't make things any worse (Olbermann on the enemies list: "You call it defamation, Bill. We call it precise quotes from your show"), so he gave O'Reilly all three slots on his nightly "Worst Person in the World" feature.

One of the reasons O'Reilly hit the trifecta was for a remark he made yesterday, as the Today show's head-scratchingly stupid choice to analyze Bush's Iraq speech: "These pinheads running around going, 'Get out of Iraq now,' don't know what they're talking about. These are the same people before Hitler invaded in World War II that were saying, 'Ah, he's not such a bad guy.'" Meanwhile, in the reality-based universe, at Orcinus, David Neiwert notes that the leading American isolationists in the years before American entry into World War II--people who actually said things like "Ah, he's not such a bad guy"-- were "the captains of America's mainstream right." Many of those isolationists are at least the intellectual grandfathers of modern conservatives--and one was actual biological grandfather of . . . well, you'll have to read the post at Orcinus to find out.

Neiwert discusses the anti-Semitism of some of these prominent isolationists--an interesting coincidence given the recent break between prominent Jewish organizations and right-wingers. The Jewish groups have tended to support He Who Shall Not Be Named based on his support for Israel, while the right-wingers have embraced Israel because of its role in their end-times theology. But when the Jewish Anti-Defamation League warned of the right's growing campaign to "Christianize" America, the alliance frayed almost immediately, and at the Huffington Post this morning, Max Blumenthal wrote about one prominent wingnut who seems to have resorted to an anti-Semitic slur in response.

Quote of the Day:
If not Olbermann's crack about precise details, there's the New York Times on Bush's speech yesterday, which it found as fanciful as some of Richard Nixon's greatest Vietnam hits. Together, the first and last sentences of the Times editorial are the money shot: "We've seen it before: an embattled president so swathed in his inner circle that he completely loses touch with the public and wanders around among small knots of people who agree with him" and ""A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more."

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