I don’t like to mud wrestle, but sometimes the slime-flingers need to be held accountable. All week, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and his left-wing vassals have tried to blame female conservative commentators for one nutball’s fake anthrax letter attacks. Reportedly, the suspect was a Free Republic.com member whose pseudonymous profile noted that he “worshipped” Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and me. Ergo, we’re to blame. Olbermann lies about my work and props up a clueless Radar Online stooge who accuses me of “introduc[ing a kind of thuggish, sort of intimidating tone into the political debate, this kind of, ‘Let’s not let them boss us around anymore.’ She’s got a very combative, kind of truculent rhetorical pose.”
Truculent. I like that.
My video response, a new ocassional segment at Hot Air called “Return Fire,” is here. As I note, speciously blaming conservative pundits for domestic terrorism is old hat. Remember when the left blamed Rush Limbaugh and talk radio for the Oklahoma City bombing? Anyway, do watch the whole thing. (And see Newsbusters and Olbermann Watch for all the background, including mention of the left-wing nutball indicted last week for sending fake anthrax letters to President Bush and conservative talker Tom Sullivan.)
Unbelievably (or rather, completely believably), Olbermann turned up on an ESPN radio show yesterday to engage in exactly the kind of rhetoric he and his ilk have falsely accused me of all week. You can listen here. I’ve transcribed the relevant part:
Host: Would you ever go on “Dancing with the Stars?”
KO: Uh, possibly to do a cameo and introduce someone. [unintelligible] I would escort someone onto the stage, that’s as far as I would go, and hope I wouldn’t trip doing that.
Host: People still upset that I’ve had the audacity to criticize Emmitt Smith…
KO: How about Bill O’Reilly on “Dancing with the Stars?” Then you could get some real e-mails.
Host: I don’t think Bill would do that.
KO: I’ll go on it if he will. I’ll challenge him to a “Dancing on the Stars”–“Dancing with the Stars”–dance-off. How’s that?
Host: I would have to side with Bill O’Reilly on that.
Olbermann: Not if I get him in the hamstrings. You know, one of those little doctor’s tools. The small knives, right in the hamstrings kind of thing. Nancy Kerrigan kind of stuff.
Host: Nice, nice.
Olbermann (muttering): Joke
Olbermann: Can I do a correction?
Host: Just one?
Olbermann: Yeah, just one.
It would actually broadly fall into the category of an apology to Bill O’Reilly, if you can believe that. The joke I made on the way out there if we were on “Dancing with the Stars” was about me. If we were both on “Dancing with the Stars,” I’d go after him with like a pen knife to try to sever his hamstring. It’s about me. It was a joke at my own expense. But…it’s beyond the pale. You shouldn’t, you can’t joke about physical stuff no matter what you think of somebody politically, broadcasting-wise, reputationally. It’s just beyond the pale.
Olbermann: So, I apologize. [Grunts.] I apologize. You know, we gotta draw the line somewhere and the line is: You wanna criticize, be critical, be humorous, be sarcastic, yell stuff, great. But physical stuff is out of bounds. Even joking about it. Thank you. Okay.
Host: Ok. You feel better?
Olbermann: [Sighs dramaticallly.] Yeah, I suppose.
Host: It’s pretty tough for you to do right there, wasn’t it?
Olbermann: Yeah, well, it’s more in the spirit of everybody involved in public commentary, we have to gear it down a notch…
Speak for yourself.
Oh, and in case you get the mistaken impression that Olbermann was sincerely sorry (as opposed to sorry for getting caught on tape), here he is joking on his TV show about other acts of physical violence against his opponents–sticking Rush Limbaugh’s face in the middle of gunfire and highlighting John Edwards joking about wanting to accidentally shoot Dick Cheney.
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