On Wednesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann mocked Ronald Reagan as "dead," and called him a "lousy President." After reading a quote from Warren County, Ohio, commissioner Mike Kilburn proclaiming his intention not to use any of the federal stimulus money, citing Reagan’s famous line that "government is the problem," Olbermann shot back: "Uh, Commissioner Kilburn, Reagan's dead and he was a lousy President."
The MSNBC host also slammed moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson as the day’s "Worst Person in the World" because the Nebraska Democrat dared to lump Olbermann and fellow MSNBC liberal Rachel Maddow in with conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, as Nelson charged that both conservative and liberal hosts spread misinformation to their viewers.
Olbermann, who has a history of repeating incorrect or distorted information on his show, and who also once depicted an image of Rush Limbaugh as a target of gunfire, charged that Limbaugh "supports racism and encourages violence," and that FNC’s Glenn Beck "makes up stuff," as the MSNBC host indignantly answered Nelson: "Thanks for the opportunity to tell you you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I am fed up with this equating of what we do here to circus performers like Limbaugh and the Fox crowd. We don't make up stuff like Beck does, we don't stalk people like O'Reilly does, we don't support racism and encourage violence like Limbaugh does, we don't recite talking points like Hannity does."
Referring to his recent criticism – from the left – of President Obama for announcing his administration would not try to prosecute CIA interrogators who used waterboarding against terrorists, Olbermann claimed that his show does not really have a left-wing slant: "Rachel caught you out to lunch on the stimulus, and she called you on it, and I slammed a Democratic President last week. We believe first, Senator, in right and wrong over here, not right and left. Let me know when you start believing in something besides re-election."
Below is a complete transcript of the "Worst Person in the World" segment from the Wednesday, April 22, Countdown show on MSNBC:
KEITH OLBERMANN: But first, time for Countdown’s number two story, "Worst Persons in the World." The bronze goes to Mike Kilburn, county commissioner of Warren County, Ohio. You remember Warren County? Part of the still unexplained terror threat lockdown on election night 2004. The commissioners there are rejecting $373,000 in stimulus money for three new buses and vans meant to get the county's rural residents to health care and educational opportunities. Kilburn said, "I'll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama's filthy money. I'm tired of paying for people who don't have. As Reagan said, government is not the answer, it's the problem." Uh, Commissioner Kilburn, Reagan's dead and he was a lousy President.
Our runner up, Bill-O the clown: His vendetta against NBC and G.E. has now gotten so desperate that he's talking to people from the Fox "Out of Business" Channel about an article in the Wall Street Journal and pretending nobody will notice that they all work for Rupert Murdoch.
"The Wall Street Journal headlined G.E.’s debacle this way: Quote, ‘G.E.’s net tumbles 35 percent on finance woes.’ Here’s how the uber-liberal New York Times headlined G.E.’s trouble: Quote, ‘G.E.’s first quarter net tops analysts’ estimates." Quite a difference from the Journal, wouldn’t you say?"
Yes, yes, I would. And, clearly, it has nothing to do with the fact that your boss also owns the Wall Street Journal! What is the Journal going to say about broadcasting and cable stories today, Bill-O? That Fox will shortly report network ad sales down by 20 percent, stations ad sales down by 45 percent, Fox News ad sales down for the first time ever by four percent, to go with company stock down by 56 percent in one year.
"President Obama recently appointed (G.E. Chairman Jeffrey) Immelt to be one of his economic advisors even though the man has run G.E. into the ground. That appointment was payback for allowing NBC News to openly support Obama for President."
Hey, bully boy, you care to try to prove that? Or was that just something God whispered to you?
"So now we have powerful corporations not only intruding on electoral politics but also attacking Americans like the Tea Party protesters. That is the situation all Americans should condemn."
Seriously? You and the other Fox talking points readers mocked every anti-war protester, every critic of the last administration, every defender of the Constitution, and your boss sent instructions to President Bush in the White House. You have the nerve to actually criticize actual critical coverage of poorly-attended News Corp.-sponsored cluster Fox? Bill, you know nothing about news! Your company doesn't have the journalistic chops of Scholastic Magazine!
But our winner, Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Too many Americans, he said in a speech in Lincoln, quote, "get their news from entertainers (who) tell them what to be angry about today." Entertainers, he says, "like Jon Stewart, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow. Responding to the talking points of either extreme is not the way to enact good public policy. There’s a lot of inaccurate and incomplete information out there thanks to talk shows from either the left or the right. Facts often get in the way of a good rant."
You'd know, Senator. Thanks for the opportunity to tell you you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I am fed up with this equating of what we do here to circus performers like Limbaugh and the Fox crowd. We don't make up stuff like Beck does, we don't stalk people like O’Reilly does, we don’t support racism and encourage violence like Limbaugh does, we don’t recite talking points like Hannity does. Not from anybody, Senator Nelson. Rachel caught you out to lunch on the stimulus, and she called you on it, and I slammed a Democratic President last week. We believe first, Senator, in right and wrong over here, not right and left. Let me know when you start believing in something besides re-election. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, today's "Worst Person in the World."