On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann named former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino "Worst Person in the World" – ahead of Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck – in response to Perino’s November 24 appearance on FNC’s Hannity show in which she insisted that the Fort Hood massacre should be called a "terrorist attack," and, while referring to the often cited fact that the Bush administration prevented any additional terrorist attacks on American soil for the rest of President Bush’s time in office after the 9/11 attacks, she flubbed the line and claimed "we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term."
Olbermann, who was quick to label the murder of abortionist Doctor George Tiller as terrorism, but has a history of attacking FNC personalities who insist that the Fort Hood massacre should be called terrorism, seemed to pick up on a posting from the far left ThingProgress.org as he attacked Perino’s intelligence:
But our winner, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. That this is not a smart person, not a sensitive person, maybe not a person person, has long been pretty clear. But this, this takes it to a new level.
After playing a clip of Perino contending that she feels "very strongly" that the Fort Hood massacre was a "terrorist attack on our country," followed by the clip of her mistakenly saying no terrorist attacks occurred in America while Bush was President, Olbermann concluded:
Ah, Fort Hood has to be called a terrorist attack right now before any investigations, but either 9/11 wasn’t during President Bush’s term, or it wasn’t a terrorist attack. Either way, Dana Perino is an embarrassment, and today’s "Worst Person in the," how do you pronounce this? W-O-R-L-D? "World."
Below is a complete transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, November 30, Countdown show on MSNBC, followed by a greater portion of the relevant segment from the Tuesday, November 24, Hannity show on FNC:
#From the November 30 Countdown:
KEITH OLBERMANN: But our winner, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. That this is not a smart person, not a sensitive person, maybe not a person person, has long been pretty clear. But this, this takes it to a new level.
DANA PERINO, FROM THE NOVEMBER 24 HANNITY SHOW ON FNC: There is one thing that I would say about Fort Hood that I feel very strongly about, which is – and I don't say this to be political – I think it matters a lot what we call it. And we had a terrorist attack on our country.
PERINO: They want to do all of their investigations. I don't know all of their thinking that goes into it, but we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term. I hope they're not looking at this politically. I do think that we owe it to the American people to call it what it is.
OLBERMANN: Ah, Fort Hood has to be called a terrorist attack right now before any investigations, but either 9/11 wasn’t during President Bush’s term, or it wasn’t a terrorist attack. Either way, Dana Perino is an embarrassment, and today’s "Worst Person in the," how do you pronounce this? W-O-R-L-D? "World."
#From the November 24 Hannity:
SEAN HANNITY: All right. So not exactly a clear window into the president's plans. General McChrystal is currently commanding 68,000 troops in the field and has requested an additional 40,000. So would the president grant his wish? Joining me now to discuss this question and many others, former White House press secretary Dana Perino and from our sister station, the FOX Business Network, our very own Stuart Varney.
Guys, he's been waiting since August. And now we're going to get a decision and what we keep hearing, it's going to be 34,000. He won't grant the full 40,000. McChrystal said either 40,000 or we risk failure.
DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a strange communications strategy to foreshadow it so early. It's a whole week away before we have a prime-time news conference. And they did this last time, and by the time you get there, it's like, okay, we get it. It's 34,000 troops. We've been waiting for three months.
But here's the thing. Really sloppy, undisciplined process. Alienated Karzai, bad idea. Leaks that were not good for the country and undermined General McChrystal. But at the end of the day, if he gives McChrystal what he needs to succeed, then I think the country should rally and support him.
HANNITY: I also think it's a law of diminishing returns here. Because it seems every time he gives a press conference, people don't care anymore. I mean, they feel it's the same rhetoric over and over and over and over again.
STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Well, there's a degree of Obama fatigue, isn't there?
VARNEY: It's setting in after these 11 months. But what bothers me about this long delay is that the morale of the troops is down. It's fallen throughout this procrastination period.
And it's falling because I think there's a perception that the president does not have his heart in winning. And I think that is the perception among the troops and amongst many, many people. Because the president has always been surrounded by people who are cold towards the military. And candidate Obama, some of the people around him were flat out anti-military.
HANNITY: Is -- is he trying to appeal his left-wing base on the one hand by not giving the full 40, by taking so long?
PERINO: I don't think so. I think that he looked at this. He's studied it really hard. He can't do all these sessions and not figure out a way to try to win.
But listen to what he said very carefully. He said, "I intend to finish it," which means that I think he's probably trying to figure out a way to do something similar to the Iraq surge, which is that you send more troops in, in order to bring -- hasten the day, that's what President Bush said, hasten the day when we can bring more troops home.
But I will remind people of one thing. When President Bush sent the troops in for the surge, those next few things were really, really tough. We lost a lot of soldiers. We had a lot of wounded. And President Bush never wavered. I'm not suggesting President Obama will, but those times are very hard and his left flank might get anxious.
HANNITY: I agree with that. I don't think that he will have the stomach for the left-wing pressure.
VARNEY: Right. And let's not forget the financial pressure here. Cost is a big deal in this situation. At the cabinet meeting discussing Afghanistan, a couple of days ago, Peter Orszag was in the meeting, which is very unusual for a military meeting.
It will cost around $34 billion to put an extra 34,000 troops in one for one year. When you've emptied the treasury, when you're begging for money from China, you're not in a free position to do what you like with any element of policy, Afghanistan included.
HANNITY: But when you also add to this issue of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And we're going to give civilian rights to him. We're going to have this circus trial. They're going to preach jihad, apparently, according to reports, and put America's -- America, you know, on trial in the process, and stopped the Fort Hood investigation, one has to wonder, does he really understand national security and that we really do have a war on terror which they have been hesitant to use? Even the term?
PERINO: There is one thing that I would say about Fort Hood that I feel very strongly about, which is -- and I don't say this to be political. I think it matters a lot what we call it. And we had a terrorist attack on our country. And we should call it what it is. Because we need to face up to it so that we can prevent it from happening again.
HANNITY: I agree with you. And why won't they say what you just so simply said?
PERINO: They want to do all of their investigations. I don't know. All of the thinking that goes into it. But we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term. I hope they're not looking at this politically. I do think we ought it to the American people to call it what it is.
HANNITY: If you say "Allah Akbar" before the -- before the shooting and you reach out to al Qaeda 20 times, it's a pretty good indication you're a terrorist -- terrorist sympathizer.
VARNEY: What is it, you're not a terrorist unless you've got an al Qaeda button right on there? I mean, what's going on?
Look, is the president's heart in victory? Is his heart in winning? Why is he prosecuting CIA people? Criminally prosecuting -- when they kept us safe? Why is he bringing terrorists to New York City, the scene of the crime, when they're going through a civil court? Is this man's heart in victory?
HANNITY: Stuart, these are -- these are great questions. What is your answer? Because I don't think so.
VARNEY: My perception is that his heart is not in it. Hence, the dithering and delay over Afghanistan. And the half-hearted idea of what we're going to do there. Hence, the criminal prosecution of CIA and the trials in New York City.