As NewsBusters reported last Thursday, Keith Olbermann for some reason chose to viciously attack conservative author S.E. Cupp for opinions she expressed on the previous evening's "Joy Behar Show."
On Monday, in a Special Comment on her online program at Glenn Beck.com, Cupp responded to Olbermann while calling out his new boss at Current TV Al Gore as well as Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (video follows with transcript and commentary):
S.E. CUPP: I want to take a moment to comment on the incident that occurred last week. In case you were all busy doing other things, and missed it (wish I could say the same) Current TV news director Keith Olbermann took to Twitter on Thursday to, well, wish me unborn. Yes, seriously. I was, in all honesty, prepared to let this dumb story carry on in the gutter without any help from me, but unfortunately Keith is still prattling on about it, the media is still addressed it, and I feel as though I have an obligation to my fans, my employer, and most importantly, my parents to address it myself, here, on my own show. So here goes.
To briefly recap, on Wednesday of last week I was invited on the Joy Behar Show on CNN HLN, where Joy, Jerry Springer and I had a civilized, albeit pointed discussion about Planned Parenthood. I said that I didn’t think I should have to fund with my tax dollars an organization that I fundamentally disagree with, as someone who is pro-life. The conversation was robust but at times conciliatory. And I think we all left feeling like we had a good debate on a very serious issue.
The next day I took off for Ohio to give a speech at Miami University, and later that afternoon someone alerted me to the following post by Olbermann on Twitter:
“On so many levels she’s a perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does.”
Later in the day, when pressed by outraged readers, he kind of clarified, writing:
“I never mentioned abortion. I said her parents could have used counseling by PP rather than get the results they did.”
“I insinuated her parents would’ve helped the earth had they consulted PP for birth control”
“I didn’t say she should have been aborted. I said her parents could’ve used PP to learn how not to raise a moron.”
If you’re confused, that’s probably because backpeddling can be incredibly disorienting. I don’t know if his attempts at clarifying hurt his cause or help him, but over the weekend he has continued to dig himself deeper, bizarrely accusing me of lying but refusing to say about what.
The good folks at Mediaite, National Review, FoxNews.com and dozens of other outlets have pointed out that nothing I said in the Joy Behar interview was inaccurate or dishonest. And most people have also pointed out that Keith Olbermann’s nasty suggestion that I shouldn’t exist is, to put it mildly, hitting below the belt. I won’t waste my time and yours pointing out the flaws in his “arguments” or telling you what you already know – that wishing someone dead is a lousy way to make a point.
But I do want to say a couple things.
First, I’m Sorry.
I’m sorry to my parents. I’m a pundit and a columnist and an author, and I choose to write and speak about controversial issues. For that, sometimes I am rewarded with death threats and hate mail. It’s part of the job, but you never get used to hearing that someone wants you dead. Nonetheless, this career was my choice.
But my parents never asked to be challenged on their politics, and they especially never asked to be challenged on their personal decisions, decisions like whether they wanted to keep me or not. They are quite simply, the greatest people I know, so calling into question their character is something I’m not okay with.
But rather than say something I would later regret in the heat of the moment, I allowed my mother to respond to Mr. Olbermann. It’s currently up on the Blaze, and it is better than anything I could write on the matter.
Two, this is bigger than Mr. Olbermann (as most things are.) For many of us, on both sides of the aisle, abortion is a VERY serious and sensitive matter. We care deeply about right-to-life issues, and those of us who are fortunate enough to have a public platform through with to speak about them – either on the pro-life or pro-choice side – recognize that that mantle is a privilege and an honor, and should not be treated lightly or taken for granted. Abortion isn’t a punch line, nor is it a weapon. And if we’re going to have a meaningful conversation about it, well it CERTAINLY shouldn’t be within the crass and limiting confines of 140 characters. Twitter isn’t the best place to debate the value of life. And I’m sure Mr. Olbermann regrets not choosing his words more carefully.
Finally, what now? While the media and the blogosphere debate the imprudence of Olbermann’s words, the voices that should be speaking out are strangely silent. So I’ll ask directly:
Are you proud, Mr. Gore, of your new hire? Are you comfortable allowing Mr. Olbermann to represent your media venture? He’s the face of Current TV?
Planned Parenthood: Keith Olbermann does you no favors speaking on your behalf. If your goal is to convince the country that abortion assistance isn’t the primary focus of your organization, well certainly seems like he’s unaware of that. Do you approve of Mr. Olbermann’s cheapening of the abortion issue?
And NOW, the National Organization for Women: Where are you? I’m a woman. Women’s rights and in particular the abortion issue are huge parts of your national platform. Anything to say? Any fingers to wag? Any comment at all?
I’m happy to debate women’s rights, and do so often and with alacrity. If anyone from Current TV, Planned Parenthood, or NOW wants to have a meaningful discussion about those issues, this chair is open. Come on in.
Until then, I’m sure Keith Olbermann will be more than happy to fill the vacuum left by your deafening silence.
Indeed he will.
In reality, Olbermann has shown himself throughout the years as being quite a sexist. The former MSNBCer even got himself into trouble when he commented back in 2008 about someone needing to take Hillary Clinton "into a room" to get her to bow out of the presidential race.
As such, his Twitter comments last week shouldn't surprise anyone.
But as Cupp pointed out, they should raise Gore's eyebrows. Is this what the Nobel laureate wants as the new face of Current TV?
It is by no means a secret that Olbermann has caused trouble at every television station he's worked for, and has left on bad terms with each departure.
When are TV executives going to realize that this man is a ticking time bomb, and it's not a matter of if he's going to explode - it's a matter of when?
That said, our hearts go out to Cupp and her family. As S.E. correctly pointed out, this world of political punditry is a tremendously hostile one, but our families should never become part of the battle. That Olbermann doesn't know this is further proof of just how disturbed he is.
And while you're at it, keep a positive thought in your heart for the Cupps.
S.E. is one of the good guys, and she deserves far better than how she's recently been treated by one of the Left's heroes.