Brad Wilmouth

Contributing Writer


Brad Wilmouth is a former Media Research Center news analyst and an alumnus of the University of Virginia.

Latest from Brad Wilmouth

On MSNBC's Countdown show Thursday night, host Keith Olbermann corrected his show's "Worst Person in the World" segment photo mixup from the night before when MSNBC displayed a photo of former Democratic Senator Max Cleland while Olbermann attacked conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz.



On MSNBC's Countdown show on Wednesday night, while host Keith Olbermann attacked Atlanta-based syndicated conservative radio talk show host Neal Boortz, a photograph of former Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia was mistakenly displayed on-screen.

During his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann normally chooses three nominees to be awarded the dishonor of that name. His three nominees are labeled as "Worse," "Worser," and "Worst." Boortz was given the runner-up label of "Worser" because of comments Boortz posted Monday on his blog regarding the possibility of clemency for death row inmate Stanley "Tookie" Williams. While Olbermann read the story on Boortz, whom he referred to as "one of those commentators who give free speech a bad name," Cleland's photograph was shown on-screen. (Once again, Olbermann picked up on something from the far-left Media Matters, which at least posted a picture of the real Boortz.)

Video: Real or Windows Media, plus MP3 audio

Below is a transcript of Olbermann's comments on Boortz from Wednesday, December 14:

Keith Olbermann: "The runner-up: Neal Boortz. He was another one of those radio commentators who give free speech a bad name. In a blog posting, Boortz predicted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would commute the sentence of convicted killer Stanley 'Tookie' Williams because if he didn't, quoting Boortz here, 'there will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere.' Boortz added, 'There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now,' unquote. So the guy's not only got no handle on predicting events, but he's also a racist? Okay."



On MSNBC's Hardball Friday night, four weeks to the day after he devoted his show to trying to convince viewers that the Bush administration tried to make the American public believe Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks to sell the Iraq War (see earlier Newsbusters posting for details), Matthews again pushed this myth, claiming that "many, many times" between the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq invasion, "the case was made that we were going after them, the people that had attacked us.



While appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Friday December 9, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, reacting to a clip of John Kerry saying he would not vote to authorize the Iraq War if he had it to do again because, in his words, he was "misled about the intelligence," Mitchell responded by claiming, "It's true they were lied to, misled, however you want to characterize it."



On Friday night's CBS Evening News, substitute anchor Russ Mitchell read a short item relaying Bill Clinton's criticism of President Bush, with Clinton calling him "flat wrong" for opposing the Kyoto treaty in a speech at the UN conference on climate change in Montreal.



On his Countdown show Thursday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, while interviewing New York Daily News correspondent Ken Bazinet about rumors that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would soon retire, wondered if there would be "rioting from the hard right" if Bush replaced him with a Democrat.



On Thursday night's CBS Evening News, while filing a story about a "change in tone" by the Bush administration that is "an answer to critics who claim the President won't acknowledge errors or learn from them," correspondent John Roberts distorted soundbites by both President Bush and Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace to boost Roberts' story theme which implied that the administration is finally admitting to mistakes in conducting the



Catching up on an item from a couple of weeks ago, on Monday November 14, MSNBC's Countdown host Keith Olbermann posted on his Bloggermann Web site a blog entry that, while actually praising one show from Fox News Channel, also charged that FNC generally is a "network devoted to reinforcing prejudices and stereotypes."



On his Countdown show Wednesday night, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann devoted much of one segment to criticizing Vice President Cheney’s November 21 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a speech in which the Vice President took exception with how the Associated Press characterized his attacks on Democratic Senators who have accused President Bush of lying about pre-war intelligence. Even though Cheney’s original speech on November 16 at the Frontiers of Freedom Institute made clear his comments were directed at "some U.S.



On MSNBC's Countdown show on Tuesday night, host Keith Olbermann brought aboard actress and Air America radio host Janeane Garofalo to discuss conservative columnist Robert Novak's latest problems after he was involved in a scuffle with an airplane passenger. The segment turned out to be the Air America host's latest opportunity to rant against conservatives, FNC, and what she sees as a "right-wing" media.



On MSNBC's Hardball on Friday night, host Chris Matthews sought to convince viewers that the Bush administration intentionally tried to make the American public believe Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks before the Iraq War "to win support for the war."



On his Countdown show Thursday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann hyped "new questions now concerning the judicial ethics of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito" because of alleged conflicts of interest, including the judge's participation in court cases involving Vanguard and Smith Barney, companies through which Alito owned mutual funds and stocks. Olbermann expressed his view that "it would seem to me these are throat cutters" and that "he shouldn't be on a federal court after this anymore."

Although Olbermann did note that in the case involving Smith Barney, Alito had sided against the company, he did not present a balanced look at the situation as he merely interviewed George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, whom Olbermann credited as "the first to raise questions about Judge Alito's personal conflict...even before he was officially nominated."

Turley criticized Alito because "a judge is supposed to recuse himself when there's an appearance of a conflict," while he also conceded that "it's not that Judge Alito doesn't have an argument here. It's a technical one." A complete transcript of Olbermann's interview with Turley from the November 10 Countdown show follows:



On his Countdown show Wednesday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann managed to cram four lines of liberal bias all into the first 14 minutes of his show: Questioning whether Bush's announcements of Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court and of an avian flu plan were politically timed to distract from administration problems, passing on Jimmy Carter's anti-Bush accusations without question, belittling Scott McClellan's defense of the administration'


While introducing an interview with former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean on his Countdown show Friday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann implied that Plamegate is worse than past White House scandals because, in contrast to scandals from the Nixon, Reagan, and Harding administrations, a sitting White House staff member has been indicted. Referring to Bush supporters who were offended by the title of Dean's book, Worse than Watergate, Olbermann quipped that because of Libby's indictment, "the protests about John Dean's title might instead be coming from the fans of Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Harding."



Unlike ABC and CBS, on Thursday night, NBC informed viewers of a report on the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal, as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams stated that "2,000 companies paid nearly $2 billion in kickbacks directly to Saddam Hussein" and that "the country with the most companies involved in this was Russia, followed by France." A complete transcript of the story from the October 27 NBC Nightly News follows:



On Wednesday night's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell filed a story in which she turned to Bush administration critic and former National Security Council member Flynt Leverett, "who quit in protest before the war," to contribute a soundbite charging that the Bush administration "had decided to fight back" against Joseph Wilson in response to his criticism of the Iraq invasion.



On Friday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Lee Cowan filed a story on Congressman Tom DeLay's appearance in a Texas courtroom, which on some counts was balanced, but which glaringly highlighted a Replublican critic of Tom DeLay who referred to him as a "hog." Although Fort Bend Star publisher Beverly Carter has been a longtime critic of DeLay who even endorsed his opponent in last year's election, Cowan simply referred to



On his Countdown show Wednesday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann began his show by hyping an article by the New York Daily News claiming that President Bush "rebuked Karl Rove" two years ago for having a role in the leaking of Valerie Plame's name. The Countdown host also showcased the President's refusal to respond to a reporter's question on the article, and proposed that this revelation implies that the President had lied about his knowledge of Rove’s involvement. The opening teaser showed a picture of the article with the headline "Bush Whacked Rove on CIA Leak" next to a photograph of Bush and Rove while the words "What did the President Know?" appeared at the bottom of the screen.

Olbermann opened the show speculating about what the implications would be if such a story were true, which he referred to as a "bombshell," and listed out his proposed implications while showing them on-screen lined up next to a photograph of Rove: "Mr. Rove would be involved. Mr. Bush would have known Mr. Rove was involved. When Mr. Bush's spokesman said nobody at the White House was involved, somebody would have been lying. And when Mr. Bush talked about what would happen if somebody on his staff was involved, he would have damn well known somebody was and he wouldn't have said anything about it."



Mirroring the same evening's NBC Nightly News (see earlier NewsBusters item), on Thursday night's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann led with the rehearsed meeting between President Bush and U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Olbermann spent considerable time showing and making fun of clips from this event and from a contentious White House press briefing with Scott McClellan before proceeding to an interview with Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank, during which he seemed to play along with and was amused by Milbank mimicking the accent of an Iraqi soldier at the Bush event, a politically incorrect action which would bring ridicule if performed by a conservative: "I just want to say thank you, Mr. Olbermann. I like you's, I like anything."

Video of Milbank: Real or Windows Media



On Wednesday night, viewers of MSNBC's Countdown got to see host Keith Olbermann elaborate on his latest conspiracy theory during a segment entitled "The Nexus of Politics and Terror," in which Olbermann outlined 10 of what he referred to in the segment's introduction as "13 similar coincidences -- a political downturn for the administration, followed by a terror event, a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning." After plugging this special segment on his show for the last couple of nights, the Countdown host devoted 24 minutes of his hour-long sh