UPDATE at end of post: Glenn Beck skewers Olbermann for this pathetic rant!
Quite predictably, his greater than twelve minute tirade largely focused on Fox News and Andrew Breitbart -- the latter repeatedly referred to as "scum" as well as a "pornographer of propaganda" -- who he claimed "assassinated" Sherrod.
After starting his rant by pompously comparing the former USDA official to Alfred Dreyfus, the French artillery officer falsely accused of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island, the "Countdown" host tore into almost everyone on the planet (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
KEITH OLBERMANN: No matter how much of a stretch it is to compare Shirley Sherrod to Alfred Dreyfus, mistake it not: Shirley Sherrod has been to her own Devil's Island. And thanks to the perpetual fraud machine that is Fox News and the scum that is this assassin Breitbart, there will be a portion of this country - the mindless, the hateful, the reactionary, the racist - to whom she is forever convicted and ever imprisoned....A reputation assassinated by Fox News, assassinated by that scum Breitbart, assassinated by all their meager-brained imitators on other channels and other websites, their limp fellow travelers who never asked questions first but simply shot and shot and shot and shot and laughed. Let me make this utterly clear: what you see on Fox News, what you read on right-wing websites is the utter and complete perversion of journalism and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racists seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racists, even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated and falsified to do so. What you see on Fox News, what you read on right-wing websites is a manipulation, not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy, manipulation of a society. It's intentional redirection from reality and progress to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans and nearly every last word of it is never in any tangible sense true. Ask Shirley Sherrod.
C'mon! Dreyfus spent four years of hell on Devil's Island, and was exonerated eleven years after his conviction. Seems astonishingly extreme to compare what Sherrod has gone through in the past 48 hours to that.
The way things are looking, the former USDA official will likely be able to leverage this incident into quite a personal fortune if she plays her cards right. Just imagine the book and movie offers that could be in her future.
But that wasn't the only absurdity on display Wednesday evening as it really was the height of gall for Olbermann to point fingers at Breitbart for publishing an edited video at his website when two weeks ago the "Countdown" host cherry picked from a Rush Limbaugh radio transcript to make the conservative talk show host look racist.
Talk about words being "edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated and falsified!" Now that REALLY is the pot calling the kettle black.
On that same night, Olbermann also falsified history to mock Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle AND got so many things wrong concerning oil subsidies and BP that PolitiFact almost gave him a "Pants on Fire" rating days later.
As such, Olbermann chastising anyone about journalistic ethics and integrity is like a porn star lecturing teenagers about the virtues of abstinence.
Moving back to Wednesday's insanity, the "Countdown" host later scolded NAACP President Ben Jealous for not talking to the white farmer that Sherrod spoke of in her March 27 address to the civil rights organization. He did the same for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for not looking at the entire video in question.
Yet, as he accused seemingly everyone of wrongdoing -- which, by the way, included President Obama and MSNBC -- Olbermann never once told viewers if HE had spoken to Sherrod, the farmer in question, or seen the entire video.
What research had Olbermann done while on vacation to come to the conclusion that Sherrod was 100 percent innocent and all of her accusers -- regardless of the ones that are now backpedaling -- were 100 percent wrong?
Wasn't Olbermann doing exactly what he was scolding others for: offering an opinion without all the facts?
Well, what should we expect of a man so desperately in need of a vacation after only two days off?
With this in mind, as much as we'll miss him, might we suggest he complete his R&R before offering any more "special comments?"
After all, as much as he needed a vacation, America required some time off from his psychotic rantings.
Honestly, Keith, two days wasn't enough. Go back to bed.
*****Update: Glenn Beck and company skewered Olbermann on the radio this morning (video available here courtesy our friends at Right Scoop).