Keith Olbermann – A Letter I Sent Him
Dear Keith Olbermann,
I love your show Countdown. Your insight into current events and the Bush Administration helps me immensely. I make sure to try and catch you every night, because without you, I wouldn’t be able to use your points to make Democrats look so foolish! It’s true (and I don’t mean “true” like the “facts” you present on your show.) I’m a journalism student at Penn State University, and former editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, and I just want to say how much your show has helped me learn what not to do in my quest to become a responsible journalist.
You tout yourself as a journalist, invoke the name of a great man like Edward R. Murrow all the while you smear people like Bill O’Reiley. Well, sir, O’Reiley has stated on his show multiple times that he is an analyst, not a journalist. You, pretend to be a journalist while in actuality, you are nothing more than a sportscaster. I’m so glad that liberals get their stories from someone with an intellect who can grasp the finer points of a Cover-2 defense.
Allow me to enlighten you. Media Matters has been taken to task by every respected journalist in this country over the “phony soldiers” comments made by Rush Limbaugh. You, sir, are the lone remaining voice who has continued perpetuating the smear campaign that was based on the lies of Media Matters. I’ve read the transcripts of the show in question and no where does it state that Rush was talking about soldiers who are against the war in Iraq. He spoke about soldiers, as reported by other national news outlets, who never served (or served for only a week or two) and were trying to get army benefits. You claim that the statements are undeniable… show them! You have yet to show any statements that prove your points… hence why even liberals I know consider you a liar. A real journalist doesn’t call people names, like cowards. You are nothing but a small man; a bully with a microphone who is sorely mistaken on a great many things. I can understand why people don’t want to come on your show. They not only wouldn’t want to have their characters assassinated, but because your show is not worth the air time.
I’ll leave you with some of the words from the people who led us into the just war in Iraq, a war that the U.N was too afraid to fight.
Sen. Kerry: “It is something that we know – for instance, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. And there is some evidence of their efforts to try and secure these kinds of weapons and even test them.”
Sen. Biden: “We Know He Continues To Attempt To Gain Access To Additional Capability, Including Nuclear Capability.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 8/4/02)
Sen. Biden: “Does The President Have The Right To Preemptively Go Strike The Chinese, The Communist Regime? The Answer’s No. And So – But With Saddam, There Is–It’s Much More Tenuous Because He Has Used Weapons Of Mass Destruction Before. He Has Made Assertions About Intentions To Use These Weapons And, Therefore, It Gives More Credence To The President’s Capacity To Be Able To Go Act Preemptively.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 6/16/02)
President Clinton: “Earlier Today I Ordered America’s Armed Forces To Strike Military And Security Targets In Iraq… Their Mission Is To Attack Iraq’s Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons Programs And Its Military Capacity To Threaten Its Neighbors …” (“Text Of Clinton Statement On Iraq Attack,” Agence France Presse, 12/17/98)
Sen. Hillary Clinton: “I Can Support The President, I Can Support An Action Against Saddam Hussein Because I Think It’s In The Long-Term Interests Of Our National Security …” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,’ 9/15/02)
DNC Chairman Howard Dean: “Everything The President Says About Saddam Hussein Is True. He’s Evil. He’s A Liar. He Gases His Own People.” (ABC’s “This Week,” 12/22/02)
Sen. Kennedy: “We Have Known For Many Years That Saddam Hussein Is Seeking And Developing Weapons Of Mass Destruction.” (Remarks By Sen. Ted Kennedy At The Johns Hopkins School Of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC, 9/27/02)
Rep. Pelosi: “Saddam Hussein Certainly Has Chemical And Biological Weapons. There’s No Question About That.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 11/17/02)
Sen. Reid: “We Stopped The Fighting [In 1991] Based On An Agreement That Iraq Would Take Steps To Assure The World That It Would Not Engage In Further Aggression And That It Would Destroy Its Weapons Of Mass Destruction. It Has Refused To Take Those Steps. That Refusal Constitutes A Breach Of The Armistice Which Renders It Void And Justifies Resumption Of The Armed Conflict.” (Sen. Harry Reid, Congressional Record, 10/9/02, p. S10145)
Keith, you are a sad, pathetic little man and I hope you keep up the good work. You’ve got the Republican party so galvanized against you and your kind that I can’t help but feel good about the way things are going. I know that as a journalist, I just have to keep doing whatever it is that you don’t do (i.e. be honest, through and keep my integrity and dignity) and I’ll be just fine in this world. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll take your job and you can go back to saying, “and the final score was…” Goodnight Mr. Olbermann, and good luck… because you obviously need it.
Lee C.J. Sobotka
Student of Journalism, Senior
Penn State University