Keith Olbermann Special Comment: Violence and threats have no place in democracy.

Countdown’s Keith Olbermann tonight:

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Partial transcript (full transcript here):

This morning in Arizona, this time of the ever-escalating, borderline-ecstatic invocation of violence in fact or in fantasy in our political discourse, closed. It is essential tonight not to demand revenge, but to demand justice; to insist not upon payback against those politicians and commentators who have so irresponsibly brought us to this time of domestic terrorism, but to work to change the minds of them and their supporters – or if those minds tonight are too closed, or if those minds tonight are too unmoved, or if those minds tonight are too triumphant, to make sure by peaceful means that those politicians and commentators and supporters have no further place in our system of government.

If Sarah Palin, whose website put and today scrubbed bullseye targets on 20 Representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate her own part in amplifying violence and violent imagery in politics, she must be dismissed from politics – she must be repudiated by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling, and they must in turn be dismissed by the responsible members of their own party.

If Jesse Kelly, whose campaign against Congresswoman Giffords included an event in which he encouraged his supporters to join him firing machine guns, does not repudiate this, and does not admit that even if it was solely indirectly, or solely coincidentally, it contributed to the black cloud of violence that has envellopped our politics, he must be repudiated by Arizona’s Republican Party.

If Congressman Allen West, who during his successful campaign told his supporters that they should make his opponent afraid to come out of his home, does not repudiate those remarks and all other suggestions of violence and forced fear, he should be repudiated by his constituents and the Republican Congressional Caucus.

If Sharron Angle, who spoke of “Second Amendment solutions,” does not repudiate that remark and urge her supporters to think anew of the terrible reality of what her words implied, she must be repudiated by her supporters in Nevada.

If the Tea Party leaders who took out of context a Jefferson quote about blood and tyranny and the tree of liberty do not understand – do not understand tonight, now what that really means, and these leaders do not tell their followers to abhor violence and all threat of violence, then those Tea Party leaders must be repudiated by the Republican Party.

If Glenn Beck, who obsesses nearly as strangely as Mr. Loughner did about gold and debt and who wistfully joked about killing Michael Moore, and Bill O’Reilly, who blithely repeated “Tiller the Killer” until the phrase was burned into the minds of his viewers, do not begin their next broadcasts with solemn apologies for ever turning to the death-fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution, then those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers, and by all politicians, and by sponsors, and by the networks that employ them.

And if those of us considered to be “on the left” do not re-dedicate ourselves to our vigilance to eliminate all our own suggestions of violence – how ever inadvertent they might have been then we too deserve the repudiation of the more sober and peaceful of our politicians and our viewers and our networks.

NOTE: Blender Brad Smith has been feverishly capturing Free Republic posts before they were yanked. You can read them here. Brad:

I got a few clips of the postings – you can see them behind the cut. They’re itching to lay the blame for the shooting on an ‘illegal’, a gang member, a liberal, or a Muslim. It is noteworthy that many of the postings I saw were offering condolences for the victims and were also saddened by this tragedy.

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Keith Olbermann – My thanks, wonder, gratitude, apology: A Statement to the Viewers of Countdown

Keith will be back on the air tomorrow. He released this statement to viewers.

A STATEMENT TO THE VIEWERS OF COUNTDOWN

by Keith Olbermann

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.

I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about – that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient ‘mistake’ by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty – support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

–K.O.

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News: Keith Olbermann, Bullying, Jim Swilley, Gavin Newsom

 road Some bigots still think that anti-bullying teachings are part of an agenda by the LGBT community.

Keith  road Keith Olbermann emerges from seclusion via Twitter: "Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO."

 road Pastor Jim Swilley's son, the lead vocalist of the Black Lips, talks about his dad's coming out: "When he called to tell me that he’s gay I was in Berlin on tour. It was definitely shocking, but I was actually glad when he told me. I feel closer to him now because he’s being honest with himself and everyone around him. It took him a long time to do it, and I honestly think he’s hoping to live his whole life and never come out and do it, but now that he has I think he’s a lot happier."

 road Chicago's Unabridged Bookstore still going strong after 30 years in business.

 road Teaser poster for the new Star Trek sequel hits the Web.

 road Massive worldwide debt: "Next year, fifteen major developed-country governments, including the U.S., Japan, the U.K., Spain and Greece, will have to raise some .2 trillion to repay maturing bonds and finance their budget deficits, according to estimates from the International Monetary Fund. That’s up 7% from this year, and equals 27% of their combined annual economic output."

Gavin  road Now that he's been elected Lieutenant Governor of California, the Washington Post ponders the political future of Gavin Newsom.

 road What's wrong with this picture?

 road Megamind pulls in million at the box office this weekend.

 road According to some reports, Irish Senator and LGBT advocate David Norris "has said that not only has he planned out his own funeral, he's also started recording his own eulogy, to be played as his coffin is buried into the ground."

 road The National Enquirer, the publication that broke the John Edwards love child story, is now accussing Rielle Hunter of being a starf*cker.

 road Nick Lachey's been hitting the gym pretty regularly these days.


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Olbermann To Return To MSNBC This Tuesday

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Soon after after Keith Olbermann tweeted that he's alive and well, MSNBC announced late today that he will be back on the air in just a couple of days. The cable news network's president, Phil Griffin, feels as if the Countdown host has been punished enough:

"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."

Do we have Rachel Maddow to thank for this?


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Olbermann Returns Tuesday

WORST TV KEITH OLBERMANN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMKeith Olbermann will return as host of his popular MSNBC program on Tuesday, November 9.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Thomas Roberts Fills in For Olbermann

THOMAS ROBERTS TWEET X390With Keith Olbermann on suspension without pay from MSNBC indefinitely, is Thomas Roberts standing in for the Countdown host?
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Olbermann talks the hurdles facing DADT repeal with Richard Socarides

Keith talked about tomorrow’s vote on the Defense Authorization bill and the Lady Gaga rally. Richard Socarides explained what’s going on with DADT repeal and the forces working against it. Their strategy is stall and delay. If we don’t succeed, he said, “it will be a horrific fraud on the American people and really a massive failure of leadership at the Pentagon, at Congress and even at the White House because they waited too long.” Yep. Massive failure.

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Oh, the White House did issue statement supporting the Defense bill today. Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade got it:

“The National Defense Authorization Act is a good bill that is important for the overall health and well being of our forces, especially given the ongoing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world,” White House spokesperson Shin Inouye said in a statement. “This legislation received bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the President hopes it receives similar bipartisan support in the Senate.”

You might have thought something of this import, you know, the Defense Authorization bill while we’re fighting two wars, would warrant a statement from the President. Nope. Shin took care of it. Actually, from what I’ve been able to glean, that statement is pretty much the entire lobbying effort from the White House on the Defense bill and DADT repeal. Massive failure.

UPDATE @ 10:39 PM: Shortly after I wrote this post, I was informed by someone involved with this process that the White House is not lobbying fence-sitting senators to reach the magic 60 votes. Here’s what I was told:

As we all know, without a fierce effort and person-to-person advocacy from Obama himself (or at least his senior-most staff), Senators have little reason to change their minds and support debating the Defense Authorization bill. Never did I think I’d see the day when Lady Gaga would do more to advocate for repeal of DADT than our president who campaigned on equality.

It’s stunning really. And, they wonder why the base is depressed.




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Watch: Keith Olbermann on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and Lady Gaga

Olbermann

Former Clinton aide Richard Socarides sat down with Keith Olbermann to discuss Lady Gaga, the DADT cloture vote tomorrow, and its chances.

Says Socarides: "If [those who want to hold off repeal] accomplish this, it will be a horrific fraud on the American people and really a massive failure of leadership at the Pentagon, at Congress, and even at the White House, because they waited too long."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


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Olbermann and Dan Savage on Mehlman




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Keith Olbermann: There is no ‘Ground Zero Mosque; Eleveld on Obama’s other mixed messaging problem

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And from Politicususa.com, a good summary of Keith’s remarks (no transcript yet). A snippet:

Olbermann described the Right’s campaign as, “Yet in a country dedicated to freedom, forces have gathered to blow out of all proportion the construction of a minor community center to transform it into a training ground for terrorists, and an insult to the victims of 9/11, and a tribute to the Medieval Muslim subjugation of the West. There is in fact no Ground Zero Mosque. It isn’t a mosque. A mosque technically is a Muslim holy place where only worship can be conducted. What is planned for 45 Park Place New York City is a community center. It’s supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It is to be thirteen stories tall, and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space. What a cauldron to terrorism that will be, terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards.”

Olbermann pointed out that since 9/11 Muslims have been at greater risk of being victims of US terrorism than non-Muslims. After he debunked Newt Gingrich’s fear mongering over the name Cordoba House, which he called a figment of Gingrich’s imagination, and the MSNBC host pointed out that the community center will be open to all New Yorkers.

He also knocked down the falsehood that the community center is located on Ground Zero, “This place Park 51 is not even at Ground Zero, not even right across the street. Even the description of it being two blocks away is generous. It is two blocks away from the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site, from the planned location of the 9/11 Memorial, it is more like four or five blocks even.” Olbermann showed that there is no view of the World Trade Center visible from the community center.

***

On a related note, Kerry Eleveld’s latest column in The Advocate points out that “Obama’s mixed messaging on the mosque proposed near Ground Zero leads one to wonder why the White House is so unwilling to touch other hot-button issues.”

Like “The Homosexual Agenda“?

Well, he sure likes taking our money, huh? Just doesn’t like to step on that third rail (other than to send David Axelrod out to bleat out incoherent messaging about equality and marriage).

Obama’s position – that he defends the right to build without supporting the project – mirrors national polling numbers. While one poll found that about 64% of voters believe proponents should be able to build, another poll found that 68% oppose the plan itself.

The situation brings several questions to the fore.

First, what exactly is the administration’s communications team doing? They either miscalculated the national mood or they misjudged how the president’s words would be received on Friday. But they unquestionably should have seen flashes of the firestorm to come from Sarah Palin and her cronies eons before they sent the president out to carry the torch for democracy.

Or is it possible that the president and his advisers understood exactly where this was headed but just couldn’t take the heat once they stepped into the pit? No matter what the answer, the White House squandered the president’s most precious commodity: his word – his compact of trust with the American people.

And here’s another stumper. The same CNN poll showing that more than 2/3 of Americans opposed the project was also the very first poll in history to find that a majority of Americans (52% to 46%) believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

Now marriage polls do see-saw even as they continue to trend toward equality and a Public Policy Poll late last week found that 57% of voters still think same-sex marriage should be illegal. But the fact remains that both of those polls show less opposition to marriage equality than to the Mosque project, and I can’t help but puzzle at the White House’s willingness to broach one subject while they continue to run away from the other as if it’s too hot touch.

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