MSNBC host Keith Olbermann is profiled in this month’s issue of Rolling Stone. In the piece, Olbermann shares his thoughts on right-wing CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck:
A wolf in sheep’s clothing. The very dangerously bigoted guy who is selling himself as a pragmatic philosopher. I don’t think he sees his own bigotry. There’s something about him that suggests that, one night, he’ll say something that will cost him his career in television.
Glenn Beck responded tonight, calling Olbermann an “intolerant ideologue” whose ideas “smack of the same McCarthyism [Edward R.] Murrow fought so valiantly against.” Beck added, “Hey, Keith, you’re not saving the world’s democracy; you’re killing it, my friend, by trying to limit the marketplace of ideas to only those that reflect your own.”
Beck said tonight that his numerous inflammatory comments aren’t due to his right-wing point of view, but are merely a sign that he is “not perfect” and “struggl[ing] to find the answers to the issues that we face — on my own.” Some lowlights from Beck’s “struggle”:
The anti-gay slur “faggot” is nothing more than “a naughty name.” [1/23/07]
“What happened to the Duke lacrosse team was practically a lynching without the rope. And for the first time in my life, Mr. Oreo Cookie without the chocolate on the outside can understand why people celebrated when O.J. Simpson was acquitted.” [1/15/07, using a racial slur for African-Americans that refers to “being black on the outside and white on the inside”]
“[W]hat I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’” [11/14/06, on what he would like to say to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first elected Muslim member of Congress]
“I wonder if I’m alone in this — you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9–11 victims’ families? Took me about a year.” [9/9/05]
“And that’s all we’re hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.” [9/9/05]
Chris Achorn has more.
BECK: Latest issue of “Rolling Stone” has hit the newsstands, and in it there is a profile — no, no, actually more of a canonization of Keith Olbermann. The thing that struck me when I was reading the article wasn`t the article itself or the self-importance in it, but a small sidebar in which he took a swing at three anchors on this network, Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace, and yours truly.
Here`s what he had to say about me. “A wolf in sheep`s clothing. The very dangerously bigoted guy who is selling himself as a pragmatic philosopher. I don`t think he sees his own bigotry. There`s something about him that suggests that, one night, he`ll say something that will cost him his career in television.”
You know, let me be clear about something here. Keith Olbermann is right, at least on the last part. After 30 years in broadcasting, three hours of live radio content every day, plus one hour of TV a night, one comment could end my television career. It`s not a question of if, but of when.
Until the inevitable comes, I`ll continue to tell you what I believe. At the same time, I struggle to find the answers to the issues that we face on my own. We`ll talk about it. Yes, I am not perfect. If I were, I wouldn`t really bother to ask any questions.
I mean, I guess I could just stay out of trouble by asking clearly scripted questions to guests who won`t disagree, but that would kind of be planned and kind of a planned perfection that breeds arrogance that is far more dangerous than being a dope like me who says the wrong thing from time to time.
If I`m going to be shut down for that, well, it will likely be because of an intolerant ideologue like Keith Olbermann. The very idea smacks of the same McCarthyism Murrow fought so valiantly against.
Hey, Keith, you`re not saving the world`s democracy; you`re killing it, my friend, by trying to limit the marketplace of ideas to only those that reflect your own.
Me personally, I surround myself with varying points of view. My staff: blood shooting out of your eyes liberals, conservatives, men, women, minorities, and, you know, it`s weird, I don`t need a mailbox outside my office to communicate with them. Oops, did I say that?
When you make pronouncements as bold as, “The man who sees absolutes where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning is either a prophet or a quack,” you better be a prophet, man. You know, and frankly, Keith, nah, you`re not really a prophet. I`m just saying.