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Keith Olbermann Ashamed to Repeat Limbaugh Quote to Haitian Rapper Pras

As the carnage in Haiti rightly dominates the news, the seeming cliche´ that this “puts it all in perspective” really can’t be made enough. The horrified shame that Rachel Maddow displayed at the idea that the Haitian ambassador might think that Pat Robertson speaks for all Americans was remarkable. A smaller such moment, on last night’s Countdown, spoke volumes about the triviality of the current political media.

At the tail end of a segment in which Haitian-American rapper Pras Michel spoke to Keith Olbermann about the situation in Haiti and his own efforts to organize relief, Pras interrupted Keith’s outro to ask what Rush Limbaugh had said.

Olbermann, who had been teasing the Limbaugh and Robertson quotes the entire show, when faced with someone so deeply involved in the tragedy, suddenly seemed to realize that Limbaugh really doesn’t matter.

I shared Keith’s embarrassment in that moment, embarrassment that both he and I are in a business in which Limbaugh is a vital cog. All of Limbaugh’s previous verbal diarrhea melts away at a moment like this, and you realize that the thrill of previous battles has helped to create a moment like this.

Obermann has resisted Rush’s past pleas to ignore him. Today, we cannot, as Limbaugh is actually making a difference this time. Once Limbaugh’s attempt to quash relief efforts to Haiti have passed, however, it is my hope that we all heed Rush’s call, and leave him to his radio fiefdom.

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