Keith Olbermann ‘Proves’ His Case Against Scott Brown
For a third straight night, Countdown host Keith Olbermann pressed his attack against Scott Brown, whom he first called “racist” and “homophobic,” among other things, then apologized for not attacking harder. Last night, he noted that defenders of Brown had accused him of lying, but offered no refutation. He then laid out the proof of his claims in his new “quick comment” segment and dared someone to disprove him. I’ll give it a shot.
Olbermann has managed a pretty neat trick here. You probably won’t hear any conservative addressing the specific points Keith brings up, and he knows it. A quick examination of the possible defenses demonstrates why. Here are Olbermann’s proofs:
Irresponsible – Brown swore at a high school assembly and announced to America that his daughters are “available.” On the second count, even Glenn Beck (perhaps overstating) thought that was kinda creepy.
The first one is a tad misleading, but really in a way that’s kind to Brown. He didn’t just launch into profanity, he was actually reading quotes from a Facebook page contributed by the kids at the school so he could “call them out,” even identifying them by name. “You can hammer me, but I can’t call you out on it?” Brown said.
Even better than that, he wasn’t invited to the school to speak, he invited himself when he heard that a teacher had discussed Brown’s stance on gay marriage (against, but favors civil unions) with students. So, he didn’t go off on a bunch of high school kids, he was just speaking truth to…power? Quoting the profanities was dumb either way.
Homophobic – Brown said, of an opponent in 2001, that two women having a baby was “not normal.” Also once favored an amendment to the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Does that make him homophobic? Well, to the extent that it’s even a liability to be an anti-gay Republican, let’s give Brown the benefit of the doubt and say he has grown since then. Formerly homophobic, currently engaged in principled support of opposite marriage. Point: Still to Olbermann, because somebody scrubbed this from Brown’s Wikipedia page.
Racist – Brown questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s parentage. Now, Keith’s interpretation is one way you could go with this, that because Obama is black, Brown assumes he was born out of wedlock until proven otherwise. On the other hand, Brown could just have some kind of weird contempt for the President’s late mother. Let’s give this point to Brown. He’s a mother-hater, not a racist.
Also possible is that Brown isn’t racist or mom-ist, and was simply playing to a segment of his audience whom he thought would enjoy thinking of the President as a bastard. That would make him a liar and a coward.
Reactionary – Olbermann gives the dictionary definition here, but I don’t think anyone’s really going to argue this too fiercely. Again, not a liability for a Republican. Point: Olbermann.
Ex Nude Model – True, although he hides his bits and pieces. But it’s OK, because he’s a dude. I’m tempted to give Keith 2 points for not doing a Sarah Palin overreach and calling him a porn star. Point: Olbermann.
Sexist – Again with his abnormal 2001 opponent! Referred to her as having “alleged family responsibilities.” I think this actually supports the homophobia more, but I also think his “They’re available” comment qualifies here. These aren’t the strongest points, and Brown needs to score here, so I’ll give this one to Brown. Point: Brown. He’s not sexist, just hostile to gay families and says weird shit about his daughters under pressure.
Tea-bagging – He’s busted by my colleague, Sam Stein, having a Tea Party fundraiser earlier this month. Some might object to the term “tea-bagging,” but since the folks at the Oxford Dictionary know what he’s talking about, Keith gets this one. Point: Olbermann.
Supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees – Keith’s talking about the incident where a supporter shouted “Shove a curling iron up (Martha Coakley’s) butt!” and Brown appeared to approve of the remark. He later told reporters that he hadn’t heard it, and that it was “inappropriate” and that he would have “said something” had he heard it. You can question the strength of his repudiation, or its sincerity, but he did make it. Point: Brown.
So, to review, Keith didn’t actually prove that Brown is a racist or a misogynist, but the problem here is that in order to defend Brown, you still kinda have to trash him. Much easier to call Keith a liar, accuse him of playing some kind of “card,” and high-five your buddies for calling him “Keith Olberdouche” or something.
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