Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

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TWELVE WORDS

June 21, 2009

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“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities,

can make you commit atrocities.”

I know. I know. It’s just a bumper sticker.

But words are powerful. I wrote them down and drove off. As I continued running my errands that day, the sentence stayed with me. When I had the opportunity, I did a little “googling.”

With the exception of one word, the sentence is a quote from François-Marie Arouet, whose pen name is Voltaire. (He used the word “those” instead of “anyone.) After doing a little more research, I learned that this man was a bit of a non-conformist in his day. A contrarian, much like me.

A few days later, I was visiting with family and as is often the case, I started hearing FOX News/Rush Limbaugh talking points. “We’re losing our freedoms, one by one.” “We’re slowly becoming a European country” and “Our image around the world is weakening.” I listened to about three minutes of it, temporarily excused myself, and called my wife to tell her I was on my way.

As I was driving home, I remembered the Voltaire quote. While I know that no one in my family is capable of committing atrocities, I also know there are those who listen to hateful language from TV commentators and radio talk show hosts, day in and day out, that take these words to heart. Sadly and pathetically, some act on them.

Police officers killed in Pennsylvania because the shooter believed that President Obama was going to take his guns away. Where did he get that idea?

Dr. George Tiller murdered for performing legal medical procedures. Where did this gunman get the idea that Dr. Tiller was illegally killing babies?

To be sure, Bill O’Reilly is not Walter Conkrite and Keith Olbermann is not Tom Brokaw.

The 21st century, while bringing us incredible information technology, has also forced conventional media to move away from truth-telling to what has been called “Tabloid Television” and “Shock Radio.” The days of truthful television and radio “news” programs are all but gone.

If you are looking for the truth, unfortunately, you have to search for it. Fortunately, we have the internet. Yes, there’s plenty of spin there as well, but there are also plenty of facts. It’s not hard to discern the difference. The internet was responsible for the outcomes in the 2006 and 2008 elections. People started researching the “facts” heard on TV and radio, learned the truth about those “facts,” and voted accordingly. The corporate “noise machines” were not able to control the message, regardless of how many TV affiliates, radio stations and newspapers they owned. TV and radio ratings are becoming less and less significant. Internet traffic to news and information/video websites is the future.

Hearing absurdities from commentators is entertaining. Hearing them repeated by family members is something entirely different. My reaction is a mixture of surprise and sadness. The surprise is that these are educated people with good jobs and young families. The sadness – and concern – is for the children. What’s the take-away message for them when they hear their parents talking like this? No hope? No freedom? No future? No security? Hate? Fear?

Just a bumper sticker?

Really?

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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KO’S K O

May 24, 2009

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It was bound to happen sooner or later.

In a brilliant move by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh was revealed for the intellectual field mouse that he is. Combine that “attribute” with the personality of a rake and his Jabba-the-Hut posture as seen on  his “Ditto Cam” and you have the buffoon that conservatives are inexplicably afraid to defy.

Many think Rush is a genius when it comes to how well he markets himself, but let’s give credit where credit is due. ClearChannel Communications through its subsidiary, Premiere Radio Networks, markets Rush’s show free of charge to hundreds of radio stations. Because Rush’s popularity is barely 20%, Premiere uses his show as a loss-leader to obtain advertising time for national sponsors. In other words, radio stations don’t pay a dime for three hours of national programming. They simply trade for 45 minutes of advertising in that three hour time slot. None of this was Rush’s idea.

Olbermann has gone after Rush in the past for some of his insulting, racist, and incendiary rants. Here’s Keith highlighting some of Rush’s “greatest hits.”

Rush has now challenged MSNBC. He believes they can’t go 30 days without talking about him.

This was a bad idea.

What Rush didn’t expect was Olbermann throwing the same challenge back on him in his “WTF!?! Moment” on May 21st, which featured Keith saying… you guessed it… “F. U.”  to Rush. (Not the actual words – just the letters.)

Rush responded by saying that Olbermann’s “back-at-you” challenge was incoherent.  That’s rich. The man with no ability for thoughtful discernment calls the highly educated and intellectually superior MSNBC host “incoherent.”

Never give Keith Olbermann a second chance to make a fool of you. He’s too good at it the first time. Olbermann not only re-issued and re-aired his challenge the next night, calling it the “WTF Coherency Test,” but had his graphics team create a new “Bouncing Rush” logo from Rush’s entrance at the CPAC Convention earlier this year.

Maybe “buffoon” is too generous.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

 

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DOOMSDAY DICK

May 15, 2009

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HE’S EVERYWHERE! HE’S EVERYWHERE!

HIDE THE CHILDREN!

BAR THE DOORS AND WINDOWS!

STOP WATCHING HIM ON TV!

I know the last line doesn’t fit, but it makes my point: how is it that the man who stayed in his “cave” for nearly eight years is now more visible than clouds during a thunderstorm?

Here are some highlights from Dick’s Doomsday Tour:

The former VP admits to authorizing torture.

Torture is ILLEGAL regardless of what Bush Administration lawyers concocted to the contrary. Calling it “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” does not make it legal. We have prosecuted and convicted people for torturing – specifically water-boarding. John McCain called water-boarding torture during the campaign of 2008 – he should know.  We’ve also prosecuted our own soldiers for water-boarding.

If you are one of the “…ends justifies the means…” crowd, then imagine your son or daughter in Afghanistan captured and tortured by the Taliban. Are the actions justified? Do they have a right to treat your child inhumanely? Do we have the right to ask them to spare your child this suffering? If so, on what basis? Is “what’s good for the goose” suddenly not good for the gander? And what about “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you?”

Scott McClellan says Bush knew everything. Dick Cheney said the same thing.

Dick Cheney believes that unless a President is impeached, he has not done anything illegal.

He says he would “talk” to congress, with pre-conditions – my term, not his.

Dick Cheney is never going to testify under oath to congress. He has no respect for the institution. He’ll have to be subpoenaed by a Federal Prosecutor under threat of incarceration before he raises his right hand in a courtroom.

The Obama Administration is making us less safe?

The argument that the Bush-Cheney Administration kept us safe is flawed. Let’s not forget: OUR COUNTRY WAS HIT – FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER – DURING THE BUSH-CHENEY YEARS. We now know the attacks on September 11, 2001 could have been prevented had the warnings not been ignored. But don’t take my word for it. Read for yourself:

Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Article 6, Article 7, Article 8, Article 9, Article 10   

CheneylooksatBushIn addition, we also know that Bush and Cheney had every intention of invading Iraq, one year before the invasion took place, thanks to the Downing Street Memos, and this exhaustive report from the Washington Post on the memos. Continued research reveals far more than I’ve indicated here.

 

Once we invaded Iraq, Cheney went into hiding – revealing the character of a morally bankrupt coward – not a patriot, as he would have us believe.

The idea that he is somehow concerned about the safety of our country is laughable. From his five military deferments to his fear-based tactics as VP that led to the death of 4,500 (and still counting) of this country’s finest in an unnecessary “war,” it is obvious that Cheney is only concerned about one thing – Dick Cheney.

In case you’re wondering:

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My military eligibility years were during the Vietnam War. I was classified 1H and would have gone in the Army had my number been called in the draft lottery.

Because I was older than the 18-year-olds that were picked first, I was never called. I was against the war, to be sure, but I did not try to hide from military service. On a very personal and sad note, I lost a good friend in that war. Another friend that did make it back was never the same after his tour. He came home with deep psychological issues from all of the violence, death and destruction that he witnessed.

As I’ve said before, the truth always reveals itself no matter how hard people try to hide it. The title of this post only reflects what Cheney is saying, and not what he is really doing.

His motive for speaking now is clear to me. He’s sees himself as the defendant in what I hope will be a case against him for war crimes. Cheney is trying to influence the jury pool – TV and radio audiences – before the trial begins.

At a time when the Republican Party is trying to find its voice, the last thing it needs is a fear-mongering, draft-dodging, hypocrite who’s trying to stay out of jail. Saying that Rush Limbaugh is a better Republican than Colin Powell doesn’t help either.

For all Cheney’s efforts to defend the use of torture, there is far more evidence that it is indefensible. And now, investigations have begun.

Cheney’s daughter, Liz, has joined the tour. She mentions that others may be talking to their lawyers, which is why no one else is coming out to defend her father. (Note the 3:21 mark in the video.)

None of us knows where this will end. What we do know is our credibility as the world’s beacon for peace and hope must be restored. We should always persevere until the truth is fully revealed and the rule of law is applied to all involved.

In much the same way when I grew up, I want future generations to grow up in a country they can be proud to call home.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

PS – A special thanks to Maureen Dowd for the “Doomsday Dick” title idea.