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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

The 2012 Presidential Election is all about the hot steaming pile we call the American economy, stupid, right? Whether you blame President Obama or the Republican obstructionists who would sacrifice the nation just to destroy him. It’s all about the unemployment rate and the debt and revenue and entitlements and the GDP and the Tea Party and Wall Street and #OWS and the one percent and the 99 percent—in sum, as Keith Olbermann now signs off each night, the day after day of “this crap” we’re all trying to get through.

On a broader scale the election is also about the wars on women, labor and voting rights. It’s about repealing the 20th century, whether a Right Wing coup will take us back to a Kochian-utopia circa 1893, when folks worked in sweatshops—and liked it, goddammit—for magnates and robber barons and other plutocrats who threw parties at Sherry’s and Delmonico’s and Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish’s —and essentially ruled the earth (even more than now).

And it was about an America where “our blacks,” as Ann Coulter so Ann Coulteresquely put it, knew their place.

Indeed, as much as anything—perhaps more—the 2012 election is about race.

For three years, we have heard the Right vow to “take this country back.” We have heard endless other coded messages—“dog whistles,” they call them these days— reinforcing the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is an uppity African-American. Aside from the racist signs and blogs and GOP emails, and the efforts  to paint this moderate (too much so for much of his base), reasonable, enlightened man as a wild-eyed radical who does not believe in “American exceptionalism,” there is (still, remarkably) “birtherism”—a racially-charged lunatic conspiracy theory designed to smear him as an “other” or even a Manchurian Candidate foreign agent.

There have also been the systematic attempts by leading Republicans to delegitimize the President—the “You lie!”style dissing by members of Congress–including Speaker Boehner, who historically denied the Commander-in-Chief  his preferred date to address a Joint Session.

And now, as Rick Perry would phrase it, they’re “having some fun” with his grades—for, after all, how could a black man legitimately make it through two Ivy League Schools, head the Harvard Law Review and teach constitutional law?

The GOP is a white man’s party, still pursuing its pernicious Southern Strategy (which certainly works in states like Mississippi, where a recent poll showed that 46 percent of Republicans either believe interracial marriage should be illegal, or aren’t sure). There are exceptions, so few you can name them. Some well-paid TV pundits. Michael Steele. Wingnuts like Alan Keyes and Allen West.

And then there is  Herman Cain. Whether or not you dismiss him as a “minstrel” providing the GOP cover against charges of racism–as the African-American writer Toure has said; or as just another part of the Republican sideshow, no one can take this demonstrably ignorant carny barker for real presidential candidate.

And of course there is his campaign commercial. Not the “cigarette man” spot, but the one nobody talks about–the climax of which shows a white redneck punching out a black man.

No, the real candidates are two 60-something white guys, one a plutocratic Mormon—and while I wouldn’t brand him racist, his sect  has, certainly, a complicated racial track record; the other a states rights Texan who sees nothing wrong with confederate flags, secession talk and rocks inscribed “N—–head.”

So, Barack Obama, who had the temerity to defeated an old white guy in 2008, will likely  face another in 2012. Should he lose, God forbid, they’ll get their country back—or so it will seem for a time.

But the national complexion is changing—it’s getting browner, and there is nothing Pat Buchanan or the racist wing of the Tea Party, or Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump or the Florida GOP can do about it.

 

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A little over a month after starting a hiatus from the political and media fray, Keith Olbermann is back—online, at least—with his new FOK News Channel (FOK=Friends of Keith, along with the obvious dig at a loathed competitor) blog. As the former Countdown host—and new Current TV host and chief news officer—admits, there are some kinks to work out, and some bells and whistles to add, including video.

For liberals awaiting Olbermann’s late-spring Current launch, the site is a welcome development—and so far, for this reader, a delight. Since Keith’s abrupt departure from MSNBC we’ve seen veritable earthquakes of news—at home and abroad, in the Mideast, the Midwest and elsewhere—and leftish viewers have missed his voice. The humor, the ferocity, and yes, the healthy ego—part of Keith’s charm for some of us, intolerable arrogance to his detractors.

If you’re a moderate-to-liberal Democrat, Keith’s ascension during the Bush years was a tonic. After weathering years of Fox News, Limbaugh and other coast-to-coast Righty radio demagogues, years of trickle-down Reagan worship and phony, bumper-sticker patriots shilling for billionaires, it was exciting to find a liberal voice who didn’t sound like Merkin Muffley.

What FOKNewsChannel offers that TV naturally does not, is the chance to read Keith’s work and see in black and white what a sharp writer he is. For those who like their web material short and snappy, his First Guess columns—comments on the day’s news, this week, three posts on Wisconsin—may require a bit of patience.

But if you enjoy writing and reading actual words on an actual page (well, screen) it’s worth it. Here’s an excerpt from his second post, concerning the mainstream corporate media’s tardy response to the unrest in Wisconsin—THE domestic story of the day:

 

Media at the moment – especially television – honors the foreign correspondent, the disaster correspondent, and the feel-good correspondent. The all-too-real dangers and terrors of reporting from revolutions is not to be disparaged and is not being so here. Other than the waste of time (“that’s when Porfirio Altamirano learned that a horse, not a dog, can be man’s best friend”) the feel-good correspondent isn’t too much of a blight. But you can also go to New Orleans, have yourself filmed walking around the reeking hulks of a city for twenty minutes, show half the video tape, and proclaim yourself a grizzled field reporter and an edgy political commentator – and your bosses will agree with you and turn it into a promo.

 

But a complicated, essential domestic political story offers no opportunity for getting photographed helping out poor wet people. It has the perils of alienating right wing viewers (who grow as an audience percentage simply by dint of the reality that the left, and the youth, have been abandoning television as a primary means of information consumption for the last 15 years).

You don’t need a scorecard to figure out what “correspondents” he’s talking about. One attraction of Al Gore’s Current is that it’s not beholden to corporations—GE, Time-Warner, NewsCorp. Hopefully Keith will get to use that freedom to the best of his potential. He certainly won’t be boring.

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It’s been a month since Keith Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC, and many liberal cable-news junkies have changed the status of their relationship with the station to “It’s complicated.”

Keith’s ardent fans delight in the news that, sometime in late spring, he’ll be returning to his old 8 p.m., time slot with a show on Al Gore’s Current TV, for which he’s also serving as Chief News Officer.

In the meantime, the former Countdown host is spending some of his “non-compete” limbo on Twitter, posting links and 140-characters-or-less comments on some of the astonishing news events—the Mideast, Wisconsin, et. al.—unfolding since his exit, while keeping his chops sharp chiding Congressional Republicans

(@KeithOlbermann: Sen. McConnell: “Olbermann is out, and Reagan is in.” Olbermann: “Olbermann is back, and Reagan is dead and he was a lousy president.”);

and smacking down nasty Tweets from right-wingnuts.

@RightWinger: “Hey Keith, what’s happening in #Wisconsin is democracy. You ought to try it. We love Scott Walker. Keith your a dick.”

@KeithOlbermann: “No no – nobody following your childish driveltweets – THAT’s democracy.”

Keith also Tweets on everything from baseball (he continues his delightful Baseball Nerd blog) to Manhattan sunsets (photos included).

But what of MSNBC in the wake of his departure? Sadly, the early returns suggest that some of Keith’s audience has, for the moment, tuned out. This today from The Hollywood Reporter:

“Ratings for Lawrence O’Donnell‘s The Last Word, which replaced Countdown With Keith Olbermann, are down approximately 10 percent from results for the same time a year ago when Olbermann was in the coveted 8 p.m. time slot. O’Donnell’s ratings are also down 22% from Olbermann’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2010, reports the New York Times. Both ratings drops are within the viewer age range of 25 and 54, which is the ideal target market for news programs.

Of course it’s a tough act to follow for O’Donnell. A self-described socialist (albeit a pragmatic one) he has a varied resume—onetime Chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee and co-creator of The West Wing (long married to actress Kathryn Harrold).

Judging anecdotally—from the Friends of Keith (#FOK) on Twitter—it’s true that some of Olbermann’s fans haven’t quite taken to O’Donnell, which I think is a shame. I enjoyed his 10 p.m. show. He’s smart, articulate and gets some intriguing guests—including far-righties who don’t normally venture onto MSNBC, like off-the-charts-extremist Rep. Steve King and the execrable Ann Coulter—and with whom Lawrence gets into occasional shouting matches. To emphasize his fiery side, perhaps in an effort to reclaim some Keith defectors, MSNBC now uses as a promo spot an excerpt from O’Donnell’s argument with Arizona Rep. Trent Franks over ammunition control.

I hope O’Donnell hangs in there—but of course, if he stays in the 8 p.m. time slot, he’ll go head-to-head with Keith. And that will be a testing time for MSNBC’s entire primetime lineup. By all accounts Rachel Maddow’s ratings are holding firm since KO’s exit—and she’s been fierce, in her cerebral way, particularly about the GOP assault on women’s reproductive rights, as well as Egypt. Even after Keith’s up and running at Current, I suspect she’ll hang on to her loyal fan base.

A  question mark is Ed Schultz, whose ratings reportedly, have been rocky in O’Donnell’s 10 p.m. slot. I think he brings something special to the table—like Olbermann, he’s combative, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. He seemed a bit strait-jacketed at first, especially once his entertaining “Psycho Talk” segment was (for whatever reason) discontinued.

But the Battle of Wisconsin  highlights Big Ed’s big passion—fighting for the middle class, the blue-collar and white collar workers who’ve been getting screwed for 30 years—three decades that saw their incomes remain flat, while the gap between the rich and everyone else widened into a canyon. Ed’s reporting, more than anyone, made Wisconsin into a national story—even as many mainstream media ignored it.

Maybe Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting power play—a Labor vs. GOP battle that will play out in Ohio, Indiana and many other states over the next two years—will give Schultz the boost he needs. We need someone who can call out Rush Limbaugh in language he can understand. When “the Drugster,” as Ed calls him, called Wisconsin workers “freeloaders” and “parasites,” and suggested they were leading an “anti-democracy movement,” this was Ed’s response:

If you want to follow the Limbaugh and the Becks of the world, and you want to turn your back on firefighters, turn your back on police officers, turn your back on nurses, turn your back on brothers and sisters who have stood in solidarity to fight for the middle class in America? Is that wrapping yourself in the flag? Hey Rush: why don’t you wrap your fat ass in the flag on Monday?”

I’d hate to lose that. Let’s hope Liberal-leaning cable news is big enough for Keith Olbermann and MSNBC, the network he, more than anyone, helped create.

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Well, it turned out (see previous post) that Keith Olbermann’s Tweet on yesterday’s Huffington Post-AOL deal was, indeed, a hint about “the Next Chapter” in his controversial, sometimes mercurial and brilliant—at least to many of us politically left of the 410-foot sign in center field—career.

Yesterday, @KeithOlbermann Tweeted: “Am I missing something or has the primary appeal of The Huffington Post been its independence from big $ media?”

Today, Keith O. announced his new venture, as Chief News Officer at Al Gore and Joel Hyatt’s Current TV, the public affairs station for which he’ll also host a primetime news and commentary show, airing later this year (after Keith’s non-compete agreement with MSNBC expires)

So, it seems that once again, we’ll be able to hear pundit Richard Wolffe intone: “Good evening, Keith.”

For those of you who missed the press conference (like me—I was at my shrink), Keith expanded on yesterday’s 140-character-or-less comment:

“Nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference. In Current Media, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have created the model truth-seeking entity.”

In a conference call with reporters, Keith added: “None of this should be directed at my nine full-time previous employers — there is nothing wrong with people making money and corporations being involved in covering information—provided there is an avenue in which those marketing forces are not the deciding factor in what we are doing. Current is not only the leading independent network, it’s the only one. To underscore and support that is my great privilege.”

Asked  how he was stifled at previous jobs, K.O. stressed, “I don’t want to imply that there were massive repressive forces working against individual stories. This is the time for me in my career to continue to evolve, to continue to do a better job, and what is required is an opportunity to work in a much more pristine environment. Not to criticize what is being done elsewhere.”

Olbermann’s move should certainly provide a huge boost to five-year-old Current, which reaches only 60 million U.S. households and has struggled to gain a media foothold. And for his fans, it’s reassuring to know he’ll be offering his biting, incisive—sometimes delightfully over-the-top—commentary on the 2012 presidential race, right-wing extremism, and the continuing disintegration of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. To that end, Keith told reporters in a conference call that he will, indeed, feature a segment on the order of “Worst Persons in the World”—albeit under another monicker.

And who knows, MSNBC fans may see some contributions from our old pal David Shuster, who left the network after a dispute and is launching a new investigative journalism venture on the internet. As Shuster Tweeted this morning, “Nothing in my investigative journalism venture would preclude me from helping KO. I would be honored.”

Here’s an overview of Keith’s responsibilities from Current’s press release.

“Keith Olbermann’s show will lead a programming slate on Current that includes original and acquired TV series aimed at an influential adult audience. Current features compelling stories about everyday heroes and ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and takes you to sometimes dangerous and always intriguing places. Current shines a light on controversial subjects, tackling hot issues of the day in a thoughtful and sometimes humorous way. Current engages its viewers by sparking debate and discussion, and via interactive formats that allow viewers to inform its stories.”

Here’s Al Gore’s statement: “Keith Olbermann is a gifted thinker, an amazing talent and a powerful communicator, and having him tap Current as his new home is exciting and very much in line with the core vision we founded this network on: To engage viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming. In a world where there are fewer and fewer opportunities to hear truly distinct, unfettered voices on television, we are delighted to provide Keith with the independent platform and freedom that Current can, and does uniquely offer.”

Gore, also on a press conference call, added, “Olbermann signature is intelligent commentary. He is truly one of the unfettered voices on TV. Keith is one of those rare voices, his voice is truly unique…Keith Olbermann is one of our society’s most courageous talents. He speaks truth to power. He calls them as he sees them. He speaks his mind.

Here’s some background on Current, plus a sampling of their lineup via current.com

About Current Media:

Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winningtelevision and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, engages viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming -stories that no one else is telling in ways that no one else is telling them. Current’s programming shines a light where others won’t dare and boldly explores important subjects — opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. The channel’s audience is comprised of affluent, curious, social and connected adults who crave the kind of entertaining, enlightening, witty and informative programming found on Current’s TV and online properties. Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 75 million households worldwide – 60 million households in the US – through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner ; DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon and AT&T. In the UK and Ireland, Current is available on BSkyB (Channel 183) and Virgin Media (Channel 155), and in Italy, Current is available on Sky Italia (Channel 130).

This American Life

MONDAYS 10/9c

Inspired by the award-winning Chicago Public Radio show of the same name, “This American Life” travels the country in search of compelling stories told by everyday people in their own words with a little help from host and series creator Ira Glass. Each episode features a quirky cast of characters, from a cloned Brahman bull to a Chicago hot dog vendor, brought together by the unique theme that connects their unforgettable tales.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Love Is The Worst Influence: This American Life

A 14-year-old makes the decision to reject love. Even in…

Kill It, Cook It, Eat It

TUESDAYS 10/9c

In each episode of “Kill It, Cook It, Eat It,” a diverse group of participants is challenged to procure their main course the old-fashioned way: by hunting and killing their chosen prey, butchering it in the slaughterhouse, helping to prepare it in the kitchen, and ultimately sampling it at the dinner table. Some may enjoy the process while others recoil, but for each diner it’s an intense journey that just may change their perspectives – and appetites – forever.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Flamethrowers and Pigs Brains: Kill It, Cook It, Eat It

Flaying and beheading the cows and lambs helped some of the…

Bar Karma

FRIDAYS 10/9c PREMIERES FEBRUARY 11

From the mind of Sims creator Will Wright comes the world’s first “community developed” television show—a sci-fi series about a mysterious bar at the edge of the universe. Every happy hour, the Bar Karma staff guides one lost soul through a crossroads in his or her life, using glimpses of the past, present and many possible futures. Powered by Current TV‘s Creation Studios, Bar Karma harnesses the creative power of our audience, who are enlisted to help shape the story at http://current.com/studios.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Bar Karma Begins

A TV series about a bar where lost souls can change their…

SWAT: Miami Dade

WEDNESDAYS 10/9c

Ten miles inland from the beautiful beaches of Miami are some of America’s meanest streets, where drug trafficking and gang violence threaten the entire community. SWAT: Miami-Dade follows the men and women of Miami-Dade’s Special Response Team (SRT), one of the best-trained elite police units in the world, as they use tactical precision and state-of-the-art weaponry to take down potentially deadly suspects, one mission at a time.

NEWEST EPISODE:

From High School Dropout to SWAT Sergeant: SWAT: Miami-Dade

As Sergeant Manny Malgor’s unit prepares to lead off a…

infoMania

Thursdays 11/10c

infoMania is a weekly half-hour satirical show that puts a comedic spin on the 24/7 media overload. Picture the ultimate office water-cooler, only with funnier co-workers who willingly stay up late imbibing all forms of media so you don’t have to. Hosted by Brett Erlich and co-starring Sergio Cilli, Erin Gibson, Ben Hoffman and Bryan Safi, infoMania airs on Thursdays at 11/10c on Current TV.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Brett Erlich Gears Up for the Puppy Bowl

Every year, thousands of people settle in to watch the most…

Vanguard

MONDAYS 9/8c

Airing weekly on Current TV on Mondays at 9/8c, Vanguard is a no-limits documentary series whose award-winning correspondents put themselves in extraordinary situations to immerse viewers in global issues that have a large social significance.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Democracy in Egypt

In the last year, some Egyptian people have stepped forth to…

Long Way Round

TUESDAYS 11/10C

Movie star Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman travel by motorcycle from London to New York, the long way round. From being held at gunpoint in Kazakhstan to witnessing the majestic vistas of Mongolia, this series captures the spirit of friendship and adventure in a completely fresh way.

NEWEST EPISODE:

One Year After a Life-Changing Adventure: Long Way Round

Ewan, Charley, and their producers reflect on the adventure…

Cooking in the Danger Zone

TUESDAYS 11/10C

If Vanguard did a food show, it’d be Cooking in the Danger Zone. Intrepid journalist Stefan Gates goes on a worldwide odyssey to check out the crazy (to us!) foods that people eat in the far flung corners of the globe. In each episode he samples the culture and meets the locals, before diving into the local delicacy.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Authentic Mexican Tortillas: Cooking in the Danger Zone

While traveling through South America, Stefan learns how to…

The Beat

WEDNESDAYS 8/7c

The United Nations have described Vancouver, British Columbia, as “paradise, blighted by a two-kilometer square stretch of urban misery.” The Beat is 10-part documentary series about a police squad in the Downtown Eastside, filmed over six months of day-and-night access to the members of Beat Enforcement Team Squad Three.

NEWEST EPISODE:

Attacks on the Unarmed and Elderly: The Beat

Staff Sergeant Toby Hinton undergoes an extensive…

Deadliest Journeys

WEDNESDAYS 8:30/7:30c

Think you have the commute from hell? Think again. Deadliest Journeys travels the world’s most menacing roads, skies and waterways, where travelers risk it all to reach their destinations. These routes may be scenic, but they’re also full of wild animals, armed thieves and the occasional avalanche.

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Tomorrow Keith Olbermann and “his new partners will make an exciting announcement regarding the next chapter in his remarkable career.” The former MSNBC host’s new pr representatives at 42West have called the conference for Tuesday morning 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST.

[UPDATE  2/8 8:20 PM ET (thanks to @msnbcfans) A Mediaite tipster points out that the domain names “theolbermannshow.com” and “thekeitholbermannshow.com” were registered January 19th, 2011, just two days before his last appearance on MSNBC. ]

Keith’s legions of fans—bereft at the Countdown host’s abrupt exit from MSNBC, and, consequently, the void left in forceful liberal commentary—are all aTwitter, speculating about his new venture. What are the possibilities?  First, a look at 42West, in the words of its own web site:

“The Talent Division of 42West, headed by Leslee Dart, focuses on creating and implementing strategic campaigns for a wide variety of performers and entertainers, including television and film stars, recording artists, authors, and theater actors.”

Among Dart’s clients have been filmmakers Woody Allen, the late Sydney Pollack and Wes Anderson

This suggests that Keith may be entering (or re-entering) the “entertainment” sphere. One doubts he’s going into motion pictures, of course, but certainly a return to TV is very likely. Perhaps via:

1)    A cable show perhaps aired on HBO or Showtime, featuring political commentary, but also guests from the sports and entertainment worlds. Of course ESPN-alum Olbermann, began his career in sports, and is a passionate baseball nerd (he’s got a blog by that very name). He’s also way into entertainment (check out his Twitter “follows”). A non-compete clause in K.O.’s exit deal from MSNBC prohibits him from doing any TV for several months—that doesn’t mean he can’t talk about doing a TV show—which, after all, takes at least as long to develop as democracy in Egypt.

Besides which, with the 2012 Election looming, Sarah Palin on the loose—and Keith’s big ratings at MSNBC (which could grow even bigger on his return from a controversial, sudden departure from TV)—it’s impossible to imagine Keith staying off the tube.

2)    Another possibility: An Internet venture, perhaps on the order of Huffington Post. Today, when the HuffPo-AOL deal was announced, Keith Tweeted: “Am I missing something or has the primary appeal of The Huffington Post been its independence from big $ media?” One could take that as a teaser—that Olbermann plans to inaugurate just such an “independent” entity. The 42West connection still suggests TV to me, but it certainly doesn’t preclude new media.

3)    Given 42West’s other specialities, perhaps Keith:

A)  Will launch a film or TV production company

B)   Star in a James Thurber Biopic

C)  Join the cast of Glee as an acerbic teacher; or perhaps join the cast of True Blood as an acerbic vampire

D)   Replace Sean Hayes in the Broadway Production of Promises, Promises; or perhaps tour in The Sunshine Boys with Howard Fineman

E)  Turn recording artist, a la Leonard Nimoy and Orrin Hatch.

F)   Do something so awesomely innovative, a new media format so mindblowingly, earthshatteringly cutting edge, it hasn’t even been contemplated.

Looking for the historical significance of Feb. 8? Well, it’s the day the Russo-Japanese War began. So perhaps

G) Keith will invade Russia, Japan or both.

Any other ideas?

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Thus far, however fleetingly, the crisis in Egypt has inspired a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington. From John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, to James Baker, to John McCain, even to Dick Cheney, experienced GOP leaders have either supported President Obama’s efforts to ease the situation, or at least refrained from blasting him.

Enter Sarah Palin, in all her aggressively arrogant ignorance. Having jumped the shark on the Tucson tragedy, with her jaw-droppingly narcissistic, “blood libel” video, followed by the equally insane and self-absorbed WTF interview with Sean Hannity, the reality star and former half-term governor now calls upon her vast archive of foreign policy expertise to expound on Egypt. Naturally, it is a knee-jerk salvo at President Obama.

In an interview with CBN’s David Brody, SarahPac suggests that Egypt was POTUS’ 3 A.M. Phone Call, recalling Hillary Clinton’s famous commercial during the 2008 presidential primary campaign, which suggested Obama was too green to handle national security crises.

Quoth the Sage of Wasilla:

“Nobody yet has explained to the American people what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know, who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that, that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt.

“And in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just in Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House.”

Strength and sound mind there in the White House. Obama, Clinton and the rest of their team are deep amid delicate diplomatic negotiations over the future of an ancient sovereign nation, one with intricate, complex problems and a society starkly different from our own. They are trying to walk a tightrope, as Hosni Mubarak—an indispensable ally, whose oppressive 30-year regime has fostered torture, rape and murder—inevitably relinquishes power. They are trying to maintain a precarious stability in a region that could easily explode into chaos, extremism, and anti-Western fanaticism.

And Sarah Palin—who probably can’t find Egypt on a map, much less see it from her house—believes the President should be sharing a little more. Two weeks into this dauntingly complicated crisis, she wants O to spill. She wants him to spell out exactly who’s going to take over for Mubarak, even though no one here or in Egypt can predict the outcome of a situation that seemingly changes from minute to minute.

Palin fears, as many of us do, the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood. But if you stand for democracy and the right of Egyptians to determine their own destiny—as we say we do—well, you have to live with the outcome.

Does Palin think we can impose our will on Egypt? Shall we invade this country of 80 million and turn the Pyramids into a Christian theme park. Sarahland?

Now imagine John McCain had won the 2008 election.
Imagine, if you dare, a Vice-President Sarah Palin. Imagine this woman—who in at least one speech has referred to a hypothetical, what-if, “Palin-McCain” administration —imagine this woman playing second banana. Do you think she’d be able to cork her verbal and ideological diarrhea? Of course not. She’d be going before the cameras or on social media constantly, upstaging her boss at every turn. Giving her own alternative State of the Union address, her own domestic and foreign policy commentary on a daily basis, making Joe Biden appear discreet and George W. Bush look like Disraeli.

Now, imagine Sarah Palin privy to inside information during a foreign policy crisis. We all want transparency in government, but there are times when negotiations are so sensitive, the margin for error so minuscule, times when one false move, one careless word by the U.S. can spark disaster—that posting the details as your Facebook status update just isn’t the brightest idea.

As they said during World War II, “loose lips sink ships.”

Imagine Palin Tweeting D-Day.

Or the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In other news, Palin’s attempt to trademark her name has been rejected, at least temporarily.

She forgot to sign the paperwork.

Strength and sound mind.

In the words of Keith Olbermann, “The woman is an idiot.”

Please, GOP, please nominate her for president in 2012.

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I wondered how it would feel, my first hate letter. Having begun a blog generally focusing on liberal politics, it seemed reasonable that–assuming anyone actually read it–I’d eventually receive a seething, outraged and  hopefully entertainingly cretinous comment.

And really, I have asked for it. You don’t rant about the Right Wing, fundamentalist fanaticism, Rush, Beck, Teabaggers, phony bumper-sticker patriotism et. al., without inciting “incivility.” And, admittedly, I’ve been more than a little uncivil myself.

Time went by, however, and though I’d built it, the haters didn’t come. Well, there was one, but her fury wasn’t directed at me—it was a tirade against Gabby Giffords. Yes, that Gabby Giffords, at the time clinging to life in a hospital bed. The commenter suggested Rep. Giffords was responsible for the six deaths that day in Tucson–for not bringing enough security—and deserved to be executed for murder.

But beyond that, nothing. I’d read Keith Olbermann‘s Twitter feed—all the more after he left his show—and jealously follow his acerbic exchanges with cretinous-sounding righties and I thought, someday, son, someday, you, too will be noticed sufficiently to attract such knuckle-scraping bile.

My most recent post was admittedly one of my more fevered rants, this one against the anti-choice assault on women’s reproductive rights. That one, I thought, would surely draw some kind of vitriol—at least from the guy who parades outside the Time-Life Building with giant a poster of an aborted fetus.

Nothing.

Then, tonight: Eureka! I was sitting in the Borders Dean & DeLuca cafe at Columbus Circle at around 7:30 p.m. ET when it happened: My first Hate Tweet.

And it had nothing to do with a blog post. It was an off-hand Twitter reply to @StopBeck, suggesting that reality starlet Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Batshit-Minn.) may be the only people left to watch the rapidly disintegrating Glenn Beck.

The Hate Tweet was beautiful. And so earthshatteringly stupid, Sarah Palin herself could have written it. And it was mine:
.
Waterboarding4U Yup=>RT @kennethy69: Hey man Daily douchmocles @dailydamocles is just a wacko/moron anti-American! Needs to leave USA w 0bamba!

Daily Douchocles. It was exhilarating, like my first Little League home run. I laughed out loud. I immediately re-Tweeted it. It was a badge of honor.

I’d dared to make fun of Palin and Bachmann, therefore I was anti-American. Just like “Obamba.”

Re-Tweeted by a guy calling himself Waterboarding4U. An Army vet (thank you for your service); a “native Texan.” I’d messed with Texas.

Wait, didn’t you guys secede–again?

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