Ed Driscoll

O'Reilly: 42, Saddam: 2

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes claims that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s wearing a cardboard mask of Bill O’Reilly and gaving a Nazi salute yesterday at a summer meeting of the Television Critics Association is “over the line“. It culminates a dark, unending obsession that Olbermann seems to have with his ratings better; Brent Bozell notes that Olbermann named O’Reilly the “Worst Person in the World” 42 times in the last year. That’s 40 more times than Saddam Hussein earned Olbermann’s signature sobriquet:

Olbermann’s constant, stalker-like obsession with O’Reilly, who normally has about eight times his ratings, lacks all sense of proportion. How do you explain that Olbermann named O’Reilly his “Worst Person in the World” 42 times in the last year? (Saddam drew the brickbat only twice, and Osama bin Laden? Not once.) He named O’Reilly the world’s worst human seven times just in the month of April.If this obsession is drawing ratings, who then is being attracted to “Countdown”? Olbermann isn’t just cultivating some vague “anti-Fox niche.” Nightly, he bays at the moon in search of the hard-core Left, the devotees of MoveOn and Michael Moore and Daily Kos. In 2004, he was just about the last person inside a TV studio (or outside a mental facility) to claim that John Kerry actually won Ohio, not withstanding that nagging 120,000-vote discrepancy.

But in spite of Olbermann’s best efforts at unveiling the fraud, Bush was still re-elected, so now the MSNBC host is painting him as a dangerous proto-fascist.

Olbermann recently invited on old Watergate figure John Dean to promote his new book, “Conservatives Without Conscience,” which argues that the conservative movement is deeply authoritarian. Since when did John Dean become an authority on the conservative movement?

Jonah Goldberg answers that question:

Here’s a short rule of thumb for how to tell who is a “respectable” conservative in the eyes of liberals: any conservative out of power or not seen as supportive of those in power. An even shorter rule of thumb would be: conservatives are respectable if they are useful to liberals. Pat Buchanan became respectable, even adorable, among a loose coalition of liberals leftists, from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Ralph Nader, when he turned on the GOP establishment. Kevin Phillips, David Gergen and John Dean have been “real” Republicans — though rarely conservatives — for decades because they are willing to confirm the assumptions of liberals. An even more telling example would be the “neocons.” Before the Iraq war, neocons were the nice conservatives, the good conservatives, the idealistic conservatives the un-racist conservatives, according to academics, The New York Times and others. This is not to say that they aren’t nice, good, idealistic and un-racist. Rather, it’s to point up the way in which conservatives become evil as they become influential, relevant, or otherwise inconvenient to liberals. John McCain was touted as a good choice for president by The New Republic and other liberal voices. Today, McCain is increasingly villified by many of these same voices because, it turns out, he’s actually a Republican.Similarly, William F. Buckley is suddenly the voice of humane and decent conservatism, according to liberals. A more humane and decent man, you’ll never meet. But it’s doubtlessly true that if WFB had the president’s ear, the same voices cheering him would once again be calling him a fascist. And, needless to say, if Bush governed on Pat Buchanan’s playbook, Chris Matthews would lose his crush on him awfully fast.


Update: More here. And speaking of McCain and other Republicans courted by the media and other Democrats, Debra Saunders writes that it’s a one-way street:

I think McCain in the White House could go a long way in healing the country’s ugly partisan divide. Then again, I added, Democrats have their own maverick — Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. Unlike Dems who ran from their support of the Iraq resolution, Lieberman has remained stalwart. He has forged relations with the Bush White House and joined McCain and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in fighting pork-barrel spending.That’s when the table got quiet. It is one thing for Democrats to feel superior to rube Republicans who don’t like McCain because he is not sufficiently doctrinaire. When, however, a Democrat gets along with Republicans and espouses moderate positions, well then, he is a turncoat, plain and simple. The episode demonstrated how voters value bipartisanship — from the other side, only.

Read the rest.