As Steve Green writes at the Tatler, “Keith, I know it wasn’t easy to do, but you managed to land a job at the one network where you could shrink your own audience while growing your network’s total viewership. Well done, sir!”
Current TV, Keith’s newest employer, is currently hashing it out with MSNBC over how many viewers each channel has. (Short answer? Less than Fox News. But more than the post-Larry King CNN? Maybe!) But there’s no argument that between Al Gore and Keith Olbermann, Current TV will now have more argumentum ad Hitlerum than any other cable TV channel. Let’s start with the network’s founder:
In his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, he wrote that “today the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin.” He repeatedly refers to the unfolding “ecological holocaust” and invokes Martin Niemoller’s famous quote (“When the Nazis came for the Communists, I remained silent; I was not a Communist. … When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew. …”) to label himself and other environmentalists “the new resistance.”In An Inconvenient Truth and in interviews, Gore sticks to his guns. He quotes Churchill’s warning about the gathering storm of fascism and declares: “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequence.”
And if you don’t believe him, you’re a digital brownshirt:
[T]oday Al Gore upped the ante. He coined a new term for the Internet critics of his positions: digital brownshirts. Yes, yes, it’s over the top. But it’s not the sentiment that raises eyebrows, it’s the position of the person who’s saying it. We don’t expect presidential candidates past or present to indulge in Usenet flame-war lingo. We don’t expect serious party elders to call the other side Nazis, and for good reason: it’s obscene. The brownshirts were evil. The brownshirts kicked the Jews in the streets and made the little kids put their hands on their heads as they stumbled off to the trains. The brownshirts were not interested in refuting arguments. They were interested in killing the people who dared argue at all.
At some point, I fear, the political discourse of 2004 is going to seem horribly irrelevant and misplaced in the face of some loud new wretched horror; it will seem as oddly disconnected from reality as the Condit / Killer-Shark news reports of August 2001. An indolent luxury.
Digital stormtroopers. Tell me again who’s stifling debate? Remind me again who’s questioning people’s patriotism?
And who employs these digital brownshirts? Well, naturally, Keith has you covered there:
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.
But then, life wasn’t easy during the Forty-third Reich, as frequent Olbermann guest Janeane Garofalo routinely dubbed the predecessor to the 44th president. (Does that mean that Bill Clinton was the equivalent of Kaiser Wilhelm II? And Obama the second coming of Konrad Adenauer?) Presumably she’ll be broadcasting from the Currentbunker from time to time as well.
Hopefully Keith’s former television employers and co-stars will have some fun with this. Perhaps someone could ask Chris Matthews what all this reminds him of?
Update: Welcome Hot Air readers, from the post in which Allahpundit notes, “Confirmed: Al Gore personally recruited Olbermann for Current TV,” adding, “There’s a silver lining for you if you’re looking for one — yet another reminder of what a fraud the left’s recent ‘civility’ kick is.”
Did anybody have any doubts? Meanwhile, Clarion Advisory checks the programming line-up on Current. I don’t recall such a wasteland on TV since the days of Newton Minnow.
Update: Welcome readers of Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail, as well as those of Newsbusters’ Lachlan Markay, who runs down the (partial?) list of people and organizations that Olbermann has smeared as being Nazis.