The Bill O'Reilly of MSNBC

OlbermannKeith Olbermann has been on a tear about James Dobson and Focus on the Family for several days now, mostly on his MSNBC blog, but Tuesday night he took his grievances into prime time.

While preparing to interview a United Church of Christ minister about how that denomination’s “Jesus didn’t turn people away” campaign now extends to besieged cartoon characters, Olbermann takes on the “bullying and name-calling” forces of Focus on the Family. Let’s go to the overnight transcript:

Our number two story on the COUNTDOWN, I’ll be joined in a moment by the Missouri pastor who invited the cartoon character to her sermon Sunday to try to counter effect what she had described as “bullying and name calling.” First the latest on the bullying and name calling. I don’t want to go back to the beginning on this, but Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family evoked SpongeBob’s name while decrying the producers of a tolerance video for elementary school kids. He said the producers had a “pro-homosexual” agenda.

When we reported this and showed the video, Dr. Dobson’s minions created an e-mail generator on their Web site, so members who did not see our report or did not accept tolerance in public schools could spam me and four other reporters. I’ve gotten about 2,000 them so far. I’m happy to report though, that a lot of people outside that organization have now accessed the Focus on the Family Web site and begun to send e-mail of support. So, they’re running about 50/50.

Then, after tossing four softball questions to the Rev. Katie Hawker of Webster Groves, Mo., Olbermann revealed that — you may need to sit down for this news — some people who send automated e-mails are not exactly the brightest bulbs in the box:

One more note on the Focus on the Family e-mails: Please keep sending them. Besides those that express an appreciation of the complexity of this situation, some of the others are richly entertaining. Two more to share with you tonight.

From Illinois: “It came up a long time ago that SpongeBob was gay. It’s a theory, not a fact. It’s a general belief among society that SpongeBob is gay.”

And this from a correspondent in Denver, North Carolina, who described the makers of the tolerance video as “ranking right up there with child molesters,” and added, quote, “P.S.: I think Jesus said it best when he said, get behind the Satan.”

See, there’s your problem right there. It’s sort of a typo in the Bible somewhere.

As Aaron Altman (played by Albert Brooks) expressed it so memorably in Broadcast News: “Yeah, let’s never forget. We’re the real story. Not them.”

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  • Josh Narins

    Olberman, being a former sports announcer, isn’t what I’d call the most reliable.

    However, he does seem to be able to get away with stuff the rest can’t.

    MSNBC, the television station, seems to be the most reactionary. I think it often puts Fox to shame. Joe Scarborough? I believe he’s a murderer. His assistant Lori. His brain makes Rush look Socratic.

    However, the website has some of the more unusual stuff.

    Damn shotgun. I can’t seem to put just one hole in each pigeon. (The pigeonhole theory is from mathematics, it states, effectively, that if you shoot 11 times and hit 10 pigeons, at least one pigeon has more than one hole. At least, that’s how I heard it).

  • Josh Narins

    and hit each time, that’s an essential part of it.

  • Stephen A.

    “Dr. Dobson’s minions”

    That says it all about where this “clever” TV personality is coming from.

    Except to say that I’m not sure whether the first posting here was meant to be funny or not.

    Do MichaelMooreites actually READ what they write before posting, or do these gems of incomprehensibility comes straight from a stream of consciousness into the Internet without a pause or a thought to hold them back?

    I wonder.

  • greekgeek

    Cast aspersions much?

    To depict fans of Michael Moore’s body of work as unintelligent or illiterate is not only ignorant but mean, not to mention WAY off-topic.

    Being critical can be done in a constructive manner. For instance: Dr. Dobson, while a learned scholar in the area of family psychology (I read Life on the Edge as a teen), should stick to his day job and stay away from politics. He ends up embarrassing himself and other Christians.

    Besides, even the White House says he overestimates the power he wields. Stick to your day job Dr. D.

  • Stephen A.

    “Stick to your day job.” Yeah, that’s far more constructive. Just like “Joe Scarborough? I believe he’s a murderer.” Where was you’re condemnation of the original post? Or did you simply agree with that guy’s conclusions and decide to let it slide?

    But thanks for the lesson in civility.

    I’ve made many thoughtful postings here, but when I see such a poorly thought-out, scattered and defamatory post, I’m compelled to call it as I see it.

    Members of the media are very much on topic here, and Moore, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Dobson, Olberman and many others in the public eye are in the thick of that discussion, since they are affecting religious and cultural discourse, for good and for ill.

  • Cliff

    MSNBC who?