11/14/2004

Keith Olbermann under attack

Lame=o Reich wing pundit attacks but can't DEFEND -- law

Keith Olbermann's Dan Rather moment - PittsburghLIVE.com: "So, America, what's sloppier?

Our shaky elections system or the jayvee journalism practiced on Keith Olbermann's fake MSNBC news show 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann'?

I cast all of my votes for Olbermann.

The recovering sportscaster is openly liberal and his irreverent, run-and-quip offense is easy to detest. But I kind of like him and his fast-paced infotainment show, which has the fatal misfortune to occupy the 8 p.m. time slot opposite Fox's 'The O'Reilly Factor.'"

Olbermann, however, really made a Dan Rather of himself last week.

He never directly charged that Republicans stole the election or demanded that Karl Rove should be picked up for questioning by the U.N. But for 15 minutes on Monday, Olbermann pointed to a "small but blood-curdling group of reports of voting irregularities and possible fraud" from across the country, topped it with some vague partisan innuendo from Democrat Congressman John Conyers, and acted like he deserved a Peabody Award for Civic Journalism.

On Tuesday I checked out some of Olbermann's claims. Using a high-tech personal communication device professional journalists refer to as a "telephone," I called an elections bureau person in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (greater Cleveland), where, as Olbermann pointed out, 93,000 extra votes had been inexplicably cast Nov. 2.

It turns out the votes were "a computer anomaly" that didn't affect or reflect the official vote count. And those 18,472 votes Olbermann said were counted in Fairview Park, a Cleveland suburb that had only 13,342 registered voters? Absentee ballots from many precincts had been grouped together by the computer and credited to Fairview Park, where 8,421 voted.

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