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MSNBC's Olbermann Condemns Lieberman for Speaking at Pro-Troops Concert

What does Keith Olbermann have against raising money for children of fallen American soldiers?


On September 11, Olbermann, of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, named Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) the “Worst Person in the World” for speaking at the September 11 Freedom Concert organized by conservative talk show host Sean Hannity.  The Freedom Concerts benefit the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, which sends children of fallen soldiers to college.


For the record, Lieberman did not attend the concert.  Lieberman opted instead to remain in Washington D.C. for the Petraeus hearings on Capitol Hill.   


Earlier this summer, Olbermann awarded Sean Hannity, co-host of FOX News' Hannity and Colmes, second place in his “Worst Person in the World” segment because of the Freedom Concerts.


Olbermann stated “The silver tonight, Sean Hannity of FOX Noise, reminding us that the fourth annual Hannity Freedom Concert is coming up in September, an evening of patriotism and inspiration, featuring Hannity, Lee-Ann Rimes, Lee Greenwood and Oliver North.  A flag-waving, all-American, don't tread on me, love it or leave it, God bless the U.S.A. occasion, which is sponsored by the Hong Kong tourism board.” 


What does Olbermann object to? Celebrating the flag, America and patriotism?  Or is it the idea of God blessing the U.S.A. he can't stomach? In Olbermann's view, the concerts are partisan, pro-Republican affairs.  Is he suggesting Democrats aren't patriotic?


Never mind that Hannity and those who work with him to produce the concert series (five concerts were held this summer) are taking up the responsibility to make sure the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families are not forgotten. 


Fifteen thousand people crowded into the amphitheater at Six Flags Great America in New Jersey on September 11 to help Hannity and retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North recognize the men and women who willingly place their lives on the line for our freedom.   Many wore red, white and blue, waved flags and carried hand-lettered signs with phrases like “Our troops, my heroes.”  


Freedom Alliance, founded in 1990 by North to help support the troops, has given $1.6 million dollars in college scholarships to children of American soldiers who have been killed in action, are permanently disabled or are missing in action. $500,000 has been awarded so far this year.  Much of the money is generated by Hannity's Freedom Concerts. 


Kira Kremer, who attended the September 11 concert, is one of the scholarship recipients.   A student at the State University of New York with a 3.9 GPA, she wants to become a physical therapist and “hopefully help troops when they return home.”


Following performances by Lee Greenwood, who led the crowd in heartfelt renditions of “God Bless America” and “God Bless the U.S.A.,” and LeAnn Rimes, actor Jon Voight took the stage, pronouncing that “not everyone in Hollywood is a liberal.”  He referred to fallen American soldiers as “God's true angels” and “our greatest heroes” before asking the audience to “continue to pray for a positive outcome in Iraq.”


As Voight walked around the general admission sections of the amphitheater to thank soldiers for their service, a serviceman approached him, saying, “I wish there were more actors like you in Hollywood.” 


What Olbermann apparently does not understand is that these concerts have one purpose: to honor the service of many who protect the freedoms all Americans hold dear.  What's bad about that? 


Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.