Only on MSNBC, the network that prides itself as the “place for politics” could you see this type of anti-religion, anti-conservative vitriol.
On MSNBC's Sept. 1 “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” host Keith Olbermann entertained the musings of Dan Savage, a syndicated sex columnist, author and gay-rights advocate about religious conservatives and their participation in public policy debate.
“When you have a party that claims to speak for God or claims that God is on its side, the rhetoric heats up and the anger heats up because it's not just a battle about ideas and positions and what's good for the country or bad for the country,” Savage said. “It's a battle about what God wants and what God doesn't want. It's easier to demagogue about your enemies and to despise them and to dehumanize them in this really personal and vicious way.”
However, Savage took a step further than just ranting about religion in politics. He accused “the religious right” and “fomenting” hate and even named names. He suggested that Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Fox News host Glenn Beck were inciting emotion that was intentionally trying to get President Barack Obama killed.
“The religious right is fomenting this kind of hatred in this country at our peril,” Savage continued. “I really do think that the Michele Bachmanns of the world and the Glenn Becks of the world are actively and consciously, or subconsciously, trying to get – I'm just going to say it, trying to get the president killed. That's why they're setting this up as kill or be killed arguments. He's going to kill your grandma, pull the plug on grandma, death panels that little children have to go in front of.”
He continued to attack the Republican Party and conservatives, framing them as zealots.
“This kind of rhetoric – this paranoid style on the religious right – from Birchers to birthers – doesn't usually end well,” Savage said. “And, somebody's got to put the brakes on it and unfortunately for the Republican Party, there's no adults left in the room – only the Michele Bachmanns and the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs running the show.”
Although Olbermann didn't come out and challenge Savage on his accusations that Bachmann and Beck were trying to get the president killed, he added his own disclaimer that he didn't believe everyone opposing Obama's health care policy proposals was trying to get the president killed, but he said some were.
“The overall picture – help me out on this overall picture and I'm not going to, I'm only going to moderate your remarks to this degree, that I think some of them who oppose this are not of that thinking that you just expressed,” Olbermann said. “But unfortunately a lot of who you are talking about, you nailed them perfectly.”
But back in June, some left-wing storefronts and Olbermann himself attacked Glenn Beck for not challenging a guest on his show. Michael on Beck's June 30 show and said the only way the United States might be “saved,” after a hypothetical bin Laden terrorist attack. Olbermann named Scheuer and Beck his “Worst Persons in the World” on his July 7 show – Scheuer for his remarks and Beck for not challenging him.
“Scheuer's interviewer, Glenn Beck of Fox News, did not attempt to correct him, did not scream at him, 'What the hell do you mean the only chance we have as a country right now?'” Olbermann said on his July 7 show. “Beck did not accuse Scheuer of insanity, nor disloyalty, nor palling around with terrorists? Beck did not even burst into tears. The host merely nodded gravely, as if this made sense. 'Which is why I was thinking,' he said, 'if I were him,' Bin Laden, 'that would be the last thing I would do right now,' Beck answered, agreeing with Scheuer, and barely containing his disappointment as he did so.”
MSNBC personalities regularly attack women on the network, referring to Bachmann as a “Mata Hari,” and calling a former female Republican vice-presidential nominee a “mail order bride” and characterize her as a dragon and a dog.