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Olbermann: For Commutation in 'Crime of Century' Bush Must Resign --7/3/2007


1. Olbermann: For Commutation in 'Crime of Century' Bush Must Resign
On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann opened his show railing against President Bush, contending that the President "lied us into a war" and "needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors" as the Countdown host attacked the President for commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, referring to Libby's involvement in the "greatest crime of this young century." Olbermann later tagged Bush as "Worst Person of the World," and announced that he will call on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign in a "Special Comment" on Tuesday's show: "As you may have suspected, tomorrow night, here on Countdown, a 'Special Comment' calling on this Vice President and this President to resign." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

2. CNN: Conservatives 'Angry' Too Over Libby, GOP Double Standard
With "Angry Reaction" on screen, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux opened the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room by asking if on the Libby commutation: "Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?" Toward the end of the hour, Malveaux, filling in for Wolf Blitzer, cued up ex-Clinton operative Paul Begala: "President Clinton was impeached for lying before a grand jury. What do you think? What do you make of this? Does this smack of a double standard?" Analyst Bill Schneider saw no benefit for Bush: "There's going to be a lot of anger out there. I don't think it's going to be restricted simply to Democrats. Independents and some Republicans are going to be angry and it's going to feed into the anger at Washington that seems to be poisoning the mood of the country." As for the idea "this would be popular with the base," Schneider opined: "I'm dubious about that." Malveaux, who seconds earlier cued up Begala with a liberal talking point about a Republican double standard, confronted Republican strategist John Feehery: "Does it cut two ways here? We've heard Bill Schneider saying he doesn't really think this is going to play out much in a partisan way. He believes that there are going to be a lot of Republicans who see it the same way as Democrats and say, you know, this is just preferential treatment."

3. MSNBC's Hardball Turns Into DNC-TV with Al Sharpton as the Host
Chris Matthews, away on vacation, handed the reigns of MSNBC's Hardball on Monday to Democratic activist Reverend Al Sharpton. The first two guests of the Sharpton-hosted July 2 live 5pm EDT episode were Democrats: Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe. The hot topic of the discussion with Dean was about how the John McCain campaign and the GOP, overall, were suffering in their fundraising efforts. The following "hardball" segment, with McAuliffe, featured the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman crowing about her fundraising success. After the McAuliffe segment, Sharpton, actually interviewed a Republican. Predictably, Sharpton's questions to presidential candidate Representative Duncan Hunter were tougher than the ones to his Democratic colleagues. Following the Hunter segment, Sharpton quickly returned to his Democratic friends, as he invited on Democratic presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd.

4. On Wednesday, C-SPAN2 Will Air MRC's Gala with DisHonors and Rush
On Wednesday, July 4 at 3:20pm EDT (2:20pm CDT, 1:20pm MDT, 12:20pm PDT), C-SPAN2 is scheduled to carry the MRC's March 29 "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006" -- the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala -- which was followed by Rush Limbaugh accepting the MRC's first annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence."


Olbermann: For Commutation in 'Crime
of Century' Bush Must Resign

On Monday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann opened his show railing against President Bush, contending that the President "lied us into a war" and "needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors" as the Countdown host attacked the President for commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, referring to Libby's involvement in the "greatest crime of this young century." Olbermann later tagged Bush as "Worst Person of


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the World," and announced that he will call on President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign in a "Special Comment" on Tuesday's show: "As you may have suspected, tomorrow night, here on Countdown, a 'Special Comment' calling on this Vice President and this President to resign."

Olbermann opened the July 2 show: "Good evening. A President who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a President whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a President whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the republic; a President like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century."

The MSNBC host soon interviewed frequent guest and Bush administration critic John Dean to discuss the Libby case, during which Olbermann wondered if the President was moving closer to being impeached: "Is there, John, any sense that the chance that this President might be impeached grew tonight by virtue of his decision to commute this sentence?"

During the show's regular "Worst Person in the World" segment, Olbermann awarded the dishonor of "Worst Person" on President Bush, as he referred to Bush "gutlessly" announcing his decision by press release "buried on the Monday of the longest Fourth of July weekend possible," and charged that Bush has "forfeited his claim to being President of anything larger than a small, privileged, elitist, undemocratic, anti-constitutional cabal."

Quoting Oliver Cromwell, Olbermann addressed Bush: "Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go." Olbermann concluded by previewing the latest of his "Special Comment" rants, airing Tuesday, in which he will call on both the President and Vice President to resign: "As you may have suspected, tomorrow night, here on Countdown, a Special Comment calling on this Vice President and this President to resign. Tomorrow night on Countdown."

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Monday, July 2 Countdown show on MSNBC:

Olbermann, opening the show: "Good evening. A President who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a President whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a President whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the republic; a President like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century. Our fifth story on the Countdown, President George W. Bush has tonight, by means of a matter-of-fact prepared statement, commuted the prison sentence of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, former chief of staff to the infamous Vice President Dick Cheney."

...

During interview with John Dean: "Is there, John, any sense that the chance that this President might be impeached grew tonight by virtue of his decision to commute this sentence?"

...

During the "Worst Person" segment: "But our winner, by unanimous decision, the 43rd President of the United States, who has tonight commuted the sentence of one of the key members of his own administration, who has done it gutlessly by press release, who has buried it on the Monday of the longest Fourth of July weekend possible, and who has, in so doing, forfeited his claim to being President of anything larger than a small, privileged, elitist, undemocratic, anti-constitutional cabal.
"As Oliver Cromwell said to the infamous Rump Parliament in England more than 350 years ago, 'You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.' In the name of God, go. George Walker Bush, today's 'Worst Person in the World.' As you may have suspected, tomorrow night, here on Countdown, a 'Special Comment' calling on this Vice President and this President to resign. Tomorrow night on Countdown."

CNN: Conservatives 'Angry' Too Over Libby,
GOP Double Standard

With "Angry Reaction" on screen, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux opened the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room by asking if on the Libby commutation: "Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?" Toward the end of the hour, Malveaux, filling in for Wolf Blitzer, cued up ex-Clinton operative Paul Begala: "President Clinton was impeached for lying before a grand jury. What do you think? What do you make of this? Does this smack of a double standard?" Malveaux announced at the top of the program: "Spared from prison, President Bush commutes the sentence of former White House aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby. Tonight, the breaking news and the reaction. Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?"

Analyst Bill Schneider soon echoed her theme: "There's going to be a lot of anger out there. I don't think it's going to be restricted simply to Democrats. Independents and some Republicans are going to be angry and it's going to feed into the anger at Washington that seems to be poisoning the mood of the country." As for the idea "this would be popular with the base," Schneider opined: "I'm dubious about that." Referring to a CNN poll, Schneider argued that "when you have only 19 percent who would support a pardon...I'm not sure that I would say that this could have any positive repercussions for the President." Malveaux, who seconds earlier cued up Begala with a liberal talking point about a Republican double standard, confronted Republican strategist John Feehery: "Does it cut two ways here? We've heard Bill Schneider saying he doesn't really think this is going to play out much in a partisan way. He believes that there are going to be a lot of Republicans who see it the same way as Democrats and say, you know, this is just preferential treatment."

[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Transcripts of some segments from the 7pm EDT hour of the July 2 The Situation Room on CNN:

# About 20 minutes into the hour:
BILL SCHNEIDER: There's going to be a lot of anger out there. I don't think it's going to be restricted simply to Democrats. Independents and some Republicans are going to be angry and it's going to feed into the anger at Washington that seems to be poisoning the mood of the country and informing everything happening in the campaign so far. Americans are very resentful over the fact that someone who was convicted of a serious crime for which many, many other people are in jail right now, had his sentence commuted and will not go to jail. That's the important thing. Will not go to jail, because he has friends in high places. That's exactly what enrages people about business in Washington.
MALVEAUX: So what's the political calculus here? The fact that he's got approval ratings that are under 30 percent now, below the freezing level that it doesn't make any difference at all what he does? He might as well just go for it and commute the sentence?
SCHNEIDER: Well, it may be a calculation that conservatives want this to happen. There's been a lot of pressure on the White House from conservatives in Washington. Some of the presidential candidates said they favor the pardon. And that, therefore, the President could solidify his support in his base, that this would be popular with the base. Maybe it will be. I'm dubious about that. I don't know. But when you have only 19 percent who would support a pardon, that's not a commutation, it's a pardon, but I'm not sure many people will see a big difference. The important thing is staying out of jail. I'm not sure that I would say that this could have any positive repercussions for the President.


# Approximately 54 minutes into the hour:
MALVEAUX TO PAUL BEGALA (on the phone): President Bush was impeached for lying before -- before -- I'm sorry, President Clinton was impeached for lying before a grand jury. What do you think? What do you make of this? Does this smack of a double standard?
BEGALA: "Well, of course it's a double standard. President Clinton was found not guilty by a Republican-controlled Senate. Not guilty. Mr. Libby was found guilty, in a case brought by a Republican prosecutor and heard before a Republican judge. Mr. Libby was found guilty. He was found guilty of four felonies. Now, the President has an untrammeled right to commute that sentence, well within his power to do so. But I think he's gonna pay an enormous price in terms of his credibility and his legacy. The notion that is going to take hold I think out there in the country is that there's a double standard that some of the other commentators referred to. That George Bush is only compassionate when it comes to conservatives.
MALVEAUX TO REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST JOHN FEEHERY (on the phone): John, does it cut two ways here? We've heard Bill Schneider saying he doesn't really think this is going to play out much in a partisan way. He believes that there are going to be a lot of Republicans who see it the same way as Democrats and say, you know, this is just preferential treatment.

MSNBC's Hardball Turns Into DNC-TV with
Al Sharpton as the Host

Chris Matthews, away on vacation, handed the reigns of MSNBC's Hardball on Monday to Democratic activist Reverend Al Sharpton. The first two guests of the Sharpton-hosted July 2 live 5pm EDT episode were Democrats: Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe. The hot topic of the discussion with Dean was about how the John McCain campaign and the GOP, overall, were suffering in their fundraising efforts. The following "hardball" segment, with McAuliffe, featured the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman crowing about her fundraising success.

After the McAuliffe segment, Sharpton, actually interviewed a Republican. Predictably, Sharpton's questions to presidential candidate Representative Duncan Hunter were tougher than the ones to his Democratic colleagues. Following the Hunter segment, Sharpton quickly returned to his Democratic friends, as he invited on Democratic presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd.

In the "Hardball Debate" segment, Sharpton asked his guests if the Supreme Court has moved "too far to the right." Sharpton was joined, in the discussion, by a conservative, the American Spectator's R. Emmett Tyrrell and, yet another Democrat, strategist Jenny Backus. That left the final guest tally, including Sharpton, at five liberals to just two conservatives.

[This item is adapted from an item, by Geoffrey Dickens, posted late Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Because of the late-breaking news about Bush's commutation of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's prison sentence, MSNBC did not follow the usual pattern of re-running the 5pm hour at 7pm EDT. Instead, David Shuster hosted a fresh, live show at 7pm EDT.

On Wednesday, C-SPAN2 Will Air MRC's
Gala with DisHonors and Rush

On Wednesday, July 4 at 3:20pm EDT (2:20pm CDT, 1:20pm MDT, 12:20pm PDT), C-SPAN2 is scheduled to carry the MRC's March 29 "2007 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2006" -- the showcase of the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala -- which was followed by Rush Limbaugh accepting the MRC's first annual "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence."

For a rundown of the evening's winners and a lot of pictures, as well as Real and Windows Media clips: www.mrc.org

The C-SPAN schedule page for Wednesday lists the exact start time at 3:21pm EDT, but it may be updated. Check it for any time change: inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080

C-SPAN2 is also scheduled to re-run the MRC's gala at about 3:20am EDT on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

The program should run for just under three hours.

-- Brent Baker