Keith Olbermann Takes An Obvious Shot At Gov. Palin, NBC Denies It

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


A very odd moment from Football Night in America took place on Sunday night, that until now I wasn't going to highlight. Keith Olbermann used an, "I can see Russia from here," joke during the Trent Edwards hit and apparently some people took notice. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time, but now NBC is denying that it was political charged at all. Via Watchdog....

Here is what NBC's studio wiseguy said, jokingly putting words in the mouth of the Bills' Trent Edwards, who had been knocked woozy: "He was OK otherwise, but he said, 'I can see Russia from here."'

Some supporters of Gov. Sarah Palin took it as a barb aimed at the Republican VP candidate, knowing how Olbermann feels about her from his role as an MSNBC political commentator. (Disclosure: I might have made a joke or two at the governor's expense on my blog.)

Said an NBC spokesman: "He was making a pop culture reference, not any kind of political statement."
Well that's nice and all, but I'll let you all be the judge....



Seems pretty obvious to me. Again, the joke isn't that big of a deal, but I think we've learned that Politics and Sports just don't mix at this point. Spare us next time, Keith.

Did Keith tweak Palin? (Newsday)

(Thanks to MVL for the clip)

40 Comments:

And some scoff at the notion that Olby is a flaming douchenozzle.

hollywood wags said...
Oct 7, 2008, 11:42:00 AM  

I do, for one. THIS is a story, AA?

LeftWingCracker said...
Oct 7, 2008, 11:45:00 AM  

Oh please. If the bimbo is going to say something so damn stupid, then she deserves to be mocked for it.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 11:46:00 AM  

Palin never said that she could "see Russia from here".

Bentcorner said...
Oct 7, 2008, 11:59:00 AM  

If they were concerned that KO might say something politically biased, then why is he ever on FNIA???

GMoney said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:13:00 PM  

It doesn't matter that Palin didn't say precisely those words. Olbermann's statement rings true nevertheless, and that's what makes it funny.

/start partisan political remark/ For those who might complain that it's got nothing to do with football: being governor of Alaska has nothing to do with American foreign policy, either. /end partisan political remark/

jb said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:15:00 PM  

Keith Olbermann did take a shot at Sarah Palin, its clear. NBC needs stop denying it becasue evveryone that watched that show on Sunday and herard Olberamnn say that Edwards could "see Russia from Here" knew that he was talking about Palin's coment. Come on. That's why Costas, Patrick and others were laughting.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:24:00 PM  

I think this falls under the umbrella of "who gives a shit"

foos said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:26:00 PM  

Really AA? That's a dig? He has 5 hours a week to tweak Palin.

Andrew said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:37:00 PM  

AA says "Spare us next time, Keith." How about just spare us from Keith on Sunday nights. Do we really need a cast of 32 people on that show anyway?

The Zoner said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:43:00 PM  

I give the Big "0" to NBC's pregame and halftime shows. Watch Sportcenter or something else. Olbermann is the reason. He's simply an ass.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:48:00 PM  

Yes, I'm a Keith Olbermann fan.
Yes, that was a jab at Palin.
Yes, it was funny.
Yes, lots of other people are taking jabs at her like that.
No, this is not a legit story. It should be treated at it was meant to be, a simple joke.

JFein said...
Oct 7, 2008, 12:54:00 PM  

Yes, I enjoy sports as a break from the political nonsense we are inundated with thanks to the media. I liked Olbermann on ESPN, I like him doing sports again on NBC. But I despise him and his inability to remain impartial when reporting the news. And I don't need it spewing into my football coverage.

RaceFan said...
Oct 7, 2008, 1:26:00 PM  

The election is THE biggest story in the news right now. the election is a part of pop culture. In any case, it's a pretty benign reference. Sounds like a good bit of nitpicking if you ask me. I wonder if anyone would have noticed if Dan Patrick or Bob Costas made the same joke.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 1:34:00 PM  

They would notice if it were Rush Limbaugh saying something bad about The One...and they'd want him fired immediately.

It would be a massive squealing from all corners of the media and Limbaugh would be canned.

It's the way things are.

Olbermann is a flaming, weird douchebag. The sappy faux-emotions he uses in those skits on his show must be all bullshit, SIR.

hollywood wags said...
Oct 7, 2008, 1:47:00 PM  

I'm not aiming this at you AA, but in the the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?

Bruce said...
Oct 7, 2008, 1:54:00 PM  

Blanket declarations that "politics and x" don't mix are on their face ignorant. Politics involves everything at some point. We play the national anthem before every game. Teams visit the White House. Universities are funded by taxpayer dollars and governors get involved in head coach buyouts. It is foolish to say "We're never talking about X, because this blog is about Y, and they don't mix." Especially when X is on every single American's mind right now, and I guarantee it's not that big of a stretch to imagine big news that connects politics to sports.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 2:04:00 PM  

I'd love to KO KO.

Wade Robertson said...
Oct 7, 2008, 2:04:00 PM  

Oh, who cares, it's a stupid football highlight show. Let him say whatever he wants. People shouldnt be so sensitive and politically correct all the time.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 2:30:00 PM  

Olbermann was picked on as a child, and his contrasting styles-'Look, I'm a goofy sportscaster!'/'NOW, I'm talking in my SERIOUS, GROWN-UP voice!'-are just part of his psychosis.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 3:30:00 PM  

Man, talk about a nation of whiners. Remember when we used to be able to make fun of all politicians when they said something stupid? Remember Dukakis? Al Gore inventing the internet? Palin said something stupid, there is nothing wrong with joking about it.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 4:00:00 PM  

As far as Keith Blowolbermann taking a swipe at Sarah Palin, that should be reserved for his COUNTDOWN show, not the NFL, this is why we watch Football on Sundays to get away from the news that hits us day in and day out. I'm glad some of you find Blowolbermann's comments funny, if it was just the same for Limp Balls and his "joke" on Donovan McNabb. Let's leave politics at home on Sunday and just enjoy the games. Keith, stop preaching to the Air America choir and preached to the NFL choir.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 4:23:00 PM  

It's not the joke...it's him. There is no reason for such a divisive political talking head to be FNIA. And you open yourself up to all criticism by having him on there.

Zabka said...
Oct 7, 2008, 5:19:00 PM  

Regardless of your political affiliation, Olbermann is an arrogant douchebag. He doesn't belong on NBC's football studio show and contributes to the unnecessary amount of talking heads on that show.

Eric said...
Oct 7, 2008, 5:37:00 PM  

Sorry, politics and sports do and have mixed, and will continue to. That's not the lesson we ought to be taking from this. We need more people writing about the intersection of political matters in the sporting arena, particularly in such bad economic times.

That said, in the context of a highlight show, it was a poor choice of remark.

I like Olbermann as a political commentator and liked him back in the day on SportsCenter, but I can't help but feel that he should pick one and stick to it -- he does a disservice by trying to do competent work in both the political arena and football.

Signal to Noise said...
Oct 7, 2008, 5:51:00 PM  

"We need more people writing about the intersection of political matters in the sporting arena, particularly in such bad economic times."

I can't imagine a worse idea or occurrence. That could possibly be one of the only phenomenons that has the potential to destroy my love of sports.

Aritifact said...
Oct 7, 2008, 6:12:00 PM  

I wish nothing but the worst for KO, but I don't see the big deal. People rip on Bush all the time and nobody says anything.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 7:18:00 PM  

It doesn't matter that Palin didn't say precisely those words.

Sorta like "fake but accurate". You lefties are all a bit odd.

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 7:20:00 PM  

Keith Olbermann has a constant need to prove that he's a fucking asshole. Just go away already, you bitter, no-talent, angry dickhead!

Anonymous said...
Oct 7, 2008, 10:23:00 PM  

What I don't understand is why is everyone so up in arms about KO. I mean I know he's a controversial political commentator. His political views happen to agree with mine and I like him. But for those that don't like him, no one is forcing you to watch him. If you don't like him, don't watch FNIA or Countdown. Turn on SportsCenter instead at 7 on Sundays and during the week turn on CNN or Fox News.

JFein said...
Oct 7, 2008, 11:48:00 PM  

So it's not ok for him to make this statement (which is pretty funny), but its ok for SNL to make a living parodying her?

Huh?

It's not like he said it during his newscast...he said it during a football game.

Those tight asses in the right wing just don't get it - Palin's a joke and deserves to be mocked at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...
Oct 8, 2008, 1:05:00 AM  

The "KO Kid" is probably out looking for tax shelters. Typical phony liberal jackoff.

Anonymous said...
Oct 8, 2008, 2:01:00 AM  

Well,using the "Palin standard" Barry is also a joke. Bathtub Boy could have easily said: "I see 57 States". or "Are we in New Pennsylvania"? Why didn't he? Would he ever? No! Because he's COMPLETELY in the tank for the Obamunist, but Non-Stop Barack Cheerleaders...er..I mean, NBC, can't bring themselves to tell the truth.

For those that think Bathtub Boy is funny, those must be the same people that show up at Dane Cook shows.

Bathtub Boy is a parody of himself. I'm sure the only reason he's on FNIA is that he threw a temper tantrum demanding to be on or he would quit PMSNBC, because he realizes he's a cable gasbag on the lowest rated cable news network around. He let the freak flag fly and thus is the highest rated gasbag on the lowest rated network.

Dave said...
Oct 8, 2008, 2:23:00 AM  

Actually, that line was said by Tina Fey as Sarah Palin during the opening sketch she did with Amy Poehler-as-Hilary Clinton back on September 13th on Saturday Night Live.

And needless to say, if you didn't get the joke, then you're a douchebag.

JamesCraven said...
Oct 8, 2008, 4:52:00 AM  

Great line! F'ing hilarious!
PS - I am a Bills fan in Canada and all of Canada - even conservatices - mocks Palin her her sub-moron supporters.

Crazeecanuck said...
Oct 8, 2008, 8:58:00 AM  

Olberbutthead must go from sports

Anonymous said...
Oct 8, 2008, 9:35:00 AM  

@jamescraven - oh I got the joke. But, like a Dane Cook routine, it wasn't funny.

@ crazecanuck - you'll pardon me if I don't put much stock in comments made by a citizen of a country that once elected Jean Chretien as Prime Minister. Uses variation of Australian Rules and Flag Football to pass as American Football. And the championship trophy of its national sport often ends up in warm weather climates in the US.

Dave said...
Oct 8, 2008, 1:50:00 PM  

The election is the biggest story in the news, but FNIA is not a news program! It's a football highlight show! I don't care who he is taking jabs at, I just don't want to hear it.

Mike said...
Oct 8, 2008, 6:06:00 PM  

Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama

Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign.

By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 4:04PM GMT 08 Nov 2008

Palin's tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists Photo: Reuters
The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists", citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.

The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.

But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.

Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: "Why would they try to make people hate us?"

The revelations, contained in a Newsweek history of the campaign, are likely to further damage Mrs Palin's credentials as a future presidential candidate. She is already a frontrunner, with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, to take on Mr Obama in four years time.

Details of the spike in threats to Mr Obama come as a report last week by security and intelligence analysts Stratfor, warned that he is a high risk target for racist gunmen. It concluded: "Two plots to assassinate Obama were broken up during the campaign season, and several more remain under investigation. We would expect federal authorities to uncover many more plots to attack the president that have been hatched by white supremacist ideologues."

Irate John McCain aides, who blame Mrs Palin for losing the election, claim Mrs Palin took it upon herself to question Mr Obama's patriotism, before the line of attack had been cleared by Mr McCain.

That claim is part of a campaign of targeted leaks designed to torpedo her ambitions, with claims that she did not know that Africawas a continent rather than a country.

The advisers have branded her a "diva" and a "whack job" and claimed that she did not know which other countries are in the North American Free Trade Area, (Canada and Mexico). They say she spent more than $150,000 on designer clothes, including $40,000 on her husband Todd and that she refused to prepare for the disastrous series of interviews with CBS's Katie Couric.

In a bid to salvage her reputation Mrs Palin came out firing in an interview with CNN, dismissing the anonymous leakers in unpresidential language as "jerks" who had taken "questions or comments I made in debate prep out of context."

She said: "I consider it cowardly. It's not true. That's cruel, it's mean-spirited, it's immature, it's unprofessional and those guys are jerks if they came away taking things out of context and then tried to spread something on national news that's not fair and not right."

She was not asked about her incendiary rhetoric against Mr Obama. But she did deny the spending spree claims, saying the clothes in question had been returned to the Republican National Committee. "Those are the RNC's clothes, they're not my clothes. I asked for anything more than maybe a diet Dr Pepper once in a while. These are false allegations."

Speaking as she returned to her native Alaska, Mrs Palin claimed to be baffled by what she claims was sexism on the national stage. "Here in Alaska that double standard isn't applied because these guys know that Alaskan women are pretty tough, on a par with the men in terms of being outdoors, working hard," she said.

"They're commercial fishermen, they're pilots, they're working up on the North slopein the oil fields. You see equality in Alaska. I think that was a bit of as surprise on the national level."

Anonymous said...
Nov 9, 2008, 4:01:00 AM  

Republican bosses to blame for Palin's flop

U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE: The Republican vice-presidential candidate may have another way to get to Washington

By LISA VAN DUSEN
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Politics can produce some pretty nasty break-ups, but the ballad of John McCain and Sarah Palin is like something you'd hear on the jukebox at the Mug Shot Saloon in Wasilla at closing time.

He was a white-haired, silver-tongued former flyboy from Washington who strung her along with a lot of big talk about Neiman Marcus, moving sidewalks and unspecified Senate in-charginess.

She was a former Miss Congeniality who'd parlayed a head for up-dos and a knack for self-promotion into the executive mansion of the northernmost state of the union through sheer pluck and a breathtaking lack of self-doubt.

Seems like just yesterday they were mavericking their way across pro- America, with trusty Joe the Plumber in tow, spreading the word about not spreading the wealth.

Now, just weeks later, his friends are blaming her for running up the bills and going rogue and being a whack job; her friends are blaming his friends for caring too much about briefing and geography and for thwarting her presidential ambitions in favour of trying to win this election.

What Sarah Palin may be pondering, beyond the arguable reality of her own roguish whack-jobness and the vastness of Africa, is whether she should have said no.

When those fancy men in their sharp suits came a-calling about how she was on the short list to be John McCain's lovely and talented assistant, she should have heard the whirr of that buzz saw just off stage right.

She should have known that, if it all went south, the very things they'd be barking out to the world about her would end up being spun into something else altogether: Maverick would become rogue, hockey mom would become hillbilly, gumption would become whack job.

Compared with the things the McCain camp has said about Sarah Palin in the past three weeks, some of the things the rest of us said when Sarah Palin was wheeled out about why they chose her seem downright flattering. The McCain campaign assured everyone that they knew better and that the naysayers should stop being so rude, disrespectful and negative and take their word for it.

A month ago, they were saying she was more than qualified to be president of the United States and leader of the free world and now they're saying she's a greedy, stupid, shallow diva. Which is a frighteningly belated way of saying, "It's a good thing we didn't win," and that only confirms all the most unsettling predictions people made about the potential consequences of this pick.

Palin might have known better for her own sake than to sign up for a kamikaze scapegoat mission, but expecting her to just say no in the face of such an offer is like expecting a lottery winner to shrug and say, "Nah, never mind."

From the moment she accepted, everything she did that had to do with her family, her record, her ability to make it through a network interview or even her spending habits was the campaign's responsibility because these were the things they chose to overlook.

Presidential campaigns can't be responsible for every stupid mistake made on their behalf and they can't even be responsible for every gaffe or unguarded aside of a running mate. But to not vet Palin and then hang her for things that would have turned up in the vetting or that should have been headed off by aides -- like the fake Nicolas Sarkozy interview with Mont-real's CKOI, which has also pranked such other hillbillies as the real Sarkozy and Bill Gates -- seems wildly self-serving.

Chances are, this stuff will gain her more sympathy than scorn among her fans in the Republican base, and it may also rally Alaskans, who could be electing a new senator to replace Republican Ted Stevens, who was convicted of corruption too late to remove his name from the Nov. 4 ballot and whose votes are still being counted.

If Stevens is declared the winner in that race and keeps his seat, but his conviction is upheld on appeal, Majority Leader Harry Reid has warned he'll be expelled from the Senate.

That would create an opening for Palin to get to Washington on her own steam and take a seat in the Senate alongside John

Anonymous said...
Nov 9, 2008, 4:05:00 AM  

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