Olbermann or Olbermouse?

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Keith Olbermann's Murrow-lite "Special Comments" on his MSNBC show are probably worth mocking. But whatever Page Six thinks is funny about this story is lost on me.

MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who's a frequent critic of President Bush's policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m.

Um… lol? The people who craft Page Six aren't the ones who dip their pens in blood to write the paper's editorials, but maybe they should meet up and explain how this "terrorist threat" stuff really is a big joke. Patch in Bill O'Reilly on that call; he thinks al Qaeda is out to kill him, but News Corp's flagship TV host has, as yet, gone un-lampooned by News Corp's flagship newspaper.

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  1. I don’t care who you are…thats funny!

  2. I don’t care who you are…That’s funny!

  3. I don’t care who you are…That’s funny!

  4. I don’t care who you are…That’s funny!

  5. Fake anthrax is the new burning cross.

  6. Yeah… David, I agree. That’s not funny at all. If I were Keith, I’d be pretty ticked off at such a flippant treatment of such a scary experience.

  7. Now we’re making anthrax jokes? Why not a few about people jumping from the WTC? Or maybe about IEDs?

  8. It is pretty witty, if you think about it. I disagree with the political beliefs of the guy who wrote the letter, but I think you are under rating him.

    There is a political commentator who tries to play down “irrational” fear of terrorism… and then totally freaks out in an irrational way about some harmless powder sent to him in a letter as a potential terrorist threat.

    Now, I am not saying the commentator should stop critizing Bush or the War on Terror… in fact, I probably agree with the guy on a lot of things. But if your political ideals are based on not freaking out about terrorism, it is bad form to freak out about some harmless white power sent in a letter.

    And just so you know, at one time I worked for a record company and my job was to open letters from the public… and I have opened several letters with white powder claiming to be poision (this was before 9/11 and the Antrax scare, so it was threatening to be poision, not bio-weapons). We even recieved packages that openly warned they were bombs, right on the package (dutifully delivered by the U.S. postal service, if you can imagine that)… they were not bombs, of course. At no time, did I ever call the police over any package, or any death threat, nor did anyone else at the company. Serously, if you are a public personality, you are going to get death threats and weird packages, so people should stop being wusses!

    Don’t call the War On Terror stupid, and then demand the government do something about terrorist related hoaxes happening to you.

  9. “Don’t call the War On Terror stupid, and then demand the government do something about terrorist related hoaxes happening to you.”

    Right on Rex! We should also round up those people in favor of abiding by the Geneva Conventions, put bags over their heads, attach electrodes to their genitals, and then slap them on the back and tell them it was all a big joke!

    That would be great!

    And besides, they shouldn’t argue with the President if they can’t put up with a little chicanery, right?

  10. Let’s pay a stranger to put an unloaded gun to Rex’s head, tell him to pray, and then *click*. Wouldn’t that be witty?

    I bet he’d become all irrational and call the police. Hey, man, if you’re going to argue against gun control, and say we shouldn’t freak out about crimes committed with firearms…

    Note to Tim: no conservatarians were even theoretically harmed in the making of this comment.

  11. Wow, Eric and Rex, you sure are a couple of pricks. And not funny at all.

  12. Keith Olbermann was like….the sports guy or something at one of the local LA news stations. Not even one of the big three networks, just one of the local independent stations in town. And he wasn’t particularly good at *that*. How on earth did he become a pundit?

    Reporting Mater Dei high school football game scores….steppingstone to a political career?

    (I’m glad it wasn’t really a harmful substance, naturally.)

  13. Hey Rex Rhino,

    I call complete bullshit on your little story. Standard operating procedure is to call the cops on any bomb threat or white powder incident.

    And I have a leg to stand on as our office received just such a letter in 2005.

  14. Serously, if you are a public personality, you are going to get death threats and weird packages, so people should stop being wusses!

    Are you saying that famous people who get death threats or packages claiming to be bioweapons shouldn’t bother calling the police?

  15. Olbermann, you hypocrite! It’s not like the anthrax guy was sending his wares to media figures. Helloooo. You had the gall to criticize Bush, but look at you now. What do you think of Bush’s antiterrorism policies now? The anthrax thing is a perfect example of how the Bush administration got antiterrorism right. I mean, they caught the anthrax guy, right? He was that hairy Iraqi man in the spider hole, no?

    Now mascara or coffee, that would be scary! Thank goodness the TSA has done away with those dire threats.

  16. Anyone remember the name of a big-city tabloid newspaper where an envelope of anthrax was received in 2001, infecting a couple of editors?

  17. Why on earth does Dave Weigel claim that “Page Six thinks [the incident] is funny”???

    Page Six is not a humor column; it’s a celebrity gossip column! This was celebrity gossip.

    Sheesh.

  18. Why on earth does Dave Weigel claim that “Page Six thinks [the incident] is funny”???

    Page Six is not a humor column; it’s a celebrity gossip column! This was celebrity gossip.

    Sheesh.

  19. I question the timing.

    O’Reilly announces he’s on an al-Queda hit list; Frank Rich scores huge on Amazon; Jon Stewart has the military dictator from Pakistan as a book-shilling booking….

    Maybe PAGE SIX laughed it off because no one seriously could believe anything coming out of that failed Warner Wolf wannabe’s blowhard blowhole?

  20. Why on earth does Dave Weigel claim that “Page Six thinks [the incident] is funny”???

    Page Six is not a humor column; it’s a celebrity gossip column! This was celebrity gossip.

    Sheesh.

    Click over to the whole article. It’s trying to be funny. “Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn’t known.”

    I despise Olbermann but I don’t think this is funny. Just a few years ago people did die when anthrax was mailed to TV anchors. I hope they can trace this letter and throw the book at the person who terrorized Olbermann.

  21. There is a political commentator who tries to play down “irrational” fear of terrorism… and then totally freaks out in an irrational way about some harmless powder sent to him in a letter as a potential terrorist threat.

    It’s irrational to call 911 when someone sends you material that they imply is anthrax?
    I think a lot of people are irrationally fearful of black neighborhoods near my house, but I would still call the police if someone fired a pistol at me. Would I be a hypocrite if it turned out that they were firing blanks only to scare me?

    At no time, did I ever call the police over any package, or any death threat, nor did anyone else at the company.

    Let me know what company you worked for, because I want to be sure that I never interview there. I work at a small mortgage company. When my co-worker’s neighbor went off his meds and phoned in a bomb threat to our office, we called the police. We didn’t really think he would have done anything, but why be so stupid to take a chance? (The happy ending is that after a talking-to from the men in blue, he got back on the meds and isn’t harassing anyone any more.)

  22. I may bee a prick, but if I hold a gun to joe’s head and pull the trigger and a little flag comes out with the word “BANG” written on it…it’s still funny.

  23. RexRhino:

    Irrational fear means there is no basis for it. Having an envelope in your hand with white powder is clearly a basis for fear. Perhaps the masturbation story is more your speed.

  24. It turns out that Murdoch’s inability to resist a cheap shot impeded an FBI investigation. Plus, and this is NO SURPRISE, the Post made the story up. They never contacted MSNBC or Olbermann. Why let the facts get in the way of a good frame job.

    God, you righties are pathetic.

  25. The real question is, why does anyone care what a Grade-Z piece of fishwrap like the NY Post thinks anyway?

  26. The world is full of all kinds of dangers and, frankly, it’s really hard to get protection these days, but for Keith Olbermann, I suggest a full sized prophylactic. Having watched his poor excuse for a news program, I’m sure he will be rate at home.

  27. “It turns out that Murdoch’s inability to resist a cheap shot impeded an FBI investigation. Plus, and this is NO SURPRISE, the Post made the story up. They never contacted MSNBC or Olbermann. Why let the facts get in the way of a good frame job.”

    First, if you think Rupert Murdoch is even aware what Page Six prints on any given day, you define “Moonbat.” The man has bigger fish to fry. And wherever (probably Olby) you got the “made it up” spin from, you have not been paying attention to all the crap that’s gone on in the past year surrounding Page Six’s editor, Richard Johnson, and one of their (former) stringers, Jared Paul Stern.

    I’d say it’s an even bet Page Six talked to a couple of cops, and someone at St. Luke’s. It’s too easy to prove them full of BS when they include that level of detail, and their counterparts at the Daily News are more than ready to pounce on any screwup Page Six makes. An even safer bet is the NYPD is, as we speak, being inundated with media requests for the 911 tape.

  28. Let me know what company you worked for, because I want to be sure that I never interview there. I work at a small mortgage company. When my co-worker’s neighbor went off his meds and phoned in a bomb threat to our office, we called the police. We didn’t really think he would have done anything, but why be so stupid to take a chance? (The happy ending is that after a talking-to from the men in blue, he got back on the meds and isn’t harassing anyone any more.)

    Because this was a record company, and the people recieving the packages and letters were PUBLIC FIGURES. There were death threats of some sort (usually email or telephone) literally every day. There is no way the police could possibly do any sort of investigation on every threat… And, if we did need the police for something, it would be a case of crying wolf.

    Second, out of the thousands of death threats, fake bombs, fake poision, or whatever, there was never a real attack. People who make death threats or bomb threats do so for attention… they are looking for a musician or celebrity to acknowledge their existance, to seem important or significant, even if they get arrested (many who send death threats don’t bother to hide their identity). Calling the police is exactly what they want, they get their name in the papers, they get to call the celebrities as witnesses at the trial to harrass or embarass them. It is very common practice for many celebrities, and the companies that support and manage them, to ignore all death threats.

    Third, in our case the company was a hip-hop label, and it could harm an artist’s “street cred” by having them call the police every time some angry suburban 12 year old fires off an email saying “I am going to bust a cap in yo ass, nigga!”.

    Are you saying that famous people who get death threats or packages claiming to be bioweapons shouldn’t bother calling the police?

    That is exactly what I am saying. Death threats are a natural part of being a celebrity. I expect celebrities to exercise some sort of discretion on what they report to the police, and what they don’t. I expect a public figure not to waste valuable police resources every time someone pulls the old baking soda in the envelope gag. Unless you are John Bobbit or Monica Lewinsky, and are a completly unwilling celebrity, I expect a celebrity to understand that certain things come with the territory of being a public figure. After opening hundreds of angry letters, you do become desensitized and rational to this kind of thing and understand how fictional most of these threats really are.

  29. This wasn’t an angry letter.

    It was a package of white powder, made to look like the anthrax letters that killed several people a few years ago.

  30. …in our case the company was a hip-hop label, and it could harm an artist’s “street cred” by having them call the police every time some angry suburban 12 year old fires off an email saying “I am going to bust a cap in yo ass, nigga!”.

    Due to a history of violence within this particular segment of the recording industry (The murders of Biggie, Tupac, Jam Master Jay, etc., the presence of violent a–holes like Suge Knight…) I would think that is all the more reason to call the cops.

  31. I suppose I’d be alarmed if I were Keith Olbermann, if I received a letter with powder falling out of it.

    But I wouldn’t think it was a terrorist who sent it because I have it on good authority that there is not terrorist threat.

  32. of course, it’s funny. if anyone thought anthrax was a real threat, they would’ve caught the anthrax killer, no?

  33. Yeah, death threats are oh so funny. And it’s even funnier when they made the whole episode up.

    Olbermann didn’t call panicking – he’s for releasing the 911 call.

    They didn’t know whether the Anrthrax was real 6 hours after they tested it, not at the scene.

    It’s standard operating procedure in these situations for the cops to decontaminate you at the site, and then bring you to a hospital.

    Just face it neocon blowhards – if you think this is funny, then you and Rupert Murdoch are supporting the terrorists.

  34. Considering he could have gotten a horse head in his bed, I’d say the soap powder was a deal. Not that I condone it. Not that he isn’t a smug dink.

    And would someone please tell him that throwing his papers on the floor is not, nor ever was, funny?

  35. You neocon blowhards really have a problem with free speech, eh? You can say all you want, just as long as it doesn’t criticize ‘Our Dear Leader’. Then it’s mafia/terrorist tactics for you! Oh yee neocon faithful, worshipful at the altar of violence, proponents of a Soviet era Gulag system and purveyors of bile, hate and misinformation – why don’t you all move to Uzbekistan?? There you could find a friendly regime to your liking, one that does not tolerate dissent, and would understand your methods of squashing dissent. Amerika, land of the Neocon traitors. Your playbook is right out of the Stasi/Gestapo/KGB playbook.

  36. RexRhino,
    We’ve all been there, buddy, desperately trying to defend a bullshit argument, hoping to find some saving grace, refusing to concede the obvious.

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