Media Matters Thinks It’s Slamming Glenn Beck, But Possibly Smears Keith Olbermann
Lord knows, Glenn Beck has said some outrageous stuff in the past. But I’ll be damned if I can find anything to get hysterical about here:
On the January 28 edition of MSNBC’s Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named CNN Headline News’ Glenn Beck the “runner-up” in his “Worst Person in the World” segment for Beck’s recent comments — documented by Media Matters for America — on Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and race. On the January 25 edition of his show, Beck responded to National Public Radio commentator John Ridley’s statement that “questions about ‘Is Obama black enough?’ ” are “ridiculous” by asking: “[C]an you imagine a white commentator saying that? Can you imagine if I said, ‘Is Barack Obama black enough?’ … I don’t see that man as black. Of course I do, because I’m not blind. I don’t see him as black or white. He just is. He’s an American. He’s a man.”
However, on the February 12, 2007, broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Beck commented that Obama is “very white in many ways,” adding, “Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, ‘What does he mean, “He’s very white?” ‘ He is. He’s very white.” Later on the February 12 show, Beck claimed that Obama “is colorless,” adding that “as a white guy … [y]ou don’t notice that he is black. So he might as well be white, you know what I mean?” After contrasting Beck’s January 25 comments with his February 2007 remarks, Olbermann said, “Sometimes it’s not just the dumb, it’s the hypocritical.”
OK… so, what? If you didn’t know who was supposed to be the good guy and the bad guy, could you tell? After all, Glenn Beck over the course of several statements has accurately illuminated some interesting contradictions about public perceptions of Barack Obama’s race. But Olbermann without substance and extreme hyperbole has just called someone the “worst person in the world.”
Does Media Matters want to encourage a media landscape where people are afraid of discussing matters of race and politics? If they’re conservatives, yes! That’s the whole point.