UPDATE, March 12, 2007: Well, he did it — and here it is.
On last night's "Countdown," Keith Olbermann announced that tonight he'd be delivering another of his "Special Comments" — his impassioned, angry monologues fueled by outrage and usually addressed to President Bush and the Bush administration. Tonight, his special comment will be directed at Hillary Clinton — and, for the first time, his special comment will be directed exclusively at a Democrat.
Olbermann's special comments began on August 30, 2006 — in the ratings wilderness of late summer, pre-Labor Day limbo — in a fit of righteous anger at Donald Rumsfeld after he compared Iraq War critics to Nazi appeasers. Thanks to viral vid, the YouTube of the moment lived beyond the under-the-radar broadcast and flew through cyberspace, igniting righteous anger against the administration across cyberspace and racking up 100,000 views in a month. Now Olbermann's special comments regularly rack up views on YouTube in the hundreds of thousands, but remember, this was Sept. 2006 — the midterm elections were still two months away, the year anniversary of Katrina had just passed and the region that Bush had vowed to restore was barely improved, and new MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams had just started two months ago, and 100,000 views was a number MSNBC would definitely have been paying attention to. There was plenty of outrage to go around, and Olbermann had hit a nerve — and found an outlet — so off he went with four more special comments in September, three in October, four in November and on and on as the ratings climbed and climbed.
Always the target was the Bush administration in some form — usually the President ("Have you no decency, sir?" "I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war" "You're a fascist...What else is this but fascism?") though occasionally someone else in the GOP would get it for the latest nefarious move (see: Tom DeLay, Condi). In April 2007 the first presidential candidate was implicated: Rudy Giuliani, drawing Olbermann's ire for fearmongering about 9/11. The last special comment was last month about the FISA walkout; but tonight, for the first time and in the heart of the presidential campaign, it will be about Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and how Olbermann feels about exactly what cards she's been playing (hint: It has something to do with her not firing Geraldine Ferraro for her controversial statement saying that Barack Obama wouldn't have been as successful if he weren't black. Last night Olbermann called Ferraro's statement "clearly racist" and likening the Clinton campaign to South Africa under apartheid for not rejecting it and firing her. Okay, that's more than a hint.)
It's a significant moment, because it marks the first time a full-throated special comment will have been directed exclusively at a Democrat. Not just the Democrats, whom Olbermann accused along with the Republicans last May for failing to do anything to get the country out of Iraq, but one particular Democrat — a Democrat whom, incidentally, he did a special comment defending in July after the Defense Dept. sent her a letter accusing her of facilitating anti-U.S. propaganda by demanding to know whether the administration had conceived of an exit strategy from Iraq. He also defended her husband, Bill Clinton, in Sept. 2006 after his controversial interview with FNC's Chris Wallace. I wouldn't expect either of them to get much defending this time around — though something tells me this one will get a lot more than 100,000 views.
From Last Night's Show:
Olbermann: Ferraro Statement 'Clearly Racist: Are We in South Africa?' [Newsbusters]