Keith Olbermann crowned Bill O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World" on both the February 22 and 23 editions of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, based on comments first noted by Media Matters for America. Olbermann also recognized Rush Limbaugh on February 23 for his assertion that Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is "a girl."
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann crowned Fox News' Bill O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World" on both the February 22 and 23 editions of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. On February 23, he also named nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh "runner up." Olbermann bestows the "Worst Person" title during a nightly segment on his program, counting down the top three "Worst" people for each day.
On February 22, Olbermann awarded O'Reilly "Worst Person" honors for his February 20 comments (documented by Media Matters for America here), in which O'Reilly told Fox News Watch host Eric Burns that, given the opportunity, he would fire Fox News Watch contributor and media writer Neal Gabler, whom he called a "rabid dog," claiming that Gabler "traffics in personal attacks." During the segment, Olbermann commented: "Can we just drop the whining about personal attacks, Billy? I mean, without personal attacks, you would be a mime."
On February 23, Olbermann again named O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World," in recognition of his February 20 assertion (documented by Media Matters here) that the United States should leave Iraq "as fast as humanly possible" because "we just can't control these crazy people." As Media Matters noted and Olbermann pointed out, during a November 30, 2005, appearance on NBC's Today, O'Reilly called those advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq "pinheads" and compared them to Hitler appeasers. Regarding O'Reilly's assertion that the United States "just can't control these crazy people [in Iraq]," Olbermann remarked: "Bill, now you know how your employers feel."
During both "Worst Person" segments, Olbermann likened O'Reilly to Ted Baxter, a pompous and knuckleheaded newscaster played by actor Ted Knight on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (MTM Productions, 1970-77).
During the February 23 "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann also awarded "runner up" honors to Limbaugh for his February 21 assertion (documented by Media Matters here) that Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is "a girl." Limbaugh made this comment while discussing a February 19 Associated Press article on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's status following the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as the only female Supreme Court justice. He subsequently qualified his characterization of Souter as "a girl" by stating, "I'm talking about attitudinally, here, folks."
From the February 22 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: But, tonight's winner: Oh, he's back. Ted Baxter has called for the firing of one of his own network's commentators. The eminent author and journalist Neal Gabler appears on Fox News Watch -- the only show on that network that actually tries to live up to the catchphrase "fair and balanced" -- but O'Reilly, on the same network, called Gabler -- Gabler, a "rabid dog who traffics in personal attacks." Can we just drop the whining about personal attacks, Billy? I mean, without personal attacks, you would be a mime. Bill O'Reilly, today's "Worst Person in the World."
From the February 23 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: The runner up, Rush Limbaugh, complaining about a story that noted Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now the only woman on the Supreme Court. He said if she didn't like it, she should resign, and then he added, quote: "Besides, David Souter's a girl. Everybody knows that. What's the big deal?," and "I'm talking about attitudinally here folks," unquote.
But the winner: Oh, it's two in a row for Ted Baxter. You may recall that last November, on the Today show, for God's sake, he said that people who favored a quick or immediate withdrawal from Iraq were, quote, "pinheads," and compared them to those who had wanted to appease Adolf Hitler. Now he says of our role in Iraq, quote: "The only solution to this is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible because we can't control these crazy people," unquote. Bill, now you know how your employers feel. Bill O'Reilly, today's "Worst Person in the World."