On the August 24 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann awarded nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly second and third place, respectively, in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment. O'Reilly was recognized for dismissing without explanation a Time magazine poll showing 53 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as "not scientific, in my opinion." Limbaugh took the second spot for his invocation of ethnic stereotypes in discussing which "tribes" on the new season of CBS' reality TV program Survivor, in which the teams are reportedly divided by ethnicity, will outperform the others.
Both O'Reilly and Limbaugh, however, lost the top spot to "the people who run the children's area of the San Francisco Zoo," which is home to an American Cream draft horse named "Coulter." According to Olbermann: "This is slander and it is godless, and, yes, maybe it even is treason. How dare you people insult that -- poor horse?" Olbermann was referring to speculation that the horse may have been named for right-wing pundit Ann Coulter. On August 25, Editor & Publisher magazine reported receiving a letter from a zoo spokesman who wrote that when the zoo purchased Coulter in 2001, the then-2-year-old horse had already been given that name.
From the August 24 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: That is ahead, but first, time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for "Worst Person in the World." Number three. Oh look, it's Bill-O! He took that Time magazine poll which found that 53 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Senator Hillary Clinton and dismissed it. Quoting: "I don't really believe that poll because it's not scientific in my opinion." Not scientific? So you don't believe the Bible?
Our runner-up? Comedian Rush Limbaugh. The Survivor story we just did, the one about dividing the teams into races, the African-Americans, the Hispanics, the Asian-Americans -- Rush said the Hispanics might win because of, quote, "their responsible ability to cross borders. They don't get apprehended." He said the Asian-Americans might outsmart everybody. And then he said the African-Americans would be in trouble because they're not good swimmers. You know, 20 years ago, that exact swimming crap got a baseball general manger fired, and justifiably so. Presumably, that will now happen to Limbaugh. Yeah, right.
But the winner is the people who run the children's area of the San Francisco Zoo. They have named this American Cream draft horse "Coulter." This assumes some kind of resemblance between the horse and Coultergeist -- Ann Coulter. Look, it is a bloody time in American politics, no holds barred. But this crosses the line, to abuse Coulter this way. This is slander and it is godless, and, yes, maybe it even is treason. How dare you people insult -- that poor horse? The management of the children's area at the San Francisco Zoo, today's "Worst Persons in the World."