Thursday, September 28, 2006

Conservatives find humor in terror scare

It all started with a gossip column in the New York Post:


September 27, 2006 -- 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., sources told The Post's Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann's pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn't enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn't known. Olbermann had no comment.

Of course, Olbermann did not tell anyone about the scare. The police advised him not to, and he complied. He went in, got some Cipro as a preventative measure, and went on his way (and no, he did not get a sucker for his trouble). However, the Page Six author, Paula Froelich, obviously got the information somehow, and inadvertently messed up an investigation just to get a cheap laugh. And of course, help to encourage the lunatics who do this sort of thing.

And rightly so, there was outrage. Editor and Publisher thought it was extremely tasteless to make light of a major media figure being the target of a terror scare, or at the very least, a cruel prank. Especially since the anthrax scare that rocked several media outlets, including the National Enquirer, NBC News, AND the New York Post five years ago.

Of course, the Post is owned by News Corp, which in turn owns FOX News, a constant target of Olbermann’s barbs. Nonetheless, to poke fun at someone who received a legitimate scare is very bad journalism (if gossip columns are indeed ‘journalism’). To do this after the paper got it’s own scare years earlier is unconscionable. And to interfere with a pending federal investigation is appalling.

And yes, Olbermann did make mention of the incident later that evening on his show, “Countdown”, but only because he was backed into a corner:

The Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, The New York Post, may have just impeded an FBI investigation into terroristic threats.

I know this because I was a recipient.

I still cannot confirm many of the specifics -- again in order to make the jobs of the FBI and the New York Police Department a little easier. But I find it necessary to respond to the genuinely shocking tone with which Murdoch's paper reported the event, and the string of factual errors they made either through negligence or a premeditated disregard for the truth.

“Powder Puff Spooks Keith," reads the headline. The article then gives the details of the event which we were asked not to divulge.

Olbermann was not going to make any mention of the scare, because the authorities asked him not to. But since the Post decided to publish it, he felt he had to set the record straight.

…a New York Post reporter attempted to gain access to me by falsely identifying herself as a friend of mine.

And, most relevantly, the New York Post never called NBC News or MSNBC seeking any comment. They would have been told that the FBI had requested we try to keep this quiet.
But of course that would have interfered with the New York Post making fun of a terror threat.
It's almost melodramatic to ask why the New York Post would choose the side of domestic terrorism, rather than choose the side of the FBI…


…Murdoch's newspaper did not even make the single phone call that could've told it the potential damage it was doing.

One way of telling that a person has hit the big time is when that person gets his own attack blog. And Olbermann Watch, for lack of a more substantial blog, is it. But OW doesn’t think this scare is a laughing matter. Or do they?

And then there’s THIS asshole. Yep, Brian Baloney, the Radio Tranquilizer, the failed part-time talk show host who has created what loosely passes for his current blogging career by eliciting fake sympathy over the loss of his Sunday afternoon radio gig. Two years ago, he cried like a baby, claiming KIRO in Seattle canned him for badmouthing Dan Rather. In fact, he played this whole crybaby fest across the country! KIRO management, probably not used to fired weekend jocks throwing temper tantrums in the national media, replied that they were expanding Seattle Seahawks programming, and that the other Sunday shows were better than his. In other words, he was the weakest link.

Of course, instead of sucking it up and taking his dismissal like a man, Maloney became the first weekend jock drama queen, begging for sympathy from gullible freepers across America. And who better than to take out his vendetta on – Yep, you guessed it – THOSE DAMN LIBRULZ!!! So, anyone who has had more success in radio than him (well, that would be everyone, I guess) felt the Baloney Pony’s wrath. Even if he had to make shit up (the Gloria Wise thing was blown up to ridiculous proportions, and he missed many of the facts). You’d think that he was secretly in love with Al Franken considering how many times Baloney writes about him, or how many Photoshopped pics he has of him. Note to Maloney: You sucked in radio. That’s why you were on Sunday afternoons, when nobody was listening. Then you got fired because you couldn’t cut it. That’s life, get over it. I worked in radio. And I got fired once. Life sucks, get a helmet.

But I’m getting off track here. ‘YOUR Radio Has-Been’ took the NY Post route and decided to accuse Olbermann of being a drama queen. In his words, “...we'd never put it past Olbermann and his lefty friends to try and score partisan points over such a story.” Ironic, in that just the day before, he reported on another white powder scare, this time at the studio of his former employer, KSCO, a conservative talk radio station in Santa Cruz. The owners of KSCO, rabid conservatives Michael Zwerling and his mother Kay, also own KOMY, which airs a couple programs from Air America Radio. By coincidence, I had pondered writing an entry about this station the other day, but shelved it out of respect for what happened. The article is totally unrelated to the powder scare, but it’s still an interesting story, and I’ll eventually put it up, but not now. Nonetheless, ‘YOUR Radio Dramatizer’ certainly didn’t accuse the Zwerlings of playing the victim for brownie points, did he?

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