The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

29 April 2009

Keith Olbermann's New Anti-Hannity Attack Strategy


Ratings-Challenged Host Looks To Gain From Rival's Offer

*** Has A Fed-Up Left Begun To Turn Against Olbermann? ***

Boston Host Yanked Over Mexico / Swine Flu Remarks ***

Only in this ultra-partisan media environment could a liberal cable talker get away with pressing his rival in an overtly transparent and hypocritical manner. Aren't there any mainstream media insiders willing to question Keith Olbermann's motives?

This week's Olber-stunt has the ratings-challenged MSNBC host attempting to utilize an offer by Sean Hannity to be waterboarded in a benefit for a military charity. Used in overseas interrogations, waterboarding is considered by some to be an act of torture.

Because the FOX News Channel talker apparently isn't volunteering for his "torture" session fast enough, or in a sufficiently severe manner, Olbermann is on the warpath. That has the latter's elitist media pals eating of his hand.

In particular, the liberal women's site WOWOWOW has presented a one-sided view of Hannity as "chicken".

Today, in fact, TVNewser reports Olbermann has upped the rhetoric, saying he doubts Hannity "has the courage to even respond to this." This AP report on Olbermann's stunt doesn't even mention the fact that he's a direct timeslot competitor.

But the obvious question appears not to have been asked: why hasn't Olbermann himself volunteered to join Hannity in the waterboarding? If Hannity's aim is to prove that it isn't tortune while Olbermann believes that it is, why shouldn't the latter make his own case?

While he's at it, Olbermann can use his own waterboarding session to raise a potentially considerable amount for charity. So why is this a one-way street where only the conservative is subjected to discomfort?

From Olbermann's DailyKos diary:

But his offer the other night to Chuck Grodin to 'prove' that waterboardng [sic] isn't torture by allowing it to be done to him, is too important to pass up, because of the image it will certainly produce. No matter what he says afterwards or how he tries to laugh it off, Hannity's certitude will be smashed by Hannity's natural, human panic.

He doesn't have to become Dr. Sabin for more than ten seconds. And many, maybe most, of his viewers, will join him in the collective post-waterboarding lie that he never feared for his life. Regardless, the impact will be sufficient. If it changes the minds of one percent of his supporters, it will have been worth it. And think about the vast numbers of people who have no idea who he is, or who I am, or what this site is, who will know only that a boastful man literally had reality forced upon him.

Thus last night I made my offer to Hannity. He told Chuck he'd do it for families of the troops, and he'd let Chuck do it (Grodin demurred). Those were his only conditions. I'll add a few:

1. Hannity may be waterboarded live on his show. All I require is that a trustworthy outside observer be present to make sure the waterboarding is a legitimate recreation of what we did to detainees. Chuck Grodin is perfectly acceptable, or Hannity may nominate an alternate, but I must approve the identity of the observer.

2. Hannity may instead be waterboarded on tape if he prefers. In that event, I require that at least one non-Fox camera crew be permitted access to record all events, along with a trustworthy outside observer. Again, Grodin will be fine.

3. Hannity must identify the charity or charities, organization or organizations, to which he wants the donation made, so I can verify in advance that the money will indeed get to the families of American troops. The organization cannot be sponsored by, nor affiliated with, Hannity or his employers.

4. I will donate $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for every second of water-boarding Hannity endures. We will start the clock the moment the first water is poured on him. The clock will stop when Hannity confesses or begins to shout or scream on a prolonged basis, or the medical supervisor determines he is danger of organ failure.

5. If Hannity admits afterwards he was afraid for his life and that waterboarding is indeed torture, I will double my total contribution.

And I will repeat this offer each night on Countdown until he agrees or declines.

UPDATE, 12:54 PM EDT: I think we're going to have to have a simulated interrogator there. And yes, he's going to have to admit to something instead of just saying "stop."

6. A simulated interrogator will have to be present and vocal, insisting Hannity confesses.

7. Unlike those we waterboarded, Hannity need only admit to something factual to get the waterboarding to stop. He may choose among: "Obama is not a socialist," "Waterboarding is torture," or something else mutually agreeable between us.

Until Olbermann is willing to subject himself to the same kind of "torture", how does he deserve any response from Hannity?

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  • Why should Hannity respond to Keith Overbite? He’s no one. He's hoping Hannity will throw him a bone to help his ratings.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 April, 2009 19:38  

  • I don't think Olbermann's conditions are unreasonable. If Hannity didn't want to be waterboarded, he shouldn't have said so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 April, 2009 20:14  

  • There is no legitimate nor rational reason for Hannity to dignify Olbermann's nonsense with any reply. Furthermore, Olbermann, being the challenger should go first. But Olbermann's always been a hypocrite, hasn't he? Yes he is.

    By Blogger Carl, at 29 April, 2009 20:57  

  • Olbie, the man with no audience.

    By Blogger 10ksnooker, at 29 April, 2009 21:38  

  • why should obermann volunteer himself? "he's challenging him, so he should go first" what kind of sense does that make?

    Olbermann wants Hannity to do what he said he would. Olbermann thinks it IS torture, his point is to get Hannity to admit that it is torture, and scary. So Keith doesn't want to do it, because he doesn't want to be tortured.

    Doesn't seem like there's much to ponder about Keith's actions.

    By Anonymous Alex, at 29 April, 2009 22:18  

  • What is lost here is that Obermann is quite fine with waterboarding as long as it is someone like Hannity!

    One of the primary arguments that those who are against torture put forth is that if we torture them they will be inclined to torture us. If fearing for one's life is torture, our enemies in jihad are torturing captives 24/7, while someone who is being waterboarded has a momentary survival panic, nothing more.

    As a kid I was sometimes dunked in a poll by an older kid. Not pleasant, it did induce panic, but it wasn't torture.

    By Blogger Franco, at 29 April, 2009 23:01  

  • Brian your polishing the brass on the Titanic ... come into the light.

    By Anonymous Anonymous One, at 29 April, 2009 23:11  

  • Olbermann isn't "quite fine" with waterboarding anyone Franco. He never expected, and still doesn't expect, Hannity to follow though on his boast because Hannity knows waterboarding is torture. That's the whole point.

    By Anonymous Franny, at 30 April, 2009 00:05  

  • Alex if you think its torture because it’s scary. I guess the police are using torture when they use the scared straight program.

    I don’t care stop interrogating terrorist I don’t live in New York or LA.

    By Blogger pf1, at 30 April, 2009 01:19  

  • It is funny that Olberdork is OK with waterboarding Hannity, but not a known terrorist. Perhaps in HIS world, Hannity is more evil. No matter. I suggest hannity not answer this challenge ever. As is often the case, the ratings challenged have again overplayed their hand. If hannity doesn['t accept or reject Olby's offer, he will bring it up every day forever? Interesting. This has the makings of another "O'Franken Factor" stunt. Months from now, Olby will continue to bring up Hannity. It's funny this week. In July he'll look like a bigger dummy than he does now. If that's even possible.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 30 April, 2009 02:09  

  • While I hate to admit it ....
    Olbermann is correct on this one.
    Sean did say he would be
    water boarded for charity.
    Olbermann did not volunteer
    to be water boarded... so no one
    should expect him to be.
    Sean has gotten very nasty at
    times. I guess he is angry that
    despite all his efforts. He failed
    to have any impact on the

    By Anonymous phillip, at 30 April, 2009 07:26  

  • Much like the old radio wars between shock jocks, this benefits both parties, Hannity is probably laughing, as is Olberman. Hannity gets free mentions and olberman gets free press.

    Brian do you actually think this is "real"? This is about as real as pro-wrestling. Do you really think Olberman cares about Hannity either way? Get a grip Brian, this whole thing is schtick, both are laughing it up and downing drinks together. I worked with Hannity , he is not even as conservative as he sounds on the air, he is doing schtick, so is Olberman. GET A GRIP , Maloney.
    This is about as real as when a pro-wrestler assaul,ts another wrestler and "seriously injures him"

    Hannity is schtick, Rush really believes wht he says on the air, not the case with Hannity. He took a gimmick and rode it for all it's worth. He does not "hate libs" nor believe 80% of what he says on the radio or television. Hannity is friends with many of the evil "Hollywood libs" he attacks on his showm even Garaffalo. Yes conservatives, wool pulled over eyes, big time.

    By Anonymous consbuyschtick, at 30 April, 2009 09:18  

  • Based on the consbuyschtick post; when hiring staff Hannity neither uses a lie detector or requires applicants to pass a spelling test!

    By Anonymous ttc, at 30 April, 2009 11:57  

  • I suggest a compromise:

    Hannity agrees to waterboarding for his past statements.

    Olbermann agrees to forfeit back to the US Treasury his raise this year of $3,500,000 since GE/NBC/MSNBC received bailout money in excess of that amount, and Olbermann has said he thinks that employees at failing companies that receive federal bailout money should not receive additional compensation.


    By Blogger Chromium, at 30 April, 2009 13:27  

  • Olbermann considers waterboarding "torture" so there is no way he will do it. Why should anybody care about hannity and is OPNION on torture (including olbermann)

    You either consider waterboarding torture or not. Plain and simple

    and if olbermann is using this issue to gain viewers? that's pathetic

    By Anonymous Chris, at 30 April, 2009 20:45  

  • I have this video along with many other liberal bias clips at my youtube site. The clips today and yesterday from Olbermann, Matthews and Schultz were almost unbelievable. I can't beleive that they get away with being on TV, much less walking to their vehicles unescorted.

    A link to you youtube channel is located on my new blog site (I had to reformat and rename, but all of the posts and links reamin the same) at:

    The link to my youtube channel is on the top right menu. I hope you enjoy some of the videos and maybe stop to check out my blog as well. Thanks!

    By Anonymous rghrdrgirl, at 01 May, 2009 03:37  

  • I vote we take the water board and smack each host for MSLSD in the head till they wake up and get a clue.

    By Blogger pf1, at 01 May, 2009 05:18  

  • Brian, your dissemination is showing.

    YOU KNOW that hannity told grodin he would be waterboarded for charity - assuming the money went to soldier's families.

    YOU KNOW that Olbermann called Hannity out and literally put his money where his mouth is.

    YOU KNOW Hannity hasn't followed through on his own words.

    Twisting this into anything but what it is is a major FAIL on your part.

    Hannity won't stand by his words.

    THAT'S the story.

    And you know it.

    But then, you like to lie to further your own cause and bank account, just like Hannity.

    By Anonymous TJ, at 02 May, 2009 11:59  

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