When not enlightening the world one post at a time (or working on my humility) I am a business intelligence guy. I will spare you the long explanation of what a “business intelligence guy” does for a living, because your eyes would soon roll back in your head and that’s never fun unless accompanied by a pleasant buzz. Suffice it to say I build big cat’s cradles of information from which patterns, trends and anomalies can be mined—thus enabling my running dog capitalist employers to continue raping the earth and making obscene profits. (Anyone who actually knows where I work will immediately grasp just how funny that preceding sentence was, but I digress.)
The reason I even bring this up is that it is generally agreed among us data miners — usually between plugs of tobacco and renditions of choral Welsh tunes — that what didn’t happen is frequently much more significant and interesting than what did.
Case in point, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” which over the last couple of days has been remarkable more for the stories it left out than the ones it included.
Examples abound, but let’s consider one particularly disturbing one. Over the last week two stories have surfaced that would seem to suggest that not only is radical Islam well entrenched in our universities, but the people we would normally rely upon to protect us from such things are actively delusional.
- A UC-San Diego student and member of the Muslim Students Association endorses, point blank, genocide against the Jews in a question and answer session with David Horowitz.
- Attorney General Eric Holder refuses—evidently to the point of losing motor control—to acknowledge the possibility that Radical Islam could have been behind any of the recent terrorist attacks on US soil.
These two stories received significant attention and for good reason. Anyone who saw that first clip and didn’t spot the wolf under that Red Riding Hood Cape is either brain-damaged or the Attorney General. Anyone who saw the second clip might conclude the two possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive.
One would think that Olbermann would leap on the opportunity (as did one of the young lady’s teachers) to prove the former story was just an elaborate sting operation by Horowitz and/or congratulate Holder for his use of nuance in the second. Apart from the fact that both positions would evoke derisive snorts and eye rolling even among the most fervent of Kool-Aid drinkers I can think of no reason why Olbermann would let this opportunity slip by.
The answer of course is there are only so many minutes in any given show and Olbermann had to made the hard decisions as to what was in and what was out. Accordingly, last night among other things we were treated to the third piece on Sarah Palin in as many nights, coverage of Playboy’s first 3-D issue, and a largely incomprehensible piece featuring President Obama, a reporter and a hovercraft. Evidently there were no tigers’ birthdays to cover.
These all paled in comparison, however, with the final segment of Thursday’s show in which Olbermann — clearly angling for a job at PBS — devoted the entire segment to a rerun of a Lewis Black rant originally featured on Jon Stewart.
Black, for the uninitiated, appears to be a heavier, bespectacled gray market knock-off of Gilbert Gottfried, with the possible exception that Gottfried is occasionally funny. The subject, for six long minutes, was Glenn Beck and the use of Nazi references. Reasonable minds can disagree as to whether it was worth it the first time; I’ll need somebody’s therapist to explain to me why this rated an encore on Olbermann.
Given all this it’s easy to see why a fluff piece like a Muslim student openly supporting the Holocaust or our Attorney General performing ridiculous contortions to avoid saying the words “radical Islam” would be spiked.
Don’t wake up Keith, I’ve got a bet on you.