In a YouTube video last week, Keith Olbermann went on a 9-minute tirade against Trump and all Trump-supporting Americans in which he called Trump a terrorist and his supporters maggots that must be purged from society.
My parents are principled conservatives. Fox News was our evening news of choice. My childhood memories of warm, slow evenings when Mom cooked dinner and Dad settled in to his blue armchair after work include the voice of Bill O’Reilly and his “No Spin Zone” (I will never not think of him when I encounter the word “pithy”).
Perhaps for others Keith Olbermann was that voice. Maybe his MSNBC programs The Big Show with Keith Olbermann or Countdown with Keith Olbermann colored their evening routines. But I was raised in a conservative household, so Olbermann’s voice rarely (if ever) filled our living room.
So admittedly, Olbermann’s recent incendiary comments about Trump, Republicans, and your run-of-the-mill conservatives made me wonder first of all: Who is this Olbermann character?
Some of you may be more aware than I of Olbermann’s credentials as a news anchor and host of shows on ESPN, MSNBC, and even GQ, spanning back through the 90s. You may also be more aware than I of his political views, and his history of making extreme statements about his political opposites.
For instance, in 2007 Olbermann called Fox News “worse than Al Qaeda” and “as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.”
Political hyperbole is not new for Olbermann, and it seems he hasn’t changed in the many years since. Last week, on his YouTube show “The Worst Person In The World,” Olbermann called Trump a “demonic president”, his followers “maggots”, the Republican party “political whores”, before finally giving an emotional, red-faced appeal that conservatives like Trump, Mike Pence, and Amy Coney Barrett must be “prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society.”
It was quite a show – a 9-minute demonization of an entire half of the American population.
Perhaps some of his strongest statements were found within a 1:23 segment of his entire meltdown:
“Trump can be and must be expunged. The hate he has triggered, the pandora’s box he has opened, they will not be so easily destroyed. So, let us brace ourselves. The task is twofold. The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box and then he and his enablers and his supporters and his collaborators and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Giulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try and rebuild it and to rebuild the world Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus.”
Remember it. Even as we dream of a return to reality and safety and the country for which our forefathers died that the fight is not just to win an election, but to win it by enough to chase at least for a moment Trump and the maggots up the stage. And then try to clean off what they left. Remember it. Even though to remember it means that the fight does not end November 3. But in many ways will only begin that day.”
In another episode, Olbermann called Trump a “mass murderer,” stating that Trump “is the leading cause of death in this country” and blamed him for destroying the economy, undermining the upcoming election with the help of the Russians, and working to nullify the election process entirely. He called the President “for all intents and purposes a terrorist.”
In an episode of Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani responded to Olbermann’s rant by calling him a “half-ass sports reporter” and “a very, very sick guy.”
If you enjoy a good bit of theatrics, you can watch the full 14-minute video here:
Caitlin Bassett graduated from Liberty University in 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Politics and Policy. She grew up in the great Pacific Northwest, but now calls Northern California home as she pursues ministry school.