Character Assassination

I thought Hillary Clinton’s comparison about Obama and the Bobby Kennedy assassination was very foolish and disrespectful, but this Keith Olbermann response is ridiculously histrionic. Even by Olbermann standards. If one is to impugn Hillary, and there are many good reasons to, it should be for more substantive reasons than three sentences. Or is Western culture now in the habit of taking down a public figure based on a mere snippet? An individual is more complex than a few sentences. To judge a person entirely on a sentence is just as superficial as judging a person solely by gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. Perhaps a new word should be coined to reflect this bias. Speechism or something.


  1. Sorry,Ed,but Olberman is entitled to his outrage,especially since he was able to point out that she’s been making this remark about the Bobby Kennedy assassination(without directly using that term)since March. That alone proves that this is not a random,off the cuff comment but something that’s been brewing in her brain for quite awhile and makes what she said a thousand times worse.

    It’s time that Hillary gets called out on the carpet and not just be given a slap on the wrist. She and her campaign people have been talking in code for months(a good example is that “hard working white Americans” line. She could have just said hard working and left it at that,like she could have just used her husband’s campaign in ’92 as an example and not go any further)and it’s unbecoming behavior for someone who wants to lead our country.

    I don’t venerate the Kennedys like some folks do,but I do respect the good works that the family has done over the decades and it’s amazingly insensitive of Hillary to invoke the RK tragedy barely a few days after the announcement of Teddy Kennedy’s brain tumor.

    I know full well that Hillary is determined to drag out her campaign all the way to the convention and while she has the right to do so,she doesn’t have the right to say whatever insulting thing that she wants and then not be held accountable for it,or make a lame apology and/or excuse. Freedom of speech is meant to be used responsibly,the old”You can’t shout “Fire” in a crowded theater” metaphor still holds up and is as true today as it ever was.

  2. I’d agree that, in terms of tone and delivery, Olbermann is way over the top here. Still, the “we forgave you when” litany of Clinton outrages (beginning at 7:13 in the Youtube version) clearly indicate that this is about more than just her most recent remarks. Blurting out “assassination” was just the final straw for Keith, it seems. (My own dromedary’s spine was crushed some time ago.)

  3. Now how can someone make the argument Clinton should be Obama’s running mate? Moronic statements can be forgiven, but I can’t see how this latest Clinton one will be other than for the reason it’s politics.

  4. Please — I beg of you – do not accept the media narrative of what Hillary supposedly said. I have watched the tape. IMO, she is comparing HERSELF to Bill and RFK, not Obama to RFK. That she mentions RFK’s assassination in itself is not a threat against Sen. Obama. Incidentally, RFK apparently said that night “See you in Chicago” implying that he was taking his campaign to the convention floor.

    Further, Olbermann is a odd bird. That he can lecture Sen. Clinton on assassination, after he suggested on air that a super delegate take her in a room and only HE come out.

    I seem to recall these things about our trusted media: what they said about Bill Clinton, what they said about Al Gore – both throughout the campaign and in branding him a loser and someone who needed to give up FL for the good of uniting the nation, what they said to push Kerry away from contesting OH, what they said to prop up GWB, what they say about democratic moves in the senate and house. Oh yeah, but this case is different… yeah, right.

    BTW, Hillary has apologized and with a special sorry to the Kennedy family. RFK Jr made a public statement as well, saying he believes Hillary’s intent was not malicious.

    Not that that the media cares… or those of you that choose believe whatever it is that justifies your acceptance of the media’s Clinton witch hunt. All that straw ain’t coming from HRC in my opinion and I ground that opinion in remembrance of things past.

  5. This guy is an asshole. Perhaps Hilary’s remarks were ill considered and tasteless, but all she is really doing is verbalizing the fears that many people are feeling. Olbermann bluster and outrage represent much of what is wrong with American shock media. How is one supposed to conduct rational debate with such hyperbolic hogwash dirtying the airwaves.

    I like your speechism Ed. Martin Amis haters seem to be practicing it.

  6. By limiting herself to a mere “three sentences”, she can pass off the remark as a misstatement, an unfortunate byproduct of a long and wearying trip on the campaign trail. Had she expounded at length, she’d now be pilloried from coast to coast, but by keeping it short she gets her message across while retaining plausible denial. And her message of the last few weeks couldn’t be clearer. Yet another craven example of her willingness to say anything to get elected. Shame on her.

  7. I usually love Olbermann’s righteous rants, but I thought this one was over-the-top too. I believe she was merely pointing out the that Kennedy’s campaign was still going when he was shot, not that she was waiting for Obama to get shot! It was an answer that didn’t looked planned out so it came out in a way that could be misconstrued.

    “You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the
    California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in **June** in California.”

    Dumb, but I really thing it was a whoops. And I’m an Obama supporter! She very well might be hoping he gets shot or something, but I don’t think she was expressing it in that statement.

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