Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Thursday, September 30th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball, Worst Persons
Video via YouTube: Worst Persons
The toss: Goldilocks planet

Guests: Ezra Klein, David Corn, Josh Marshall, Derrick Pitts



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

O'Donnell's phony claim that she went to Oxford University - she blamed it on a Web site. But, tonight, a conservative institute says the application she sent to it includes her resume reading, "Oxford University, Oxford, U.K. Certificate awarded summer 2001."

When you do that, what's that called again?


CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: A lie. Whether it be a lie or an exaggeration is disrespect to whoever you're exaggerating or lying to you. It's not respecting reality.


OLBERMANN: Perhaps this will refresh your memory. The house keeper for the Republican candidate for governor in California produces the smoking gun.

Speaking of smoking -




OLBERMANN: Carl, did you say that? What a guy.

The Republican candidate for governor of New York prophesizes his own near-brawl with a reporter from the friendly "New York Post."


PALADINO: I'll take you out, buddy.

FRED DICKER, NEW YORK POST: You're going to take me out?


DICKER: How are you going to do that?



OLBERMANN: In the traditional paradigm, the Tea Party self-destructing. But in reality, don't they want to be seen shoving the media?

Just a cave before I go: The Democrats inexplicably agree: no recess appointments by the president.

Emperor Palpatine testifies on a path to citizenship. He's in favor of it. "Funny," asks a congresswoman, "Isn't your TV network anti-immigrant?" Then he pulls a Freud.


RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORP. CEO: I don't think we do take an anti-Democratic - we're very happy to welcome any Democrats on to FOX News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't say anti-Democrat. I said anti-immigrant.


OLBERMANN: Still living in the rubble, nine months later in Haiti.

Why? The senior senator from Oklahoma, that's why.

And we found a new planet, not too hot, not to cold. Just right for life. But what's it made of, Mr. Science Fella?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be marshmallow cream or it could have a liquid cherry center with, you know, chocolate crystal outer zone.


OLBERMANN: Welcome to planet cherry marshmallow chocolate cake!

All the news and commentary now - on Countdown.



OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.

The Tea Party is about real people speaking the truth about restoring honor to government. It's about openness and transparency. And it's about honesty, personal responsibility, accountability.

So, in our fifth story tonight: keep those attributes in mind as you see the tape of New York Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino that has been playing all day and the tape of him beforehand that you have not seen all day. That's coming up.

But keep those attributes in mind, too, as you peruse the tattered shreds of the what was once known as the academic transcript of Delaware Republican Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. The latest today? A conservative think tank reveals what she herself put on the resume she submitted to them.

It has already been reported widely that O'Donnell claimed for years that she had graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University back in 1993. But that because she had failed to pay them $4,000 she owed and to finish her coursework, she did not actually graduate until 2010, September 1st, 2010 actually. And we knew a lawsuit of hers falsely claimed she was going to Princeton Graduate School, a claim she blamed on her lawyer despite the fact that she had filed the suit herself.

This week, we learned she claimed to have attended Claremont Graduate University, when, in fact, she went to a conservative think tank called the Claremont Institute.

Then "The Plum Line" blog turned up O'Donnell's LinkedIn page with both the bogus Claremont and University of Oxford claims. "The Plum Line" asked her campaign about the LinkedIn page on Friday, yesterday.

Five days later, O'Donnell issued a statement. "There have been reports that I have released false information on a LinkedIn page under my name. This is categorically untrue. I completed a summer program run by the Phoenix Institute at the Institute Oxford University location. I also completed a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute."

LinkedIn took down the profile, saying it could not confirm O'Donnell's claim that she did not write it. Her own Web site still says it was a Lincoln graduate fellowship. But as of today, that one is small potatoes because LinkedIn is not the only personal profile Web site.

Meet ZoomInfo Christine O'Donnell. It turns out this Christine O'Donnell also claims she went to the University of Oxford, except that this Web site says that O'Donnell herself verified it. And even though it was last updated months before O'Donnell got her degree, it also said she already had her degree, quoting a ZoomInfo spokesperson, "We scanned the Web to pull most of our info. So, it is pulled from a variety of sources just as a starting point. The profile was actually claimed in 2008, which means that she has verified the information and updated it."

If it's still not clear that O'Donnell herself generated the Oxford University lie, there is this tonight from the "Talking Points Memo." The conservative Claremont Institute still has her application with the resume she wrote and submitted back in 2002.

And here's what they say it says: "Oxford University, Oxford, U.K.

Certificate awarded, summer 2001."

To the story of baffling Carl "the truth" Paladino in a minute.

First, here's David Corn, Washington bureau chief of "Mother Jones" magazine and a columnist at

David, good evening.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Good evening, Keith.

OLBERMANN: All right. So, here's a second Web site that says she verified the info. Here's a conservative think tank that says she submitted the resume. It is one thing to get caught in a lie or maybe with such a wonderful academic record to get your various degrees and education backgrounds confused.

What happens when you get caught in a lie denying the first lie?

CORN: You know, politicians tend to get the scandals they deserve. She's not a very serious candidate, so she's getting a not very serious scandal in some ways. We have LinkedIn-gate morphing into a ZoomInfo-gate. But it does show what we like to say is a pattern, that she doesn't get it right.

And, you know, in Washington, the old saying is, it's not the wrongdoing, it's the cover-up. Well, now, we seem to have a cover-up of a cover-up. And I wonder how much more is going to come out on her background.

OLBERMANN: To that point, "The Associated Press" walks on tiptoes when implying a candidate's dishonesty in the weeks before a campaign. It has written, quote, "O'Donnell has made incorrect or misleading statements about her education before."

There was a time in our distant pass, you know, four, six years ago when somebody running for the Senate might be expected to bow out of a race based on just a statement by "The Associated Press," an assessment like that. What does a 2010 Tea Party candidate do on when faced with such damning evidence?

CORN: That's easy. You blame the media.


CORN: I mean, why worry about facts at this point? I mean, she's already said this week that, you know, she believes her campaign is inspired and guided by God. And so, if you actually believe that, why would you let a little thing like lying on your resume get in the way? If God's brought you to this point, God's obviously not too worried about your resume.

OLBERMANN: Apparently, God has lowered journalistic standards than he thought also.

CORN: Well, he has (ph).

OLBERMANN: This is the party that's supposed to bring - as I said before, there are some nobility at least in this concept of honesty and transparency to Washington. But if lying is OK with the voters who support this group, is that because there's a feeling that anything is OK in the service of the cause because they know the cause is, you know, righteous?

CORN: You know, you'd like to think that voters of all stripes care about competency and intelligence in their candidates. So, therefore, we end up with competent and intelligent government.

But I think at this stage, you have a slice of the electorate - we don't know how big it truly is. We won't know until November 2nd, that really cares about one thing, anger. And they'll vote for anybody, regardless of their background, regardless of whether they are telling the truth or not, if it expresses their anger.

You know, they don't want competent, intelligent government. They want angry government, which is really not going to end up giving them anything that they think they need or that the country requires.

OLBERMANN: Is there anything instructive in this about the rest of the Republican Tea Party? Does this affect other candidates' approach based on the O'Donnell candidacy or towards the O'Donnell candidacy?

CORN: Well, I think, you know, we like - we pundits and analysts and commentators and journalists like to look at the Tea Party as a national phenomenon. But when it comes to the elections, really, each teabag is in its cup. So, you know, she has to convince Delaware voters, Joe Miller has to convince Alaskan voters, Sharron Angle, the same in Nevada, Rand Paul, the same in Kentucky.

And while O'Donnell may be making the Tea Party look bad. You know, they're rushing to give her lots of money nationally, I doubt it's going to have much of an impact on those other races. At the end of the day, when we're looking at the results on November 2nd, November 3rd, we're going to look at those individual results and try to draw national results out of that. But they all take place within their own horizons.

OLBERMANN: Yes. Just because it is a bunch of people who've never been out of their homes before does not mean they don't know - they all know each other already.

David Corn of "Mother Jones" magazine and - as always, David, thanks for your time tonight.

CORN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Now, as promised, the Tea Party candidate restoring honor to government by smearing his rival, standing by his lack of evidence for it, and threatening to take out a reporter on camera. And not even a member of the lamestream media, it turns out the Tea Party can't get a fair shake from Rupert Murdoch and "The New York Post."

New York Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was already in the headlines this week for his family values, specifically, he likes families so much he started a second family outside his own, furthering a daughter 10 years ago with a woman who was not his wife. On Tuesday, he was asked about the tone of the campaign.


REPORTER: The campaign is being characterized as being nasty.

PALADINO: It's going to get nastier.

REPORTER: It's getting nastier.

PALADINO: Sheldon Silver and Andrew Cuomo should get ready, strap in, because this is your life, Andrew Cuomo.

REPORTER: OK. If it gets nasty and stuff, as it gets nastier and stuff, is that something that some people - OK, when you first came out -

PALADINO: I don't mind being nasty.


OLBERMANN: That same day, it got a lot nastier. Paladino told "Politico," that Cuomo, his rival in the election, has had paramours, when he was marriage, Paladino's campaign added about Cuomo, who has never been publicly accused of infidelity and whose marriage ended in divorce after reports of infidelity by his wife, his wife who is still supporting his campaign.

Then last night, Fred Dicker of Murdoch's "New York Post," something like the dean of Albany journalists, dared to ask Mr. Paladino for evidence. The bleeped word from Mr. Paladino you will now hear, we should note, is the "F" word.


FRED DICKER, NEW YORK POST: Do you have any evidence of that? And if you don't, isn't that going into the gutter?

PALADINO: Hmm. Well, a guy that's been in the gutter and spent a good part of his life in the gutter with Andrew Farkas should think twice about trying to characterize me.

DICKER: But you're a lawyer. You've heard the term.

PALADINO: I'm also a lawyer that -

DICKER: Yes. But what evidence do you have for something that most people on would consider a smear?

PALADINO: I want to know why you sent your goons after my daughter.

DICKER: I sent no one after her.

PALADINO: I want to know, Fred. I want to know about it.

DICKER: Your charge against Cuomo, do you have any evidence or do you not?


PALADINO: I will - at the appropriate time, you can hear it.

DICKER: Do you have it?


DICKER: You got three daughters. How can you say that about him?

PALADINO: Oh, I have a daughter too, Fred! I have a daughter.

DICKER: You brought it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fred, that's it.

PALADINO: Stay away from me.


PALADINO: What evidence do you have?



PALADINO: No, come on.

DICKER: Don't touch me. Who are you? Who the hell are you? I'm asking a question. Do you have any evidence to the charge you made?

PALADINO: At the appropriate time, you'll get it.

DICKER: This guy is the attorney general of New York.

PALADINO: And you're his stalking horse, Fred Dicker. You're his talking horse. You're his bird dog.

DICKER: What's the evidence? You made the charge.

PALADINO: You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy.

DICKER: You're going to take me out?


DICKER: How are you going to do that?


DICKER: What are you - are you threatening me?


OLBERMANN: With us tonight is Josh Marshall, the editor and founder of the news Web site, "Talking Points Memo."

Josh, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

The only words I made out of that were "I've got to go to the bathroom" or something like that. It looked like something out of a cheap movie.

JOSH MARSHALL, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Like "Goodfellas" maybe or something like that.

OLBERMANN: No. Like the cheap somebody goes to see "Goodfellas," goes home, writes a script based on what they remembered when they saw "Goodfellas." That's what it turns out.


OLBERMANN: How do you run a right wing campaign - we'll go small first - how do you run a right wing campaign in New York State when you've just royally ticked off "The New York Post"?

MARSHALL: It's tough because, you know, as a Republican, certainly, as a conservative Republican, you've got the candidate, the campaign manager, and "The New York Post." You know, so they're going into it with, you know, a big resource. But, yes, calling, threatening to rub out, kill, I don't know what it is, a "New York Post" - you know, one of their top reporters and calling them liars, that's - that's not good.

OLBERMANN: But what is the choice here? I mean, you got "The New York Post" editor-in-chief made a statement today in which he said the claim of sending photographers, "The Post" did not send photographers to follow Paladino's daughter. So, either the Republican Tea Party candidate or "The New York Post" is lying. You want to be able to say both, right? But there's no choice now.

MARSHALL: Yes. Well, you know, with almost any other candidate, there might be a credibility issue on both sides. But Carl Paladino, going backs six months or a year, I mean, he's got, you know, the racist e-mails and the threats and this. I mean, this guy cam into this incident with credibility sort of, you know, kind of on the red line, you know, on empty. And you know, once you're - once you're threatening to take out reporters, that doesn't - that doesn't give anybody a good feeling anyway. So, I think - I think this sounds like it's on him for the moment.

OLBERMANN: But this isn't the Los Angeles kind of take-out, in which you go and take somebody on a date. This is the other kind of -


MARSHALL: The New York take out.

OLBERMANN: Empty parking space.


OLBERMANN: We look at this and rightly shake our heads because we grew up in this country and we have a certain premise of what the lines are. They may be very broad in this country between the most able and honest politician and the least.

But isn't - isn't this here what Tea Partiers in their souls want to see? The threat of physical violence, particularly against reporters, isn't this the logical end from the premise that they're the fighters of pure evil in this country?

MARSHALL: You know, there is this question, you know, which Tea Party candidate is going to lose it and beat the crap out of someone before November 2nd, because you've got a situation with the governor candidate up in Maine where something somewhat similar happened a few days ago.

Yes, I think you're right. The problem is, is that, especially, in a state like New York, Tea Partiers make up, like, maybe 15 percent of the electorate, 10 percent, you know, depending on how you want to define them. A Tea Party candidate has got to be able to make some pivot towards sanity in the general election.

And, so, you know - so I think that even though there's a lot of discontent in the country right now, you know, people don't want to hear the person who's going to be running the state government saying he's going to take you out. That doesn't - people don't feel good about that.

OLBERMANN: Governor, you're going to be sleeping with the fishes.

We have "New York Post" calling Paladino out for dishonesty. Thanks in large part to "Talking Points Memo," we know that Christine O'Donnell has been sort of serially dishonest about her academic background. We haven't even got to Meg Whitman yet. That's later in the program.

What's going on here, though? Is it - is it the truth does not matter in pursuit of some sort of fantasy of higher patriotism? Or is something else?

MARSHALL: You know, I don't think truth matters a great deal in this cycle. That's pretty clear. I think, you know, you have that - the Republicans came out with their pledge a few days ago and basically what it says is that debt is the biggest problem facing the nation. And to solve it, we are going to increase the national debt by $4 trillion.


MARSHALL: So, that gives you a sense that there are bigger forces in play than the facts. Having said that, you know, I don't think Christine O'Donnell is probably going to win in Delaware. I don't think it's looking much better for Carl Paladino.

You've got this case in California with Meg Whitman which, I think, is different. I don't think people are saying that Meg Whitman is crazy. She got herself in a kind of tight spot here.

I think this cycle, truth is not a big factor, but it's not "no factor" and you can push things a little - a little too far. And even for 2010, you get into trouble. And I think Christine O'Donnell and Carl Paladino and I'm sure someone else over the next month is going to cross that line.

OLBERMANN: Well, we'll know what the line is, but unfortunately, we won't know until after the election.

"Talking Points Memo" editor and founder, Josh Marshall - as I said, pleasure to see you. Thanks for coming in.

MARSHALL: Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: And as he fights off another "say anything" Tea Partier in Nevada, Harry Reid inexplicably cuts a deal with the Republicans to preclude any recess appointments by the president. Oh, and Meg Whitman - oops.


OLBERMANN: So, why did he make a deal guaranteeing the Republicans that the president would make no recess appointments? The bag of magic beans. Or is at least a big bag?

He testifies his network is not anti-immigrant and not anti-Democrats.

Of course nobody asked him about being anti-Democrats.

She's still running for governor of California - though, after today's revelation, I'm really not sure how.

And it is impossible to believe that one senator from Oklahoma could personally be responsible for Haitian earthquake relief victims still living in rubble but it's true in "Worsts" - ahead.


OLBERMANN: Listen carefully or you might think you heard this wrong.

In November 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid kept the Senate, technically, in session during an actual recess so that President Bush could not make any recess appointments. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided that he would keep the Senate technically in session during the actual recess so that his own party's president can not make any recess appointments.

In our fourth story: The so-called compromise that is really a precedent-setting cave-in as Senate Democrats slink out the door on their way home. Majority Leader Reid has to agree to schedule pro forma sessions every week for the next six weeks while senators are home during recess. That means the Senate will be in session on a technicality.

And with the Senate not in recess, President Obama will not be able to make recess appointment. The consequences of that in a moment.

In a deal struck with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 54 of the administration's 110 pending nominees were confirmed. But the vast majority of those 110 stalled nominees would have been easily confirmed anyway by a simple up-or-down vote, except that such votes have been blocked as these nominees have been held up under a variety of Senate rules that are abused for maximum effect.

And Republicans have slowed President Obama's executive and judicial nominees to a degree never before seen.

So, where's the so-called deal? It gets worse. Minority Leader McConnell had threatened the Democrats with this. Under yet another rather obscure rule, McConnell would have sent Obama's more controversial nominees back to the House - to the White House rather. If McConnell had done that, those nominees would have to be resubmitted, slowing the process down even further.

McConnell did this very thing in August with five of the president's judicial nominees. And if all that seems like a highly lopsided compromise, it may be because of the very nature of Democrats.

When asked whether they admire political leaders who compromise or leaders who stuck to their positions without compromise, most Americans in a recent poll said they admired no-compromise ones. But while Republicans respondents, in strong numbers, were against compromise, Democrats were generally in favor of it, which in practice means that the non-compromisers draw the greatest concessions from the compromisers - not the other way around.

Let's turn to "Washington Post" staff reporter, "Newsweek" magazine columnist and MSNBC contributor, Ezra Klein.

Ezra, good evening.


OLBERMANN: I'm confused about this. I mean, I thought we had the parameters understood about how broken the Senate actually is. Explain why this indicates we were narrow-minded in our thinking.

KLEIN: Now, the rule about the Senate is, as broken as you think it is, wait a week. And this is what we're doing.

So, the deal is pretty much as you described it. There is going to be essentially fake sessions of Congress in the Senate for six weeks. And there will be fake sessions of the Senate because if these judicial nominees go 30 days without a vote, McConnell can send them back and he can then make them go to confirmation, the whole thing, the committee hearings all over again.

But in order to do that, it means no recess appointments. And that means that the OMB director can't be put in, who is being held up actually by a Democrat, Mary Landrieu. That means Larry Diamond (ph), who is going to be on (INAUDIBLE), is desperately needed over there, can't be recess-appointed or any of the other 100-odd.

So, it's really giving up quite a lot for it. Reid's people say they're very happy with the deal. But, from the outside, it looks like a pretty strange bargain they struck.

OLBERMANN: And did they make it because McConnell was basically saying, if you think this confirmation progress is stalled, I can make it much, much worse?

KLEIN: They will tell you they made it because this was a terrific deal. They got everything they wanted. They will stick to that and who knows, maybe they feel that way.

But, you know, McConnell and the Republicans have been enormously effective at holding up Obama's nominees. Judicial nominees alone, circuit court judge, they are waiting five times longer on average than they did under George W. Bush.

So, McConnell is doing pretty well there. And they struck a deal it seems to everybody else so they could get a bunch of the nominees out, about 50-some were confirmed last night. But in return for it, the controversial nominees are held. And these nominees, they're not necessarily all that controversial.

Of these 59 nominees who were passed with a unanimous consent last night, they were held up, too. Supposedly they were so controversial. But, in fact, they weren't controversial at all when it came down to it.

OLBERMANN: What would have happened if the majority leader had stood up to the threat?

KLEIN: It's not clear. I mean, in the Senate, the rules are, in large, agreements with one another. And you can try to change the rules and you can simply refuse to honor the agreements. What you're seeing now is something new happening in judicial - not just additional but nominations generally, this attempt to take recess appointments off of the table.

Now that this becomes a norm, now that both parties begin doing this, you now have, on the one hand, a process where you can't confirm nominees, and then on the other hand, a process where you can't recess-appoint nominees. And what you're going to end up having after that is that talented people are not going to go into government. Good people are not going to go into government. They're going to prefer to do what Elizabeth Warren did if they do go into government, which is get a temporary, non-Senate confirmed and less powerful position so they don't have to wait a year with no certainty of getting the job.

So, in the long run, what we're going to have is a much worse government, less talented people in it because you're not going to be able to attract people into this process.

OLBERMANN: And, Ezra, as if this were not all good enough news, Democrats also agreed to spending cuts to keep the government running through December?

KLEIN: Right. So, what's going on in there was Republicans threatened a government shutdown. In order to get a continuing resolution in which the government will continue being funded until, through the recess, they had to agree with Republicans that they would cut spending somewhat. It is interesting. It's the way of the Senate, the minority has a lot of power. But it is hard to explain to Americans why the majority party has to keep giving away so much.

OLBERMANN: Or doesn't have any at sometimes.

Ezra Klein of "The Washington Post" - as always, thank you, Ezra.

KLEIN: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Elsewhere in the Senate, the staffer from Georgia, Senator Saxby Chambliss' office, who posted a threatening slur on a blog has been found and fired. Joe Jervis, the blogger at the site Joe My God posted this that the senator had called him personally to apologize and to tell him about the firing. The name of the - the job title of the staffer from Chambliss' office had not been released.

The original post read, "All blank must die," and it was posted in response to Jervis' blog about that day's DADT vote in the Senate. The I.P. address was traced back to Chambliss' headquarters in Atlanta.

There's also the senator who has personally kept almost all American rebuilding money out of Haiti and the congresswoman who today got to hear Rupert Murdoch deny what you hear on his network every day is what you hear on his network every day. Ahead.


OLBERMANN: So they asked Rupert about his network's anti-immigrant stance and he says, we're not anti-Democrat. Guilty conscience, Rup? That's ahead. First, the sanity break and the Tweet of the day.

And all we've got on an ID here is KillerTofu, who writes, "how long do you think it will be before we find out Christine O'Donnell claimed to have pitched for the '94 Royals?" No, she claims to have pitched for the '93 Orioles under the name John O'Donahue Jr. Let's play Oddball.

We begin in Anchorage, Alaska, with the new 2011 station wagon models that are out. Fred Keller decided that he need a retirement project to occupy his now ample free time, so he transformed his old pick-up truck into a drivable radio flyer wagon. After all, why drive a truck when you can look like you're rolling uncontrollably long in a wagon.

It took him over 11 months to complete the transformation. The wagon is completely street legal. It even gets great gas mileage, as long as, of course, it's rolling downhill.

To the Internets, the perfect gift for all you literalists out there:

a Kevin Bacon made out of bacon. Wait, Kevin Bacon? Looks more like Conan O'Brien. Either way, Conan O'Bacon, arrgh.

After deciding that cooked bacon would pose a, quote, rot factor problem, artist Mike LeHugh (ph) opted to go primarily with bacon bits. The bacon Bacon is being sold on eBay to help raise money for the nonprofit group Ashley's Team. The current bid - we have it at 353 dollars plus shipping. Looks like somebody really wants to bring home the bacon. Chelsey?

I don't have a co-anchor named Chelsey.

To the Windy City, where the contest for the next governor of Illinois is in full swing. Bill Brady has been hitting incumbent Pat Quinn hard about his promise to live in the governor's mansion more than his predecessor, Rod Blago-something did. To prove his residency there, Mr. Quinn used the saying, where I lay my hat is my home. But then he decided to describe a differently article of clothing.


GOV. PAT QUINN (D), ILLINOIS: It's very clear I live there. I have plenty of clothes there. Even my underwear are there. That's important.


OLBERMANN: Wow. TMI. Don't anybody ask him about the executive bathroom. Time marches on.

Rupert Murdoch testifies he's in favor of a path to citizenship. Unfortunately, he apparently thinks that means a path to citizenship for Democrats. We will resume.


OLBERMANN: Today, to a House subcommittee, an immigrant testified on behalf of immigration reform, advocating a path for citizenship, dismissing proposals to deport undocumented workers as impractical. One would expect Fox News to be all over that, considering it was the same congressional panel that heard testimony from Stephen Colbert last week, considering the immigrant was lobbying for, in Fox News speak, amnesty for illegals.

But in our third story, instead of hyperventilating into near hysterics, as it did over Mr. Colbert, the folks at Fox were rather subdued in their coverage of today's hearing. And when I say subdued, I mean they only mentioned it once.

Odd, considering that the testimony came from their boss, the CEO of Newscorp, the non-spiritual leader of Fox PAC, Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch along side New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, testifying as part of a coalition of mayors and business owners, citing his own experience as an immigrant to this country. Mr. Murdoch affirmed that reform would strengthen this nation's economy, if only, he lamented, there wasn't this partisan rhetoric driving the debate.


RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWSCORP CEO: Today, America is deeply divided over immigration policy. Many people worry that immigrants will take their jobs, challenger their culture, or change their community.


OLBERMANN: Whose bloody idea is that, sparky? Gee, I wonder where he got those crazy ideas.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We have millions of people that have not respected American law, American sovereignty.

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: These are illegal immigrants cross into Arizona, committed violent crimes.




OLBERMANN: Nevertheless, Mr. Murdoch continuing his plea for reform.


MURDOCH: While supporting complete and proper closure of all our borders to future illegal immigrants, our partnership advocates reform that gives a path to citizenship for responsible, law-abiding immigrants who are in the U.S. today without proper authority. It is nonsense to talk of expelling 11 or 12 million people. Not only is it impractical; it is cost prohibitive.


OLBERMANN: Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of Murdoch's network's most frequent targets of late, pressing Mr. Murdoch on why exactly those reasonable views don't seem to be reflected in any one of Mr. Murdoch's new outlets?


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Why are you here with a basically decent proposal, talking about the advantage of immigrants to our economy, but I don't see that being promoted on Fox?

MURDOCH: We are home to all views on Fox. If you wish to come and state these views, we'd love to have you on Fox News.

WATERS: No, I don't want to be on there. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about -

MURDOCH: We don't censor that or take any particular line at all. We are not anti-immigrant on Fox News.

WATERS: What is the difference? What is the contradiction? Why don't you use your power to help us to promote what you're talking about?

MURDOCH: I would say that we do. With respect, we certainly employ a lot of immigrants on Fox, and in all arms of Fox. You're talking about Fox News. We have many immigrants there. We do not take any consistent anti-immigrant line. We have debates about it from both sides.


OLBERMANN: We have over 4,000 Australians named Bruce working for the company in (INAUDIBLE) alone.

Later, Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, who unlike Mr. Murdoch apparently has seen Fox, questioned him on this response, as in isn't your network anti-immigrant?


MURDOCH: I don't think we do take an anti-Democratic - we're very happy to welcome any Democrats onto Fox News.

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: No, I didn't say anti-Democrat.

I said anti-immigrant.


OLBERMANN: Republican Congressman Lamar Smith to the rescue.


REP. LAMAR SMITH (R), TEXAS: There was an independent study done that actually showed that Fox was the most fair of all the television news programs. If you're coming from a liberal perspective, it might seem conservative. But to the objective observer, Fox actually has both sides more often than the three networks. I'll put that in the record in just a minute.


OLBERMANN: Oddly, Mr. Smith has a point about both sides. Here's Mr. Murdoch back in June on "Fox and Friends," discussing immigration with somebody who looks like host Steve Doocy.


STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You touched a moment ago, Mr. Murdoch, on the politics of this. This is a political hot potato. How do you get by the partisanship that has been out there, and so biting for a while?

MURDOCH: I don't know. But I think it can be done. I think the mayor has shown how you get past it in the city of New York. I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with that.


OLBERMANN: Perhaps sensing panic and/or betrayal from the Fox viewer at home, after the boss left, the real Steve Doocy kicked out his more reasonable avatar and, alongside his co-host, got everybody back on message.


DOOCY: Tell us about the threat of illegal amnesty by executive order, where there are millions of illegals in this country. There's something going on where an executive order could make them legal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of illegal immigrants are being encouraged to participate in the 2010 census.

DOOCY: Illegals and the census. Including illegals. And the more illegals in a district, the better for people in Congress.


OLBERMANN: There you are, Congressman Smith, both sides out of the same guy's mouth.

Emperor Palpatine testifies the same day that a new world suitable for life is discovered. Coincidence? I think not.

So you say the judge was handing out acorns filled with condoms? And he's from a Pennsylvania town with a legendary name.

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, how to fight the super PACS with their super secret money.


OLBERMANN: We found a new planet that might sustain life. Literally, we found it with taxpayer dollars. Hey, Tea party, should we un-find it?

That's next, but first get out your pitchforks and torches, time for tonight's Worst Persons in the World.

The bronze to Magisterial Judge Isaac H. Stoltsfutz (ph), who presides just outside Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was discovered last month outside the soldiers' grove near the state capital, allegedly approaching women and handing them acorns. Inside the acorns, he had stuffed condoms. He said it was a joke, apparently one he read about on the Internet. Police said it was disorderly conduct.

There's considerable confusion over how Judge Stoltsfutz did this, leading to this great quote in the Lancaster newspaper "The New Era," "it is unclear how Stoltsfutz concealed the condoms in the acorns. Capital police are holding several unopened nuts as evidence, the 'Patriot News of Harrisburg' reported."

Condoms, acorns, unopened nuts. What ties this all together? A little town outside Lancaster in which judge Stoltsfutz resides and presides, Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

Our runner-up, Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor of California, running on a hold employers liable for undocumented workers platform. When it was revealed that for nine years she had employed an undocumented immigrant as a house keeper, Whitman blamed it on an agency that had sent the woman to her. Then the house keeper claimed there was a letter sent by the government in 2003 to Whitman's husband saying there was a discrepancy with her Social Security number and that the woman might be here illegally.

Then Whitman said her husband never got that letter. She suggested that maybe the house keeper had stolen the letter so that Whitman wouldn't see it. Then this happened.

Perhaps this will refresh your memory. Gloria Allred, the lawyer for the hours keeper, released a giant copy of the letter. It was information requested by the government. It was partially filled out on the letter, along with a note to the house keeper, "Nicky, please check this." Even Whitman's husband says it's possible that the hand writing on the letter is his.

So a candidate for governor of California lied, then suggested the victim was a liar and a thief. Then the proof turned up. Ms. Whitman, just say oops. Just says oops and get out.

But our winner, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. You and I sat here in horror last January as Haiti was nearly destroyed by an earthquake and its aftershocks. And we sat here proudly as this government of ours pledged 1.2 billion in emergency aid. Now you and I will have to sit here dumbfounded to learn that of the 917 million dollars for reconstruction passed by the House and Senate, not a dime of the aid has gotten to Haiti yet.

This is because the Senate has not passed the authorization bill directing how the money is to be spent. And this is because the bill has had a senatorial hold placed on it. The Associated Press reports that hold was placed there by Senator Coburn. His objection? The creation of a senior Haiti coordinator, whose salary, staff, offices, et cetera would cost a million dollars a year.

He says it's unnecessary because we already have an ambassador to Haiti. So 1,300,000 Haitians are still homeless tonight, nearly nine months after an earthquake, and all so that Tom Coburn can boast to his conservative buddies that he has prevented some wasteful spending, and they can clap him on the back and tell him what a big man he is, instead of telling him the truth, that he is, in fact, committing an atrocity against the people Haiti, and doing so in the name of we, the people of the United States.

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, today's Worst Person in the World.


OLBERMANN: Twenty light years from Earth, way out in the Libra constellation, there is a star called Gliese 581 that has three planets circling it in what astronomers call a habitable zone. Of those three, one is too hot for life to exist. Another is too cold. But the third planet is just right.

In our number one story, yesterday, scientists announced existence of a planet they believe can support organic life forms. It has been dubbed the Goldilocks Planet. Though, if you take that comparison to its logical end, we should avoid colonizing the Goldilocks Planet, because at some point, the three space bears will return, and they will be pissed to find us there.

The announcement coming in the form of a National Science Foundation webcast, and publication in the astrophysical journal. Scientists Steve Vogt of UC Santa Cruz and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institute of Washington led the teams that discovered Gliese 581-G.

The planet is three times the Earth's mass, close enough to the red dwarf star it circles to be able to sustain an atmosphere and contain liquid water on its surface. The planet tidally locked to its star, so it doesn't spin. On half the planet, it's always night. The other half, the sun is always up. It's like a celestial McBLT. The hot side stays hot and the cold side stays cold.

The line fixed between the light and dark is called the terminator, and is believed to be the most habitable place for life. Here is scientist Vogt.


STEVEN VOGT, ASTRONOMER, UC SANTA CRUZ: So you have on this planet, over billions of years, very stable zones where the ecosystem stays the same temperature. You have eco-longitudes. If you like hot zones, if you're a creature that evolves to have hot things, you move a little bit towards the star side. If you're a polar bear or something that likes cold zones, you move a little bit towards the shadow side. And you find your zone where you're the most comfortable. It stays like that basically forever.

OLBERMANN: See? What'd I tell you? Bears. The reason we know about Gliese 581-G is because of these two scientists and the hard work of their teams, teams that are supported financially by the National Science Foundation and NASA, both of them governmental agencies, each funded by you, the taxpayer at home.

So come up with a better name than Gliese 581-G. Of course, if these astronomers are proven correct, the discovery of the so-called Goldilocks planet has implications beyond science. It could fly in the face of long-standing arguments that Earth's unique and intelligent design implies a special purpose for humanity. Not if you can do it over there too.

So what now? Let's turn to Derrick Pitts, the chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, who is the man we always turn to when I have stupid questions about serious subjects. Derrick, good evening.


OLBERMANN: Apart from the space bears - I think we've covered that sufficiently - how important is this, in your assessment?

PITTS: This is going to be an opportunity for someone to invent space bear mace, Keith. So it is going to be a big industry in the U.S. pretty soon.


PITTS: So how big a thing is this? It is a really big thing, because when we look at - when we look around the universe, we find that the most numerous stars in the sky are these red dwarf stars. So by finding a planet like this, or system like this orbiting red dwarf stars, it also means that we're going to find many, many more of these kinds of planets.

OLBERMANN: I was going to ask you about this, because I took two years of astronomy in high school. Both times it was right before lunch. I sort of faded in and out of the class, because the room would get dark and it would be very quiet, and the hum of the projector and everything else. I thought red dwarf stars were basically, in terms of the prospects of life around them, on the planets around them, essentially inert and useless.

PITTS: It would seem that way. But the thing is if you get - the problem is - not problem, but what's going on is that the red dwarf stars radiate a very small amount of energy. So what you do is you pack the planets in closer to the star, and then they can get the kind of radiation they need to create a livable environment, if you will.

So the idea, though, is that it's now become apparent that these red dwarf stars are the most numerous stars throughout the entire universe. So lots of possibilities for other places where we might find some life.

OLBERMANN: So did the number just change, one out of every 500 planets could support life? There are billions of planets. Are we going to get more Goldilocks planets? And did the prospect of it, the actual statistical prospect just improve?

PITTS: I think it really did improve, because now we've been able to identify clearly that there is a habitable zone around these stars, and that within that zone, it is possible to find planets that are getting closer to the size and mass of Earth. That's the other important piece.

OLBERMANN: There are people on this planet who believe that as a species we're unique, we're alone in the universe, we were deliberately placed here. Then the arguments begin over who, what, when and for what purpose. What does this discovery mean for those people? Is it significant enough to sort of say, hey, we have some more facts to throw at you?

PITTS: I think it really means that the people who choose to go in that direction of believing in, let's say, a supreme being that has created just this one planet with this life as being unique may have to expand their thinking about what their supreme being is really capable of. Imagine that as a supreme being, you create this entire universe. Would you create just one planet alone, out of the billions of stars and possible tens of billion of other planets? You could experiment, if you wanted to, with different kinds of life forces - life styles on all these other planets, if you wanted to.

OLBERMANN: Of course, if we were the first experiment, whoever it was might have just stopped while they were behind.

Something more practical here, and literally down to Earth. As I mentioned, funding on this, to discover this place, from NASA, from the National Science Foundation. Without them, who knows whether or not we ever find the Goldilocks planet here. Explain the importance of our tax dollars specifically in this kind of research.

PITTS: In this kind of research - what's happening here is that these tax dollars are driving astronomical research. But that also drives the education system that creates the astronomers to be able to do this work. It also is the funding that drives the development of our technological capability to do this.

So what we're doing with these dollars is we're making ourselves smarter and we're making ourselves more technologically capable. These technologies then trickle down throughout the culture, and provide improvements in all kinds of other ways that we see further down the road.

But it also - the most important thing is that it gives us the opportunity to train people to be quality thinkers. That's really important these days. It's going to become more important in the future.

OLBERMANN: Do you get - not to get overly political on you - and this is a science segment. But do you get the feeling, generally speaking, that science is under attack, not merely philosophically, which it's always been under attack, and not even educationally, which it has been off and on for the last 500 years, but monetarily? Like somebody is trying to shut the tap off just when the good, clean water is coming out.

PITTS: Well, it certainly seems that we are not putting the dollars where we really need to put the dollars. Science is a place that extraordinarily important for that. We can't think about the possibility of shutting down science. Science is what makes it possible for the billions of people on this planet to hopefully, at some point, improve their quality of life on the planet. As we get more and more people here, it is going to become more and more important for that technology to help us make it better for everybody.

OLBERMANN: Plus, we now have interstellar bears. Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you.

PITTS: Watch out for the bears, Keith. Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Especially if you give the points. That's September 30th. It's 2,709th days since President Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, 2,298Th since he declared victory in Afghanistan, and the 164th day of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

I'm Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
video podcast

Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball, Worst Persons

Guests: Howard Fineman, Todd Merryfield, Kate Sheppard, Paul Waldman



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

The day of major spills in the Tea Party: Alaska Senate candidate, five months late filing personal finance disclosure, faces $50,000 fine. Florida Senate candidate supporting English-only with a commercial in Spanish.

Delaware Senate candidate lies about her education jump from one to three. And - she hears voices.


CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: We marched on because we knew God was not releasing us to quit.


OLBERMANN: But some of it is hardly that silly. Church pedophilia victims today ask of Ron Johnson, Republican Senate candidate in Wisconsin, get the diocese to release the names of the priests involved - because when he was still on a diocese board, he testified on the bill to toughen laws against pedophilia, testified against it, because the new laws would be too tough on business.


RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN SENATE CANDIDATE: I think it is extremely important to consider the economic havoc and the other victims it would likely create.


OLBERMANN: Non-Sensenbrenner strikes again. If the Republicans take the House, he wants to turn the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming into an investigation of Obama's green power initiatives and of the so-called "climate-gate."

The 9/11 first responders bill finally passes.

And Glenn Beck's latest war - against FOX.


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS HOST: I know you and I have a special relationship.


OLBERMANN: "Several FOX News journalists," writes "The New York Times," "have complained that Beck's antics are embarrassing FOX." Roger Ailes "told associates that if Beck were still on Headline News," his event on the Mall would have drawn 30 people.

And do you know how many advertisers have bailed out? Two hundred and ninety-six.

Glenn Beck - too crazy for FOX?

All the news and commentary - now on Countdown.


BECK: I believe you will have that answer.




OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York.

The Republican Party was born in 1854. They won the Civil War and - well, they won the Civil War.

But in our fifth story tonight: Today, we know the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party of old, has been subsumed heart and mind by its most radical wing, the Tea Party.

A new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll finding that 71 percent, well over two-thirds of American Republicans, now have of either a favorable image of the party's Tea Party wing and/or hope that Tea Party candidates win in November. It is in less than two years, a remarkable demise for a party that once upheld and advocated values now so proudly shunned and disdained by the Tea Party, as witnessed over and over in news stories from just the past 24 hours or so.

As recently as the Bush administration, Republican operative Karl Rove and President Bush hoped to build a permanent Republican majority by winning over Hispanic voters.

Nevada Republican Tea Party Senate candidate Sharron Angle, however, has been running a campaign ad demonizing illegal immigrants - demonizing them in such offensive fashion that her own occasional spokesperson, Tibi Ellis, the chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus, went public on Monday condemning the ad, quote, "I condemn this type of propaganda, no matter who is running them, where they blame Mexicans as the only problem and where they attack them as the only source of illegal immigration." Angle's campaign not responding to "The Las Vegas Sun's" request for comment on that.

Republicans have also historically stood for English-only enshrined in

law and practice to facilitate immigrant assimilation. The Florida

Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Marco Rubio even campaigned on

that point, Senate campaign point, excuse me. But now he's reaching out to

Florida's Spanish-speaking voters by - well, by doing this




OLBERMANN: Republicans also used to stand - our younger voters might even remember this - for intellectual elitism. The Republican Party leaders wrote their own books and stuff. They looked down on those who would challenge the prevailing canons of literature and history.

So, when we learned about the Delaware Republican Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's time at Princeton and Oxford, it seemed a throwback to the Republican Party that valued academic excellence. But with the spate of reporting on it, in just the past couple days, we now have a better picture of her academic history.

No, despite years of claiming otherwise, O'Donnell only graduated from college this month. No, despite her lawsuits suggesting otherwise, she did not take any graduate courses at Princeton. No, despite her online bio page she got a Lincoln Fellowship from the Claremont Institute, not a graduate fellowship. And, no, despite a linked in page, she only disavowed today despite being asked Friday by the "Plum Line" blog, it was the right wing Claremont Institute, not Claremont Graduate University and it was a course taught by something called the Phoenix Institute in space on the Oxford campus that she took not, an Oxford University course.

Of course, moral rectitude, honesty was only a Republican value back when supporting the troops still was. Sharron Angle, again, claiming Saturday, in audio posted yesterday by "The Las Vegas Sun," that she never supported privatizing Veterans Affairs care for America's veterans, explaining she was just talking about the care her own dad gets.


SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: He has served this country, and yet he pays $800 a month in prescription drugs that are not covered by the V.A. and they're not covered by Medicare. And, there is a lot of you that understand what I'm saying. And that was the context of those comments. I said that they could do a better job, that's all I said, is the V.A. could do a better job for our veterans.


OLBERMANN: All the Republican candidate said was the V.A. could do a better job, nothing about privatizing. No, that was the Tea Party candidate and just this past May.


ANGLE: He is needing more and more supervised care. He's 87 years old and has Parkinson's and we're having to pay more and more for his health care. We pay - I know he pays over $800 a month in prescription drugs that we can't get through his V.A. nor through Medicare. They just won't cover those things. And I know lots of seniors -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should they cover those things?

ANGLE: No, not if you're working towards a privatized system.


OLBERMANN: Of course, moral rectitude used to be even more important to the Republican Party on fiscal matters. This was the party of grownups, the party that knew how to balance its books.

Alaskan Republican Tea Party candidate, Senate candidate, Joe Miller, has failed to file his personal finance disclosure as required by law, "Think Progress" reports. He was supposed to do so last spring or face a $50,000 fine. He has yet to file.

Of course, when it comes to moral rectitude, nothing was more important to Republicans, the law and order party, than law and order. New York Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has a campaign apparently full of convicted criminals, accused criminals and other question marks. "The New York Times" reported an indicted adviser, campaign chairwoman, accused of funneling public funds away from the public. And the Tea Party organizer who got him into this race, a hit-and-run drunken driver, did jail time.

Paladino's campaign manager telling "The Times" Paladino knows all about them. "This is a campaign of junk yard dogs," the campaign pledging to take out the trash - the quote from a campaign manager who had himself failed to pay $53,000 in taxes.

And then there was the traditional Republican respect for authority, especially, respect for the office of president. Meet the Maine Republican Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage.


PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: As your governor, you're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, "Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell."


OLBERMANN: The driving force behind the new Republican Tea Party candidates, Senator Jim DeMint, who is now virtually in open warfare with the last dying remnants of the Grand Old Party's grand old guard. In a mailing last week, he blasted them for supporting Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, even after Murkowski lost her primary to Joe Miller.

The old guard replying in stunningly public fashion:

"I would take issue with that."

"A mistaken idea."

"Very counterproductive, totally inaccurate."

"Helpful to Republicans? No."

"Disappointed. Makes it hard for us to be a team."

Not if you signed on with the new team.

Let's bring in a member of our team, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman, "Newsweek" senior Washington correspondent and political columnist, soon to make his home at "The Huffington Post."

Howard, good evening.


OLBERMANN: This new poll, 71 percent of Republicans, to some degree or another, onboard with the Tea Party. Does the figure deserve some nuancing, or is it just about right as an overall barometer?

FINEMAN: No. I think it's pretty close.

But Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster who was with Newt Gingrich in the old days of the "Contract with America" in the '90s, told me that it probably does need to be unpacked a bit. There are a lot more Tea Party people who have come into the Republican Party. That's one reason the number is where it is.

But he cautioned me to note that just because even Republicans might say they have a favorable view of the Tea Party, doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to vote for Tea Party candidates in specific places. Like Alaska, where according to a new poll in "Time" magazine, Lisa Murkowski is running neck and neck with Joe Miller, the Tea Party candidate. And maybe not in Nevada, where Sharron Angle is really out there; and maybe not in Delaware, where - same with Christine O'Donnell.

So, you have to look at it a little more closely.

OLBERMANN: The younger viewers, as we suggested, might not remember the Republican Party that we described. But it really was, as just that brief videotape clip of William F. Buckley suggested, it really a different beast than what we have today, correct?

FINEMAN: No, it definitely was. If you can go back in time a little bit, if you permit me - Teddy Roosevelt was the prototypical progressive.

And then, even Richard Nixon was in favor of national health care and established the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ronald Reagan made a deal with Tip O'Neill essentially to save Social Security for a generation.

George H.W. Bush raised taxes to help try to balance the budget.

George - even George W., as you pointed out, was for - was for immigration reform.

So, these were all Republicans who wanted to contribute to the discussion and who wanted, they thought, to make government run better, not to run away from government.

OLBERMANN: And that raises - I guess, let's get to that overall point here right now. What happens if enough of the Tea Partiers do well enough to shift the balance toward them, not just on the stump but in Congress? How does what is truly an anti-government concept, a group of anti-government people, govern?

FINEMAN: Well, with great difficulty, if not impossible. I covered Newt Gingrich when he ran the Newt revolution in 1994 and the old Newt Gingrich looks like Nelson Rockefeller compared to this crowd.

And Newt couldn't do it. Newt was much better as an attack guy, trying to pull down the Democratic hierarchy of that day, than he was as a manager and an inside guy, and he really, in the end, couldn't do it. There were all kinds of coups and countercoups because when the purists get in, they're more interested in purism than they - purist thinking than they are in cutting deals and running government. I think it'll be very difficult.

And this is really kind of too bad, Keith, because we need this kind of argument in the country, constantly, about the role of government. But you have to have people who believe enough in government to make that possible. A rejectionist front doesn't work.

And I blame for this collapse of the conversation, people like John McCain, who is after all the Republican standard bearer against Barack Obama. He went totally over the Tea Party side to get the nomination in his state.

You ran a list of Republican senators there who were, you know, objecting to Jim DeMint. I didn't see Mitch McConnell in there, the Republican leader. And the reason you didn't see Mitch McConnell is he had the pants scared off him by Rand Paul who won the nomination in Kentucky for the Senate against McConnell, himself.

So, the people who, in an earlier time, a generation, would step forward to try to be the adults in the Republican Party are too scared to do so in many cases.

OLBERMANN: And getting even more meta here for a second, there used to be something else that work in the parties and among the voters and it seems utterly absent in this - at least in this cycle, and that would be the word "shame." Here in New York, Mr. Paladino's campaign actually is portraying this criminal, scandalous past of its top personnel as a badge of honor. And at the risk of sounding like a Republican of old - where is the outrage?

FINEMAN: Well, I got to say, Keith, New York is New York. So, it's a little bit of a special case. He's up against Andrew Cuomo, who is a tough customer himself. There's also - there's a little bit of street bravado going on both sides.

But, I think, more generally, a lot of Republican voters, a lot of conservatives, are in the mood to say, "We will reach for any weapon we can, any candidate we can, to send the message we want to send." There's almost no other way to explain Christine O'Donnell in Delaware or Sharron Angle in Nevada or Joe Miller in Alaska.

And the question will be and is right now, in these remaining weeks, whether those people are ones that, in the end, these very Tea Party people and Republicans will end up voting for and turning out for or not. It remains to be seen because there's still a lot of time to look at those people between now and November 2nd.

OLBERMANN: MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman - as always, great thanks for your time tonight, Howard.

FINEMAN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: The absurdity and transparent crookedness, in some cases, of the Tea Party takeover of the GOP sometimes simply eclipses genuine evil. The Wisconsin nominee for the Senate from Wisconsin - the Republican nominee for the Senate from Wisconsin testified about new, tougher pedophilia laws - testified against them because of the potential impact of the laws on businesses. He never mentioned the business with which he was associated at the time was the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. A victim's reaction to Ron Johnson - next.


OLBERMANN: In essence, he testified in defense of pedophiles and the church that employed them explaining business had to be protected. Now, the Republicans want to put him in the Senate.

If they take the House, his plan is to take a committee now dedicated to investigating climate change and turn it into a committee giving a platform to climate change deniers and other tools of big oil.

Last time, he raged. This time, he won. The 9/11 first responders bill passed the Congress.

And his, quoting, "inflammatory rhetoric makes it difficult for the network to present itself as a legitimate news outlet." Details of the internal fight over the televangelist inside Emperor Palpatine's headquarters.


OLBERMANN: Republican Party is or has been or has sold itself as the law and order party, the party of family values, and the party of business.

But in our fourth story tonight: if you want to know how the new emerging Republican Tea Party prioritizes these things, you might look to Wisconsin. There, businessman Ron Johnson is running as a family man, a Washington outsider who doesn't have experience with lawsuits like all those D.C. lawyers do - turns out he does know about some lawsuits.

This is a picture of John Feeney, a former priest transferred from the Green Bay diocese to Nevada after allegations of child abuse. In 2008, a victim of his in Nevada sued the Green Bay diocese for covering up Feeney's past and moving him on to prey on new victims.

What does this have to do with Johnson? He sat in, or, rather, sat on the Green Bay diocese finance council, the body that manages its books and signs off on its lawsuit settlements. The head of the finance council on which Johnson sat was Auxiliary Bishop Robert Morneau, who was long ago blamed for relocating Feeney time after time in Green Bay.

Today, in response to a news conference held by abuse victims, Johnson, now running for Senate on the Republican ticket in Wisconsin, called on the diocese, quote, "to provide the utmost transparency." But in January, Johnson had testified against the bipartisan child abuse victim's bill which would have eliminated the statute of limitations preventing abuse victims from suing much later on.

When you watch his testimony, keep in mind that Johnson was still on the finance council facing that Nevada lawsuit over Feeney, neither of which Johnson mentions.


JOHNSON: Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to speak.

My name is Ron Johnson. I'm a business owner in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The first question I asked myself when I was made aware of this legislation was: what is its purpose? On its face, it appears it is intended to financially compensate victims of past sexual abuse.

The reason I am here today is to discuss the many unintended consequences this legislation might produce. I think it is extremely important to consider the economic havoc and the other victims it would likely create.

I list the many organizations I am currently involved with below hopefully to demonstrate my direct knowledge of the struggles that nonprofit organizations face on a daily basis. With the $50,000 cap on damages from public institutions, it is obvious that any lawsuits under this bill would be directed to private organizations, and any private organization servicing children would be at risk.

We all share a deep sense of sympathy for anyone affected by these crimes and the punishment for the perpetrators should be severed. But I believe it is a valid question to ask if the employer of the perpetrator should also be severely damaged, possibly destroyed, in our legitimate desire for justice.

What type of organizations am I talking about? This obviously (ph) would include any and all private schools, boys and girls clubs, YMCAs, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, churches of all denominations. Less obvious would be private businesses and organizations that donate employee time to teach and mentor students in and out of the classroom environment.

As the business culture (ph) of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce's Partners in Education Council, one of our primary goals is to help facilitate these contacts between students and businesses. This legislation could make private businesses that generously donate employee time in the past vulnerable to future action and would also send a very chilling signal to avoid civic-minded activity in the future.

I think it is also valid to ask, after a long, emotionally draining, and very expensive legal process, what are the chances the victims would receive any meaningful compensation? I have no doubt the trial lawyers would benefit. I'm not so sure the actual victims would. I simply don't see the big pots of money available this bill must assume exists.

So, who would be the other victims who could be resulted with this legislation? First and foremost would be the children and individuals who will no longer benefit from the organizations that are damaged or destroyed in the process. Second, the many wonderful and dedicated individuals that devote their lives to servicing their fellowman through these fine organizations.

Third, to the extent organizations have built endowments to fund future operations, those that generously give to support good work would see their donations go to an entirely different purpose. Any organization that relies on fundraising would suffer as this would make their fundraising efforts significantly more difficult.

And, finally, this bill could actually have the perverse effect of leading to additional victims of sexual abuse if individuals recognizing the organizations are at risk, become much more likely to report sexual abuse.

I am a confirmed Lutheran who has agreed to serve on the boards of Catholic and other important nonprofit organizations because I strongly support their important missions. The people I work with in these organizations are fine, decent human beings working hard to improve people's lives.

I urge you to defeat this legislation so we can all continue to benefit from their good and noble work.

Thank you.


OLBERMANN: Mr. Johnson's hi-speed sophistry succeeded. The bill failed. The Green Bay diocese then asked to have that Nevada suit dismissed, because it had exceed the statute of limitations. Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court said the suit can go forward.

We are joined now by one of the people abused by Feeney in the diocese, Todd Merryfield, whose abuse was allegedly known to the diocese when they transferred Feeney to Las Vegas.

Mr. Merryfield, thank you for your courage coming forward and for joining us tonight.

TODD MERRYFIELD, ABUSE VICTIM: Well, thanks for having me on.

OLBERMANN: If we erred in summarizing the facts here, please let me know, and if you could otherwise amplify what you know, especially about what this Senate candidate, Mr. Johnson, would have known throughout this process.

MERRYFIELD: Well, frankly, Keith, I found out about everything last night near about 10:00. I've been a huge Johnson supporter since he announced his candidacy, and I'll tell you, last night, I was - I was really - I was taken aback at his position on this.

OLBERMANN: What was your reaction when you saw it? I mean, you described it in kind of, in a political sense and how it will affect you going forward. But on a personal level, if we can ask you just to whatever degree you want to answer that question - how did you feel when you heard this man saying these things? Because even somebody as remote as myself listening to it, it seemed like some pretty mediocre arguments against protecting kids from pedophiles.

MERRYFIELD: It - if it wasn't so tragic, Keith, it would be laughable. You know, when you hear, you know, the concern that the victims won't get much of the money if this would have passed, you know, that it will all go to the lawyers, why is he so concerned that the victims would get a smaller amount?

And his statement about the perverse effect that there would actually be more abuse - come on. No. That's not going to happen. The organizations, the victims are not going to worry about the organization's inability to raise funds in the future. They're worried about their own personal well being at that time.

In my brother and my case, we didn't sit back and wonder, oh, gosh, we shouldn't do something against the Catholic Church. I mean, we need to deal with it ourselves.

OLBERMANN: Well, and the other one that I wanted to ask you about was his point that I think it is also valid to ask after a long and emotionally draining and very expensive legal process - what are the chances victims would receive any meaningful compensation? As if the only reason anyone would sue or try to get a priest removed from his position of trust and authority was for the money.

MERRYFIELD: I will tell you, Keith, it is not about the money. When my brother and I - when my brother and I took up the criminal case against Feeney, in fact, we still get phone calls from victims around the country that they are in serious pain, and because of the legal system, they have not been able to get their ounce of justice, that they looked to us almost as heroes that - you know, they call us, you almost start crying hearing their stories.

And they are looking to us to get their ounce of justice and we did our best - well, we put the priest in jail, so we did our very best on that. The Catholic Church - well, the Green Bay diocese specifically, just continues to shirk their duty to do the right thing.

OLBERMANN: We asked Mr. Johnson's office today if he stands by that testimony from earlier in the year, but he did not respond to that question. But he did issue a statement today which as I said called on the diocese to show the utmost transparency. "A," do you have any idea what he means by that, and, "B," what's your reaction to the nature of that statement?

MERRYFIELD: Well, gee, the Green Bay diocese has been talking transparency for quite sometime now. And there are - there are 51 individuals out there that they refuse to release the identities of that have had allegations against them. They may be active clergy members out in the community - somebody may being abused as we speak right now and we don't know.

So for complete transparency to have happened, I don't - I guess we need to have a definition of complete transparency.

As far as Mr. Johnson making that statement, it seems a little light.

If he did not know what had happened, what was being covered up in the

diocese, if someone had told you that, and you felt, oh, my God, I didn't

know this, wouldn't you come out with a very strong statement just that I -

I was lied to, I was not aware of this, and I'm ashamed of the diocese and they need to open up their books right now?

But to come out with this - this weak response of, you know, just - that they need to come out with complete transparency, that doesn't show the outrage that I would expect from someone in his position on something that is so critical -

OLBERMANN: Especially -

MERRYFIELD: - as this child victims act.

OLBERMANN: Especially when he just got a second opportunity to say something about it and chose not to.

Todd Merryfield, again - no, go ahead.

MERRYFIELD: Well, what I was going to say is - and you kind of tapped into it, this is a great opportunity for Mr. Johnson to come out - and for lack of a better term - have his come to Jesus moment and say, you know what? I reconsider what I - what I stated in that testimony and I am going to be very forceful and do whatever I can to make the Catholic diocese or the Green Bay diocese come through and do the right thing. And to help out all these victims out there.

OLBERMANN: Indeed. Todd Merryfield, well-spoken - again, thank you for your time and being as public with this as you have been.

MERRYFIELD: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: Today, it is a small committee dedicated mainly to publicizing climate change. But if the GOP wins, one Republican congressman wants to turn into a venue for witch hunt against those who were fighting climate change. Ahead.


OLBERMANN: Climate change, change; Republican plans to turn a pro-' environmental committee into an investigation into pro-environmentalists. First, the sanity break and the Tweet of the day from Mike King. "What are Delaware conservative moms going to tell their daughters as to why they can't dress as a witch on Halloween?" Obviously they'll tell them if they behave and don't, Christine O'Donnell will get them into Oxford.

Let's play Oddball.

We begin in Utah, at the Nemadaville (ph) Salt Flats, with a man who says if Tim Allen can do it, why can't I? Bobby Cleveland decided ordinary lawn mowers were, in fact, too slow. So he souped up his old mower with a new engine, drove into the record books by going over 96 miles an hour. Rewired it. However, he still fell short of his goal of 100 miles an hour. Cleveland said would have made it, but he had to stop midway and clean out his collection bag.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hello. Boy, the airlines are really trying to cut back. I knew it would come to this. I knew it. Some 600 US Airways employees took turns pulling their plane down the runway. I said it to Orville and I said it to Wilbur, that thing will never get off the ground. The event staged to raise money for the United Way. Though I fear that since the plane is in Eagles colors, it will change course mid flight and go with a new pilot.

Time marches on.

His full name is actually Frank James Sensenbrenner Jr. But after you hear his latest stunt about inverting the purpose of a House Committee on Climate Change, you'll wonder why it isn't James non-Sensenbrenner.

A programming reminder; the new schedule is 8:00 and 11:00 Eastern.

Now 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. Pacific. Ample parking day and night.


OLBERMANN: He voted against the committee's creation. His fellow Republican committee members see no point to it. But if the GOP takes the House in November, they'll have the opportunity to get rid of it. Yet, in our third story, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner wants to keep a climate change committee alive just to prove there is no such thing as climate change, and so he can persecute those who know that there is.

"Politico" reporting that the 16-term congressman not only wants to keep the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming going, but he is eyeing its top spot, the better from which to investigate climate science and the Obama administration's green policies.

Sensenbrenner, a long-time climate science skeptic, is currently ranking Republican of the committee, which is run by Chairman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. Mr. Sensenbrenner hinting that he would employ some of his expertise as the former chair of the Judiciary Committee, where he was able to obtain information from the Clinton administration without, he says, subpoenas.

Quote, "I have had a reputation of really being a tiger on oversight."

Listen to this tiger in action during a committee hearing back in December. Sensenbrenner calling for all climate change science to be reviewed based on the so-called climate-gate e-mails, private exchanges stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain. The content of those stolen e-mails distorted and blown out of proportion by the right.


REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: And at worst, it's junk science. And it is part of a massive international scientific fraud.

There is increasing evidence of scientific fascism that's going on.


OLBERMANN: The scientists in question have since been cleared. Several inquiries finding they did not engage in any kind of deliberate malpractice. No matter. Congressman Darrell Issa also wants to use taxpayer dollars to investigate those emails, except he wants to theoretically do it as the theoretical head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Issa tells "Politico" he would use that position to also keep the EPA's authority in check, and that Sensenbrenner's committee is "a made up committee for show and for travel and much less any real jurisdiction."

Mr. Sensenbrenner's aspirations? "He has made statements about how little he thinks of the committee well before he thought about being chairman." To that point, back in 2007, Sensenbrenner told "Politico" the committee creation was a stunt and a vehicle to give a forum to Markey and his views. He also regarded the calls for legislative action on climate change as hyperbole and extremism.

"How much climate change is caused by human activity and how much is caused by the natural climatic cycle? I don't think there is a real consensus on."

Except that there have been countless studies and intergovernmental panels and rulings all finding that, yes, there is a scientific consensus on climate change; and, yes, its principle cause is us. The consensus among Republicans? Out of all the candidates vying for the 37 seats in the Senate that are open, not one supports legislative action on climate change. The one guy who did eliminated by Christine O'Donnell.

Joining me now, the environmental reporter from "Mother Earth Magazine," Kate Sheppard. Kate, good evening.

KATE SHEPPARD, "MOTHER JONES MAGAZINE": Good evening, Keith. Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: Invert the purpose from which dog - watch dog to witch hunt. It's not a new Republican trick. But have we seen as stark an example of this ever before?

SHEPPARD: I don't think so. I mean, this is a committee that was created to educate Congress on the issues of not just climate change but energy independence, which - I mean, even if you think climate change is a giant hoax, hopefully you certainly know that we do face a huge energy problem here in the U.S. and around the world. This committee was designed to raise awareness, to hold committees investigating these topics.

And Sensenbrenner has always treated it as a joke. We had a hearing a few years ago where he basically asked a scientist about whether we should be putting catalytic converters on cows as a solution to global warming. He thinks of this as a giant joke and has treated it as such for the last three years it's been around.

OLBERMANN: As the speech of Governor Schwarzenegger Tuesday suggests, when he called out big oil in California for basically trying to buy the repeal of climate change laws there, the environment has to be target one for big oil, especially with Citizens United letting it off the money leash. Is there any defense against this?

SHEPPARD: I mean, absolutely, big oil and other fossil fuel industries are looking to have their best friends back in power here in Congress, and having someone like Sensenbrenner is obviously - would be a huge win for them in that pursuit. I mean, the best defense right now is getting out and voting and making sure that folks like Sensenbrenner don't get that chance to make a joke of these committees, and make a joke of these issues that are facing this country right now.

OLBERMANN: So what is the scenario, if the Republicans take the House and Sensenbrenner comes in on this committee or any of the other possibilities for examining the climate change supposed issue - the one that Issa brought up? How would the Obama administration work on climate change legislation with the Republican House full of people who are paid by big oil to deny that there is any climate change?

SHEPPARD: Well, I mean, there is no question that we're going to see just hearing after hearing folks like Sensenbrenner if he gets to control this committee, folks like Issa - they are just going to drag the administration officials out from doing their jobs and make them testify before these committees, drop subpoena after subpoena on them, and try to prevent them from doing their job.

Whenever they ask for a report - basically, the Republicans just ask for a new report that proves what they want it to prove. They're going to just have these people basically on trial in Congress day after day, and not just people in the administration but independent climate scientists as well, attempting to just bash them and instill fear in the scientific community.

That's basically their goal here. The administration I think still has much they can do with their own executive powers on the big questions of climate and energy, even if the House is controlled by Republicans. But you can just guarantee that folks like Issa and Sensenbrenner are going to make that as difficult as possible.

OLBERMANN: Let's hope they use those things if it comes to that.

Kate Sheppard, environmental reporter for "Mother Jones." Thank you, Kate.

SHEPPARD: Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Is this possible? A "New York Times" report that reveals infighting between Fox's biggest mouth and it's biggest executive?

Another reason to vote for Tea Partier Alan West for Congress. He says his security clearance is higher than that of the president. Of course he is lying.

And when Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, a shocking discovery in this election season. She has found candidates actually running on their own records. Of course they're Democrats.


OLBERMANN: Glenn Beck versus Fox News? That's next, but first get out your pitch forks and torches - soon in a bookstore near you - time for tonight's worst persons in the world. The bronze to an unnamed parking enforcement officer in Milwaukee. She handed out three 35 dollar tickets to long black cars parked outside the old Pabst Brewery on a drowsy Sunday afternoon, putting a kind of odd station wagony thing with a big back door and a strange back window. It was a hearse. She ticketed a hearse at a funeral. And she ticketed the funeral director's car and the car of at least one of the mourners.

The funeral was for Mr. Bill Pensee Sr. (ph). It was being held at a beer hall. One of his mourners saw this happening and asked the woman you're not ticketing a hearse are you? It's parked illegally, he quoted her reply. A newspaper columnist wrote this up, and the city avoided the tickets. They should probably void the employment of the robotic officer who wrote them.

Speaking of robots, the runner-up, Dinesh D'Souza. This is one of these wilder right wing writers, the one who has been hallucinating lately about the president being animated by his, quote, "anti-colonial attitude." D'Souza has a book - they all have a book - and Media Matters found this on page 47, "addressing the TV cameras on May 14, 2010, Obama managed to work up some enthusiasm. Time and again, he condemned British Petroleum, an interesting term since the company long ago changed its name to BP. Given our anti-colonial theory, it's no surprise that Obama wanted to remind Americans what BP used to stand for."

Except that on May 14th, Obama never called the company British Petroleum. Several conservative London tabloids wrote about this in the spring. And even though not one of them could cite one instance where the president did not call it BP, D'Souza just put it in his book, because what good is a book designed for the radical right if it's been fact checked? Maybe Mr. D'Souza was confused because one of these anti-colonialist swine did call BP British Petroleum, and did so on May 14th, and did so addressing the TV camera.


SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: I'm very frustrated with British Petroleum and any of their subcontractors who are kind of playing the blame game and not fixing the problem.


OLBERMANN: Look for Mr. D'Souza's work in your local book store in the fiction section.

But our winner, Lieutenant Colonel Alan West, nut job. This is the guy drummed out of the U.S. Army after a torture incident in Iraq, now running for the 22nd House district in Florida, the one who told his supporters that they needed to make sure the incumbent was afraid to come out of his house.


ALAN WEST (R), CANDIDATE FOR HOUSE IN FLORIDA: I still maintain a secret security clearance. And I tell you if you look at the application for a security clearance, that's - I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain, because of my background.


OLBERMANN: It is only on the authority of the president that the security clearance system exists. Therefore, as the nonpartisan fact checkers Politifact suggested, Colonel West is flat out lying about this. They literally rated his lie "pants on fire." Nobody gets a higher security clearance than the president. Moreover, Lieutenant Colonel West resigned from the Army while facing a court-martial because he was threatening to kill a man his unit was interrogating and had already beaten.

Right now, Mr. West couldn't get the security clearance of the Maytag repairman. Alan West, Tea Party House candidate in Florida, today's worst person in the world.


OLBERMANN: Fox PAC has distinguished itself by going where no news organization has gone before, virtually no news. In our number one story, what does it look like when even Fox PAC gets non-newsed and out-promoted? What happens when the crazy is too crazy for Fox? The happening is televangelist Glenn Beck. It's chronicled by Mark Liebovich for the "New York Times Magazine."

Though he may not put it in quite these terms, the scary scares advertisers and the lost advertising makes for a very troublesome relationship now between Beck and Fox. Quoting the article, "as of September 21st, 296 advertisers have asked that their commercials not be shown on Beck's show, up from 26 in August, 2009. Fox has also a difficult time selling ads on "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Fox and Friends" when Beck appears on those shows as a guest. Beck's show is known in the TV sales world as empty calories, meaning he draws great ratings but is toxic for ad sales."

But Beck has no problem using his Fox PAC TV show as a platform to make more money for himself, as he endlessly plugs his multimedia, multi-personality stuff. And while Fox PAC President Roger Ailes is described as generally supported of Beck, the Beckian self-promotion appears to be becoming a problem.

"The cross promotion can be a sore spot at Fox News, particularly for its president, Roger Ailes, who has complained about Beck hawking his non-Fox ventures too much on his Fox show. Ailes has communicated this to Beck himself and through intermediaries."

Their is also the matter of egos, with Ailes sensing a lack of gratitude for his star-making ability. "He," Ailes, "has also been vocal around the network about how Beck does not fully appreciate the degree to which Fox News has made him the sensation he has become in recent months. In the days following Beck's Lincoln Memorial rally, which by Beck's estimate drew half million people, Ailes told associates that if Beck were still at Headline News, there would have been 30 people on the mall."

Of course, Beck's stream of consciousness broadcasts have occasionally gotten our attention for their sheer lunacy, as well as Beck's potential to actually lead some of the lunatics. When Fox News complains about one of its own, you know there is something terribly wrong.

"Several Fox News journalists," the article continues, "have complained that Beck's antics are embarrassing Fox, that his inflammatory rhetoric makes it difficult for the network to present itself as a legitimate news outlet." Like they didn't have that problem already.

Let's bring in the senior correspondent for "American Prospect Magazine," co-author of "Free Ride," Paul Waldman. Paul, good evening.


OLBERMANN: The gist of this is, in "the Times," that Glenn Beck is the universal solvent. He's great at first, and then you realize you don't have anything in which to keep him because he eats through everything.

WALDMAN: The thing to understand about Glenn Beck is that he actually does offer something pretty compelling to his viewers. You know, what he says is that the end is near; disaster is upon us; and if you watch me, I will reveal the truth to you, and you will be one of the few people who understand, you know, what the sinister levers of power are, and the deep conspiracy behind everything that's going on.

As long as you don't step back and realize that what he is saying is completely insane, it's actually a very compelling message and a lot of people are drawn to it.

OLBERMANN: Yeah, but that's the follow me to freedom thing. My pal Charlie Steiner did that in the ESPN commercial, and we all laughed and everybody slapped ten, 12 years later. This is not, obviously, done humorously. And also in this context of what we're talking about here, in many senses, it would seem that Beck is sort of the quintessence of Fox News. He likes to tell stories. He doesn't get bogged down with actual facts. And he can self promote like nobody's business.

What would the problem be between him and Fox?

WALDMAN: Well, you know, when it gets to a certain level of extremism, it can become dangerous for them. When - he lost all of those advertisers when he came out and said that Barack Obama had a deep seeded hatred of white people. And now, according to Liebovich's article, there seems to be concern - some concern at Fox that he's more concerned with the Glenn Beck brand than the Fox News brand. He takes in about 35 million dollars a year, only a small portion of which is his Fox salary. He has got the radio show and the books and the live performances. So he is really a one man industry.

OLBERMANN: And don't forget that that didn't just happen organically. That was pushed to a great degree by the fellow on Twitter, Stop Beck, who has done such a marvelous job on this. But is there, do you think, an analogy to be made that the GOP let in the Tea Party vampire and look what happened over there; now that is the Tea Party that has kind of a Republican house that it lives in. And Fox News let in Glenn Beck figuring he'd sort of fit in amongst the rest of the craziness; and now it is Glenn Beck with his backup group, the Fox News network?

WALDMAN: Yeah. I think that's true, that in many ways he is sort of the perfect man for the right's moment. You know, every time there's been a Democratic president in the last half century or so, we've seen these right wing populist movements that are consumed with conspiracy theories come up. When Bill Clinton was president, you had the militias talking about black helicopters. In the 1960s, you had the John Birch Society screaming about the Illuminati.

And so when Beck is up there with his chalk boards and circles and arrows, it touches a real nerve. But the - there are some questions about whether or not that has a lasting negative effect on Fox's brand.

OLBERMANN: How do you get out of it? If it suddenly does and he still - although his ratings are down and obviously the advertising thing is the ultimate question - not the ratings, but the advertising thing. How does Fox get out of it, if they need to get out of it?

WALDMAN: Well, I guess they can think about whether or not they want to renew his contract when it comes up next time. But, you know, the nature of those sorts of movements is that they dissipate after a while. And with Beck's show, as I said before, it's very compelling. But there is only so long you can kind of sit there on the edge of your seat grinding your teeth, thinking that the walls are all falling down and Armageddon is around the corner.

After a while, when the person you're watching keeps saying it's happening tomorrow, it's happening tomorrow, and Armageddon doesn't come, eventually people sort of start to drift away. And that may end up happening to him or maybe it is already.

OLBERMANN: Yes. Well - but they're the guys - I mean the people who forecast the end of the world and said, no I got it wrong; the new end of the world is three years from now. They stay in business. So perhaps, perhaps not.

And he could always, I don't know, get a job somewhere else I suppose.

Paul Waldman of "The American Prospect," great thanks for your time, Paul.

WALDMAN: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: That's September 29th. It's the 2,708th day since President Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, the 2,297th day since he declared victory in Afghanistan, and the 163rd day of Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf.

I'm Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.

Now to discuss campaigning Democrats committing politics, ladies and gentlemen, here is Rachel Maddow. Good evening, Rachel.