Monday, October 31, 2011

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, October 31st, 2011
video 'podcast'

#ShowPlug 1: On Halloween one GOP'er says he's victim of a witch-hunt, other is acting possessed. Herman Cain + Rick Perry self-destruct

#ShowPlug 2: Cain's denial already evolving into remembering details of a "gesture." TPM's @evanmc_s McMorris-Santoro on Cain

#ShowPlug 3: Matt @MTaibbi on the bizarre Rick Perry speech; have the two stories cinched the GOP nomination for Romney. Then: all-Occupy

#ShowPlug 4 CORRECTED: Rubber bullets, gas, blight Gov Hickenlooper's Denver rep; 36 arrested in Austin over a food table; Nashville back

#ShowPlug 5: @Jeannie_Hartley of @OccupyDenver plus Democracy Now's Ryan @RDevro on reports NYPD dumping substance abusers at Zuccotti

#ShowPlug 6: Gov. Eliot Spitzer on Occupy's Win in the discourse + next steps; Buffalo law firm's hideous anti-Homeowner Halloween costumes

#ShowPlug Last: Most Publicity In The World! Canada goes nuts over @TOMayorFord in Worsts - there is news on the 911 story

#ShowPlug PS: Court victory for #Occupy in Nashville while Portland PD takes crazy step of posting photos online of those arrested

#ShowPlug PS count is 4! RT @jmartpolitico: NBC has confirmed 2 female nra employees complained about Cain; they've confirmed 1 pay-out

Note: NBC and Politico complainants about Cain may be same women. Not clear if two, or two more

By the way, if you're placing a bet, there is a reasonable chance the get-up in the avatar WILL be seen on Countdown this evening

watch whole playlist

#5 'Cain's Crash?', Evan McMorris-Santoro

#5 'Peculiar Perry', Matt Taibbi
YouTube, (excerpt)

#4 'Police vs. Protestors', Jeannie Hartley
YouTube, (excerpt)

#3 'Power For The People', Ryan Devereaux

# Time Marches On!

#2 Worst Persons: Rob Ford, Chris Myers, foreclosure law firm of Steven J. Baum, YouTube

#1 'Occupying The Future', Eliot Spitzer

printable PDF transcript

Categories: Show Transcripts

KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: Shame! Shame! Shame!

OLBERMANN: Occupy Denver - mounted police, tear gas, rubber bullets. Occupy Portland - Mayor Adams makes up to 30 arrests, then claims he supports Occupy.

(Excerpt from video clip) SAM ADAMS: I look forward to the Occupy movement's next phase, next iteration of really finding a way to act on its core mission to bring to justice, to bring more equity.

OLBERMANN: Occupy Richmond - an overnight raid and the bulldozing of the protesters' belongings. Occupy Wall Street - police reportedly taking the indigent and homeless substance abusers to Zuccotti Park and taking away generators, just before a freak October snowstorm.

(Excerpt from video clip) TOM FATONE: The more there's tactics that are being used to try and take away the warmth - like taking away the generators, you know, supposedly for our safety - the more people are going to react to that and they're just going to provide more things. We're going to find ways to make it work.

OLBERMANN: And Occupy Oakland - Scott Olsen told of the worldwide support and gives a thumbs up.

Occupy Day 45 - live to Denver, live in New York. Live with former Governor Eliot Spitzer. Live with a Fox poll actually asking if this will end up in riots. Bye.

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: I have never sexually harassed anyone and - yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association.

OLBERMANN: So, why did the National Restaurant Association then make a cash settlement with the women?

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I am not even - I wasn't even aware of it, and I hope it wasn't for much - because nothing happened.

OLBERMANN: Oh, and by the way, it also appears he launched his campaign using illegal corporate contributions. Now we know what this was for - it was the proverbial last cigarette before the blindfold.

And - oh yeah, this guy self-destructed too.

(Excerpt from video clip) RICK PERRY: Expand your tax footprint. You know what I mean? Like, 9 percent expansion. I love Herman, is he the best?

OLBERMANN: "Worsts."

(Excerpt from video clip) MARG DELAHUNTY: Mayor Ford! It's me, Marg Delahunty!

OLBERMANN: Oh, the publicity that got me and the publicity this will get - the Halloween party at the upstate New York home-mortgage-foreclosure law firm. Those are supposed to be people they foreclosed on. All that and more, now, on "Countdown."

(Excerpt from video clip) PERRY: Bring it!


OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Monday, October 31st, 372 days until the 2012 presidential election.

Only one thing could make Occupy our last three-quarters of the hour, not our first. The confluence of ever-increasingly bizarre details by Herman Cain of what is now two sexual harassment claims - confirmed by two different news organizations - and an unceasingly bizarre speech by Rick Perry.

The fifth story on the "Countdown" tonight - one leading GOP candidate is claiming he's the victim of a witch hunt, while the other one is acting as if possessed.

Herman Cain, first - accused in a Politico exclusive of having sexually harassed two women while he ran the National Restaurant Association. NBC News saying it has confirmed two employees of that association complained about Cain, and that there was at least one payment made. Partying like it was "19-9-9-9."

According to the Politico website, Cain's accusers say they faced "sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them uncomfortable and angry" - or angry and uncomfortable behavior - that allegedly contained - included - "conversations allegedly filled with innuendo, or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature... Physical gestures that, while not overtly sexual, made the women uncomfortable ..." and gestures they regarded "as improper in a professional relationship."

According to Politico, both women eventually left the National Restaurant Association after agreeing to five-figure settlements that barred them from taking - or talking about - why they had left.

The denials from the Cain campaign began October 24th, four days after Politico first contacted spokesman C.J. Gordon for comment. Gordon writing, in part, that "these are old and tired allegations that never stood up to the facts. This was settled amicably among all parties many years ago, and dredging this up now is merely part of a smear campaign."

Politico reporter Jonathan Martin then confronted Cain with the anonymous allegations on Sunday before an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation." Cain was neither pleased nor forthcoming.

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: I am not going to comment about two people that you won't tell me who they are. Okay? That's like - negotiating - I am not - I am not going - I am not going to comment on that. Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?

OLBERMANN: Turning the question back on the questioner - an old technique, but the questions did not go away with that. Cain faced them again this morning. And this time, he actually denied the charge.

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment. If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I am not even - I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much - because nothing happened. So, if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the Association.

OLBERMANN: Cain also tried explaining why he had ducked the Politico reporter's question.

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: When we were asked for me to comment, they wanted for it to be from two anonymous sources. We weren't going to go and chase anonymous sources.

OLBERMANN: Except, that turns out not to be entirely the truth of things. As Cain's chief of staff, Mark "The Cigarette Man" Block conceded today - Politico's sources had not been entirely anonymous.

(Excerpt from video clip) MARK BLOCK: They did pass the name along, correct.

OLBERMANN: Which did not stop Mr. Cain from insisting on his innocence again and his victimhood - this time at the National Press Club.

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: When the charges were brought, as the leader of the organization, I recused myself, and allowed my general counsel and my human resource officer to deal with the situation. And it was concluded, after a thorough investigation, that it had no basis.

OLBERMANN: Cain will reportedly give a more detailed defense tonight on Fox News. According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner, a noted right-wing mouthpiece, Cain insists he can only recall one woman charging him with harassment - Cain reportedly saying he never traveled with his accuser on the road, that the only incident he recalls is one where he held his hand up to his own chin and told the woman "my wife comes up to my chin," referring to her height, apparently. He said, also, the settlement paid his accuser was for two or three months' salary, the same as if the employee had been terminated.

The Cain campaign is also facing other charges tonight. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting that the Cain campaign received over $37,000 in iPads, chartered jets and other support from Prosperity USA, a tax-exempt charity founded by two Cain aides, one of them Mark Block. According to The Washington Post, many of the payments would be prohibited under federal election law and Cain says he knows nothing about that report either.

For more on the sagas of Herman Cain, I'm joined by Evan McMorris-Santoro, a reporter with Talking Points Memo who's been following the Cain story. Evan, good evening.


OLBERMANN: The "I know nothing about this" initial response - he said these were anonymous names, or names - accusations without names - and it turned out they weren't. At least one name was known to his chief of staff, Mr. Smokey Guy and then he said he knew nothing of the settlement - I mean, this has been changing all day. Do we have a sense of just how much the changes in his answers to these questions have propelled the story and have hurt him?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, you know - as you say, it's sort of gotten curious-er and curious-er as the day has gone on. He started out the day by - in Politico, denying everything, not commenting on anything - and then he comes out and says, "You know, I don't know about any settlements." And then, by the end of the day, he's saying, "Well, I knew about a settlement but it wasn't very much money and I'm not sure that it's really all that important."

So, it seems to be, every time he opens his mouths - and he does seem to be interested in talking about this, he seems to go on TV and answer questions about it - he, sort of, adds more fuel to the fire, and sort of digs himself, maybe, a bit of a deeper hole.

OLBERMANN: And it - he apparently started digging quite some time ago. He did this long interview earlier, in which he said he expected to be the victim of a Clarence Thomas-like smear. Was that pro-active spin about this story or is he just some sort of prophet and/or good guesser?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, this is, of course, a part of Herman Cain's appeal right from the beginning. He's spoken quite often about how people - you know, whenever he talks about race at all, his own race - it's often in the guise of saying that liberals are out to get him because he is an African-American - African-American conservative. So, it makes sense he would identify with Clarence Thomas from the beginning. You know, whether or not he's being prescient - it seems like he's found himself in the same position now.

But, I do think it's, sort of, part of his larger persona of - sort of, embracing this idea that liberals are out to get him because he's a black conservative, and that's some of the pushback that we've seen from this story today from the Herman Cain campaign and other, sort of, conservative sources today.

OLBERMANN: And, speaking of some conservative sources, the louder ones - Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham - all backed Cain. Limbaugh said it's nothing more than "the politics of minority conservative personal destruction."

Ingraham, who I should note was Clarence Thomas's law clerk and believes everything the man ever said, said "it's about destroying a good man's reputation."

Hannity compared the case to Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill.

I know this may sound a little paranoid, but could this be a set up? We've seen Mr. Cain play every card that he could to evoke sympathy for himself throughout this campaign. He's always the victim. Could it be martyrdom, because certainly it helped get Clarence Thomas confirmed, as it turned out, twenty-odd years ago.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, if it's a set up, I'm not sure it's a very good one. I mean, he's finding himself answering a lot of uncomfortable questions. They're continuing to be uncomfortable. There is more news to be asked about this. I mean, everything he said today has made this into a Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 kind of story, which I don't think you want at all if you're a presidential nominee, especially if you are running in the top of the field.

OLBERMANN: What if you're - you know the theory, of course, this is just a pretend candidacy. What if you're not running for - actually running for president? If you just want the publicity, and you need a way to get out before people realize you don't have campaign organizations in several of the key states? I hate to portray this as a kind of "death by reporter" kind of thing but is it - I mean, everything else about his campaign has been so utterly bizarre - why are we taking that off of the table?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, you know, I think it's really too early to tell about any of that sort of stuff. I mean, there's still so much more of the story to come out. And as you - as you mentioned earlier in the show, he's already, sort of, confirmed parts of it are true. So, until we know all of the details, I think it's sort of hard to say where this story goes.

I mean, it's definitely true that conservative media is already, kind of, backing Cain up and coming to his defense, but that could change as more details come out. So, you know, it's an interesting theory. We'll have to see how it plays out.

OLBERMANN: Not one of my more mainstream ones, but what the hell. Evan McMorris-Santoro of Talking Points Memo, great thanks for bearing with us tonight.


OLBERMANN: As I mentioned at the top of the program, Herman Cain is just one of the two GOP candidates with a new set of problems tonight. Texas Governor Rick Perry is the other. Dropping in the polls - currently tied with Gingrich with just 7 points in Iowa - the one-time front-runner hamstrung by a series of miserable debate performances, and now this - tape of a Perry appearance in a conservative forum in New Hampshire on Friday.

Time Magazine suggesting his appearance has revived rumors the governor "may still be on serious painkillers after major back surgery in July," rumors the Perry campaign has denied. Though - whatever got into the governor Friday, he should probably consider getting it removed. Here are a few excerpts from the Rick Perry Show:

(Excerpt from video clip) RICK PERRY: Write your checks. Gold is good. If you've got any in the backyard, because, you know, if they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold is going to be good ... And I - I - this is such a cool state. I mean, come on - "Live free or die." You know, that's - you've got to love that. Right? ... And my plan is really pretty simple. It does deductions for the mortgage deduction, for charitable - yep, you keep that in there. And your state and local taxes are in there. You can put those on - $12,500 for every dependent that you have and - you know, just pretty easy math, subtract it - send it in. It's awesome. Why not?

OLBERMANN: Yeah, tip your waitresses. Matt Taibbi is a Rolling Stone contributor and of course - a contributing editor and a "Countdown" contributor. His latest story in Rolling Stone, "Is Rick Perry the Best Little Whore in Texas?" Matt, you - obviously - are behind Rick Perry's speech to sell the magazine, right?


OLBERMANN: This had everything except him going, "Hey, I don't get no respect. Hey, I'm telling you." What? Huh?

TAIBBI: I don't know, man. To me, I think we are witnessing, like, a historic campaign trail crack-up. Perry's - the previous meltdowns on the campaign trail have all been episodes, you know -


TAIBBI: Like Ed Muskie crying or Dean's scream - this thing went on for 22 minutes. It was like he was on laughing gas the whole time. It was really - and we've kind of seen it coming, too - I mean, the people who've been following him have seen him, kind of, veer from pole to pole. And, this has sort of been in the works. So, my impression is - it's just the guy is rattled, and he's losing it.

OLBERMANN: So, it appeared that if it was going to be a meltdown, it would conclude - previous to this - with him just suddenly going and another (snoring sounds) - in the middle of a debate or a speech or an inauguration. But this is the reverse of things. Is that - has that been seen on the stump anywhere before that - sort of, Super Animated - Guy?

TAIBBI: You know, I haven't really seen that too much. I mean, I've seen Perry kind of all over the map because - sometimes, he is completely in command. If you look at his performance, for instance, at The Response - that religious revival back in the summer - he acted like an evangelical preacher. He was very commanding in his public speaking voice. I've seen him other times be almost - like you say, narcoleptic - on stage. I was at a speech in Georgia where the reporter next to me was like, "You know, should we call an ambulance? This guy's going to pass out." But this is - this hyperactive thing - is sort of a new - new Rick Perry. And you just never know what you're going to get.

OLBERMANN: Something from your piece - you quoted the Republican Party Committeewoman Liliana Ross - who used to be Ileana Ros-Lehtinen - saying, at another campaign event, "He grabbed my hand and held on to it. His hand was so cold, like ice. And he was sweating. He didn't seem well, like he was in pain or he was sick or something. I don't know what it was, but something was definitely wrong."

Is she onto something, and do you have any idea what it might be?

TAIBBI: No. I mean - I think she is on to something, you know. Obviously, a lot of the reporters who've been following Perry kind of noticed that - somewhere in the beginning of September, he just, sort of, lost it. You know, he barreled into the campaign with all of this momentum and he was very confident, you know, when he was - when he felt like he was on his own home turf - he comes across as a very commanding, slick, smooth politician. But as soon as he got into the rigors of the campaign - I think, you know, some people can just handle having their lives torn apart on national television and other people just can't. And I think he's just one of those guys.

OLBERMANN: The Rick Perry that you are portraying in Rolling Stone is kind of the antitheses of what the tea party claims it wants. Instead of this small-government tax cutter - the ultimate soulless politician willing to sell himself at all times to the highest bidder - as you say, willing to do absolutely anything for a buck today. How did he manage to turn the image around, so to speak?

TAIBBI: Well, I think this is Rick Perry's sort of unique talent as a politician. He has - he does have this ability to kind of identify where the wind is going to blow a few years from now. He kinda got a start following the American agricultural movement, way back in the late 70s. He kinda knew that was going somewhere. It was sort of a similar to the tea party - kind of a populist movement.

He switched parties from Democrat to Republican when he saw which way Texas was moving. And he saw the tea party coming earlier than most politicians, and he wrote this book, "Fed Up," which was full of a lot of the same rhetoric that we've seen from tea party leaders, even though it directly contradicted a lot of his record. You know, because he's really a massive-government-stimulus kind of politician. But he's very good at talking the talk, and he does have a little bit of a sense about where the wind is blowing.

OLBERMANN: Well, and that was whole - I mean, the thing that stuck to him - was his attempt to tap dance on secession. 'Cause he never said it. He never came out and said "I'm in favor of it." He just said, "It might be necessary if things continue. We should think about it." He had eight plausible deniability - that's him, isn't it? Plausible deniability -

TAIBBI: Yeah, "let's keep it on the table" sort of thing. Yeah, but, you know, he definitely does keep feet in both camps on almost every issue. But, you know, the reality is - when you actually look at what this guy is - he's really just about taking campaign money and giving out favors to those people. And - and that's really who he is.

OLBERMANN: And by the way, the title of his autobiography is "It's F'ed Up." It's not - Rolling Stone contributor and "Countdown" contributor Matt Taibbi, it's always a pleasure. Thank you, Matt.

TAIBBI: Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN: The rest of the news hour we devote to Occupy and the credibility that only repressive, nearly totalitarian tactics can endow. On display in Denver, in Richmond, in Austin - in Portland, mixed with an extraordinary decision - police posting photos of those they arrested online. But there's breaking news from Nashville, where Occupy has just won a round in - or at least near - court. That's next. This is "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: Denver - in a city once so liberal it was accused of being a ground for a UN plot to subvert the government by bicycles - mounted policemen, tear gas, and rubber bullets used on Occupy protesters. Occupy Richmond raided overnight. Bulldozers used to destroy personal possessions of the Occupiers there. Occupy Austin, in the heart of liberal territory. At least three dozen arrests, because of an unauthorized food table. The One Percent strikes back.

Live - to Denver, to New York, and with Eliot Spitzer. But Nashville wins a late legal triumph.

And the company Halloween party where the company's job is to steal people's homes from them - employees dressing up as their own victims, perhaps forced to dress up. Details ahead, in "Worst Persons." Ahead on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: Hundreds of protesters arrested this weekend, the national count up to as much as 2,963 by one count. Police using pepper spray, mace, even bulldozers to clear protesters and their belongings out of city parks.

In our fourth story tonight - protesters from Denver to Rochester standing their ground, and a federal court today siding with the protesters in Nashville, ordering police there to stop making arrests.

We start in Denver, where hundreds of police reportedly armed with clubs, tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets moved into the Occupy site on Saturday, after they say the crowd became "unruly." The protesters bearing physical evidence of the confrontation, many displaying wounds from rubber bullets and pepper-spray canisters. In all, 20 protesters were arrested.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: It was very peaceful until somebody showed up with a bunch of weapons. Now who is that? Oh, that was you guys.

OLBERMANN: Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon - protesters facing off against police dressed in riot gear. The officers declared the Pearl District Park closed at midnight, then arrested 25 protesters who refused to leave. The Portland Police Department then took the unprecedented - though, apparently, not illegal - step of posting mug shots and names of arrested protesters on Facebook. No indication whether they had any motivation for doing so beyond shaming the protesters.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams saying that - while he's been supportive of the protests so far - he's not happy with the direction they've taken, then criticizing the movement for, he says, "straying from its core mission."

(Excerpt from video clip) SAM ADAMS: I look forward to the Occupy movement's next phase, next iteration of really finding a way to act on its core mission.

OLBERMANN: Certainly, that will be aided by posting their photos online.

To Nashville, where there were also mass arrests over the weekend. We reported Friday, protesters were standing their ground in defiance of a police order to vacate the park. Over the weekend, troopers arrested about fifty protesters.

Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed a lawsuit on behalf of Occupy Nashville protesters who were arrested on Friday, seeking a temporary restraining order against Governor Bill Haslam, writing, "The government chose a metaphorical shotgun to kill a fly."

This afternoon, good news for the protesters. Tennessee officials agreed to stop enforcing curfew and arresting protesters.

In other cities, though, the arrests continue. Rochester, New York - 32 arrested Friday night after the group refused to leave a downtown park there.

In Austin, Texas - 37 protesters arrested last night, more than a dozen met with city and police officials today to discuss the incident. Meanwhile, about a dozen protesters arrested in a public park in Richmond, Virginia, where Occupy members had been camping since October 15th. After police evacuated the area, the remaining belongings - which included, not just tents, but also a makeshift library and a volleyball court - were scooped up by bulldozers and deposited in dump trucks.

And in Kansas, the hotbed of liberalism, 100 protesters marked on Koch Industry headquarters in Wichita on Saturday. The company owned by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, who are some of the far right's biggest funders.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: Lots of money has been put in our political system to buy votes, and - so I think you go where the money is, which is here - right here.

OLBERMANN: And lastly - to Oakland, where you will remember that, last week, 24-year-old Iraq war veteran Marine Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull after police fired tear-gas canisters into the crowd. He was told over the weekend of the international support for him - still not speaking, he gave a thumbs-up sign.

Hundreds of protesters marching through the streets of Oakland Saturday night to protest police brutality, as officers in riot gear lined the streets and helicopters again hovered overhead.

Let's talk about Denver. And I'm joined from there by Jeannie Hartley who witnessed those "unruly" - that word is in quotes - protesters on Saturday. Thanks for your time tonight.

JEANNIE HARTLEY: Thank you so much, Keith, for having me here. Much appreciated.

OLBERMANN: You're very welcome. Tell me about the scene on Saturday. The protesters were described as "unruly." Are the police being truthful in that statement?

HARTLEY: I have to tell you - to speak, to be honest - I have to tell you what I saw. What I witnessed was not anyone being unruly. What I saw was several police officers chasing - en masse, into the park - running towards a man in a tree - one little guy in a tree. And then, chasing after another man and throwing him down onto the ground and putting him in a chokehold, with officers surrounding him.

I saw tear gas being dispersed. I saw rubber pellets - these pepper-spray pellets being shot into the crowd towards people that, from my vision, were not being unruly. To be fair, I couldn't see everything that was going on everywhere. But - from where I was standing - the people were not being unruly at all. We've had a perfectly peaceful march, a perfectly peaceful rally and it turned into something much worse.

OLBERMANN: Lieutenant Matt Murray was quoted in the Denver Post as saying "We're reacting to what they do. As long as they are legally protesting, we will protect their right to do that. The officers today did a great job of showing restraint."

And yet - something was tweeted today, which I think seems apropos in this, "When figuring out who's looking for a riot, check to see who came dressed for one." Did you have a sense of the police instigation, merely by preparation? I think I may have just made that up on the spot, but I think you know what I'm saying here. That if you - go ahead.

HARTLEY: I think you - that was very well put, just the way you said it, Keith. First of all, it was extraordinary - the amount of police force that were present before anything was, by their definition, I am guessing, unruly - I mean, the governor complained, a week or so before, that we cost the - $365,000 to the city of Denver. It was his decision to release that mass of force to be available in the park. It's my understanding that he's claiming now that the cost was $500,000. They had hundreds of police force, Keith, surrounding a food table. Hundreds of them, in riot gear. This was an unnecessary expense to - to Denver by far.

OLBERMANN: As I just mentioned, protesters in Nashville were successful in the courts. Is there any thought of going to the courts in Denver, or to the state courts in some way?

HARTLEY: Yes, that is actually something that is in the works. We have a legal team - an amazing legal team, I must say. We're also working with the National Lawyers' Guild, and there are things in the works. I can't address that specifically because I'm not an attorney. But I can promise you that efforts are being made towards that end, to be sure.

OLBERMANN: Give me a philosophical answer to this one, if you can, Ms. Hartley. The mess we saw in Oakland, the smaller messes we have seen in New York and elsewhere - how is it that, rather than taking the prudent method of suffering the protests as best they could, everybody involved in a government somewhere, or a police department somewhere or a state level somewhere - seems to think that the best way to make this go away is to provide all of the videotape that any news broadcaster could ever want to show ordinary citizens getting pummeled by police. Has that occurred to you yet - how ridiculous a response this is, purely from a public-relations standpoint?

HARTLEY: Yes, it is. And I also think that, on a grander scale of things - which makes that even more absurd - is that people have taken to the streets because of so many injustices that have been in place for far too long. You know, with the issues of the underwater mortgages and the corporate greed and the student loans - the $100,000 dollar students loans and they graduate from college and there's no jobs in sight - and the cost of the wars, unending costs of precious lives. People are in the streets because of injustice. So, for the police force to inflict more injustice upon us is not going to make us leave the streets. It's going to make more people come into the streets.

OLBERMANN: Well said. Jeannie Hartley from Occupy Denver, great thanks for some of your time tonight.

HARTLEY: Thank you so much, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Then there is New York - where Occupy is buffeted by the seizure of its generators, by the weather, and by reports that the New York police are directing, perhaps even bringing, substance abusers among New York's homeless to Zuccotti Park. Next.


OLBERMANN: On Friday, ace NY1 political anchor Errol Louis told us that the irony of the sudden seizure by the city of Occupy Wall Street's power generators was that they hadn't been used for heating - they had been primarily used to fuel the state-of-the-art remote communications set up in Zuccotti Park.

In our third story on the "Countdown" - when the pollution-altered climate suddenly produced a record snowfall on Saturday, the irony became irrelevant to the preview of Occupy's newest enemy - winter. And the cold may have become secondary to a report of the NYPD actually giving something to Occupy for a change. Across the northeast, from New York City to New Haven to Boston, protesters braved the sleet and snow on Saturday, making it clear they're here to stay.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: It's so worth it. It - the cold, wet - it's nothing compared to the change we're trying to make.

OLBERMANN: On Friday, we told you that NYPD and NYFD officers had swept in to confiscate Occupy's genators - generators. Genators?

Over the weekend, lawyers representing OWS sent a letter to the City's Fire Commissioner demanding the return of the "illegally seized property," saying, "Contrary to the Mayor's public justifications, the seizures were not motivated by health or safety concerns. The City's removal of the generators is nothing more than a pretext for violating the First Amendment rights of the Liberty Park" - that's the name by which Zuccotti was formerly known - "Occupiers by literally freezing them out."

The FDNY's response? A spokesman asking "for time to review the facts, and request." While they were reviewing, at least forty protesters were treated for hypothermia, two hospitalized. Last night, fire officials agreed to give the generators back, but not for use in the park.

Joining me now, a man who has chronicled much of what's happened at Zuccotti Park from the planning stages on - even through this storm over the weekend - Democracy Now reporter Ryan Devereaux. Thanks for coming in, Ryan.

RYAN DEVEREAUX: Thanks for having me, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Clarify what they were using the generators for. Were they to be used for heat? What was the status of those things?

DEVEREAUX: The generators were used for heat. They were used for heat in the medical tent, for example, where they were trying to treat people with hypothermia. They were also used for the media center, where, you know, Occupy Wall Street folks have been broadcasting, sort of, their message and chronicling their experience down there at the plaza. They were used to help prepare food, in the food tent. They were used for all sorts of different things. But I think it's particularly important and relevant - given the number that you just listed there of people that, you know, experienced hypothermia - that these generators, which were used to prevent those sort of circumstances, were confiscated.

OLBERMANN: And there was no lead time between the promulgation of rules, relative to where the generators could be, relative to tents and canvas and all the rest of that? In other words, they said, "You have to keep this much space there," and then no time to make that happen? There was no - there was no intervening time to adjust, as anybody would get with a building violation, for instance?

DEVEREAUX: Right, that's exactly the point that the attorneys made in the letter they sent to the commissioner of the New York City Fire Department over the weekend. This is - this is not the way the department normally goes about these sort of situations. They normally tell you in advance that there is a violation, and then give you time to correct the situation. There was no advanced notice here in this case, in this particular confiscation.

OLBERMANN: A Saturday snowstorm - the last Saturday in October is obviously an unusual thing, and brings up a whole different sort of climate-change conversation we could also have - but it's just a preview of what's obviously ahead if this is just an average New York winter. And this is the question I was asking when I went down earlier in the month - are there additional plans about the weather, or is it essentially toughing it out in Zuccotti Park, with or without electric or other kind of heat?

DEVEREAUX: Well, it depends upon who you speak to. I was down there on Saturday - and one thing I do want to say is, a lot of people have said these protesters are not going - you know, once this is no longer fun, they won't do it anymore. And while they do have fun down there, I can tell you that Saturday was not fun.

OLBERMANN: I would guess.

DEVEREAUX: It was about as miserable as it could be. It was freezing cold. You know, everything that, you know, that people owned was soaking wet. People's tents collapsed. And there were people from out of state who were - they are committed to being there. So, yeah - in terms of how they are going to deal with the winter - I know that there have been some people talking about maybe doing an indoor Occupation, but I think that the consensus is that they are going to try to stick it out in Liberty Square, and there are a bunch of committed people - a bunch of committed folks there - that, I think, are willing to make that happen.

OLBERMANN: Plus, you can do it in shifts. You don't have to stay there, outdoors, seven days a week for the entirety of the winter. All right, let's talk about the report that the police across the city are telling people - the other version, bringing people - with health - mental health, addiction problems, taken to Zuccotti. What do you know about that story?

DEVEREAUX: Well, it's a story that's been floating around the park for weeks now. This is something that people have been talking about. A lot of the folks that are involved in the security operations at the park have been saying that - when they encounter, you know, sort of transient, homeless type of people there in the park - they are hearing reports that the police have been encouraging them to head down to Zuccotti, to "Take it to Zuccotti."

It's very upsetting. Particularly, when you consider that some of the people that are arriving to the park have severe psychiatric problems or drug-addiction problems. Why isn't - if the NYPD is, indeed, suggesting that they go somewhere - why don't they suggest them to go somewhere that has the resources and the professionals with the capability to handle the particular problems that they have.

OLBERMANN: Any answers occur to you to that rhetorical question?

DEVEREAUX: I mean I - it looks very bad.

OLBERMANN: Sabotage would be - provocateur is essentially - involuntary provocateurs or, in another context, human shields, if you will. That's the same mentality to it, anyway.

DEVEREAUX: That's - that's definitely the sense among the protesters, this is a concerted effort at sabotage. Whether or not we will find concrete evidence that that's the case, we'll have to wait and see.

OLBERMANN: Ryan Devereaux, reporter for Democracy Now who's been at Occupy Wall Street since before the beginning. Great thanks, again, for coming in.

DEVEREAUX: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: The premise that Occupy has already won by changing the dialogue, and now the effort by the hysterical right to change it right back again - to the question "Will there be riots?" Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer joins me.


OLBERMANN: Breaking, and unhappy, news out of Oklahoma City, where an Occupy Oklahoma City protester has been found dead in his tent in downtown Oklahoma City his afternoon. That, according to the police department there. According to the police, it appears the man died of natural causes.

The Occupy group of Oklahoma City says he was a homeless man who had identified himself only as "The Poet." And those of who had an additional idea of who he was are awaiting notification of his family before they say anything else. So, apparently a caused - natural - death of a protester for - the first one, apparently, in Oklahoma City. Again, no untoward circumstances believed involved.

Eliot Spitzer's assessment of the end game and all the games in between for the Occupy movement coming up.

First, the "Sanity Break," and on this date in 1963, American TV host and tastemaker Ed Sullivan was traveling through Britain's London Airport - now Heathrow - when he spotted a crowd of 1500 young boys and girls standing outside the place in the rain. He asked what the commotion was about and was told the Beatles were returning home from Sweden. To which Sullivan replied, "Who the hell are the Beatles?"

And just over three months later they were debuting in America on Sullivan's Sunday-night variety show. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles! Sorry. Ladies and Gentlemen -

"Time Marches On!"

I never said I could do a Sullivan.

We begin with the TMO Adorable Clip of the Day - puppy versus ice. Having never seen anything of the sort before, seven-week-old Bandit is being cautious. Friend or foe? Liquid or solid? Maybe Bandit should call his pal Smokey for some help. He's on the Cain campaign. Either way, the battle seems to end in a draw. Tune in tomorrow, when Bandit goes toe to toe with steam.

In Syria, this strongman is attempting to pull a two-and-a-half-ton train up a hill. You're not impressed? Well, with incline, he claims the train weighs one hundred tons. He's in position, and - pull! Pull! Please make sure you lift with your legs. Train's not moving that quickly. Must be local. He's successful in his attempt and is helped up by fans. Glad. You get the feeling he's gonna feel that in the morning.

Finally, it is Halloween, so let's check in with our WXYZ Action News reporter Kimberly Craig, who's at the Erebus Haunted House in Pontiac - Pontiac, Michigan. As a reporter, even when doing a somewhat lighthearted story, it's important to maintain a sense of composure at all times.

(Excerpt from video clip) MAN: You're paying attention over here. You know what, if you look - look at that -

(Excerpt from video clip) KIMBERLY CRAIG: You know what? They do not pay me enough -

OLBERMANN: Yes, it was all in good fun - we're here for your brains, your viewer's brains. Unfortunately, one of those monsters was not hired by the haunted house. Ohh! Happy Halloween.

"Time Marches On!"

Eliot Spitzer, on the future of Occupy, and the far right's apocalyptic vision of riots in the streets, or - if no riots in the streets - at least they'll have polls about riots in the street. Coming up.


OLBERMANN: Occupy - he says, has already won. What's next? And the ultimate smear card its opponents are now playing, the idea that it will end in riots. And it was just another Friday.

"Worst Person" story here. The Mayor of Toronto calling 911 and swearing up a storm in dreadful fear of a fictional TV character in a "Xena" costume. Canada reacts to the "Worst Persons" list like nothing I've ever seen before. And the 911 story continues. Next in "Worsts."


OLBERMANN: The next stage for Occupy with Eliot Spitzer.

First, before we get to "Worst Persons," I think I have to thank a few people for the extraordinary response to Friday's edition of this segment. Those people would be - Canada. Well, specifically The Toronto Globe And Mail, The Toronto Star, Torontoist, Toronto Life, The National Post, CTV, The Montreal Gazette, The Winnipeg Free Press,, Yahoo!News Canada, and a lot of blogs.

All this, because I named Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford Friday's "Worst Person in the World," after his series of panicky - and reportedly f-bomb-laden - calls to 911 when an actress portraying a satirical news reporter staked him out in the driveway of his own home.

The positive attention this got was only slightly more than if I had discovered Canada. I don't know if this owes to Mayor Ford's unpopularity, or the traditional courteousness of the Canadian people, who were just sending a kind of collective "Thank you" note via media.

So, you're very welcome. And thanks, especially, to all of you in Canada who liked my slight Canadian accent. I went to school with a lot of hockey players and they were all real guys too. Or "O.C." as some of you say. Okay, Blue Jays!

Thus, here are Countdown's top three nominees for tonight's "Worst Persons in the World."

The bronze - to Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto! I know a good thing when I see it! Supporters of the Mayor are apparently now claiming that the tape of his three calls to 911 over the ambush interview by "Marg Delahunty" would vindicate him, that - while Mayor McPanic did unleash the f-bombs - he didn't call anybody "bitches," and he was calling largely because his daughter was scared and screaming and you can hear that on the tape.

Which raises a simple question - as Mayor of the city, presumably having some influence over Toronto's neatly-uniformed police department, why doesn't he order the tape of the call released?

The runner-up? Another mayor - Chris Myers of Medford, New Jersey. Hello again, Mayor Myers. Show the photo, thank you. This is not the first time we've seen this photo.

A so-called "rent boy" in California says the mayor paid him five hundred dollars, but reneged on promises of a car and a recording studio in exchange for sex, a year ago this month. Mayor Myers has given a series of increasingly bizarre quasi-denials that the photo was him, wasn't him or that the anonymous rent boy was - or wasn't - his rent boy.

"I can't comment on something I don't know. This person hasn't come forward. Unfortunately, this is a story on rumors and allegations. These claims are ridiculous. I believe I've been wronged by stories pinned on anonymous reports."

I didn't do it! As God as my - I'm sorry I lapsed into Belushi. Myers says he will not resign. May not be his choice. Medford Township Council has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, ostensibly to talk about the Mayor's pet project. No, no, no - this is a business development. The meeting is expected to devolve into a conversation about rent boys.

But our winners? The law firm of Steven J. Baum of Buffalo, New York. You may have already seen these photos, they were sent by an appalled employee of Steven J. Baum of Buffalo, New York, to a columnist at The New York Times. They're from the company's 2010 Halloween Party.

Steven J. Baum, of Buffalo, New York, is the state's largest foreclosure mill. It represents banks and mortgage servicers in their efforts to foreclose on homeowners and throw them out. It has been accused of trickery to try to evict people with steady incomes who were up-to-date on their mortgages.

So, naturally, for Halloween, Steven J. Baum encouraged its employees - all of whom would presumably live in terror of becoming the next victims of their scumbag bosses - to dress up for Halloween as homeless people, carrying bottles of booze, wearing signs that mock the excuse of those who've been illegally evicted: "I was never served."

One of the pictures shows a coffin that depicts a lawyer who had filed a class action suit against the Steven J. Baum company. Another shows part of the Steven J. Baum Company offices decorated to make them look like a row of foreclosed homes.

So, this is what they dress up for as Halloween? We're gonna play that game are we? It's a long game, Steven J. Baum, 220 Northpointe Pkwy, Suite G, Amherst, New York. Or, if you're on Long Island, 900 Merchants Concourse, Suite 412, Westbury, New York.

It's a long game, Steven J. Baum, and there are many costumes to be worn. Being a foreclosure-mill law firm is bad enough. Adding visual abuse of your victims on Halloween - poor choice.

The law firm of Steven J. Baum, scumbags - today's "Worst Persons in the World."


OLBERMANN: Senator Ed Muskie noted during the 1970 midterms that, "There are only two kinds of politics - the politics of fear and the politics of trust."

In our number-one story, it should come as no surprise that Fox News works almost exclusively in the former. But what does come as a surprise is how Fox not only ignores the trust of America at large, but misused it to mold their fears. Fox News has come out again against the Occupy Wall Street protests painting them as a "far-left conspiracy" run by the standard liberal straw men George Soros and the invisible foe ACORN.

So, the results of the latest Fox News poll should probably come as no surprise. When asked, "How concerned are you that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations will eventually turn into street riots," 47 percent of respondents expressed some level of concern. Obviously, Roger Ailes said, "That's not high enough." The question itself, of course, almost previews the next line of attack.

But, on the heels of four polls last week that show a majority of Americans are in favor of the protesters - and certainly their rights to protest - it does point to the larger dilemma. Right now, the Occupy Movement has an extraordinary amount of energy and support, and how now to mobilize it into social change?

Here, to perhaps lay out a blueprint on that for moving forward - the former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer. It's good to see you, sir.

ELIOT SPITZER: Keith, thank you for having me on again.

OLBERMANN: This poll - the idea that you could just seriously ask people, "When is it going to come to riots in the street?" Let's, sort of, lay out what they have next in line after the anti-Muslim, anti-black, anti-Jewish - what else was it - George Soros-funded, revivification of - ACORN sticks - things did not stick?

SPITZER: It's also just the phrasing of the question. Everybody who's ever used a poll - crafted one - knows you phrase a question to get a pre-determined answer - "Are you worried, at all that, maybe, eventually something bad will happen?" - where people - of course, people are going to say, "Yeah, I'm a little worried about that."

But, as you rightly pointed out, the public supports Occupy Wall Street - the mission, the purpose, how they're articulating what they are doing. This is, almost exclusively, a peaceful, well-thought out protest by people who care. That's why the public's with them.

OLBERMANN: You have written now that it has - many people have made a point similar to this, but I think you made it more strongly than others have, and want to know why, in particular - that they have already - there is already a victory to declare.

SPITZER: Oh, absolutely.

OLBERMANN: Changing the dialogue. How do you sustain that when temperatures are not sustained -

SPITZER: It's going - inverse correlation with the temperature.

OLBERMANN: It's sustained - it's a symbol that makes it sustainable, but the symbol involves people staying there.

SPITZER: Look, first of all, the frustration at the so-called pundits - and thoughtful people on major editorial pages saying all they're doing is showing up. Wait a minute. They - being the Occupy Wall Street folks - have done more to change what we're talking about than all of the politicians in Washington who pretend to be progressives or liberal. All of them put together - maybe except Elizabeth Warren - they've done nothing that comes close to what this group of students and thoughtful young kids has done. So, that's why my hat goes off to them.

And I - what next? It is hard. It's going to be cold. So, here are a couple of simple things - One, every college kid in America goes home over Thanksgiving. Announce the day before Thanksgiving, when kids are getting home - huge rallies, show the support on college campuses which - from my sort of experiential information - is huge. Get big-name musicians - think back to the '60s. You know, I hate to say that you and I could do that - Pete Seeger, get Bruce out there.

OLBERMANN: He's already down there -

SPITZER: Get them to sing in every spot the day before Thanksgiving - huge rallies to make our, sort of, opening statement as we go into the next chapter.

The other thing I would do and say - You know what? Maybe we are going to take two weeks off. But, during that time, get the Robert Reichs, the Joe Stiglitzes, Paul Krugmans - the really thoughtful, smart folks to come up with a couple ideas.

Here - here is what I think is the clencher. Come January - every governor, every mayor gives a state of the state, a state of the city - leverage off them. The entire media is at every state capitol, at every city hall. Have a rally with ten thousand folks. Go to Albany, where we have a governor - hate to say it - in New York, who is opposing the millionaire's tax, say "Governor One Percent, we're showing up and we're gonna steal your story. You can be inside the chamber giving a typical speech. We're gonna be there talking about real people."

Have a hundred thousand people in Washington the day of the State of the Union. Make those markers - when we supposedly define the agenda - mass, huge numbers with musicians, with smart people - Bruce, Krugman, whomever it may be - you know.

And, let me just add, they don't need advice from me. They have done an amazing job.

OLBERMANN: You will recall, perhaps, the name Henry Root - or was that Ruth? - who was one of the assistant prosecutors when they eliminated the special prosecutor during Watergate. And the recollections of the night that they fired Archibald Cox was of his office being flooded by telegrams, most of which said "Stay in your office." And it didn't mean he could do anything, staying in his office, but the presence of the symbol can't be overrated here, can it?

SPITZER: Absolutely not. And you need a symbol like that. And that's why Zuccotti Park - Liberty Park - has become so powerful. Especially - I mean, let's face it, what the NYPD and others are doing has, I think, been - we need to dig deeper and find out what's going on - certainly, I hate to say it, but it's helped Occupy Wall Street.

OLBERMANN: Every last time.

SPITZER: It has made every person say, "Wait a minute, these are basically good individuals who are peaceful, who are doing what they think is important for our country and we agree with them - why are they being arrested?"

OLBERMANN: Right, and what - having been governor, you would know - what governor would ever allow rubber bullets to be used on unarmed protesters?

SPITZER: Or the governor of New York trying to kick them out of state parks - it just shouldn't be happening in New York.

OLBERMANN: Not good PR. And you wonder if, perhaps, they aren't secretly in support of Occupy. Former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, thanks as ever. Excellent, excellent points to make.

That's "Countdown" for this, the 294th day since the Republicans took control of the House, 294 days without them having passed one jobs bill of any kind.

The season premiere of "Vanguard: Arming the Mexican Cartels" is next.

I'm Keith Olbermann. Thanks, and congratulations on getting though another day of this crap. Good night and good luck.

Friday, October 28, 2011

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Friday, October 28th, 2011
video 'podcast'

#ShowPlug 1: Mayor @JeanQuan fails: #OccupyOakland asked to leave plaza overnight; Organizers will not let her speak; she posts online

#ShowPlug 2: @MMFlint Michael Moore speaks in Oakland; #ScottOlsen improves. Guest: his roomate @glennbeckisevil Keith Shannon

#ShowPlug 3: NYPD, NYFD pull generators out of #OccupyWallStreet, spread stories of "Ghetto" in Zuccotti. @ErrolLouis NY1 joins me

#ShowPlug 4: Nice trick on #OccupyNashville: change the rules yesterday, raid overnight. Our guest: teacher arrested in front of his student

#ShowPlug 5: What does the President know & when will he know it? POTUS hangs back. @7im Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone joins me

#ShowPlug 6: Plus, Glenn Beck insults, mocks Sgt. Shamar Thomas - why does Beck hate the troops?

#ShowPlug 7: Worst Halloween Costumes ever -- the WW2 Evacuees Boys & Girls outfits you've seen? There's a back story.

#ShowPlug Last: & greatest political quote ever: "You bitches! Don't you (effing) know? I'm blank (effing) blank, the mayor of this city"

watch whole playlist

#5 Breaking news on Scott Olsen, Keith Shannon
YouTube, (excerpt)

#4 'Wall Street Freeze Out', Errol Louis

#3 'Occupy Nashville', Adam Knight
YouTube, (excerpt)

# Time Marches On!

#2 Worst Persons: Glenn Beck, Wonderland Party, Rob Ford, YouTube

#1 'Otherwise Occupied', Tim Dickinson

printable PDF transcript

Categories: Show Transcripts

KEITH OLBERMANN: Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

No sale. Occupy Oakland refuses to let Mayor Jean Quan apologize to its general assembly. So, she posts herself online.

(Excerpt from video clip) JEAN QUAN: What I wanted to say to you tonight is how deeply saddened I am about the outcome on Tuesday.

OLBERMANN: And then she tells Occupy Oakland it cannot stay in Ogawa Plaza overnight. The protester, his skull fractured by police - Scott Olsen, improves again.

(Excerpt from video clip) DOCTOR: Huge neurological improvement over what he was when he got here, but he's still having trouble articulating words. I anticipate that that will improve.

OLBERMANN: Wall Street - now we know why Bloomberg thought the cold weather would clean out the protest. Today, the cops took away the generators.

(Excerpt from video clip) MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Our first two concerns are First Amendment and safety, and this was safety.

OLBERMANN: The smear resumes - anonymous police sources say there are parts of Zuccotti Park too dangerous for them to go into, called "The Ghetto." It's twenty-six thousand square feet. This isn't downtown Calcutta.

More midnight raids. Nashville - Change the rules yesterday, run the protesters last night.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER #1: It was way overkill for them to come in for us, you know. Eighty people in the plaza and they had over a hundred officers, just in the front lines.

OLBERMANN: San Diego - 50 arrested in that midnight sweep.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER #2: These are your own people! Why are you here? These are your people!

OLBERMANN: And you can't stop the stupid. Nobody can stop the stupid.

(Excerpt from video clip) REPORTER: Mr. Cain is there anything else you would say to the Wall Street protesters?

(Excerpt from video clip) HERMAN CAIN: Yeah, go home and get a job and get a life.

OLBERMANN: Funny, isn't that what his fake campaign is for? To get him a life and get him a job in the political whorehouse that is Fox News? What does the President know and when will he start knowing it? Occupy and the White House.

(Excerpt from video clip) JAY CARNEY: The president has said that he understands people's frustrations.

OLBERMANN: Uh-huh. Occupy Day 42. With Scott Olsen's roommate Keith Shannon. With NY1's Errol Louis. And with witnesses to the events in Oakland, in Nashville, in San Diego. And with this idiot mocking Sgt. Shamar Thomas.

(Excerpt from video clip) GLENN BECK: The video shows this Marine yelling at the police, "Stop brutalizing, we're unarmed!"

OLBERMANN: And, you've probably seen on them online, and your jaw has probably dropped accordingly. The story behind - Worst. Costumes. Ever. All that and more now on "Countdown."

(Excerpt from video clip) ADAM SANDLER: Give me some candy!


OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York, this is Friday, October 28th, 375 days until the 2012 presidential election. Physicians are reporting tonight that the Marine Iraq veteran whose skull was fractured, apparently by an Oakland police gas canister, has incurred mild brain damage. However, they expect he will likely make a full recovery.

The fifth story on the "Countdown" - police repression continuing to work for Occupy, not against it. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has apologized for the police violence that drove Occupy from Frank Ogawa Plaza, even as she may have prepared the ground for another confrontation with its protesters.

But first, the Scott Olsen story. The Occupy protesters in Oakland and other cities held vigils for Mr. Olsen last night. The blow to his forehead that fractured Mr. Olsen's skull above his brain's speech center - though Dr. Alden Harken, the chief surgeon of Oakland's Highland Hospital - says that, while Olsen can't speak at this time:

(Excerpt from video clip) ALDEN HARKIN: He actually can communicate. He can make signs. He can write. He clearly understands what we're saying. Huge neurological improvement over what he was when he got here, but he's still having trouble articulating words. I anticipate that that will improve.

OLBERMANN: We'll get the latest in a few moments from Keith Shannon, Scott's roommate and - like Scott - a former Marine who served in Iraq.

While Scott Olsen's prognosis is improving, Oakland Mayor Quan's relations with Occupy protesters seemed unlikely to do the same. The mayor was booed relentlessly last night when she tried to address Occupy Oakland's general assembly. After fleeing back to her office, the mayor recorded a statement posted to her Facebook page apologizing for Tuesday's attack.

(Excerpt from video clip) QUAN: What I wanted to say to you tonight is how deeply saddened I am about the outcome on Tuesday. It's not what anyone hoped for. I understand it's my responsibility, and I wanted to apologize to everyone about what happened.

OLBERMANN: The mayor also had four requests for Occupy Oakland - 1) Communicate with city officials. 2) Maintain healthy and safe conditions in the plaza. 3) Provide access for public-safety employees in case of emergency. But 4) ...

(Excerpt from video clip) QUAN: We're asking you, again, not to camp overnight. Frank Ogawa Plaza is open for free-speech activities between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

OLBERMANN: That condition, of course, is what triggered Tuesday's police action, in which more than 100 were arrested and Scott Olsen was badly hurt. Though Quan's office now says that protesters who stay past 10 were more likely to be cited than arrested.

In Frank Ogawa Plaza, Occupy protesters seemed unimpressed by the mayor's offers and the police violence that briefly expelled them.

(Excerpt from video clip) VICTORIA HELENA: All it did was galvanize the public. Just more fuel for fire for the people.

OLBERMANN: And reinforcements have arrived. Film maker and activist Michael Moore has arrived in Oakland and rallied protesters in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

(Excerpt from video clip) MICHAEL MOORE: This movement has killed apathy! People have got up off the sofa! They turned off "Dancing with the Stars" and they're out in the streets. This is a victory!

OLBERMANN: Elsewhere in the Occupy movement - in Nashville, 29 protesters were arrested early this morning at Legislative Plaza after the Tennessee Department of Public Safety rewrote state policy on Thursday and closed the area from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Tonight, the protesters are back and claiming victory. More on Occupy Nashville a little later in the program.

In San Diego, at least fifty arrests at the Civic Center Plaza after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly.

In Atlanta, protesters expelled from Woodruff Park made a temporary camp last night at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site near King's historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Occupy Atlanta left the King Historic Site this morning, returned briefly to Woodruff Park and now seems divided on where to go next.

The movement did get support today from one of its inspirations, along with the criticism of a clown.

Egyptian activists marched from Tahrir Square in Cairo to the U.S. Embassy in that city to show solidarity with Occupy protesters here. While GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain showed the opposite in a Arkansas campaign appearance:

(Excerpt from video clip) CAIN: Go home and get a job and get a life.

OLBERMANN: If only Mr. Cain realized his party had made sure there were no jobs to get, and if only he had received the report released today by the Bertelsmann Foundation which showed the U.S. ranks 27th out of 31 nations in Bertelsmann's social-justice index. Which measures, among other things, the ability to improve your situation by getting a better job, or any job at all. The country's ranking below the U.S. - Greece, Chile, Mexico and Turkey.

Let's go to Occupy Oakland, or the environs, at least - and for the latest on Scott Olsen, I'm joined again by his roommate - fellow Marine veteran and activist in Iraq Veterans Against the War Keith Shannon. Keith, thanks for your time tonight.

KEITH SHANNON: Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: Were you in the hospital today?

SHANNON: I was this morning and then I had to go to work all day.

OLBERMANN: Did you get to see him?

SHANNON: No, unfortunately, the doctors are not letting me in, even though Scott and his parents have asked them to let me.

OLBERMANN: What you are hearing about - we heard the clip from the doctor before - what are you hearing about his communication skills and the doctor's hopes for his recovery?

SHANNON: They have high hopes for it. I talked to his dad right before I came over here, and a speech therapist was on his way in to start working with Scott on that.

OLBERMANN: So, it's a - it's a rebuild process as opposed to something that's - that is going to require surgery? Has surgery been ruled out yet?

SHANNON: I don't believe it's been ruled out, although I believe it's not as likely as it was before.

OLBERMANN: Good. How - you mentioned his parents - how are they holding up?

SHANNON: They seem to be doing well. I haven't talked to them much, because they're not allowed to be on the cell phone in the room with him, so they have to go outside in order to talk to me. But they seem to be doing pretty well. They're obviously still worried, but happy that he's doing better. His sister has also arrived today and is in there with him.

OLBERMANN: Do you know, was he awake - was he up from the sedation already yesterday when the Mayor Quan came to the hospital to apologize?

SHANNON: I didn't get the chance to ask about them about that yet. So, I'm still wanting to get details on that, as well.

OLBERMANN: Do you know - is he aware of the vigils and other support around the country?

SHANNON: I told his parents about it last night. I'm sure they passed it on to him. I don't know if he knows the extent of it, but I'm sure he knows about them.

OLBERMANN: Now, have you been back to Frank Ogawa Plaza?

SHANNON: I went there yesterday for the vigil. I was one of the people that talked along with other Iraq Veterans Against the War members - at his vigil.

OLBERMANN: So, what do you think is next for the protest movement, after the, sort of, farce that it turned into last night - not the protest, but Mayor Quan's attempt to go and talk to - to Occupy Oakland?

SHANNON: I think that it's just going to keep growing. You can't put business hours on free speech, or your right to protest. So, I think more and more people are going to show up and the more they try to shut it down, the bigger it's gonna get.

OLBERMANN: And the idea of not being able to be there overnight - is this being taken seriously?

SHANNON: No, they already had tents set up. I don't think anybody's going to leave.

OLBERMANN: Keith Shannon, Scott Olsen's roommate, fellow Marine veteran and activist in Iraq Veterans Against the War. Many thanks for coming on the program.

SHANNON: Thanks again.

OLBERMANN: In New York, it's not cracked skulls, but smears spread and generators seized. The subtler - but no less mean-spirited - attempts to shut down Occupy Wall Street. Next, on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: He prophesied that Occupy Wall Street might not last past the first frost. This morning, he and his city tried to hurry that up by seizing the protesters' generators. Other cities also do the right thing for Occupy, by doing the wrong thing public relations-wise. How Nashville, Tennessee, changed the rules on the Occupiers yesterday, then raided them last night. We'll meet an 8th-grade teacher arrested as one of his students watched.

His press secretary says the president "fully understands" the frustration of those in Occupy. Does he? Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone with an assessment.

And it will go down as one of the great quotes, from any politician, in any country, in any century. "Don't you effing know? I'm Rob effing Ford, the mayor of this city!" Context coming up on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: The mayor of the city of New York had predicted that Occupy Wall Street would eventually peter out, in large part because of the oncoming autumn and winter weather. In our fourth story in the "Countdown" - as the temperatures dropped into the 40s, the city decided to give mother nature a little help, by confiscating the groups' generators and by spreading rumors that parts of Zuccotti Park were so dangerous, even police couldn't go there. Zuccotti Park covers only about three-fifths of one acre. OWS with twin marches this afternoon to five different banks, several hundred participants, no arrests.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTERS: You broke the law, now go to jail! Our country is too big to fail.

OLBERMANN: One man dressed as a pirate - perhaps representing the spirit of the financial industry, or just getting ready for Halloween Monday.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: For far, far, far too long, the banks have been playing an unfair game and so, we're here to ask the bankers to actually pay their fair share. Because otherwise, they're gonna have to walk the plank.

OLBERMANN: Any metaphoric planks were walked in the morning when the New York Fire Department and the police department removed several generators and fuel from Zuccotti Park.

(Excerpt from video clip) BLOOMBERG: Our first two concerns are the First Amendment and safety.

OLBERMANN: Not everyone was buying that explanation, however.

(Excerpt from video clip) PROTESTER: This wasn't about public safety. This was pretty obvious that they're just trying to hit us where it hurts.

OLBERMANN: Another dubious assertion came in a New York Daily News story, in which an anonymous police source claimed that there is fighting in the park in a section the protesters call "the ghetto." Other anonymous police sources said they'd been warned about mysterious, dangerous instruments concealed in cardboard tubing - possibly an oboe.

Joined now by Errol Louis, the political anchor for NY1 News, co-editor of "Deadline Artists" and host of NY1's "Inside City Hall." Thanks for coming down again, sir.

ERROL LOUIS: Good to see you.

OLBERMANN: All right, removing the generators - it sounds like a plausible enough act, that it might be some fire hazard or something like that. But it occurred to me - aren't there a dozen outdoor, outfitted tents and walkways and such for shows, and beauty things, and sports pageants and everything else - every day in the autumn and the winter in this city?

LOUIS: Fashion week, the red carpets at movie openings - on and on and on it goes. On the other hand, I have heard that there's some kind of a standard - around 20 feet - around a propane heater to make sure that it's safe and so forth. So, it was at least plausible. Of course there've been conflicting reports. Some protesters have tweeted and talked about, on camera, that they had - vegetable oil was being used to fuel it, not propane - no gasoline or anything like. So, unclear what the heck was going on.

OLBERMANN: You think the mayor would have been happy because of the low-fat content of the oil being used. That's one of his pet peeves. If there's no salt in the thing, he might come down and give somebody a medal.

Does it seem to you that - every step that the mayor takes or the police department or even fire department takes - that the protesters seem to have game-planned this a little bit better than what we're used to in these environments? Because, what I'm understanding is - they are talking about bringing in bicycle - bicycle-run generators and, of course, that would heat - also issue - address the heat problem for the individuals who are on the bicycles. They've really got it thought through.

LOUIS: That's true. That's true. It is, in fact - they're very resourceful, let's put it that way. The generators, by the way, don't appear to have been used for heat. This was the very first day the temperature really dropped below 40 degrees. And, apparently, up until now it's really been used to power their very impressive communication set up. So, now they've got an issue more about communication than around personal comfort.

Look, the reality is the mayor, and the city and a lot of scornful onlookers have just assumed that, "Oh, they'll all go away when the cold weather... " You know, they don't know why they started, they don't know why they're there. I don't think they can make any intelligent predictions about why they might leave - or when.

OLBERMANN: Michael Moore suggested, last night, that there was some sort - there were no ordinances about ice sculpting in the city, and therefore igloos were a distinct possibility. And there was an ice company that had, apparently, volunteered to provide the ice for igloos. That's how prepared they might be at this point.

The tent issue - the mayor says they can keep them up, unless the company that owns - or controls - the spot wants them to be taken down. Is that a win for the protesters, or is that just another passed buck?

LOUIS: It sounds like a passed buck, frankly - but this is the same reason the mayor deferred when it came to the question of clearing them all out for, allegedly, sanitation reasons. The sanitation ordinances and standards were public but, again, this is a private park.

And so, the mayor said "Well, we'll defer to whatever it is," - Brookfield Properties, they own the space - "whatever it is they want to do." And it's caused a lot of rage, by the way, on the right where they say, "Look, he's giving in, he's passing the buck, could you imagine Mayor Giuliani taking a back seat to some private company," and so forth. And frankly, it is a little bit unclear as to who's calling the shots here. It seems though that the mayor is, in fact, deferring to the private owner.

OLBERMANN: In the area to which he does not defer to them, he said New York police do not use tear gas the way they did in Oakland. Is that a promise? Is New York - is it a suggestion that New York learned something from what happened in Oakland?

LOUIS: It sounds more like a coincidence, frankly. I'm trying to think - in fact, over the last 20, 30 years, I've been watching New York politics fairly closely - I don't think they use tear gas. I think it's really just a reality of New York. We've got 8 million people in 323 square miles. You can't use something like tear gas without affecting a whole lot of people.

OLBERMANN: Wind changes, it's running up Broadway and hitting 72nd Street. And then you hear complaints.

LOUIS: Unless you, for some reason, wanted to subdue everybody in Yankee Stadium, I can't foresee a scenario where you would ever use tear gas in New York.

OLBERMANN: One of the descriptions of how the police behaved the other night - when the protesters actually got on to the streets for the first time without permits - was - it was Shamar Thomas who told me this - that it was as not, as it might have appeared, the police backing off, but the police actually being - failing, in terms of tactics, actually being out-maneuvered on the street. And at one point, the protesters managed to go against traffic, so there was no way to put up the netting to stop them, they would have been interfering with the traffic.

Is it your sense that the police have not calmed down at all, but just have not succeeded in doing the way - approaching this the way - they approached it on September 18 and September 25 and all the other key dates?

LOUIS: You and I have talked about how demonstrations in New York City tend to be somewhat choreographed - somewhat staged. The organizers and the police sort of collaborate and agree in advance where the arrests will take place, how many will be arrested, which streets will be off limits, on limits, who will be on the sidewalk, who will be on the street.

These folks are not doing that kind of choreography. They're going in all kinds of other places. Tactically, for the police, it's a very, very - difficult kind of situation. And when people do the unexpected, or do things that are unannounced, or split into two marches that the police have not anticipated - it becomes very hard for them to perform the way they normally do, basically without incident. The fact that there were no arrests today was a sign that everybody's kind of giving a little and adjusting to what seems to be a new style of protest in the city.

OLBERMANN: Or the splitting of the march seems to have been, perhaps, something taken from the playbook of Robert E. Lee and they're not used to it in the New York Police Department.

The last point - the anonymous police sources who told the Daily News that the dangerous "ghetto" in Zuccotti Park and the mysterious weapons inside the cardboard tubes - as I said, this place is three-fifths of an acre. This is not some vast Central Park-like area. People think "Oh, Zuccotti Park ..." You get down there, you can see it all - stand up on your toes, you can see the whole thing.

LOUIS: You can see the whole thing.

OLBERMANN: Where - there's a ghetto? Is there - is there a subway? Are there two subway stops that travel from one end to the other? What in the hell is that story, Errol?

LOUIS: I don't know. And the notion that there are different, you know, sort of sectors within - again, what you say - a very, very small area. You can walk the whole length of it in under a minute.


LOUIS: It's not the kind of place - I think there's a reason that certain sources remain anonymous, because other information wouldn't really stand up to any kind of serious scrutiny. This might be one of those times.

OLBERMANN: I've been to baseball card shows in basements in this city that were, like, six times the size of this.

LOUIS: Errol Louis of NY1, co-editor of "Deadline Artists." Much thanks, and have a great weekend.

LOUIS: Good to see you.

OLBERMANN: Thank you, sir.

The "ultimate raid" that OWS has feared since September 17, already hit Occupy San Diego and Occupy Nashville last night. One of the Nashville protesters, an 8th -grade teacher, joins me next.


OLBERMANN: Every time it looks like municipalities and police forces will calm down, think big picture, and let the Occupy movement either level off or grow of its own accord, they instead play right into the protest's publicity hands.

In our third story - 29 occupiers were arrested in Nashville overnight - doesn't sound like anything different. Even though the arrests themselves were relatively peaceful, the justification for the arrests has been severely called into question.

9:00 A.M. Thursday, the Office of the General Council of the Department of General Services informed the members of Occupy Nashville that a new curfew had been enacted for the park during the hours of 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. And eviction of the park could begin at 8:00 PM.

8:00 PM came and went without incident. But, at 3:00 AM, an announcement came from a police bullhorn that in ten minutes the police would be entering the park and any remaining occupiers would be arrested. Around two dozen protesters left without incident, another 29 remained. After ten minutes, 75 state troopers began arresting the remaining Occupiers. The Occupiers linked arms in an attempt to peacefully resist, but they were eventually pulled apart anyway and arrested, brought to Davidson County Jail. Once there, Night Court Commissioner Tom Nelson refused to sign the warrants, citing a lack of probable cause.

(Excerpt from video clip) TOM NELSON: I am not criticizing the highway patrol. But, you have no lawful basis to arrest or charge those people. For three weeks they've sat up there and protested under no admonition whatsoever that they're violating state policy in regard to camping out on Legislative Plaza, or that they're committing a crime. When the state issued its memorandum today imposing a curfew and changing the rules, right in the middle of a protest - they can do that. But they have to give them adequate opportunity to comply with those rules.

OLBERMANN: Let's here it for Mr. Nelson and the Constitution. Instead of being released, the protesters were moved to the Sheriff's Office, where they were issued misdemeanor citations for criminal trespass. That is a Class C misdemeanor. They were released at 9:00 this morning, 24 hours after they were first informed of that new curfew.

Joining me now is one of the Occupy Nashville members arrested last night, eighth-grade teacher Adam Knight. Mr. Knight, thanks for your time tonight.

ADAM KNIGHT: Hey, thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Were you surprised the police moved in. Did you think at least they'd give you 24 hours, or some time to adjust to this new curfew setup?

KNIGHT: Honestly, I was surprised that they didn't move in earlier. They said they were going give us until tomorrow - that was their language. So, tomorrow to me was 12:00 midnight, so I presumed that they would move in at 12:01 and take us out, but they waited until 3:00.

OLBERMANN: The response that we just played - at the office of the Night Court Commissioner - what was - has that been the highlight of this experience for you, to hear him say that?

KNIGHT: I mean, it's good to see that we have that - that legal backing. I mean - you know, he claimed that there was no legal basis for them to arrest or detain us. After he made that decision, they held us for another four hours in holding cells, and then they moved us into a parking garage. You know, so we were held there.

OLBERMANN: I said this, at the beginning of the segment. Every time it looks like the municipalities and the police, - no matter where we're talking about, whether it's Nashville or Oakland - every time it looks like they're settling down and appreciating what it is you're doing, what it is you're trying to do for them, in particular - that somebody gets the bright idea that this thing can be stopped by force, or midnight raids or whatever you have.

Is that your sense, too - that every step that somebody takes in government against you, in fact, works, not just to galvanize those who are involved in the protest, but also really bring it to the public's attention that the wrong end of the equation here is the government's end of it?

KNIGHT: Yeah, I think so. I mean - I think galvanize is a good word. You know the poll in The Tennessean yesterday, asking whether people believe that Occupy Nashville should be evicted from Legislative Plaza - you know, it was overwhelmingly against eviction. Eighty-four percent of people voting, you know, claimed that we should be allowed to stay there. So yeah, it does - it galvanizes and it brings - it brings more people in, because when governments start attacking the Constitution, you know, that's always going to bring people.

OLBERMANN: Isn't it shocking, to realize how many people think that the Constitution is meant to be interpreted as it is written for things, like, say - protests - and how many people don't realize that there's been any kind of erosion about this. And we're not just talking about liberals or members of Occupy, but just anybody in the political equation who just sort of hangs around the edges is suddenly discovering - "Guess what's happened to your rights in the last 30 years."

KNIGHT: Oh right - it's been beautiful just to - just to even have that conversation started again and to have people really willing to stand up and come out. You know, we had people come out last night that hadn't been out before, you know, and we welcome them with open arms. They found out what they were about, and they're there to stand for something. And you know, just like I saw Michael Moore say earlier - in the clip that you played - they are not looking at "Dancing with the Stars" anymore. They see that - you know, democracy has to be fought for and you have to stand up for your Constitutional rights and people are finally willing to wake up to that fact again.

OLBERMANN: I understand one of your own students was present last night during that arrest. How have your students and their parents reacted to your involvement in Occupy Nashville and the movement?

KNIGHT: I mean - well, it's been heart warming to me. I told my students, before I went out there Thursday, that there was a good chance that I would be arrested, and I didn't want them to think I was doing something wrong if they heard that Mr. Knight has been arrested, you know.

And so, my student came out, and his parents were there and his father told me "Thank you for teaching my son to stand up for that what's right." That was fantastic to me. They stayed there right until the bitter end, you know. As we were sitting down, locking arms, the police started to come to get us - I see all three of them as they're walking away saying, "Thank you." And that's beautiful.

I went - after I got out this morning - I went to school, and I saw my kids, you know, they were watching me on LiveStream last night - a little too late, at 10:30, I told them "You need to be in bed and doing your homework" - but, you know, I was met - it was beautiful today. It was really fantastic to see those kids. Because - I try tell them all the time - that, in four years, they're going to be 18 and in this world. So, they kind of have to start realizing what's going on and they're not teaching that on the "Jersey Shore."

OLBERMANN: What - what happens next to Occupy Nashville, relative to Legislative Plaza and the rest of the protest?

KNIGHT: Well, you know - we're going to move forward, we're going to stay at Legislative Plaza. When we got released today, we marched right back up to the Legislative Plaza. And that's where we intend to stay. You know, Governor Bill Haslam has said that he will send out state troopers again tonight. And if he does that, we're prepared to be there.

OLBERMANN: Adam Knight, the 8th-grade teacher, member of Occupy Nashville. Indeed, teaching his students in a way that most teachers don't get a chance to, but perhaps should. Great thanks for your time, and for what you did. Take care.

KNIGHT: Hey, it's my pleasure Keith, thank you.

OLBERMANN: The Occupiers are, of course, comic to some on the right. How one of conservatism's most notorious fools has dismissed Sgt. Shamar Thomas - ahead here on "Countdown."


OLBERMANN: "Countdown" - the longest continuously running 8:00 PM program on cable news. Unless you think Fox is news. We're live weeknights at 8:00 PM Eastern, 5:00 Pacific. Our primary replays at 11:00 PM - 11:00 PM Eastern and Pacific. We call it "our little PowerPoint presentation."

The mayor of the 5th largest city on this continent calls 911 and swears at the dispatcher because a satirical TV news reporter in a big red ballroom gown managed to stake him out, outside his house, eh. Coming up.

First, the "Sanity Break." And on this date in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor, and opened to the public for the first time. Well, the first time there - the arm and torch had been in the country for a decade, while a disinterested government and public failed to pull enough money together to put it anywhere, except - for six years - in the middle of New York's Madison Square Park, where it was sometimes mistaken for an advertisement for a torch factory.

"Time Marches On!"

We begin with the age-old question, why did the chicken cross the road? Or rather, how did the chicken cross the road? The answer - on the back of a tortoise. Because if you're looking to get somewhere quickly, why not travel on the back of one of the slowest animals known to man? As far as that whole "Which came first, the chicken or the egg" thing, let's just say the egg was traveling via hare.

To the Internets, this stunt biker is showing off his cool wheelie trick. Pretty cool moves, and I'm sure the many fans gathered around watching agree. The only time this guy runs into his problem is when he has to ride his bike like a normal person. And, boom goes the dynamite - uh, that fence was like that when I got here, right?

Finally, we end - as we always did - do - with a giant arachnid made entirely out of balloons. This time-lapse video shows the construction of world-renowned balloon artist Adam Lee's latest creation. Made of nearly three thousand balloons, the world-record-setting art piece measures over 44 feet wide. If the balloons used to make the spider were stretched out end-to-end for some reason, it would measure nearly two and a half miles long. But really, who has the time to line up so many balloons, and what would the point be? When the piece was all finished, Mr. Lee attached it to his house, and he floated away, along with a Boy Scout and a talking dog.

"Time Marches On!"

It's a remake of "The Wild West." Speaking of boys in uniforms - you've seen this, right? World War II Evacuee costume? Bet you've wondered what everybody else has wondered - what the hell? We have procured an explanation. It is coming up in "Worst Persons."


OLBERMANN: Once again, the White House insists the President "fully understands" the frustration of the Occupy protesters. And yet his support has been tepid. And his willingness to even use the political energy it could give him, reluctant at best. Trick or - what the - yes, you're right, these are the worst Halloween costumes ever. Turns out there is a slight mitigation factor to the back story. It can be yours in "Worst Persons," next.


OLBERMANN: Occupy Wall Street - is any of it actually sinking in, at the White House? Next.

First - because sinking is all these next folks do - here are "Countdown's" top three nominees for today's "Worst Persons in the World."

Our bronze - to disgraced ex-TV host "Lonesome Rhodes" Beck. He's still on the radio, but his tone-deaf inhumanity has finally been shunted off to a subscription service, a switch that has cost him 90 percent of his viewers. Here's why. Beck decided to mock Shamar Thomas, the man in this famous Occupy Wall Street video, calling out the consciences of NYPD officers who were treating a peaceful protest like a terrorist attack. Who's wrong here? In Beck's drug-addled brain - of course it's Shamar Thomas.

(Excerpt from video clip) BECK: The guy who was like "There's no honor in this, these people are unarmed, there's no honor in this," and I'm watching that and I couldn't take it anymore, because the video shows this Marine yelling at the police "You gotta stop brutalizing, we're unarmed!" And the cops have their hands in their pockets. Hands in their pockets - they're like, "We know, we're standing here."

OLBERMANN: Just remember, 'cause you quit using drugs doesn't mean the brain goes back to what it was before you started using drugs.

To Mr. Beck, it does not matter that Shamar Thomas served this country in the Marines, in Iraq - as his father and mother and step-father and grandfather served this country - Shamar Thomas is a Marine, who's honorably discharged. He's actually seen brutality, not just opined about it from a basement studio. And to Glenn Beck, he's "a guy." So, to raise an old question - why does this fop, Glenn Beck, hate the troops?

Our runners-up? Wonderland Party, which makes Halloween costumes which are sold in England via Amazon UK.

Now, to be fair, British parents recently received a note that their young children need to be taught to empathize with other kids in different times in England's past, and the teachers thought that the best way for a five or six year old to empathize is to dress up as those kids. So, the schools have been holding days in which everybody dresses up as a London child during the Roman era - well, that's a sheet - or as a Victorian British kid, or as a World War II evacuee - when London and other major cities sent their kids to the countryside or even abroad during the German Blitz. Nevertheless - Worst. Halloween. Costume. Ever! And the price is 15 pounds! Oh wait, one more. Now again, to be fair, this is meant to be London 1940. Not occupied Poland 1939. But still. And the Velcro shoes completely ruin the historical effect.

But for our winner, we go international - Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto, the Canadian one.

The new Conservative executive has had a rough start, but never was it rougher than Monday.

There's a CBC Television comedy show called "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" and it featured a character played by actress Mary Walsh, called "Marg Delahunty." And, in the simpler, fewer-guns-drawn land to the north, "Marg" was able to come out of her retirement to ambush-interview the Mayor outside his house.

(Excerpt from video clip) MARY WALSH: Mayor Ford! It's me, Marg Delahunty! You know, I gave up all the old princess warrior stuff -

(Excerpt from video clip) ROB FORD: Can I go to my car please? May I go to my car please?

(Excerpt from video clip) WALSH: I came up to give you a hand, honey. Because I gave up the princess-warrior stuff, but when I saw what was happening to you -

(Excerpt from video clip) FORD: Whoa, can I get in my car?

(Excerpt from video clip) WALSH: Oh, Mayor Ford, please - I came all the way from Newfoundland to talk to yo, honey. One good thing about being stubborn though, Mayor Ford, is you always know what your gonna be thinking the next day. God love ya! Take care of yourself now. Didn't go that good, did it?

OLBERMANN: Well, a little crass, a little Stuttering John-ish, but what the hell.

When Mayor Ford got inside his house he called 911 and swore at the dispatcher because the police were not getting there fast enough - the police!

With a classic "If I offended anybody, I apologize" non-apology apology, Ford has released this statement, "When I made the 911 call, I was concerned and upset. I was repeatedly told police were arriving soon. In another call, I expressed frustration with the delay and said that I had to leave to go to City Hall. I did use the f-word at some point as I expressed my frustration with the situation. After being attacked in my driveway, I hope I can be excused for saying the f-word. I never called anyone any names. I apologize for expressing my frustration inappropriately." Concerned and upset by a fake news reporter in a red ballroom gown.

That, of course, is his version - it's bad and panicky and stupid enough. But CBC's very good news department quoted sources that indicate the Mayor's actual comment to the dispatcher was - well, the quote may actually be worse than this - but it appears he said at least the following, "Don't you effing know? I'm Rob effing Ford, the mayor of this city!"

Toronto's Rob Effing Ford, the mayor of this effing city - today's effing "Worst Person in the Effing World."


OLBERMANN: Tens thousands of Americans now raising their voices in protest, but it's still not clear how much anybody at the White House is listening to them.

In our number-one story in the "Countdown" - even as the administration sticks to its position that the president "hears the frustrations of the Occupy protesters," President Obama still giving no indication he actually supports them. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today even avoided giving a substantive response to reports of police brutality against protesters.

(Excerpt from video clip) JAY CARNEY: With regard to the situation in Oakland, this is a local law enforcement issue. I would note that the police are investigating that incident, so I didn't really have much more to say about that in particular.

OLBERMANN: Wow. Take a stance. Carney following that non-answer with another non-answer, saying - predictably - that the president understands Americans' frustrations and then claiming those frustrations are directed towards Congress.

(Excerpt from video clip) CARNEY: The frustration that is felt by the - demonstrated by - the people who are out there is something the president fully understands, and it goes to the heart of what we've been discussing today and what we've been discussing frequently here - about persistently high unemployment, about growth that's too slow and about the dysfunctionality of Congress - the fact that Congress won't take action.

OLBERMANN: The president has, of course, had trouble getting Congress to even look at the jobs plan, in seriousness. And this week he signed a series of jobs-related executive orders, including one to relieve student-loan debt. Those orders do seem to be in line with many of the protester's demands. But, in making these moves, the president made absolutely no mention of that when he signed them.

The only time the president has actually spoken about the Occupy movement was in an interview with ABC News 10 days ago when he said, no surprise, that he understands people's frustration, and - showing how little he, perhaps, actually understands it - he compared the movement to the tea party.

(Excerpt from video clip) BARACK OBAMA: What I've said is - is that I understand the frustrations that are being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the tea party.

OLBERMANN: Joining me now - Tim Dickinson, national political correspondent for Rolling Stone. Tim, thanks for your time tonight.

TIM DICKINSON: Good to be with you.

OLBERMANN: The president seems hesitant to indicate even the smallest amount of support for what seems to be something right in his wheelhouse - even politically. Is there an explanation for that - is there some sense that it's going to come at some point in the future?

DICKINSON: Well, I think that the Occupy Wall Street movement must have surprised the White House to some degree. Because, after all, this was the president who built his own movement and was elected on the back of it. He's put it on the shelf for several years and I think wanted to bring off the - bring it back into action to fight for his jobs bill - but people took to the streets on their own with a much more ambitious agenda, and don't seem to be that interested in his sort of worthy-but-insufficient jobs bill. They want jailed bankers, they want real government action.

And so - I think the White House is playing this cautiously, in part, because they don't quite know what to make of it yet. I don't think any of us really do know how large it's going to get, whether - where this thing brooks. But I think, in part, it's interesting. I think the initial response you heard there from the president - "This is a little like the tea party" - is, sort of, more-characteristic Obama on the one hand, on the other hand, "I'm going to play to the center."

But, this week we've really seen the president, sort of, move into the political space that this movement is - is starting to create. We're not talking about the deficit nearly as much, and we're actually talking about student debt and some issues that are important - housing crisis - the administration has far fumbled. So ...

OLBERMANN: Funny, though, that it's not - wasn't the president who moved us into that space. It was several tens of thousands of protesters. I want to reread the Jay Carney quote for a second, about Oakland:

"This is a local law-enforcement issue. I would note that the police are investigating the incident, so I don't really have much more to say about that in particular."

I flashed back, this afternoon, to two years ago and the Henry Lewis Gates story - the Harvard professor caught breaking into his own home. Now, you've got political protest with widespread public report - or support - of it and they're tossing it off - they can't say anything because it's a "local law-enforcement issue?" I mean - this has been going on for six weeks, the first violence was about five and a half weeks in and this is still something they think is radioactive politically?

DICKINSON: It's troubling and puzzling that the president can have such moral clarity about the protest in Tahrir Square - and their right of peaceful assembly - but, when it comes to people being tear-gassed in wheelchairs and shot in the head with tear-gas canisters and people gathering around a wounded woman to tend to her injuries getting flash-bang grenade - grenaded - that the president can't seem to, sort of, muster any moral outrage there.

So, I - it's puzzling. The president is obviously, I think, snakebit just by that Henry Lewis Gates' incident where he - I don't think he's going to want to have the entire OPD over for a beer summit.

OLBERMANN: But again, there is - there was something of a ratio there. He had waited six days before commenting on that - you know, they probably could have gotten all the information in place and done it in a much-more-diplomatic fashion then, clearly, he did. He's waited six weeks on this. The other part of it I don't understand, Tim, is - just for the political cover for the jobs bill - you would think he would throw these people a bone. Wouldn't he?

DICKINSON: Right? No, I think there's a danger that this movement splits off from Obama and doesn't back him. This is all - we're seeing all the strands of energy and excitement - all the anger and hope for change, apart from Obama. And I think in some ways it's a good thing the left is no longer domesticated as - as - it wasn't Henry Lewis Gates but another gentlemen said - so, I think there's a danger that they lose - they lose contact with this movement. And so, I think the president needs to follow them cautiously in a certain sense.

You know, this is too young a movement to get too far out in front of. There's some fringe elements involved. And he could end up looking silly. But I think he needs to be cautious not to lose contact with this movement.

OLBERMANN: As of tomorrow, they have a six-week lead on them. He's not going to get out in front of them. So what - ultimately, what will it take to get the president off his ass on Occupy?

DICKINSON: You know, honestly, I think it's going to take something like - one of these policemen taking off their helmet and putting down the tear-gas canister and getting on the other side of the barricade. I think that's when we're gonna start to see real change and movement on this - on this front. And, once this becomes a more broad-based and popular - not-so-readily-identified as a left movement, but a more mainstream movement.

OLBERMANN: Well, all right - but the likelihood that it gets more mainstream as opposed to going in the other direction seems to me to be small. So, is the conclusion here to be drawn that the president and the White House are just going to stand on the sidelines about this until the 2012 elections?

DICKINSON: You know I think - I don't think so. I think as the people lead, the president will follow. And I think we've seen some of that this week, even with these cautious steps in terms of his executive orders.

OLBERMANN: Was I living in another country, when it used to be the other way around? With the president - The president leading off, and the - or is that just, like, a pipe dream of mine?

DICKINSON: I think that may be a pipe dream - especially with this president. I think we know him well enough now that he's not the leader of a mass movement. He's a cautious centrist who wants to cater to mainstream, down-the-middle America.

OLBERMANN: Who was that guy who always used to rally his base? What was that guy's name - Bush. Oh, that's right. Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone Magazine. Thanks as ever Tim, have a good weekend.

DICKINSON: Thank you.

OLBERMANN: That's Countdown for this, the 297th day since the Republicans took control of the House - 297 days without them having passed one jobs bill of any kind. I'm Keith Olbermann. Good night and good luck.