What About Stacey Abrams’ Concession Speech?

Watching Meet the Press usually manages to piss me off. But I do it anyway. Every Sunday morning, I reel up my DVR to watch Chuck Todd and his weird Caesar haircut to continue to advocate tirelessly for false equivocation. As thus it went today, as Todd was interviewing Sen. Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.

To be fair, Todd pressed Alexander pretty good regarding Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser’s recalcitrance to acknowledge the true result of the 2020 preznential election. Alexander’s position was that we’ll know for sure what the result was on Monday when the electors vote, and golly, I sure hope Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser “puts the country first” (he won’t), “takes pride in his considerable accomplishments” (whut?), and “congratulates the President-Elect and helps him get off to a good start” (fat chance).

It only took three minutes for Alexander to submit to a “what-about.”

Todd: All right, I don’t remember these same comments four years ago. On Hillary Clinton should get more time and all of this stuff. I mean do you see why it looks like a double standard?


Todd did some huminah huminah and said that he’s “not here to talk about Stacey Abrams.”

Well, let’s. Since Todd was unprepared with the facts, let’s clear the air on what Stacey Abrams did or did not do.

Abrams did not concede, and in fact has continued to question the legitimacy of the 2018 election process in Georgia. I don’t know where she might have gotten that wacky idea, considering that her opponent was Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. You know. The fella what runs the elections and voter registration.

On Nov. 18, Abrams spoke publicly, and she said: “I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

“But to watch an elected official—who claims to represent the people of this state, baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote—has been truly appalling. So, to be clear, this is not a speech of concession.

“Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede. But my assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy.”

Alexander is technically correct; Abrams did not concede. But the dude is splitting hairs. She did acknowledge the official result.

We will never get as much from the current Preznit.


“What we’ve done is we have managed to as a country consign reason to the sidelines. We don’t think anymore; we feel, and that’s a large part of the pandemic tragedy. ‘I don’t feel like wearing a mask,’ ‘I don’t feel like listening to a doctor,’ ‘I don’t feel like listening to experts.’ Well, we don’t really care. I mean, the purpose of the Enlightenment was that your thoughts and data and fact would at least have a chance against feelings, and emotions, and passions, and appetites, and ambitions. We’ve done pretty well for a long time with that, not great. What’s basically happened, I think, broadly, is that—a 1964 historian named Richard Hofstadter wrote an essay called “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” and it’s this recurrent suspicion that there is a larger conspiracy out there of unseen forces. Because people have a fundamental human need to believe that there are these secret forces that are arrayed against them. And every moment is Armageddon. Every moment is existential. And so therefore, compromise is not possible. And what’s happened is the paranoid style, which was the John Birchers in ’64 has widened to a huge swath of the country. And the big task for all of us, and I think it’s a task of citizenship, and talking to your neighbors, and just actually trying to say, look, there is such a thing as fact.”

—Historian Jon Meacham, on Real Time with Bill Maher, Nov. 20, 2020

Good Night, and Good Luck

I got the news about Keith Olbmerann’s firing today in a rogue Tweet on my iPhone as I was at my day job, which is actually more of a night job. I messaged the news to Papa Bonk. So incensed was I that I constructed the previous entry on my iPhone and blogged it on the spot.

All during break time. Of course.

But. I have been steaming about it ever since and could not wait to get back to my home office here and hit the release valve. Not that the news is surprising, as Olbmermann seems to have a penchant for getting fired, and as there have been recent news stories about his scuffles with his newly adopted network.

What a stupid mess. What a stupid, incompetent mess. Which is sad because when Al brought on Keith, it seemed a master stroke, a move meant and initiated to quantify and solidify a cable station with heretofore a rather nebulous broadcast identity.

I’d never heard of Current until they got Keith. Had you?

And the move would have been to build the station around Keith and Countdown, to give the man everything he wanted that you could possibly achieve, to take the stupid brown M&Ms out of the bowl. Keith had the gravitas and the method by which to anchor that whole entire cable network. And his show was good, better, some argue, than in his waning days at MSNBC. I always enjoyed it when I got to sit down to watch. The show wasn’t lacking in quality, and Keith was showing up for work.

So, what. Keith is prickly? Is that the problem?

DUH. How many news stories have been written about Keith Olbermann being a huge pain in the ass to work with? Ya didn’t know this when you dialed his number in the first place, Mister Vice Preznit?

I am annoyed because this little network was just showing signs of being a decent liberal media bastion, sort of like the old Air America effort. And, just like that failure, this one is making the unbelievable step of axing its most valuable asset, the property that should be its anchor programming.

Eliot Spitzer, by the way, is an insulting choice as a replacement. He’s not a broadcaster. He’s not even a radio broadcaster. The least ya’ll could do is put someone in the slot who’s actually been a broadcaster for a while. Cenk has a show with Current; Stephanie Miller has a show with Current; neither of them is a scintilla of the broadcaster Keith is (sorry, Mama), but at least they don’t look into the camera like it’s their first prom date.

Ooooh, I’m annoyed at this one. Just for his initial Special Comment about Rumsfeld’s fascistic statements about Iraq, Olbermann should be holding court as head altakaka at Al Gore’s stupid network.


Current TV: Firing Olbermann ‘Part of a Broad Strategy

Producers at Current TV say today’s firing of well-known and popular
liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann is part of a larger strategy: Irrelevance
and unwatchability.

Current insiders said Olbermann’s “Countdown” flew in the face of the
channel’s programming strategy, running long, drab shows about miserable
social issues halfway around the world, as well as programming showcasing
America’s drug trade, and bride trafficking. And “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“The big boss was becoming concerned that there was one hour per day when
people were actually watching the network,” said channel producer Lou
Grant. “There’d be meetings where Al [Gore] was like, what are we going to
do with this Olbermann and people actually watching us? The next thing you
know, we’ll be expected to sell advertising.”

Olbermann’s visibility also detracted from others of Current’s strategies:
To hire every former Air America Radio host to put them on TV while still
being annoying and unwatchable even to liberals who walk around frothing at
the mouth.

“Liberals were used to tuning in to Countdown for 8 p.m. for
years. It was a time-tested program with a guy who had consistently shown
that he could deliver the audience,” said another producer. “Liberals adore
Olbermann and remember him fondly as the lone broadcaster who first stood
up to the rogue tyranny of Don Rumsfeld and the Bush administration. Why in
hell would we want to have anything to do with that?”

President of the World

If you watch the same general news programming nightly that we do here at the imaginary think-tank Crack Whores for Good Government, you’ve seen the promos for the latest Chris Matthews joint, “President of the World,” a piece that looks like it’s going to be a flattering portrait of one William “J.J.” Jefferson Clinton.

It looks as if the special will tack toward focusing on Clinton’s post-presidency, which has, one must admit, elevated the art. Clinton works on global causes and strives to rise above meager politics on the ground, raising billions of dollars among NGOs annually.

As the current president might say, now, look. I adored the Clinton presidency, but I know that Clinton didn’t always do the right thing. And I’m not talking about the BJ; I could give a rat’s ass about that. I’m talking about “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER.” I’m talking about signing DOMA. I’m talking about free trade agreements. And so on, and so on, and so forth.

You can argue all you like about the policies perpetrated by that administration. But. There is one thing with which you cannot argue: Bill Clinton Is Awesome.

I’ve shaken the man’s hand. True story. He spoke at an event I attended for my day job a few years ago. I got to sit in the front row. It was awesome. When our executives were up on stage yentering it up, you can bet that every word was prompted on a screen. When Clinton spoke, friends, the prompter went dark. He spoke off the top of his head. And it was genuinely extemporaneous. He spoke specifically to our industry. Specifically. With numbers and examples as to how it fit in to the grander scheme of things. He was not just brilliant. He was brilliance. And only the most jaded, un-objective partisan would have thought otherwise.

Of course, immediately after, one of the most outspoken Republigoats on our staff spoke up and suggested otherwise. Said Clinton didn’t really have anything new to say. Said it was a pretty mediocre speech.

It was as if we were in different cities.

We have just suffered through yet another salvo in the considerable effort being made to to deify, rehabilitate, and appropriate the history of one Ronald Reagan. A hell of a fuck of a lot of work has gone into that effort. And it’s been quite necessary. Reagan was certainly not nearly this beloved when he exited his post.

Bill Clinton’s story has not required such an effort. It doesn’t need it. Clinton is as awesome as they would like Reagan to have been. He doesn’t need the whitewashing. We don’t need to chant his name throughout presidential debates, and we do not need to attempt to name every building, street, mountain and light pole after him. He is just is that damned good.

And right wangers, like my friend there, they hate that. They despise it. They hate it so much that it makes their teeth clench and the hockey-dad vein in their foreheads bulge purple. Bill Clinton is awesome. And right wangers despise this fact.

And that makes me very happy.

“President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon” airs on MSNBC at 10 p.m. Monday, February 21.

A Special Special Comment

For a long time, our man Keith did everything he could to wear out his signature bit, the “special comment.” I suspect that his handlers were impressed with the ratings they bore and egged him on, to the point where for a while he was making a nightly “quick comment.” Either at that point, or at the point where he dedicated an entire hour to a “special comment” on health care reform, or at the point where it was nearly successfully lampooned by Ben Afleck on Saturday Night Live, the thing really jumped the shark.

You’ve got to remember how awesome the original Special Comment was. We were in the throes of the stupidest war ever. And the Secretary of God-Damned Defense had just come out and said that anyone who disagreed with the administration’s stance on this stupid war was somehow um, morally or intellectually confused. Keith tore the living hell out of that, and a star was born.

Luckily, the K-Man has given the Special Comment a bit of a respite as of late, at least comparatively. That is the right move. That “Special Comment” logo should only be dragged out when you’ve written something truly inspiring about something that’s truly and legitimately pissed you off, brother. How to tell when that occurs? You’ll know it when you’ve written it.

Like last night. I was concerned when the man started by comparing this Shirley Sherrod thing to the Dreyfus Affair. But man what the hell happened after that was really something.

In case you missed it:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

He tears Fox “News” a new asshole of course, though he isn’t dishonest about the thing; he agrees that media in general failed on the Sherrod incident. He also rips into the White House, as they deserve. The killer is the ending, which I’m not giving away for you. It’s lovely.

And of course, Howard K. Kurtz is in the fucking Washington Post today inexplicably apologizing for Fox “News.” Kurtz claims that Fox “News” actually did its homework on this thing actually actually. Howie. Baby. We’ve seen the tape dude. Does Murdock sign your checks as well?

The Lawrence O'Donnell Show

A few years ago, this blogger had fairly accurately predicted within some proximity that Noted Lesbian Rachel Maddow would become a television star. Now it is with utter cheer that I can report that my prediction in that vein regarding one Lawrence O’Donnell were completely wrong.

I have always predicted that O’Donnell seems to be more of a jack-of-many-trades kind of guy. But now, as has just been breaking on The Huffington Post, we know that O’Donnell will indeed host his own television program at 10 p.m. on MSNBC.

O’Donnell is a POWERHOUSE of a broadcaster and a shrewd analyst. Watch him eviscerate Buchanan.

This is going to be TEH AWESOME.