Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s chief ranter, and Michael Musto, the oft-witty author and Village Voice columnist, had a fine time the other night, skewering Carrie Prejean, the controversial ex-Miss California.
Prejean is suing Miss USA pageant officials for “religious discrimination.” In her suit, she mentions, among other things, being held up to ridicule by Musto and Olbermann in the wake of “The Perez Hilton Incident.” You know: Hilton was a pageant judge (I’ll still never understand that!) and he asked Prejean what she thought of gay marriage. She said, politely, she didn’t believe in it. Perez then posted savagely on his website, calling her a bitch and a “dumb c***.”
After that, relations began to crumble between Prejean and pageant insiders, none of whom were happy with the ugly publicity. And, perhaps, they were unhappy with Miss Prejean’s answer. They said she was a diva, not living up to her commitment to be blonde and vapid and available. She said she was being persecuted for her beliefs. In the end, despite the initial support of Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant, Carrie was canned. She feels she was just too Christian for her own good. (Unlike Laura Ingraham, Carrie doesn’t feel the need to weld a crucifix to her chest to persuade us of her faith; she lets the light shine through her Maybelline.)
Olbermann and Musto, now named in a lawsuit, went to town on Prejean again – lots of childish schoolyard talk about her implants. Both avoided the fact that it was Perez Hilton – not Prejean – who turned her answer into an incident, and that she had never mentioned gay marriage, pro or con, prior to that fateful query. Do these guys really think it is OK, funny or correct to call a woman what Perez called Prejean just because she has a different opinion?
Of course, as soon as Perez attacked, Carrie was picked up as a martyr by the right wing, and she took to that role enthusiastically. (Hilton gave her a lemon and she turned it into an enormous vat full of intolerant conservative lemonade.)
If everybody had just let Carrie’s opinion, which she is entitled to have, cling to the vine and die, we wouldn’t still be talking about her. She wouldn’t be suing, she wouldn’t be writing a book, she wouldn’t be campaigning for Sarah Palin in 2012. And Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Musto wouldn’t have felt compelled to spend valuable air time “defending” themselves from an ex-beauty queen. It was very nasty viewing, this segment of “Countdown.”
Mr. wOw used to think Mr. Olbermann was the Bill O’Reilly of the left. But no more. In terms of ridiculous, over-dramatic presentation, Keith is vying to compete with that sobbing, paranoid Glenn Beck. It hardly matters that Mr. wOw is ideologically in step with Mr. Olbermann. His performances are increasingly unpalatable. Who cares if Keith is (mostly) correct when one cannot bear listening? Combined with the sputtering whoops, interruptions and high-decibel meanderings of Chris Matthews, MSNBC is down to Rachel Maddow for any watchable liberal discourse. When she’s not trying to be too, too cute, that is.