The name of his prime-time cable news program isn’t “Lessons in Civility” — and for good reason, based on the latest antics of Current TV’s “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann.
While much of America’s political apparatus is engaged in an ugly fight over how Congress should proceed in raising the debt ceiling, Olbermann took time away from that particularly partisan fight for another one on his Wednesday show: why he and some others on the left have taken issue with New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s management of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Olbermann’s guest, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, protested King’s chairmanship, suggesting that he is intentionally targeting the Muslim community, inspiring a “toxic and ugly atmosphere,” particularly the tragedy in Norway last week involving gunman Anders Breivik.
“The fact is,” Ellison said, ”that demonization of the Muslim community in America and in Europe has led to some very unfortunate outcomes.
“Here’s the thing, Anders Breivik in his manifesto specifically mentioned American anti-Muslim activists as inspiration for his horrible work, which resulted in the loss of life for over 70 Norwegians. So this horrible, toxic rhetoric has very, very real consequences for people, and I hope that, you know, Chairman King begins to understand that he is contributing to a toxic and ugly atmosphere that has real consequences.”
That evoked a heartfelt response from the “Countdown” host about King — a military veteran and 10-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I’ll go further than that,” Olbermann said. “Congressman Peter King is un-American and, frankly, forgive the language — he’s an asshole.”