- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (December 26, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140006676X
- ISBN-13: 978-1400066766
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In just two years, MSNBC host Olbermann (The Worst Person in the World) has become one of the most recognized critics of the George W. Bush administration. This book explains how and why Olbermann's televised special comments began, then reprints them from September 2005 through July 2007, with postcomment explanations. Before becoming a Bush administration critic, Olbermann had achieved fame as a sports commentator on the ESPN cable network. The genesis of commentator Olbermann as political celebrity makes it difficult to determine if he ought to be considered a fact-based journalist, but however Olbermann should be labeled journalistically, the commentary collected here demonstrates that he is a first-rate writer unafraid of expressing criticisms of most Republican decision makers and, on occasion, Democrats. Understanding from the start that Bush defenders would label the special comments unpatriotic, Olbermann decided to wear this label as a badge of honor and makes a persuasive argument that he is the upholder of traditional American values, while Bush and his colleagues are the transgressors. Olbermann's editorials are bound to stimulate and incite arguments as election season ratchets up. (Jan. 2)
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About the Author
Keith Olbermann is the host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. A veteran broadcaster, he was the co-anchor (with Dan Patrick) of ESPN’s SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997 and helped to launch ESPN2 and ESPN Radio Network. Olbermann is the recipient of numerous awards in radio and television broadcasting, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the events of 9/11. He has hosted prime-time news programs, moderated a debate between Democratic presidential candidates, anchored the World Series broadcast, and written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and Sports Illustrated. He co-hosts MSNBC’s election night coverage and NBC’s Football Night America.
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Top Customer Reviews
Diving into deep waters with some trepidation, Olbermann followed this initial video editorial with a series of comments over the last 3 years which are collected in this book. When read on the air, the pieces are more impacting than on the written page. However, they still are literate and hard-hitting. Olbermann speaks eloquently of the need for freedom of expression to slow the the descent into fear and unreason. He derides the assumption of absolute certainty and the absence of nuance in the statements of public officials, although sometimes accused of the former himself.
He is obviously not a fan of this administration. He asks of Donald Rumsfeld: "With what country has he confused the United tates of America?" He says Vice-President Cheney spreads "darkness, like some contagion of fear." His most pointed remarks, however, are reserved for the President. Negative characterizations by the author aside (and there are many of them), his most telling comments about the President concern the latter's lack of understanding of the need to protect the freedom of citizens to observe, judge and dissent from the government. In addressing the President directly, Olbermann charges: "The distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you." He argues that the administration's assault on freedoms "can do us as much damage as al-Qaeda." He echoes Attorney Joseph Welch from the Army/McCarthy hearings by asking of the President: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
In the end, the listener (or reader) will decide whose version of truth is more accurate in an often polarized political dialogue. Olbermann's Countdown ratings more than doubled in 2007 which shows that his voice is increasingly resonant. Even those who take issue with him, however, should agree that his right to use that voice reflects the most American of freedoms. And for those who have sought a strong alternative voice to that of the administration over the past 7 years, Olbermann certainly provides both a literate approach and a visceral defense of reason: "We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason," he predicts..."We are not descended from fearful men."
So Olbermann has done us the favor compiling twenty-four of these comments in book form. What sets them apart from other editorials is style and duration. He delivers them in the second person as though the subject of his wrath is no more than three feet away. His comments are puncuated with, "You, sir...." These verbal thrashings usually are at least five minutes in length. His style can be described as intense, with a touch of wit, and strangely polite while being blunt and emphatic. (To use the cliché that he pulls no punches would be an understatement).
What makes these comments even more popular is that they are profound, incisive, and perceptive. Olbermann has the knack of seeing through hypocrisy, and he displays a memory for facts and events that zeros in on his subject's contradictions e.g. "Mr. Bush claimed, `One hundred seventy-seven of the opposition party said, You know, we don't think we ought to be listening to conversations of terrorists.' The hell they did. One hundred seventy-seven Democrats opposed the president's seizure of another part of the Constitution."
You can imagine what it is like reading one hundred seventy-two pages of irreverence and cynicism.
In case you haven't guessed it, his targets include Cheney, Giuliani, Donald Rumsfeld, in addition to his favorite--George Bush. He strips them of their words, their arguments, and their allegations. Their pronouncements and claims are grist for the Olbermann mill.
This book is short in duration but long on insight. It is better suited for the train ride rather than the recliner. (It will be over too fast for the latter). It is also suited for the one who has been the subject of countless conservative finger-pointing.
My only regret about the book is that there wasn't enough of it.
The book is well written; Olbermann has an obvious gift for words and the writing is partly amusing, partly sarcastic and always deadly serious. I suppose the comments would be better if they were spoken, however there are some of us who do not get his television station (in my case because the cable company chose that station alone as the only news channel to be made a "premium channel") and these are comments that should be preserved and read again and again.
I doubt Olbermann's critics will take the time to read the book, which is a pity. This book will cause you to think, and whether or not you agree with the author, you will definitely look at the current political situation in a different light.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
on anything about America?????
He IS the problem with America. Not the solution.Read more