Thursday, May 29, 2008

Keith Olbermann: Off the Deep End of Moral Relativism

The few times that I've watched Keith Olbermann, I caught myself saying, "Hey, isn't this guy supposed to be a sports broadcaster, or something"?

is that, of course, but he's also turned out to be the Paul Krugman of the left-wing TV commentariat (my background reference is, "Paul Krugman's a Respected Economist in His Other Life").

I was thinking about Olberman this morning while reading Time's essay, "
Keith Olbermann Blows Last Remaining Gasket." The video at the entry is wild, and thus I agree with the argument that "... Olbermann is edging ever-closer to self-parody, or, worse, predictability."

But that was it - I had no plans to write anything about Olbermann's crazed anti-everything ramblings.

I changed my mind, however, after viewing another Olbermann video over at Robert Spencer's post, "
Keith Olbermann: Anti-Jihadists Are the "Equivalents of Jihadists":

Here's Spencer's commentary:

Recently Pamela Geller, Charles Johnson and Michelle Malkin pointed out that a new Dunkin' Donuts ad featured Rachael Ray wearing a Palestinian kaffiyeh.

What's wrong with that? People in the Middle East, including Arabic-speaking Christians, wore it long before the establishment of the State of Israel and the invention of the "Palestinian" nationality. But there is no doubt that it has become a symbol of the Palestinian jihad. Charles posts a piece explaining the kaffiyeh as a "symbol of resistance and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle." Michelle Malkin accordingly asks, "It’s just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing?"

Dunkin' Donuts pulled the ad, causing the company to be named "Worst Persons in the World" by Keith Olbermann. In the course of his fulmination in the video above (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist), he says this:

They pulled the ad? Because of the possibility of misperception? By the right-wing equivalents of jihadists -- the people in this country who most closely share the mentalities of the terrorists. Who act the most like Middle Eastern nutjobs. Who rail against diversity, try to murder dissent, and care more about flags than about people. You know, the Michelle Malkins of the world....How about the rest of us boycott Dunkin' Donuts, for giving in to fascists like Michelle Malkin? And for giving weight to perhaps the most absurd idea the lunatic fringers have ever belched forth: that there are terrorist scarves! Terrorist scarves!

This is another example of the witless moral equivalence that I devoted a book to refuting last year. It's just stupid rhetorical overheating, but it is worth noting because it distracts from the reality of the global jihad, and that keeps us from defending ourselves against it. If American conservatives really were the "equivalents of jihadists," Keith Olbermann's head would some time ago have been separated from his body. But the obverse is even worse: if jihadists are just like American conservatives, why, then they're just "nutjobs" who "rail against diversity" -- worthy of mockery, but not of serious concern.

And so meanwhile, they continue to advance.

Be sure to watch the video.

Related: Jason Pappas' must-read essay, "Islam and Our Denial."