Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NY Post Sides with Terrorists

It was pretty crappy for the NY Post (a Rupert Murdoch paper) to insinuate that Keith Olbermann panicked about a harmless puff of powder. But I just heard Olbermann's side, and it's even worse than that.

First of all, the Post got some things wrong. Olbermann didn't panic, but called the police out of a sense of responsibility to others (I imagine in case others handling the mail had been exposed). Olbermann cooperated with protocol for dealing with potential biological contamination: he had a decontamination shower, his clothes were bagged, and his keys and wallet were melted. He didn't ask to be taken to the hospital after he found out it was just soap, he was cooperating with the protocol that he do so. And he had to stay there for ten hours though he wanted to leave, because they had to wait for the tests to clear him. By the way, the preliminary tests which the Post suggested were done right away took 6 hours, while the second tests took 10.

But more importantly, the Post exposed the FBI investigation into the terrorist threat (I don't think Olbermann was the only one to get the threat). At the end of the article the Post said Olbermann had no comment, as if he were embarrassed. Truthfully, he had no comment because the FBI asked him not to comment for the sake of the investigation, a Post reporter attempted to contact him by pretending to be a friend, and the Post did not contact Olbermann's employer.

Olbermann told about how, when the Fox journalists were kidnapped, other networks were called by Murdoch (or a representative) asking to keep the story on the down low, since they were told by authorities that the kidnappers were not aware they had ahold of someone of note. The other networks, including MSNBC, complied with that request quite willingly. As Olbermann said, if Fox or the Post were to make such a request again, MSNBC would still comply, as they are human beings who care about the security of their fellow human beings.

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