Dear Jon to Dear Keith

[originally published in early 2010, recently edited and revised due to Keith Olbermann’s effective dismissal from MSNBC]

You may be (fill-in-the-blank-stare) to know that, with respect to your recent lampooning of Keith Olbermann, I have a difference of opinion with your perspective.

While it has certainly been true that Mr. Olbermann has flagrantly used hyperbole in describing the behavior and character of Washington politicians, lobbyists and other leaders from the political “right” in our country, I believe his hyperbolic statements were perfectly appropriate.  Under the present circumstances that continue to exist within the United States of America, not only is hyperbole warranted, but screaming in the public square at the top of one’s lungs is to be encouraged.  If hyperbole can accomplish this task, it should be used as Mr. Olbermann has been using it — in increasingly measured doses — until the desired impact is achieved. 

While reasonable people might agree or disagree with the objective behind Mr. Olbermann’s scurrilous use of hyperbole, the information I am about to provide to you is both clear and incontrovertible.  It was disturbing when I first wrote about it in early 2010, and it is disturbing even today.

I do take note not only of your reticence to engage in the discourse of outrage and insult, but also of Mr. Olbermann’s irresponsible retraction of his previous statements, their forcefulness, their sagacity and their eloquence — due in no small part to your taking him to task for working towards the achievement of a worthy and appropriate objective.

On January 27, 2010, approximately 34 minutes into this hearing, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy testified before Congress that the reason Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was granted a boarding pass to Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day, 2009, was because a member of the United States intelligence community asked that Mr. Abdulmutallab’s visa not be revoked. 

Mr. Kennedy then testified in a closed session the identity of the unnamed intelligence official to Representative Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Let me make this point even clearer to the rapier-witted satirist who has time to earn an exceedingly healthy standard of living lampooning modern political absurdity, but who seems bereft of the willingness to accept when there is no longer anything left to laugh about: a heavily armed terrorist intent on blowing up an American aircraft over Detroit, Michigan on Christmas Day, 2009, and killing the 288 innocent people on board that flight, was granted the privilege of a boarding pass by a single member of the US intelligence community after the State Department questioned Mr. Abdulmutallab’s safety to fly.

Since this January 27, 2010 testimony before Congress, the entire media echoplex and the whole United States government metroplex has persisted to cover-up, minimize, conspicuously ignore and even belittle the profound ramifications of the incident involving the “underwear bomber” from Nigeria.  Nowhere else could it have been made more clear that the government of the former United States of America will brazenly and maliciously plot to murder its own citizens, it will do so repeatedly until it accomplishes whatever objective a spectacular terrorist event might accomplish during the Presidency of America’s first African American president, embattled though he may be.

Try though one might, there is absolutely nothing left to laugh about in America.  Your critique of Mr. Olbermann’s appropriately histrionic tirades against the individuals in this country who should have been educated to know better than to behave in the manner that they have is made of equal parts cynicism and faux patriotism.  I have come to expect better from you, sir, and of Mr. Olbermann.

Alas, we stare blankly and sadly at Liberty’s fourth box because we know that once that Box of Pandora is opened, we will all be forced to admit that America 1.0 was murdered on September 11, 2001, and the tough business of creating America 2.0 must begin where General William Tecumseh Sherman left off.


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