CNN exec named Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" for Beck hireJanuary 18, 2006 10:04 AM EST ››› SAM GILL
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On the January 17 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named CNN News Group executive vice president Ken Jautz the day's "Worst Person in the World" for hiring right-wing radio personality Glenn Beck to host a program on CNN Headline News. Olbermann referred to a January 17 article in Variety (subscription required), in which Jautz described Beck as "cordial" and the show as "conversational, not confrontational." Olbermann then cited Beck's September 9, 2005, comment on The Glenn Beck Program: "And that's all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags. ... There's about 10 of them that are spoiling it for everybody." Along with that remark, Media Matters for America has previously documented some of Beck's other more "cordial" moments:
- On families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: "[T]his is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year." [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/9/05]
- Discussing disclosures from a caller who claimed to have tortured prisoners in U.S. custody: "I've got to tell you, I appreciate your service. ... Good for you. Good for -- I mean, good for you. Is it because you did it for the country? ... I have to tell you, when all is said and done, I'm glad people like you are on our side." [The Glenn Beck Program, 10/6/05]
- On killing filmmaker Michael Moore: ""I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it? ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong?" [The Glenn Beck Program, 10/6/05]
Beck joins another recent CNN hire, Bill Bennett, the conservative radio host who, in September, stated: "[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."
From the January 17 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: But the winner: Ken Jautz, the president of CNN Headline News. Today, he hired talk show host Glenn Beck to put his own prime-time show on TV. Jautz called Beck "cordial," added that his show was, quote, "conversational, not confrontational," unquote. I guess that's why last September, Beck said of all the Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans, quote, "The only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags. It is exactly like the 9-11 victims' families. There are about 10 of them that are spoiling it for everybody." That's cordial? Compared to who? Bill O'Reilly? Nancy Grace? Michael Savage? Ken Jautz of CNN Headline News -- today's "Worst Person in the World."