CNN's Reliable Sources cited Media Matters item in noting "nasty spat" between Olbermann and Gibson over Fox host's comment about those who "have to answer for following the wrong religion"

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CNN's Reliable Sources highlighted remarks by MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann, who defended his characterization of Fox News host John Gibson as the "Worst Person in the World." Olbermann gave the "award" to Gibson for his comment, first noted by Media Matters, that non-Christians were "following the wrong religion."

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On the January 1 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, host and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz highlighted remarks by Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown, who on the December 27 edition of his program defended his previous characterization of Fox News host John Gibson as the "Worst Person in the World." As Media Matters for America noted, Olbermann bestowed his daily "Worst Person" honors on Gibson on December 2, in recognition of Gibson's November 17 appearance (documented by Media Matters here) on Salem Radio Network's Janet Parshall's America, when Gibson suggested that non-Christians were "following the wrong religion." Gibson further said that non-Christians were "not going to have to answer to me [for following the wrong religion]. We know who they're going to have to answer to."

Kurtz described what he called "a nasty spat" between Olbermann and Gibson and played Media Matters' audio clip of Gibson's appearance on Janet Parshall's America, as well as a video clip from the December 23 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, in which Gibson asserted that Olbermann had "repeated a misquote to justify saying some truly disgusting things about me." Although an on-screen transcript of Gibson's radio comments cited Media Matters as the source of the audio clip and transcript, Kurtz attributed the clip and transcript to "the Media Bistro website." Media Bistro's TV Newser weblog also has covered the dispute between Olbermann and Gibson. Kurtz also played a video clip from the December 27 edition of Countdown, when Olbermann encouraged Gibson to "have the self-respect to acknowledge what he said and to leave the airways for good, because between the remark and the denial, he has sadly forfeited his right to stay here."

From the January 1 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

KURTZ: Checking now in the world of media news, MSNBC's Countdown host, Keith Olbermann, has gotten into a nasty spat with his former colleague John Gibson, now with Fox News. As noted by the Media Bistro website, Olbermann named Gibson one of his worst persons in the world, saying Gibson, quote, "revealed a very ugly side to himself while selling his new book about this phony-baloney war on Christmas."

Here's what Gibson said during the November radio interview:

GIBSON [clip]: If somebody is going to be -- have to answer for following the wrong religion, they're not going to have to answer to me. We know who they're going to have to answer to.

KURTZ: Olbermann read that quote on the air. And then last week, Gibson responded to Olbermann's blast by denying that he had said it.

GIBSON [clip]: One of my former colleagues repeated a misquote to justify saying some truly disgusting things about me. Condescendingly, he tisk-tisked that he used to like me. I frankly doubt it, otherwise why would he be so willing to believe trash?

KURTZ: Olbermann then escalated the battle, saying the audio clip proves Gibson made the remarks.

OLBERMANN [clip]: The audio clip is the definitive answer, and I would hope John would now have the self-respect to acknowledge what he said and to leave the airways for good, because between the remark and the denial, he has, sadly, forfeited his right to stay here.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John Gibson, Keith Olbermann
Show/Publication
Reliable Sources
Stories/Interests
Religion, War on Christmas, Separation of Church and State
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