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On the September 5 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News political analyst and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) the winner of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" award. Olbermann recognized the "disgraced former speaker of the House," as he put it, for "not only lying about finding 700 new weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but telling a TV audience that it's, quote, 'not an insult' to compare those who criticize the war in Iraq or even the president to the appeasers who enabled Hitler."
As Media Matters for America noted, Gingrich made his comments in response to a recent speech by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in which Rumsfeld "likened critics of the U.S. war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis," in the words of an August 29 Associated Press report.
From the September 5 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: That's ahead, but first, time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for "Worst Person in the World." Thank you, by the way, for pushing the book as high as No. 6 on the Amazon.com sales rankings over the weekend. And just because a buyer today was told there are only four copies left in stock there, that should not induce panic buying or hoarding. Well, all right. Hoard if you must.
First the nominees: Police in Tauranga in New Zealand, getting wide criticism for arresting 31-year-old Colin Smith for being a dangerous driver. He has no license; he has no arms. He was driving at 75 miles an hour, one foot on the pedals, the other on the steering wheel. But apparently he was really good at this. The charge has now been dropped. Not so for runner-up Omed Aziz of Oldbury in England's West Midlands. He, too, arrested for dangerous driving, wrong side of the road. Not that he could tell since he's blind -- lost his eyes in an explosion. Also partially deaf, and he has some leg tremors. Him, they convicted.
But our winner, Newt Gingrich. The disgraced former speaker of the House, not only lying about finding 700 new weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but telling a TV audience that it's, quote, "not an insult" to compare those who criticize the war in Iraq or even the president to the appeasers who enabled Hitler. I don't want to be an alarmist or anything, but I'm beginning to think the radical right has issued a new set of talking points. Newt Gingrich, today's "Worst Person in the World."