Olbermann and Letterman: Men of the People

October 31, 2011

Two extremely wealthy white American comedians, both who “earn” in excess of $10 million a year, gaggled recently on CBS’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” about the “two or three percent of the people [who] have all the money” in this country, while expressing their solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.

I’m talking, of course, about David Letterman and Keith Olbermann. Olbermann sometimes represents himself as also being in the news business, but, we know better.

The conversation started off with Letterman referring to Occupy Wall Street, saying, “I love this. I love people causing trouble...largely this is the only way we get change any more in this country. What do you know about the protesters?”

Olbermann replied: “One of the big criticisms is that there’s no set of demands. In other words, ‘we want the Fed deregulated’ [I believe he meant “regulated”], ‘we want, we want something changed, we want more ice cream.’ Whatever it is. They don’t have a list of—on the premise that—few people are acknowledging that there’s some sort of problem that needs to be investigated, and therefore, what they are saying is—nothing in the history of mankind has ever improved before somebody stood up and went ‘this is screwed up, we need to fix this.’ It’s not fair, it’s not what this country is about, that everybody, 2 or 3 percent of the people, have all the money and everybody else, their kids coming out of college with these loans that are actually mortgages on their own lives who can’t get a job. Never mind if you don’t go to college you can’t get a job. So they’re not, they’re articulating, I think, a sense that we need to change this, and we need to be proactive about it because the country’s for everybody, not just rich people.”

Got that? Let’s see. What problems need to be investigated? The Dodd-Frank legislation that governs banks today? The Obama SEC’s oversight of Wall Street? How about Obama’s fundraising success from Wall Street banks? What are they getting in return?

Two or three percent “have all the money…,” said Olbermann. Certainly these two clowns are in that two or three percent. They must be part of the problem, right?

Are student loan programs one of the problems that need to be investigated? There is no question that a huge problem today is the number of people graduating college who can’t find good jobs and are strapped with huge loans that they can’t escape even by declaring bankruptcy. Is Olbermann suggesting that the federal government should stop making loans to students? Or just stop requiring the borrowers to pay them back?

Olbermann said he would be “very suspicious if somebody…had all the answers already,” and he would be “very worried about where the answers came from.” Regarding a set of demands, perhaps Olbermann hasn’t seen the 99% Declaration, representing a significant voice of the movement, that calls for, among other demands: “Elimination of the Corporate State…Elimination of Private Contributions to Politicians…Student Loan Forgiveness…Immigration Reform...End Outsourcing…Foreclosure Moratorium…Abolish the Electoral College…Ending the War in Afghanistan.” There’s something Keith can go investigate.

Then came the obligatory mocking of the Tea Party. Letterman said that “in the beginning stages of the Tea Party they had difficulty coalescing their message as well,” (mockingly stating) “Well we want our country back.”

Olbermann said he went down to OWS in Lower Manhattan and walked through the crowd. Letterman said he’d be beaten if he went down there, but that he is “very sympathetic.”

He said, “They don’t like the idea that famous guys with dough are sucking up to them.”

Olbermann replied, “No, I think anybody who understands what the problem is, they don’t care how much dough you have. That’s one of the big misconceptions about it. It’s not an anti-money thing; it’s not even an anti-capitalism thing. It’s a ‘don’t, after you have capitalism, don’t let the people with all the money put their thumb on the scale and get all the benefits.’”

Their next target, of course, was Rush Limbaugh.


You know, here’s something that is polarizing and was meant to be polarizing. Rush Limbaugh referred to those people down there as human debris. How can you be a human and call people who are uncertain and in some cases been left out, how can you call them debris?


Well, I would consider the source on that, first off, because frankly, the man does know his human debris.


Well he had his house staff running to Guatemala to get painkillers. That’s not human debris?


That’s my point. That’s kind of my point. But, yeah, to, there, there’s, so far I’ve heard, this one just happened today, they’re an arm of some Muslim extremist group, OWS is that, they’re also anti-Semitic, and they’re also racist. Which means that they’re only in support of, I guess, people who are in the Tea Party. I mean that’s all that’s left, right? Anything that they say, somebody’s going to try to smear.

Letterman goes after Rush for personal foibles. How does that compare to Letterman cheating on his wife by having sex with members of his staff?

And does this mean that Olbermann doesn’t believe that a very significant anti-Semitic element exists in OWS? If not, he can check out these videos from OWS, here, here, and here, and there are lots more where those came from. Fortunately for Olbermann and Letterman, the mainstream media have no interest in raising these questions, or showing these videos. It messes with the narrative.

Watch the full video here.

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Copyright ©2011 Roger Aronoff

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.