Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Olbermann: "You and I speak up."



Perhaps his finest commentary, ever.

18 comments:

RememberCharlemagne said...

Finest commentary ever???

How is MSNBC any better than Fox?

The greatest threat to our democracy is fear mongering from pseudo-news agencies like MSNBC and Fox. Olbermann and Beck are lovers.

Great stuff Roger

The New Albanian said...

No fear mongering here. Anti-mongering, buttressed with history.

Good night and good luck.

dan chandler said...

I enjoyed the video very much. Thank you for sharing, Roger.

bayernfan said...
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snittersnit said...

Been sharing this all around. Some think that his references to the Holocaust are unneeded and while well intentioned serve only to muddy the waters of the rabid bunch that won't look to see the true point. Unfortunately, I don't think that his vision is completely impossible to imagine.

RememberCharlemagne said...

Niemoller's testimonial warning is not hard to imagine especially when it happened to him.

Olbermann misunderstands even his own contextual use. "In quoting him I make no direct comparison...such a comparison is ludicrous."

Olbermann is right, it is ludicrous to make the comparison, and doing so is fear mongering, hyperbole, and injustice, which Olbermann goes right ahead and does.

America is no where near the social and economic environment that Weimar Germany was in, or even the Western World's economic environment at that time. One must understand this to understand the context. America is no closer to any historic environment that would indicate the beginnings of a doctorial takeover. If anything we have lost our democracy and we are living in an oligarchy.

MSNBC and Fox both play to a self serving audience that are playing to fears and doing more to harm our democracy than the objectors of the mosque.

Anit mongering, buttressed with history? More like MSNBC and Fox hypocrisy.

The New Albanian said...

From the perspective of argumentation, the Niemoller reference introduces the notion that people must speak up in the face of injustice. Olbermann thus announces the theme of his piece, which comes full circle in a stirring conclusion, when he says: You and I speak up.

How any of this is fear-mongering is somewhat difficult to grasp. Olbermann provides a vision of tolerance in the context of our own founding mythology, and explicates the true source of the fear-mongering (xenophobic and bigoted folks who, incidentally, mostly are Christians).

Saying "fear those people because they are Muslim" is quite different from saying "fear the perversion of the American ideal by those keen to exploit it politically."

In fact, waving the bloody shirt and balming all of the Muslim world for what happened on 9-11 is precisely what Niemoller was warning against; cowered, people who know better than this brand of incitement say nothing because it's easier to do so.

You're going to have to do better than that, RemCha.

dan chandler said...

I have no crystal ball so I can't tell whether or not the current Islamic center debate is the "first of a 1000 steps" towards more serious persecution of American Muslims. I suspect it is not.

However, I'm sure many never suspected German persecution of Jews in the 1920s would go as far as it did a decade or two later. I suspect you can never tell whether an act of hate speech or discrimination was the first step towards something far worse until you actually witness the something far worse.

Unless someone can convince me that it's possible to discern which future events will happen, I hope I will err on the side of caution, assuming that something far more unjust could eventually follow.

Yes, many times I'll claim slippery slope when there was no slip. I'd rather make than mistake 100 times than once find out otherwise at the bottom of the hill.

RememberCharlemagne said...

Olbermann’s contextual use of Niemoller’s statement is correctly used when warning against totalitarian rule and the reluctance of people to speak up, but Olbermann’s use compared to historic context is a grossly exaggerated use. This is the issue I’m making.

My earlier argument is sufficient enough to support my point, but for perspective argument, the French and Russian Revolutions also come to mind. Each nation had an infantile weak democratic government, great social, and economic unrest that was quickly exploited by their respective dictators, if you include Weimar Germany, that would be Napoleon, Lenin/Stalin, and Hitler. America is no where near these examples and in fact America’s political exchange is thriving. Olbermann’s use of Niemoller is clearly to fuel fear from the left to the right. To generalize, no one is saying that we need to detain Muslims across the nation, suspend the First Amendment, or commit any of the horrific events that took place prior to the examples given, but what is happening are gross overstatements by Fox politicos that are being picked up by MSNBC and spun back, in an ever increasing media propaganda campaign for self-serving viewers, and then being picked up by other news agencies as news. Roger you are falling victim to both channels propaganda. The only threat to our democracy is the erosion of objective news by hypocritical fear mongering pseudo news agencies like Fox and MSNBC.


“and explicates the true source of the fear-mongering (xenophobic and bigoted folks who, incidentally, mostly are Christians).”

Many people may profess Christianity but that doesn’t make them Christian or their actions representative of Christianity. What you just said makes you as bigoted as the people you are accusing correctly or incorrectly.

"In fact, waving the bloody shirt and balming all of the Muslim world for what happened on 9-11 is precisely what Niemoller was warning against; cowered, people who know better than this brand of incitement say nothing because it's easier to do so."

Did the bombs over Europe and the Pacific discriminate between Nazis and Imperialist with everyday people or was WWII only limited to the home nations of the respective ideology the allies were fighting?

RememberCharlemagne said...
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RememberCharlemagne said...
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RememberCharlemagne said...

Dan, knowing what to look out for is half the battle.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself or Fox and MSNBC.

dan chandler said...

We don't need to talk about German or French history because, along with much good, there are some pretty bad things in America's own past.

We've had slavery and Jim Crow against African-Americans, internment camps for Japanese-Americans, and genocide against Native Americans. Furthermore, misconceptions about Arabs made the 2003 invasion of Iraq possible, a war that had nothing to do with 9/11 or WMD.

I'm not confident that a similar mistake by America will never happen again.

RememberCharlemagne said...

Your exactly right Dan, all those things happened in America, and I would have thrown McCarthyism in there too, and yet, America has never came close to totalitarianism, which France, Russia, and Germany did, making them better examples. Knowing what happened to them helps put into context the exaggeration of Olbermann's commentary and Niemoller’s situation.

Yes, anything can happen and there are many more things America may not be proud about, but one thing it can be proud of, is its steadfastness to democracy. I have to throw in Washington and Cincinnatus.

Instead of listening to hypocritical, fear mongering, self serving MSNBC or Fox we should be listening and promoting news agencies that try to be more objective, thereby preventing the point you’re making Dan.

The New Albanian said...

It matters not where Olbermann's piece appeared. In fact, I watch none of the cable news channels and get my information from a variety of sources, print and Internet.

Olbermann's essay was well written, well argued, and damn well delivered. The content is what matters to me, not the background.

To say that America has never been totalitarian is to take no account of slavery or genocide against native Americans as viewed by THEM. Any other way of viewing it except from their perspective pales, in my view.

RememberCharlemagne said...

"Olbermann's essay was well written, well argued, and damn well delivered. The content is what matters to me, not the background."

But the background does matter. When we as citizens stop caring to understand “the background” will the demagogues exploit the content the way MSNBC and Fox does. This self-serving laziness leads to the fear that Dan and you are worried about, and makes Olbermann’s commentary poorly written, poorly delivered, and poorly argued, along with hypocritical, self-serving, and fear mongering.


"To say that America has never been totalitarian is to take no account of slavery or genocide against native Americans as viewed by THEM. Any other way of viewing it except from their perspective pales, in my view."

No Roger, to say that America was totalitarian against slaves and “native” Americans is wrong, viewed from any perspective, it takes away the responsibility and injustice that was wrong with the hypocrisy of our early founding. To figuratively imply totalitarianism would be too implying that American people where forced to go along with the hypocrisy commented by our “secular deist founders,” when in fact, these inhumane actions were voted on by the electorate body. Democracy’s outcome isn’t always good and slaves and first Americans new this well.

The New Albanian said...

We've made our points. We have returned to the starting point of disagreement. I doubt anyone still reading will be surprised by this outcome. As for me, I'd rather wage guerrilla warfare against the Bridges Project, which is to say -- I have nothing else to say.

Ciao

RememberCharlemagne said...

Thanks, I enjoy reading