In light of Current TV host Keith Olbermann’s firm and unconditional Tweet “‘No Occupy Rapes, No Cover-Up, No Apology, No Retraction,” it’s worth remembering that @KeithOlbermann actually suspended his own Twitter account in 2010 over allegations made by many — including liberal reporter Tommy Christopher — that Olbermman and Countdown guest Michael Moore had treated rapes allegations with levity.
On December 15th, 2010 Christopher reported on Mediaite;
Filmmaker Michael Moore is in hot water over comments he made during Tuesday night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. In discussing rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Moore appeared to dismiss the accusations as “hooey” (although he was actually referring to what he views as the use of the allegations as a pretext to silence Assange), and repeated the false claim that Assange is only accused of having a condom break during consensual sex.
Two days later, the controversy had spread due to Olbermann’s lies and arrogance. As Christopher and Mediaite reported on the 17th:
On Tuesday’s Countdown, host Keith Olbermann and guest Michael Moore sparked widespread outrage over their dismissive treatment of rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. An online protest ensued, and as Michael Moore ignored pleas for a correction, Olbermann tried to fend off criticism on Twitter. When he was unwilling to respond to legitimate questions regarding his handling of the allegations, Olbermann announced that he was quitting Twitter until the “frenzy” died down. If Sady Doyle, the woman who started the protest that forced him off Twitter, is any indication, he could be waiting a long time, and taking serious damage in the process.
It’s significant to note that Olbermann was being attacked largely by the left on this issue. Even Salon writer Sady Doyle flayed Olbermann’s lack of journalistic ethics and explained why it mattered:
People trust journalists: If a journalist says something, like “the term ‘rape’ in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom”(Olbermann’s own, demonstrably false, as-yet-unredacted words), most people will believe that what he has said is true, and act as if it is true, without doing further research. Because the job of a journalist is to tell people the truth, to give them all of the information they will reasonably need, and to redact and correct his statements if they are later proven wrong. Statements made by journalists, particularly those as prominent as Olbermann, have measurable impact on how people make decisions: MariahWestwind is basically quoting Keith Olbermann. There’s a rape investigation going on, and Mariah doesn’t know it. Because Mariah trusted Keith Olbermann to tell her the truth, and Keith Olbermann failed to honor that.
As Keith Olbermann dishonors the victims of rape and sexual assaults at Occupy, Olbermann’s new boss at Current TV — former U.S. Vice President Al Gore — would do well to remember how Olbermann is failing rape victims once again.
A reminder on the documented rapes and sexual assaults: