Skip to content

#MooreandMe, Day Two: Keith Olbermann, Internet Consciousness-Raising Tool

Oh, that Keith Olbermann. So adept with the Twitter, that one! For yesterday, he followed up “Keith Olbermann’s Late Night Tantrum About Anti-Rape Protesters” with “Keith Olbermann’s Tantrum About Anti-Rape Protesters 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.” And you know, I wouldn’t have believed it? But sure enough, just like Aliens, the sequel was EVEN BETTER than the first installment! Seeing as how it concluded with this one:

I will thus unblock all blocks, wish you all a Merry Christmas and I’ll suspend this account until this frenzy is stopped.

FRENZY!!!!!!! FRENZYYYYYYYYY. Oh, Keith Olbermann. Surely QUITTING TWITTER FOREVER because of an anti-rape protest will make this go away, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s going to draw more attention to you and the protest; it’s not like it will be REPORTED by Mediaite and the Huffington Post and the Washington Post and REUTERS, because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that celebrity Twitter freakouts hold absolutely no interest for the media or the general public. You can make this go away, Keith Olbermann. You’re a news man; you decide what the news is. You’re The Media, unlike that rabble of anti-rape protesters, or that no-good no-account nobody Sady DoylOHHHHHH, SHIT, SON! It would appear I have published an article on the subject! AT SALON!

Except that it wasn’t a frenzy. It was a protest. Olbermann had no problem with describing the notoriously unruly Anonymous as “online activists,” and yet, when online activists who happened to be feminists took issue with him, well… they’d gone FRENZIED! They were like sharks in the salty sea water of Twitter, thrashing and chomping at Keith Olbermann’s tender, online flesh!

They had reason to protest. One of the chief objections, from fans of Moore and Olbermann, is that Assange isn’t being charged with rape. “He was accused ONLY of consense.sex w/o a condom,” wrote Twitter user MariahWestwind. “u r all fucking retarded, really fucking dumb……….it was consensual sex and his condom broke which is a crime in sweden u fucking retards,” wrote a commenter on my blog, “Ralph,” who was sadly deleted. This is demonstrably wrong. It’s untrue. But Ralph, Mariah, and all the others have reason to believe it. Because they got the information from the news. They got it from Michael Moore. And they got it from Keith Olbermann.

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.

Perhaps you would like to read? Hmmmmm???

Meanwhile, Michael Moore has written a letter to THE ENTIRETY OF SWEDEN, and has yet to respond to the #MooreandMe hashtag. His take on the allegations, and his repeated misinformation and false statements regarding them?

I don’t pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I’ve heard in the media, so I’m as confused as the next person).

Except that he did. He did “pretend to know,” on Keith Olbermann’s show, and on the BBC. He pretended to know, TWICE, and what he pretended to know was that Assange wasn’t actually charged with raping anyone, which was false, that the charges were for consensual sex with a broken condom, which was false, and that he had every reason to believe that Assange was probably innocent, which, given that he now says he doesn’t know what actually happened, would appear to be false as well. Right now, he says that “all I know is what I’ve heard in the media.” Awww. He’s just an ordinary guy! Except that all of this started because he told us to “never, ever believe the ‘official story.’” He’s been calling out the “mainstream media,” for their supposed role in framing or “smearing” Assange, since Day One of this controversy. And now, “all he knows is what he reads in the media.”

Michael Moore IS the media. He and Keith Olbermann are fixtures and celebrities in the left-wing media; they have more power to make people hear their voices and opinions than most of us will ever have; they reach more people than most of us ever, ever will. Michael Moore doesn’t just “know what he reads in the media,” he CREATED and PARTICIPATED IN a left-wing media campaign of minimizing rape allegations and misrepresenting them to the public.

And I’m sorry if I’ve jumped to any unnecessary or wrong-headed conclusions in my efforts

That is not what you need to apologize for, dude. Trust me. It’s mostly just the spreading of flat-out inaccuracies in order to aid an extremely powerful, progressive accused rapist. And the rape culture.

We want an apology, we want an explanation (an honest one, this time), and we would really, really like $20,000 donated to an anti-rape organization such as RAINN or a state organization providing shelters or rape crisis assistance to women. We’re tweeting @MMFlint until it happens, using the hashtag #MooreandMe, for as long as it takes.

Or, he could just run away and refuse to respond. After all, it worked out so well for Keith Olbermann.

33 Comments

  1. Eileen wrote:

    Thank you Sady, you are awesome!

    It’s day three and I’m running out of ways to politely ask for dialogue in 125 characters or less. Every time I get fatigued I see you on though, and it energizes me.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  2. Kiri wrote:

    Loved that Salon article, Sady. Oh, and your Olbermann impressions crack me up.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  3. Sadbuttrue wrote:

    “Anti-Rape Protesters”: that’s not true. We are protesting the way rape allegations are discussed in the media. Calling that anti-rape protest implies that people who communicate badly about it are participating in the rape itself. They aren’t. They’re being insensitive jerks.

    A common theme in this discussion is that one can admire Assange’s efforts to share information while rebuking the sexual violence he may have done. I don’t think this is true, either. Either he is a rapist or he is a FOI hero. “Hero/rapist” doesn’t work for me, and the collision of those characterizations requires a better moral explanation than has been made so far.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  4. Josy wrote:

    May we be preserved from comment sections and the people who write in them. This whole debacle is showing which side most supposed progressives’ bread is buttered on. Yech.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  5. B. wrote:

    Oh my god, Sady Doyle, I want to buy you ALL OF THE DRINKS. The extremely public nature of Olbermann’s embarrassment has MADE MY WEEK.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  6. Level Best wrote:

    Wonderful, wonderful post, and I am now jetting off to read you at Salon! Cough up that $20,000 for RAINN, MM; you can damn well afford it.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  7. Sylphstorm wrote:

    You need to start a Facebook page for either you or Tiger Beatdown, so that people can give it the love it deserves on that public forum, and so that you can post quick updates there. Or something. Because I am *loving* this.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink
  8. [dave] wrote:

    Man, so many of the commenters at Salon are not clever and/or mean people.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  9. Andy wrote:

    I hope you have a fireplace, otherwise you won’t have anything to mount your massive Olberman head over.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  10. Ipinea Ksimpor wrote:

    I’m not from the US so haven’t really heard about Keith Olbermann until now. However, it is patently obvious that you ROCK, Sady.

    Also “Ralph, who was sadly deleted” made me LOL.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Sady wrote:

    @Sadbuttrue: Rape culture and rape apologism enable rape. Protesting rape culture and rape apologism is protesting rape. The media figures we’re protesting are engaging in rape apologism, and supporting rape culture. So we’re “anti-rape protesters.”

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  12. NomadiCat wrote:

    Oh shit, Sady, I just love you to shiny capslocked little bits.

    So reading this has got me thinking. I would love to see Michael Moore donate $20K to the anti-rape organization of his choice, and I think your idea to call for him to do so is spot on.

    But what if we did our own donation drive? For a nationally recognized org like RAINN? In Michael Moore’s name, like people did with Sarah Palin and Planned Parenthood awhile back? Times are tight, but maybe $5 here or there for those that can swing it, and those that can’t can boost the signal and encourage others to donate. We’ve got the “frenzy” and the media attention right now, maybe we can leverage it.

    Even better, I was just over at the RAINN website (https://donate.rainn.org/) to check out how they’re setup for online giving, and make my own donation, and they’ve got a notice that through Dec. 31st 2010, every gift will be MATCHED. So if we could get $10K, we’d end up with $20K.

    Whaddya say?

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  13. InfamousQBert wrote:

    sady, between this and the ripley post on the awl, i think we’ve proven that you are made of awesome sauce. thank you.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  14. topaz_grrl wrote:

    “I joined Twitter because Sady Doyle said it would be awesome.”

    “If Sady Doyle jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

    “Damn straight.”

    My first tweet: @MMFlint It is not progressive to belittle rape accusations or give excuses. I expect more from the Left; own up to your actions #mooreandme

    Thanks Sady!

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink
  15. JAT wrote:

    …and the Salon comments demonstrate all over again why I only read over there when you link your essays. Because whew, the condescension.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  16. MD wrote:

    Thank you Sady. I wrote a fb post about a really shitty article using Bayes’ Theorem to somehow show Assange couldn’t possible be a rapist, if anyone wants to read it.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/maria-devlin/rape-and-julian-assange-a-rant/483465338210

    Or if you just want to read the shitty article:
    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/a-bayesian-take-on-julian-assange/

    Thanks again. x

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  17. Meredith wrote:

    I second NomadiCat’s donation drive idea – waiting around for Moore might take awhile.

    Meanwhile, Sady, it’s my first time here (EW linked to you – no judgment, please!) and I am NEVER EVER leaving. You rock.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  18. bluebears wrote:

    Sady I just want to thank you for keeping up with this in the face of so much hatred.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  19. I’m so glad to see this happening, Sady, thanks for your work on this! I’d like to encourage people to also file “bug reports” on Michael Moore’s web site at

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/submit

    over the lack of an explanation for his statements, as well as a retraction and an apology on the front page of the site…

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
  20. I’m just so glad that you’ve done this. I wouldn’t have heard about any of this if it weren’t for you. Thank you thank you thank you.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  21. Deirdre wrote:

    I love this, and have posted a couple of times to Twitter about it already. But, while I hope it works? I’m also not all that convinced Moore is going to come out of his office and write a cheque.

    So, let’s say we do it for him. I just sent a donation to TRCC/MWAR, a local charity fighting against rape and offering women (of all races and biologies) resources and crisis assistance.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  22. Kathy wrote:

    “We want an apology, we want an explanation (an honest one, this time), and we would really, really like $20,000 donated to an anti-rape organization such as RAINN or a state organization providing shelters or rape crisis assistance to women. We’re tweeting @MMFlint until it happens, using the hashtag #MooreandMe, for as long as it takes.”

    This, a million time over. Or like Nomadicat said, a donation in Michael Moore’s name.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  23. Kiri wrote:

    Or like Nomadicat said, a donation in Michael Moore’s name.

    Fourthing (fifthing?) this idea!

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
  24. B. wrote:

    I didn’t know about the donation matching thing! Awesome. I sent them what cash I can spare.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  25. Craig Ranapia wrote:

    I’m loving the narrative that Olbermann was “driven” or “forced” off Twitter.

    From where I’m sitting, Olbermann executed his privilegedenyingdude flounce all on his own.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
  26. Sarah B wrote:

    Dude, I just read the first 100 Salon.com comments. I hope you didn’t. Thank you for fighting the good fight.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  27. GallingGalla wrote:

    Thank you again, Sady, for continuing to keep the pressure on Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, and other self-identified “progressives” and “leftists” who are anything but when it comes to rape. I’ve just added a few more tweets to the stream.

    Putting Tiger Beatdown on my feed now, cuz you rock, Sady!

    sadbuttrue @3:

    A common theme in this discussion is that one can admire Assange’s efforts to share information while rebuking the sexual violence he may have done. I don’t think this is true, either. Either he is a rapist or he is a FOI hero. “Hero/rapist” doesn’t work for me, and the collision of those characterizations requires a better moral explanation than has been made so far.

    The way I look at it is that the real work of wikileaks is being done by dozens or hundreds of volunteers setting up mirror sites and defending wikileaks itself against attack (whether in the media or directly against the site and its mirrors). Assange is no hero in my book.

    The hero in the wikileaks story is Bradley Manning, and I wish more media attention would be paid to him.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink
  28. smadin wrote:

    I don’t think this is true, either. Either he is a rapist or he is a FOI hero. “Hero/rapist” doesn’t work for me

    Uh, what?

    I feel like maybe it’s possible that your difficulties in coping with the idea that people are just people, not heroes or monsters, and that the same person who does good things in one context might do bad things in another is…not so much the rest of our problem? I mean, I encourage you to, you know, work on that. But I’m not sure this particular place is the right spot for you to be trying to talk out your issues on the subject of nuance and human complexity.

    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  29. Kate wrote:

    Sady, you are amazing. I am extremely impressed by the guts and determination you are showing.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink
  30. Wogglebug wrote:

    Sadbuttrue wrote:

    “Anti-Rape Protesters”: that’s not true. We are protesting the way rape allegations are discussed in the media. Calling that anti-rape protest implies that people who communicate badly about it are participating in the rape itself. They aren’t.

    SadButTrue, you have mistaken what’s going on. Moore and Olbermann are not “communicating badly”. They’re lying. They are lying to help a rapist escape justice. They are lying because they believe rape is not a crime and rapists should not be punished. They are pro-rape.

    That’s why people calling them to account for it, particularly including Sady, are anti-rape activists.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
  31. Sady wrote:

    @Wogglebug I appreciate you, but I have to say: They’re lying to help an ACCUSED rapist escape INVESTIGATION. Which is exactly as bad. Because it helps to spread the message that, if you like a man, he shouldn’t even be INVESTIGATED for rape, WHETHER OR NOT HE DID IT. Which is, essentially, saying that if you like a guy, he can rape women or not rape women, and it WON’T MATTER, he should STILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE INVESTIGATED OR TRIED FOR THE CRIME. He should be able to rape women and have immunity from investigation and his victims should have no legal recourse, if you like him.

    Whether or not Julian Assange raped anybody, that message is pro-rape. And that’s why we’re anti-rape activists.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  32. @Wogglebug I appreciate you, but I have to say: They’re lying to help an ACCUSED rapist escape INVESTIGATION. Which is exactly as bad. Because it helps to spread the message that, if you like a man, he shouldn’t even be INVESTIGATED for rape, WHETHER OR NOT HE DID IT. Which is, essentially, saying that if you like a guy, he can rape women or not rape women, and it WON’T MATTER, he should STILL NOT BE ABLE TO BE INVESTIGATED OR TRIED FOR THE CRIME. He should be able to rape women and have immunity from investigation and his victims should have no legal recourse, if you like him. Whether or not Julian Assange raped anybody, that message is pro-rape. And that’s why we’re anti-rape activists.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  33. Nona Mills wrote:

    I didn’t know about the donation matching thing! Awesome. I sent them what cash I can spare.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink