updated 6/8/2005 3:46:11 PM ET 2005-06-08T19:46:11

Downing Street memo
Jun. 8

I was disappointed in your interview with Jim Vandehei of the Washington Post.  It was pretty disingenuous of him to suggest the “Downing Street Memo” story is dying, when it has never been brought to life in the first place.  I think we're all bright enough to know the power of the media, and this story has been all but ignored by nearly everyone. 
Judy L. Dunstone

This story gets no play.  Worse yet, this lack of coverage is downright glaring in light of the Deep Throat story.  Certainly, if the memo is accurate, it would seem to be the type of “smoking gun” document that news organizations in the days of Watergate pursued with great vigor as representatives of the people’s right to know important facts about their government.  —Jeff Koppelmaa , Corte Madera, Calif.

I think that Senator Kerry needs to leave President Bush alone. He is doing a fantastic job.
Katrina Luse

Keith, my problem with the media's coverage of the Downing Street memo isn't John Kerry's fist pumping reaction.  It's about the fact that Bush is not required to respond.  W and Blair's subsequent shrug-off of the whole memo should be met with resistance from the press.  The memo came from the Sunday Times, not Liberal Oasis.  This memo should be the first story on every news program and on the front page of every daily throughout the U.S.
Adam Goldstein

Throat examination
Jun. 3

By nitpicking Felt's methods with the help of a disturbingly smug and well media-trained John Dean, you are feeding into the Republican spin on this story that the whistleblower and his possible team of helpers were unpatriotic criminals rather than the poor victimized Nixon Administration.  Yes — there had to be more this story than we've seen so far.

Please spend some of your valuable time and brainpower analyzing the impact of Watergate on our government and the critical role of the media — and anonymous source — in a free society. 
Lynne Turner

If Felt had gotten the job, he would have been loyal to Nixon.  This has nothing to do at all with preserving the presidency.  After all, Felt was in the middle of it all during the Johnson and Kennedy administrations and did not bother.
Peggy P., N.Y.

This man is a hero.  Why is it everyone always wants to blame the messenger, yet ignores the message? I imagine in the news to follow, people will make many claims:  he is a traitor, he is senile, has no credibility, etc.

But this man had the guts to reveal our constitutional rights were in jeopardy. There was criminal behavior going on at the highest level.   Mr. Felt should be commended. I am sure he was ambivalent about doing it, but saw the greater good in doing so.
Sherry Sharos, Ill.

The key phrase that I’ve heard over the past few days is that Felt was “Hoover Man.”  It’s always been said that Hoover knew everything about everybody in Washington. Why is everybody so surprised that he might have had agents unwittingly doing his footwork? Felt was in a position to deploy the agents and even after he resigned there were probably people in the Bureau doing him favors.

The new question is “Who in the White House was feeding information to Felt or his accomplices”? Could it be one of the indignant Republicans we’ve seen on TV the past couple of days?
Howard Mendelsohn       

Letter of resignation
May 25

Mr. Scott McClellan is not the problem. To level personal attacks toward others seems to show weakness in your argument. Newsweek is the problem. Newsweek ran a story one source that they didn't check out, the responsibility for that falls squarely at their feet.  The story did damage to our image, and what you fail to mention is our troops are in a already dangerous situation and that danger was increased by running the story.
Kevin Carr, Msgt USAF, (Ret)

This has been the typical “blaming the messenger”.  Newsweek did not render prisoners to other countries who tortured.  Newsweek did not abuse prisoners at Abu Graib and Guantanamo.  I am getting so sick of an inept administration blaming the media for not ignoring their bad behavior.  Thanks for standing up for poor Newsweek. 
—Sue Gonzales, San Diego, Calif.

I would like to see a blog dialog about responsibility and where and how it applies to news reporters/newspapers, especially, those news reporters/newspapers that endorse a certain party or candidate. It seems to me that some news reporters/papers have decided that they are the only ones who know the truth.
—Elijiah Brown

Beam up Scottie
May 17

Keith, Having appeared on your show several times, I wanted to give you a big pat on the ass.  Phenomenal piece dissecting the Bush Administration hypocrisy on the Newsweek scandal.  For a non-Jewish guy Bush has certainly taken Chutzpah to new heights.
Larry Johnson (Not the basketball player; I'm shorter, fatter, whiter, older but I did serve in the Counter Terrorism shop at State.  That's the U.S. Government's version of the Holiday Inn.)

Thanks for taking a stand on this important issue.  Newsweek should have neither retracted nor apologized for this story.  It has been reported on since 2002 in various publications worldwide, but I guess the "informed citizens" of this country are too enthralled with Michael Jackson and the Runaway Bridge to have noticed.
—Kim Tyndall, Valley Cottage, N.Y.

Newsweek blew it — they didn't need any help from the Administration.  Be careful or you'll start believing George Bush had something to do with JFK's assassination and the Warren Commission’s cover-up. 
Alan Peterson, San Diego, Calif.

Keith, could we collect some DNA from your spine and inject it into the members of our free and independent media?
—Dan Daley

Great column!  Absolutely on the mark — now, if Newsweek would just show some spine and stand behind their own reporting maybe we could move the conversation back where it belongs!
Peter Lopatin, Woodstock, Ill.

It is amazing how the media (TV, radio, and print) always comes to the support of each other when they have messed up.  Any other time they would be fierce competitors!
Sharon Bettes

I would love for Scott McClellan to resign.  I think that he subscribes to the "It's not a lie if you believe it" school of propaganda.  It's nice to hear good solid journalistic opinions from real professionals.
David Howard

Remembering and rebuilding
May 16

I agree — except, what about making one of the towers 229' 4" taller, instead? Then the answer to your question would always be "One is taller then the others — one inch taller for each person lost." I think the tribute should reach higher, not lower.
Brian Moore

I agree with you that the Freedom Tower design is a bit underwhelming.  But recreating the two WTC towers has a problem of a different sort: safety.  The construction method used when they were built — using floor trusses as a means of holding the building together — was shown to be the weak link.  If rebuilt using the same design, any bad fire, whether or not caused by a terrorist act, could cause another 9/11-type of disaster.  Safety codes have evolved since the 1970s, and especially since 2001.  I don't think I'd want to work in a building with known fatal design flaws, even if my office was in the lobby.
Rich Lynch

Amazing story and you tell it so well. I love when life throws these little "coincidences" at us. I am not a big believer in higher powers, in fact I am quite agnostic. But, when you read — or witness — something like this it really makes you wonder who is screwing with us.

Great story, Blog more I enjoy reading you musings. —Michael DeSimone

2,752 inches.  That gave me goosebumps.  —Jeremy, Sarasota, Fla.

I think your idea of rebuilding the twin towers with one tower 2,752 inches shorter is superb.  A true memorial, not an homage to trendy gaudiness.  Continue to beat the drum, and hopefully bend someone’s ear.  —Duane Wagner, Wilsonville, Ore.

I completely agree with you.  And I've been yaking that mantra from almost day one after they went down.  No one seems to want to listen.  I loved those old towers.  —Don Schmidt, La Jolla, Calif.

Bugged out bride
May 5

As someone who got married less than a year ago, I recognize Jennifer Wilbanks' wide-eyed expression. I'm pretty sure my eyes looked exactly the same after spending a couple hours in Crate & Barrel setting up a wedding registry with my (then) fiancee, and our registry was just a fraction of the size of Ms. Wilbanks'.  —Andy Sohn

As an internist, I see hyperthyroidism regularly and would agree that J. Wilbanks is hyperthyroid until proven otherwise.  In fact, two possibilities may exist which are based in medical fact.

One is a bride trying to lose weight prior to her wedding date taking exogenous thyroid in an attempt to increase metabolism and to lose weight.  Some weight loss pills have thyroid hormone extract as the primary component to accomplish this.  Eye findings, however, should not be apparent if this is the case.

Secondly, Graves' disease can cause eye findings and if severe enough, can lead to a condition called thyroid storm.   When thyroid levels are very high, psychosis is a common presenting sign.  I have seen this occur in normal healthy people that have sudden weight changes and psychotic symptoms.

I would love to see some discussion of this or at least look at the possibility of her medical condition as the cause of her decision-making.  I also noticed this by the now infamous picture of the "happy" bride (with her eye findings).  —Walter Morris III, MD, Pinehurst, N.C.

What ever happened to waiting 48 hours to report a missing person?  It’s the town’s own fault for rushing to judgment that she was abducted.  In no way should she have to pay for any of the expenses for the search.  Even if she did report that she was taken, no money was spent after that point.  —Jim Obernier

What's in a name
Apr. 25

Geez, Keith.....You just went over my catholic high school's freshmen and sophomore religion courses.  I had forgotten how strange some of our popes were throughout history.
Barbara, Miami, Fla.

Absolutely outstanding.  Hilarius, I might add. —Mike Fried, Woodmere, N.Y.

I heard that St. Benedict is "Patron of Europe". It might be a component of selecting the name. —Joseph David Young

I think Benedict might mean "well spoken" as in "bene dictum."  It certainly means this in Italian:  bene detto.
Bernard C. Rudegeair, Sugarloaf, Pa.

Red Sox and smoke experts
Apr. 20


Damn, why didn't I think of that for Red Sox tickets instead of selling my soul to the devil.
Brooke Garcia

I don't know if everything you said about Mr. Sabia is true, but it is funny in a little guy context.  Nobody got hurt, he got to see games and made a living at what could be described these days as a reality TV gimmick.  So don't be so hard on the guy, do we have to really play to the corporate rules all the time?  I wouldn't want my son to act that way, but I would respect the ingenuity nonetheless.
Georgette

We may have the makings of a whole new programming block for, oh, perhaps the folks at Fox. "The Guckert-Gannon News Hour" With Jeff G/G serving as his own co-anchor, Mark Sabia on the sports desk, and perhaps soon-to-be former Congressman Tom DeLay as the weatherman. (After all, he doesn't seem to recognize which way the wind is blowing.) Finally, a return to the old-fashioned entertainment we used to know: UNreality TV.
Niels, Bay St. Louis, Mo.

Regarding the smoke experts:  While I liked the scientific approach of your expert fire chief tonight, I was really, really hoping that you would have Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong as your smoke expert!!  (Father Guido Sarducci would not have been bad, either.)  Love your show, you are great.
William Sarbello, Schenectady, N.Y.

I watched your highly entertaining interview with the arson investigator of the San Diego Fire Department on black and white smoke during last night’s countdown — that’s good TV.  Thousands of good Catholics across the country are probably standing out in their backyards right now lighting oil and hay fires to feel like they’re a part of the conclave.  Luckily Countdown is on after many children are in bed, otherwise, I’m sure they’d be trying that trick with their friends now, too.
Joy C. Frank-Collins, Marietta, Ohio

Petey
Apr. 6

I have just read your piece about Peter Jennings. Thank you for "taking the high road" about saying something positive about a competitor in your industry!  I am saddened to see the remarks from other people in your article.  I'm sure Mr. Jennings could use a little positive reinforcement right now and your article would give him just that.
Brad Dinsmoor

Certainly Peter Jennings deserves your accolades.  I believe you are remiss in not mentioning his long history of smoking.  By doing so, you miss a moment to inform the millions of Americans who connect with Peter Jennings about this disease.  I believe he, too, should have shared this information with his public so that some good could have come from his tragedy.  Thanks for the Countdown.
Milena Danneker

Thanks for that well-done column about our favorite newsman.  For more than 15 years, I’ve watched his newscast with my children.  Sometimes I had to explain things I wish I could have shielded them from--but always I felt Petey (well, we did feel he was one of us) would give us food for thought and even-handed coverage. 

One night I felt he had badly dropped the ball, and fired off a letter.  Believe it or not, he phoned.  We were away on Spring Break; my flabbergasted husband got the message on our machine.  That's attention to detail!  So, it is with special sorrow that we see him struggle with disease and I appreciate the support for him that your words represent.
Elaine Walizer

I would like to thank you for, yet again, a solid description of a good anchor, Peter Jennings.  I work in the medical field and have spent time at an oncology clinic.  Lung cancer is harder than most to treat.  Hopefully, Mr. Jennings will  know that the vast majority of people wish him much success in his treatments.
Martina Bainbridge

I am a recent college graduate now working as a news producer at WEAU-TV, the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  While reading your blog on Peter Jennings, I got a glimpse of what a true professional you are even off air.  Many of my college professors told us horror stories about people they worked with and how Americans are more likely to trust a lawyer than a journalist.  Yet, looking around at the state of journalism today I feel that there is no shortage of good role models for young journalists, like myself, to look up to.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication to your work.  I
Kevin Pazdernik

From a truly professional perspective, well said!!
Stuart Braham

Remembering the Pope
Apr. 4

I would like to send my thanks to MSNBC, and particularly you, for the coverage provided late Friday night.  As a lapsed Catholic, four years ago I made the decision to leave the Church for the Presbyterian church of my father, and my wife. I now appreciate the Pope at arm's length.  You hit all the right notes in your coverage. Thank you.
Bob Shepherd, Kenmore, Wash.

Just wanted to thank you, I am a catholic that works with a large group of non-catholics. I was trying to find something to put on my door as a silent way or paying tribute to the pope. Your blog entry about the Pope said everything better then I ever could have.  Thank you.
Eddie Tallant, Schererville Ind.

I must admit, I am not in the habit of responding to the articles I see on the Internet. However, on this occassion, I felt so moved. As a Roman Catholic, I must say I was moved by your kind words about the Holy Father. In these days of church problems and devastating scandals, it was very nice to see something so positive.  From the bottom of my heart, I salute you Sir!!
Howard W.Carter

What kind words.  Reading those few paragraphs brought a smile to my face and peace to my heart. Thank you.
Suzanne Lindall

Well said and beautiful.
Sheila Stone

Brilliant!  The best, most moving epitaph of the Pope I have read all day.  Congratulations.  We will all mourn a very great influence on the 20th century.  
Rose

I wonder where Fox News got their information from, and reported erroneously that the Pope had passed away? Do you think they got the scoop from Randall Terry? In the past two weeks, Terry has been pretty accurate about when a person has died or not.
Anonymous

Case closed
Mar. 29

The Schiavo autopsy won't shut up the true believers.  There is always enough ambiguity to allow them to say the case isn't proven.  That's the trouble with trying to prove a negative — real life (and death) just isn't that neat and clear and definitive.  —David Nix, Tucson, Ariz.

I believe that the state of Florida requires an autopsy before someone can be cremated. Therefore, the possibility of evidence of a crime will not be destroyed before they either discover that a crime was committed or before the potential accused can cover up their crime. So, Mr. Schiavo is not doing anything on his own to prove his point.  —Ginger Cochran

Thank you for your objective presentation of the facts; I am so confused about what to believe at this point, it’s wonderful to hear the facts!  There are two discussion threads that I have not enough discussion about in the context of the Schiavo case:

  • The real tragedy is the psychological and medical condition that got her into trouble in 1990.  As I know from my daughter, an eating disorder is a longer term, deeper rooted, psychological condition that ends up with medical consequences.  (I wonder if Karen Carpenter could have followed Terri’s medical path?)
  • There’s also a bigger ethical question that I constantly wrestle with and it is the science of medicine versus the ethics of medicine.   Thank heaven that Ms. Schiavo has raised awareness about living wills.  But, I’m not sure the general public is aware how the science of medicine can create unbelievable scenarios, with respect to quality of life, that families are then left to navigate.  Too many times, I hear about the medical miracle, but the on-going story of the patient’s condition is untold.  —Richard Van Gelder

Oh, how we all wish that an autopsy will be so conclusive. My fear is that the radical right will find something, regardless of how irrelevant, to question which will morph into endless conspiracy and cover-up theories.  —Harold Thompson, Hillsborough, N.J.

If Terry Schiavo's 'permanent vegetative state' was caused by an eating disorder, that implies an image problem.  Wouldn't she be horrified to know that the entire world has seen her in almost the worst condition possible: a helpless 'vegetable' who cannot ask for the publicity wagon to stop rolling over her.  —S, Crystal Lake, Ill.

Hannity, puppets and predicting the future
Mar. 25

Big fan of your show. I watch it every night and enjoy the fact that I don't have to take a shower after watching "Countdown" like I do after I watch Bill O'Reilly or Hannity on Fox News.  Talk about a lot of crap!  That said, I gave up watching Fox News after the election.  I feel so much better!  Even so, Tuesday night I was flipping through the channels, and stumbled upon Hannity and Colmes doing their show from outside the Terri Schiavo’s hospice. 

Can you say lawsuit?  I would say Michael Schiavo would have grounds to sue a couple of "guests" on the Hannity program. These two female guests, who reportedly work in the hospital, were spewing all sorts of drivel about what a terrible person Michael Schiavo is.  Even my conservative co-worker (who's opinion I respect, just as he respects my liberal views) says he was stunned that this segment appeared on national cable television. He also agrees that Michael Schiavo should sue the two of them for all kinds of unsubstantiated allegations.

Thanks for the great job you do every night! Countdown rocks! 
Jim Berryman, Meriden, Conn.

Tour prognostication of Barry Bonds is right on target.  I applaud your prognostication skills. Could you predict for me?  Will I find some good employment soon? Also is there any chance my ex-wife Nancy and I could ever reconcile?  I foolishly am still in love with her, but am unwilling to contact her. Unlike a bitter Barry bonds, I have nothing to fall back on.  —J. Scott Heery

Is there any truth to the rumor that Sean Hannity is in a Persistent Vegetative State or do you think a 2nd opinion is needed?  —Rand Potter, San Mateo, Calif.

The Howard Beale takeoff was the best.  I spit up dinner laughing so hard.  I also went to the window preparing to shout, "I'm as mad as hell…”  Keith, you are the GREATEST!!!
Anonymous

No one in the media, that I've read or heard, has asked whether Michael Schiavo is grieving (perhaps it's because the sensation of this story reads better with quotes from Terri's parents and siblings). Thanks for asking Brian about his brother. My heart goes out to them. 
Shea Anderson, San Francisco, Calif.

We tuned in to see MJ Puppet Theater and were very disappointed to see the real thing.  Please don't lose the puppet theater!  —Carolyn Fetter, Hampton, N.H.

Don't fret Carolyn  If you, or anyone else, misses an episode of Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre , segments are available online at Countdown.msnbc.com.

Say it ain't so
Mar. 18

I love the articles you have written regarding the Congressional Hearings on the steroids in baseball.  I watched the entire session of testimony.  First, I am not a fan of Jose Canseco. In fact, I think he's a jerk, and I hate that he's getting the attention he wanted by writing this book. Second, in the past, I have had nothing but respect for the other players on the panel.  But that's changed. Their behavior in front of Congress made Jose Canseco look good. And that's hard to do!  —Peggy Argubright

I think these overpaid cry-babies should be tested and if they come up positive, should be thrown out of baseball forever.  Then they can get in line with Pete Rose and wait to get into the Hall of Fame.  —Dieter

In regard to Mark McGwire's testimony, I thought a particularly poignant statement came from a rather unexpected place: Howard Stern.  Stern seems to me at times to be something of a master psychologist, as evidenced by his great interviews and his ability to undress anything that he feels like seeing with less clothing, but nothing of a sports nut.  Stern's comment was basically that Mark McGwire was not crying for all of the kids that died from steroids, as all of the news reporters have seemed to claim, rather, he was crying for himself. 

Indeed, you have echoed much of the same sentiment in your article.  He was crying at being a self-perceived victim of a society or system that wants to take away his "deserved" place in baseball history.  Of all the accounts of the testimony from yesterday, whether they lied or not (and personally I believe that at least one, take a guess, probably was), I found his to be the most pathetic.  I'm not sure if McGwire is now basing his Hall of Fame bid on pity, but that is what it seems that he is looking for by crying and pulling the "why me?" act.  Your article reminded me of Stern's comment, and I thought I'd pass it on.  —Mike Ward

You are a journalist who works entirely too hard, which frankly, makes the rest of us look like hacks. You take a vacation from "Countdown" only to appear on "Hardball" in your usual time slot with more insight into the steroid issue than those who cover baseball on a daily basis. Someone with your wit and wisdom should either rest a bit more, or relinquish vacations entirely. (I recommend the latter.)  I look forward to your return next week.  —Carolynne Van Houten

Logo caps and the American dream
Mar. 15

Baseball has been amazingly stupid in the past and even more so today. That being said, why is Congress so interested that they need to have hearings? Baseball is a sport which people will choose to watch or not.

We are not stupid. Clearly steroids have been used for years. Fans still watched the games and paid untold sums for big hitter memorabilia. Drug use, if illegal, should be investigated by the police and if it crosses state lines the FBI. Bring players to trial for trafficking in illegal substances and send them to jail the same way you would a cocaine addict or wife beater (see Dwight Gooden for both).

If Congress is so fired up then they would act on the legal monopoly that is baseball. They are focusing on headlines and nothing more.  What are they actually planning to do with the information that they un-cover? Not unlike the “Quiz Show” scandal in the ‘50s, a few people will be fired but the show will go on.  —Stuart Benvenisty

MLB needs a commissioner. There hasn't been a strong and autonomous commissioner since Bowie Kuhn. Mr. Giamatti had some strength, but he was the last one.

Somewhere along the line, owners got the idea that it was all right to make the custodian of the game their representative to the players. They install one of their own and eradicate any credibility they had with the public.  The anti-trust exemption and Bud Selig need to ride off into the sunset together in order for this fan to have any respect for what was once my favorite game.  —Richard Eisenstein

It is not a good idea to use drugs, nor is it something we would want to encourage in the youth of the nation. But, let me understand the situation: The nation is at risk because a bunch of guys have used drugs to enhance their abilities in sports — sports the public pays big money to watch, buy logo caps, towels, jackets and underwear.  Now the public is shocked to discover that these guys are just naturally built like buildings?  It’s shocking.

Now there is an investigation. The investigating body is a bunch of congressmen who sped the bulk of their time soliciting money from special interests groups whom they oftentimes protect in opposition to the best interest of the electorate.  So, some guys to shake and wiggle on capital for the big bucks are investigating some guys to take steroids so they can make big bucks so they can sell tickets and logos for owners who give the investigators big bucks.....Wow , it’s the American way.  —R.L.F.

I would like to thank you for so eloquently saying what so many sports fans feel. I would go further and say that any player in any sport found to have used steroids should be banned for life.

Employees in virtually all industries now have to undergo drug testing at the time of hiring and many have to test periodically after hiring. If drugs are found in the blood stream, they are immediately fired. So should athletes.

I pumped iron for several years and after losing fat, started to gain weight back because muscle weighs more than fat...but not in my face. That always stayed lean. Looking at McGuire, Bonds, and Sosa is a joke during the last few years because their faces appeared ready to explode — a result of steroid use, I'll bet.

Bud Selig doesn't have the guts to call out the union and the union knows it. Unless or until Selig does, I hope Congress makes life hell for the owners and union alike.  —Bob Kuntz, Green Valley, Ariz.

You so hit the nail on the head, or rather the ball with the fat part of the bat, in your article on steroids in baseball and the absurdity of rescuing those involved from testifying.  I certainly empathize with those who wanted to realize their baseball dreams so badly, they gave in to using steroids to gain an advantage.  However, the consequences that they may not have even realized yet, and the consequences to these little leaguers who want to grow up and play baseball and actually one day get a shot, are just to great to let this continue.  —Jeanne Wright

Asterisk this
Mar. 9

Bravo, thanks for making the point that "twisting" facts is nothing new, and baseball will do whatever it "has to" to appear clean.  Nothing, however, will erase the remarkable summer of Sosa and McGuire.  Steroids may have cheapened the sport, but the amazing excitement that my family, even my kids, who do not share my love of sports, joined my wife and I to watch that wonderful show.

There is however one thing that may happen, someone may get a dose of reality and common sense, ban the players feats to make a really strong point that drugs will not be tolerated.  In England, a player for Chelsea football club was fired after he was found to have been using cocaine.  We are talking an international player, huge salary, fired.  When an American sports club has the guts to do that I will once again pay to see a sporting event, until then TV and sports magazines will suffice. Love your work, thanks.  —Peter S. Hyman, Dallas, TX

I always enjoy your stuff. So what about the thought of dividing MLB into eras for better records control. The exact divide point will be the toughest part to debate, and arbitrary to a great extent. But here's a thought:

  • Genesis Era: 1850 to 1883
  • National Era: 1884 to 1902
  • Golden Era (currently known as Modern Era): 1903 to 1960
  • Expansion Era: 1961 to 1984
  • Artificial Era: 1985 to 2003
  • Millennium II Era: 2004 to present

Traditionalist would hate it, but doesn't the recent Sisler hit record in 154-game season vs. Ichiro 162-game season spark the debate again? Records by era would solve a lot. Ryan and Koufax can be 1 and 2 respectively, as they should. And Ruth can have his single-season HR record back, as can the deserved Roger Maris. But most of all, Ruth and Aaron are protected from Barry Balco Bonds.  —Jeff Himmelright, Las Vegas, Nev.

I for one would like to see an asterisk — I want justice and I want it now.  As an American I am in an immediate gratification mode.  I don’t want to wait for history to deal with Barry Bonds.  Although I have never taken steroids in my life, I believe I have ‘roid rage.  —Joe Daly

Very interesting article about Bonds and drug use, but I fear your example doesn’t go far enough and, seemingly, understates the black veil he and other “users” have given to baseball.  The Kilroy example is poor, but the point is well taken.  The difference is that Bonds and others have used a substance that inflates their numbers.  Time and space can’t be altered…as.of yet…and accomplishments in other times, all other things being equal, should stand. 

But Bonds isn’t a bi-product of another time, he is the bi-product of a substance that enhances his ability to put up numbers.  In my eyes, that falsified records as if he took a pencil and wrote in whatever number he wanted.  He will never be the ballplayer that Ruth was, a man who drank himself into the ground, nothing performance enhancing about liquor that I can see.  I believe in the eyes of baseball fans, there will always be an asterisk next to his name.
Phil Mancusi

Bonds, McGuire & their ilk decided reaching for a pill was preferable to reaching for the stars.  I wonder if "Field of Dreams" would've been as compelling if the theme was "If you inject it they will come.”  —Ed Hardiman, Centreville, Va.

Prejudism and milk flying out the nose
Feb. 25

Keith, last two or so blogs you've done, I've noticed that you have commented on sending reply e-mails to some of your critics.  Is that what I have to do to get a reply to an e-mail, because I can pretend to be angry about SpongeBob, Dobson, or your Ohio election fraud reporting?  I'm feeling neglected because I've been watching you since before you got so popular (in fact, I'm going to take credit for at least a few of the people who have been added to the numbers that watch you, since I've told people they just absolutely must watch you, and like a disease, it spread exponentially.)

On another note, I still say you should collect all those hilarious e-mails from the Dobsonites into a book and give the profits from sale to a charity or something.  I'd buy it, and maybe it would keep you from getting spammed, or at least the quality of the future spamming might be more intelligent and well-written.  —Barbara

I'm Jewish, and I think we learned in Hebrew School that “prejudism” is the period of days from birth up until the moment that the moyel's scalpel begins its downward descent.  Or else it means your fly is open.  I forget which.

Bada bing!

P.S.  My 75-year-old Argentine-born mother absolutely loves your show, except she has a little trouble pronouncing your non-Gannonized last name.  Keith, she can manage.  It's not too late to change it, is it?  Ask JGJG if you're wavering in your decision.  —Mike S.

Regarding your distaste for writing on politics, what did you expect?  Anytime you facilitate the nut-job theories on your respectable show/blog, when these theories are disproved you are going to get flak from the nut-jobs you helped start these theories.  Responsible journalism suggests that you verify sources and events before you write them.  I know you probably didn't believe the crazy theories that were coming forth after the election, but by recognizing them, you gave them a certain amount of validity.  —John Faulkinberry, Houston, TX

I don't miss Countdown.  I believe you have introduced the most innovative means of reporting events of the day and shedding true light on our times. And the blog is just as impressive.  If CBS had an iota of creativity left, you'd be at the top of the list as Rather's replacement and the justification the old networks have been seeking to expand to an hour news program. 
Terry Young

I follow your blog with great interest and find it to be fair, honest and substantively accurate.  I, too, share your opinion of the news charade or opinion-and-agenda-substituted for-truth-and-substance over at Fox. Oh, for the day when Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity are finally revealed as the charlatans they are.  What has happened to the critical, investigative journalism that at one time existed in this country?  —Aubrey Brown, Campbell, Calif.

I make it a habit to take in your blog during lunch and, man, milk almost came flying out of my nose when I read the email comments you posted in your 2/22 entry.  High comedy.  Keep it coming.

And while we're on the subject of high comedy, what exactly is the genesis of media bias?  Can somebody explain that to me?  Is it a pandemic of rogue journalists hoodwinking their editors?  Is it a vast conspiracy?  Because according to some circles, there is this elitist cable headquartered in the Northeast that seeks to thrust upon the unsuspecting masses an uber-liberal agenda via sneakernet means such as a well-placed word or two in a news column or a provocative headline or, GASP, on the pages of the Op-Ed section. 

I find it ironic that FOX News, the child network of the very FOX network responsible for the conspiracy-driven show X-Files, beats the drums of liberal media bias the fiercest.  And now your poor emailers are guzzling that Kool-Aid faster than you can say "Jim Jones."  And I wonder why tabloids sell so well in the supermarket.  —B.Armstrong, Boston, Mass.

Not wild about saffron
Feb. 16

Lighten-up !!!  Fortunately, life has more to offer than your tirade about the ugliness of the saffron color. …..Well, maybe next time Christo will hit your preferred color scheme.  Some people may actually like it and find it innovative and fresh in the dreariness of February. So, you’ll just have to suffer through the next few days.  —Michaela

...about those damn ugly "gates"!  I don't live in NYC (Maryland, actually) but kept reading and hearing about this "art" and when I saw it online, I thought "YUCK!!!  I'm glad I live in a small town!"  —Carmen Reed

THANK YOU....THANK YOU.....THANK YOU.....

For seeing the reality of some "eccentric" wasting his (and probably our) money on these horrendous things.

The sad thing is that has done this before...since when is it okay to deface a natural  setting like that?  Where are all the tree-huggers now? Does that not affect some ecosystem...besides ours? 

Thankfully I live in Oregon, and I do not have to see that out of my window.  —I C Rosales

I'm with you.... this has to be the biggest waste of space ever. What's next: draping the trees with toilet paper and calling it Halloween?  —T. Stettler, Claysville, Pa.

You just don't get it at all!  I was there on Saturday morning, and I was absolutely joyful. The color is very dramatic and they look wonderful in this beautiful park.  And the color is nothing like the color of her hair.  —Jane Hall

Digging deep for 'Deep Throat'
Feb. 7

"How's Kissinger's health these days?  I've always felt that it was odd that one of the most likely suspects has never been the subject of speculation.  Think about it.

Kissinger was a known leaker, playing all sides of the fence. His sole requirement seemed to be that his own reputation not be sullied. His overriding interest was maintaining power - and he sure came out of Watergate in good shape, didn't he? As for motive, Watergate was playing hell with American foreign policy.

Other aspects fit the bill as well. Was there a deeper voice known to man? Okay, maybe Johnny Cash, but that's a real stretch. Was there ever a statesman who seemed to have more interest in promoting himself as some kind of libidinous Lothario ("Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac")? Was there any figure in government with more inside information or more interest in both gossip and useful knowledge?

Frankly, only the underground parking garage seems an unlikely fit. But couldn't it have been a fiction, or a metaphor?"  —Mark Klein, Los Angeles, Calif.

“ ‘Deep Throat’ is Herb Klein — it’s no secret.  He ordered the Watergate Burglary.  Klein was the person who brought in both MacGruder and Clawson, the White House aides who had foreknowledge of the burglaries, into the White House.

In All the President's Men, Woodward and Bernstein tell you who Deep Throat was by omitting Klein's name in their list of the presidents.”  —Ronn S. Pickard, Burbank, Calif.

“With all due respect, the greatest mystery of 20th Century American politics, and American politics of any century, and perhaps the greatest political mystery ever in world politics, is the question of who killed John F. Kennedy. 

The importance of Deep Throat's identity pales in comparison.”  —John Leader, Tucson, Ariz.

“What's all the hype about "Deep Throat"? It was Patrick Gray, then FBI Director.  I thought everyone know that.”  —Mel Fry, Dover, Ark.

Annoying laughs and conversing over coffee
Feb. 3

Well, you pushed me over the edge — I just had to go look at the Focus On the Family website and read the "real" truth on Spongedom.  I had no idea how influential a sponge could be.

I just wanted to thank you for being the kind of journalist who is not afraid to point to something and say it's not right.  It seems our government has been taken hostage by people with extremist and potentially dangerous ideas.  We (the non-oppressive spongers) rely on journalists to analyze and tell us what's going on.  It's been that way for me since Watergate and we need you now more than ever.

Thanks for the laugh.  I needed it.  Tell me, does my visit to FOF cancel out my visit to your blog?  —Becky LaBlanc-Willis, Lawrence, Ka.

Your unfairness to Dobson is typical media distortion.  It may be fun but it just adds to the discrediting of mainstream media. Dobson has never said or suggested Sponge Bob is gay.  He protests using characters like this to advance an agenda.  —Dave, Irvine, Calif.

These guys are a business, not a morality group.  They act not out of a  desire to do good, but out of a desire to control opinions — and enjoy the profits and advantages that come from controlling those opinions.  That they even got you talking about spirituality in defense of yourself is a victory on their part.  These kinds of people are, in my opinion, a plague on American society.

I enjoy your blog.  If this means anything to you, you're on my "Top Ten List" of people who I'd most like to have a conversation with over a cup of coffee someday.  —Connor Young

I have always been grateful for your thoughtful reporting. I'm just sorry that you felt it necessary use your faith and that of your producer to block the attacks of the Focus on the Family. I guess that times are even scarier than I thought.   —Kerri Anderson Corn, La Jolla, Calif.

I love your show and watch nearly every day.  But lately there's an annoying laugh (or laugh-track) in the background.  (No, not the Chris Matthews laugh introducing the Oddball segment.)  I vote it goes.  I hope it's not your producer.  —Jean S, N.Y. 

Spongebob, dude
Jan. 28

Hey Keith. I am in Iraq and I am sorry to hear that SpongeBob is the real axis of evil we should be concerned about. Just wanted to let you know we are packing up our equipment and redeploying to try to stomp out this threat to society.  I think this place can take care of itself over here for a while we look for that yellow absorbent terrorist! Keep up the good work.  Don't let them get you down!  —Dale, Sgt Dale E. Coleman, 1st Expeditionary Red Horse

Both the Bloggerman and Keith Olbermann should be mede aware of the beginnings of our country, one founded on Christian principles.  The founding fathers would turn over in their collective graves if they read the trash Mr. Olbermann is suggesting.  Shame on the both of you!!! —Zack Kennedy, San Diego

If you want to really have some fun...check out www.focusonthefamily.org, James Dobson's Website. He has a child's section with some frogs named Ribbit for kids to play with.  Unfortunately  the frogs are anatomically correct... with certain male portions prominently displayed. So perhaps one should pose the question to Dr. Dobson as to why is he so opposed to Spongebob when he has pornographic frogs on his childrens' website???  Perhaps he should focus on his own family??? You rock!!   Great show.  Keep it up. —Teddi Stearns

Jan. 27

It amazes me that the so-called religious right always has a way of seeing the worst in everything. Poor Spongebob — at least he has pants. Next they will be picking on Donald Duck for his lewd behavior walking around town.  —Toni Stettler

I previously wrote you through the Focus on the Family website.  I would like to correct a few of your accusations.  I did not send you a form letter.  It was written by me, not cut and pasted or written by anyone else.  Also, I did in fact watch your broadcast and read the transcript, including your follow-up.  I have viewed the video as well.

That being said, I stand by my defense of Dr. Dobson. The problem is not with the video itself, but the organization that created it.  I feel that by focusing on something as silly as SpongeBob, Dr. Dobson was misrepresented. The truth is much more complicated, but making Dr.Dobson look like a crazy fool against a cartoon character is much more entertaining.  Our country is in a moral crisis.  I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish.  —Melissa Covarrubias, Downs, Ill.

Dude, you're on vacation...put the cell phone and computer away!  —Glenn, Norfolk, Va.

I just wanted to say that I liked your article about the video and Spongebob. I am a Christian and I love Spongebob, I think he’s great. But apparently that is wrong in the eyes of a few, oh well. Dr. Dobson is a Christian who is way out there — very conservative.

I thought the video taught a good message. Its a subject that will be addressed in school, one way or another, so its better to have some way to discuss it.  They are kids, let them be kids and have fun. —Melody

I enjoyed your report on the ridiculous claims against the video made for kids. I agreed with each point you made.  It  left me wondering if perhaps they hadn't actually seen the video before they decided to make a national fool out of themselves.

I am a catholic raising three church-going little kids. I also believe that it is my job to teach them to be respectful of others, this includes all people — I guess even idiots like Dobson.  Keep up the good work.  —Cheryl Duffy, Conn.

Frozen canaries are falling
Jan. 20

I used to live in Washington and I think the inaugural canary catastrophe happened at the what is now the National Building Museum.  In the version I heard, the birds were actually released and only froze after they soared to the top of the building's huge atrium.  And then they dropped on the dancers.  I like this version better.  —Mary Colleen Heil, Lancaster, Pa.

How could you have forgotten to include Lincoln's second inaugural?  The Vice President, Andrew Johnson, got rip-roaring drunk and delivered an incomprehensible speech that confused and embarrassed everyone.  —Timothy J. Biggs

I'd say, use a prop-up of an ad-libbed Groucho Marx to deliver the news over at CBS.  Even though he's been dead for 20 years, people will still believe him before they will ever believe a CBS News anchor again.  —Anonymous

On the possible successor to Dan Rather, I vote for Stuart Little!!!  —Carolyn Miller

Did anyone really think that CBS would clean up its own act?  It used to be that the networks took their cues from the DNC; now it’s just the opposite.  What CBS reports on Wednesday, Terry McAuliffe will be parroting on Thursday.  Until ideology is revealed and admitted, nothing changes, regardless of what face is placed there as the reporter.  And if Katie Couric replaces Dan Rather, the cat will really be out of the bag.  —Joe Davis 

WOW! That was great tonight! Just the right amount of fluff and full of good, important news and history! Perfect! And yes, I'm skeptical of those poll results too.  Dude you rule!   Jon Stewart was my favorite — but now I'm torn.  —Amy, Jersey City, N.J.

Hazmat suits and semi-comatosed viewers
Jan. 12

"Lock up your loofahs and break out the hazmat suits!  O'Reilly said that he will attend the tsunami telethon after all."  —Tracey Miller

"I enjoy the O'Reilly Factor and am far from "comatose". Surely you can do better in your disagreements with Bill than resort to name-calling.

As for your rant about him commenting on the fund-raisers, Bill is at least performing a valuable public service by drawing attention to the fact that many fund-raisers are ineffective in channeling money.  What's your contribution to the issue?

As for being comatose, I'll happily go one-on-one with my cognitive powers against yours." 
Geoff MacPherson, Md.

"With all the outrage over Armstrong Williams' acceptance of money from the Bush Administration, I'm wondering why there's no similar outrage over the Bush Administration for giving money in the first place. To hold Williams accountable — but not the Bush Administration — seems like a complete double standard. The Bush Administration initiated the act, so their accountability seems even more relevant."  —Steven Hummel, Arlington Ma.

"I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with e-mails to this effect, but I’m going to go ahead and throw my two cents worth into the pot.  THANK YOU for taking Bill O’Reilly to task.  Over the past few years I’ve watched this guy’s ego swell to such proportions that I’m afraid the next natural “disaster” might be his head exploding during a fit of self absorbed delusion.  I don’t know what’s worse, the man’s arrogance or the audience that continues to tune in to the Factor night after night.  Keep up the good work." —Gordon D., Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Armstrong Williams had better hold on to that $240K with both hands; it doesn't sound like too much work's going to be coming his way for a while.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some conservative websites have received more government funding to spout pro-policy messages.  Just about anybody can grab a domain name and a semi-tame programmer and put content on the Web.   Keeping that content up to date is what takes time and money, and there are only so many well-funded conservatives who believe in the power of the internet.

I'm more disturbed that the propaganda effort extends beyond the net into broadcast media, that even a minor pundit like Williams should be for sale is disheartening.  I suspect in the weeks to come, we'll be reviewing the opinions that many journalist have espoused in recent years and wondering which positions were heartfelt and which were expedient." —Gina Goff

Hannukah tsunamis and electoral challenges
Jan. 6

"I live in Nairobi, Kenya about 500 km inland. But I was in Mombasa at the Kenyan coast on the beach during the Christmas holidays.  One person was killed here by the tsunami, this being 6,000 km away from the Sumatra/Indonesia epicenter.

Two things come to the fore; one is the hue and cry about the cost of setting up an advance sensing and warning infrastructure in Asia, the second are the amazing stories in your article about how localized seismologists in Canberra and West Sumatra were able to pick up the quake tremors and analyze them accordingly.

Given the distance the tsunami traveled — as far south as South Africa and as far north as Japan — then no one in any ocean rim is exempt from a repeat catastrophe.

My question; especially coming from Kenya, where our beaches are thronged by western tourists all year long; does it really have to take millions of dollars to set up an early warning system either nationally, regionally or internationally given your observations. Besides if the global fund is now at two billion U.S. dollars and could peak at three billion dollars, then why not deliberately set aside some funds for an initial system in the most risky areas?  Or do we need to lose another quarter of a million souls before we think of the same.

Once again, thank you for your very educative article."  —Kamau Ng'Ang'a, Nairobi, Kenya

"Ah yes, hindsight is 20/20 isn't it?  Thank God journalists aren’t responsible for making the news; only reporting it.   Somehow the bloggers should have put out the alert, there's enough of them and the www is everywhere."  —Michael Byers

"Why should anyone be surprised or shocked that human life takes a back seat to monetary considerations in a capitalist society? That kind of goes with the territory, and always has.

Americans should think carefully before criticizing other countries for failing to warn people about the tsunami threat. It's abundantly clear that putting profits before people is integral to the American way of life, so it would be the height of hypocrisy for us to knock others for doing what we do every day, within and outside our borders.

No matter how large our contribution to the relief effort and regardless of highly publicized incidents of six-year-olds breaking open piggy banks to help, it can't be denied that the mindset which produced so many avoidable fatalities is a cornerstone of the system we seek to impose on the world."  —John Bates

"Please stop calling it the "Christmas" tsunami. It's offensive. It's also inaccurate, since it happened on Dec. 26. If it happened on Dec. 9, would he be calling it the Hannukah tsunami?"
Karen Craft, a dedicated viewer (and former newspaper copy editor)

"Dear Mr Olbermann,

I saw your year-end show, and had no idea you were voted the sexiest newscaster by Playgirl.  I started watching your show after the November elections, so I missed that stunning highlight in your career.

If your producers linked Countdown to Playgirl’s website, isn’t that considered election tampering?  Maybe some PAC or lobbyist group working for Andy Rooney will issue an election challenge, and petition Playgirl subscribers to sign it.  You know how he gets when he’s grumpy.

Seriously, thank you for your great work covering the Ohio recounts, etc. and hope you’ll continue to cover the Electoral College challenge this week."  —Erin Medlicott, Ft. Lee, N.J.

An armless dog and misty eyes
Dec. 17

"You had a segment on an armless dog yesterday. Does anybody have any video of that dog taking a leak? Inquiring minds want to know how it does that."  —Phil

"Ask Conyers about his former aide who just got indicted!  I guess he knows something about some kind of fraud.  He is criticizing how Ohio managed the election yet can't run his own Congressional staff.

How many years in Congress? How many pieces of legislation did he spearhead and get passed? Even when the Democrats controlled things Conyers accomplished zip. He was never respected in his own party.

This doesn't lend credibility to your cause."  —Mike, Mich.

"Every year I have some special Christmas Memory.  Like a cookie or a movie.  Something sentimental and sweet.  This year it’s your story from the other night about the kids in the hospital talking to Santa on the computer.

I got all misty.  Nice work."  —Anonymous

"Conyers has 'Sour Grapes' syndrome. Bush won the popular and electoral vote. Bush won and Kerry lost. By continuing his "quest", Conyers only makes himself look like a fool. There are more important matters to deal with, and life should move on."  —JK

Large numbers, juiced players and Olberdude
Dec. 6

“I'm not too sure your comparison is fitting, given the current political landscape and the landscape of Reconstruction. The South had just lost the war, and was not going to rise up again. But now, 130 years later, things more resemble the run-up to the Civil War than the aftermath. Perhaps the people would remain complacent, or else Bush's second inauguration would spark widespread resistance. I suppose either outcome is likely.”  —T.J. Campsey

“Pete Rose was banned from baseball for betting on baseball (not betting against the Reds). The cheaters of steroid-gate should also be ineligible for consideration for induction into the “Hall”. A year suspension without pay would work wonders as well to discourage future would be drug abusers. These men cheated on the field of play. These acts directly changed the outcomes of many games.

My understanding is that HGH may also improve your eyesight, thus making hitting the baseball a little easier, especially for a man in his 40s. The Babe was juiced on alcohol. The Hammer made use of his natural abilities. Barry and the boys performed unnatural feats while under the influence of illegally obtained substances! It’s pitiful as baseball was in the midst of making a nation wide comeback.”  —Jimmy York, Louisville KY

"After 9/11, didn't the Mets and the Yankees all wear NYPD and NYFD caps instead of their regulation issue caps to honor those that died?  And didn't MLB decide (wisely) not to make an issue of this?

The NFL should be proud of Pat Tillman and look the other way on this one.   And maybe, it should donate any monies received on the sale of Tillman replica jerseys to a worthy cause — especially in light of the revelation that Tillman was probably killed by friendly fire." 
D.  Rosenbaum, Summit, NJ

“I heretofore decree unto my soul that Keith Olbermann is not a mirage in the desert of journalistic scrutiny, but rather an oasis.

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Politics and baseball. That gorgeous metaphor could go for days. You hit it out of the park, Olberdude.”  —Tami Hurley

“Votes are lost in every precinct in every city in every election — it's the Law of Large Numbers. But this stuff is random and balances out, from chads and lost ballots to every manner of problem. 

Technology is the only thing that will save the election process in America. Get with the program.” —Melvin N.

“Imagine that, a reporter willing to ask tough questions about very real problems in our election system. Working for MSNBC no less, with actual prime time access. You, sir, may restore some of the (long absent, if it ever existed) credibility of your corporate news operation. I can only hope. I have my doubts, but so far I'm mightily impressed. America needs it, and you are currently supplying it. For that you should be commended. Thank you, and good luck.” 
—Brad Mowrey, Iowa City, IA

From boxes to Bev. Harris, your responses...
Dec. 1

"No thoughts here, just an observation. You are the most enlightened and entertaining news person on the air today.  And I hope Monica whoops your ass on Friday."  —Dick Delp

"You and Bev Harris share the same goal of working for voting integrity. Only I think that you are working under greater constrictions by your company than Bev, which may bring you some unsettling thoughts about her style. Maybe you know how frustrated one gets after having people stonewall your efforts to investigate potential fraud.

Gandhi asked himself how will his work aid the poorest child in India. I think you could ask a similar question addressing the most disenfranchised voter in America. In this way Bev will remain your ally and most all misunderstandings or distrust will be avoided between your staff and hers. Keep your eye on the real target. And again, thank you for putting your work on the line for our democracy and for the integrity of our voting system. I'll be watching your future shows on TV." —Chris Reis

“Why don't the GLibs or Kerry's gaggle of lawyers serve Mss Bev Harris with papers ordering her to release what information she is withholding in regards to the national election.  Wouldn't that be a simple, and prudent thing to consider?"  —Thomas V. Craig

"Keith, you remain my hero, but what gives?  I read your blog bashing Bev Harris, then went to Black Box Voting and read her post.  Please ask her (again) to appear on the show and let us know the truth.  About your misunderstanding.  About Florida.  About the damn election.  It's only democracy we're talking.  Some of us want to see it around come late January.

I'm thinking maybe Keith Olbermann in a Kerry cabinet...in charge of truth in the media."  —Ted Kubiak, Stroudsburg, Pa

"Thank you for your thoughts on Bev Harris.  I agree with you.  Initially I thought that she would bring a focus to the issue of voter irregularities that needed to be discussed.  But she seems like a loose cannon and not a good person to be in the spot light.  I was amazed that after the election she had these really strange pictures on her web site.  I thought it was very unprofessional looking and it seemed like a joke."  —Gail Mauricette

"I think Bev Harris is performing an important public service. But if she is not playing the game in a way that fits with good journalistic standards, you are doing us all a service by keeping her on the straight and narrow.

Thanks for being a stand up guy. No matter where these stories go, you have earned my respect as a journalist with integrity. I love what you do on MSNBC, but I have heard that CBS and NBC need nightly news
Anchors…"  —Jim Wirt, San Diego, Calif.

"I've sometimes felt that the theatricality of Bev's proceedings have led some to mistrust her information. But this is truly a style verses substance issue, and the substance is simply there. After all, she's never been counter-sued. Guess why? Because she is buttoned up. So go ahead and have her on your show.  She's more than willing and I'm dying to see her in
action!

I applaud you for your work so far and trust that this glitch of
misunderstanding can be worked out for the good of all who are working
toward honest elections, both now and in the future. You and Bev Harris are two such leaders and I'm still in both your corners."  —Beverly (not Harris) McClain, New York, N.Y.

Move over Superman, Bloggermann is here
Nov. 23

I hope you realize you've become Clark Kent, the cult icon of Democratic oppression in the "liberal media".  I'm expecting someday during your nightly show, that you'll unbutton your dress-shirt and there will be the giant red ‘S’

We really appreciate you.  —Teresa

In response to your November 19 article regarding the “Kerry sighting”, I can only say this: Why on earth would you expect him to contact the media?  I’ve never paid much attention to the election process and I noticed how bias the media was in favor of Bush.  Fox, fair and balanced — that is laughable, but even the other channels didn’t give Kerry the airtime he deserved.  He couldn’t get a good sound-bite to save his life!  The media played a huge part in this election, and I have to say that I am extremely disappointed.

I thank you for being the only one willing to cover the story.  As Kerry said, regardless of the outcome, it’s unfortunate that we still don’t feel our votes count.  I hope you will visit us at the commongroundcommonsense.org forum and chat with us sometime.  You’re a hero there.  —Kim Ralph

The reason you get so many e-mails supporting your voter fraud theories is because the majority of your viewers are Democrats. Of course they'll support anything that keeps their dream of Kerry as president alive.  —David B. Hughes Sr., Newport, N.C.

I do not understand why there are so many sore losers. The punch cards where okay for what 30 years? Then all of a sudden there where hanging chads and a team of lawyers. Now Florida is using touch-screens and that’s not even good enough. I guess its only okay if the Democrats win.

I wonder what would have happened if we had re-counted Clinton. Or, if Republicans would have put up a stink like the Democrats. I guess I will in any election from now on that a Republican doesn't win.  —Sonda

Nov. 15

Bon Voyage
If you’re at a “secure, undisclosed location”, does that mean that you’re hanging with Dick Cheney?  —Anonymous

Vacationing, eh?  On the private Fox Island receiving your daily falafel treatments?  You know, vacation is code for “plastic surgery” or “Betty Ford” here in California.  On the East Coast, I hear it’s code for “having the cerebral microchips upgraded.”

On to the real question: How many rats have to desert the ship (or yacht) before it should be considered a sinking ship?  Or when does the number of people resigning from the Bush Administration become an indictment of the poor (frustrating, mind-numbing, ridiculous, Monarchical) way things have been handled and administrators’ desires to distance themselves from the past, present, and future fallout?

Have fun on vacation!  Remember to keep your falafel in a warm, dry place until you’re ready for the tzaziki sauce.  —Ian Branyon, Palm Springs, Calif.

I hope you’re enjoying your vacation, as well as your near-hero status of being one of the few and apparently the first TV person to discuss the voter fraud issue.  Thank you!  Please continue.  This information is crucial.  Paper ballots for all?  Also crucial.  Thanks again so much, Keith.  —Harry Hart-Browne

You definitely need some coaching in how to get away from it all and relax, but I thank you for keeping us well-informed even from your undisclosed location. I greatly appreciate your coverage of the voting problems. Do I wish the outcome had been reversed? Yes. Do I think it will be as a result of reviewing election irregularities? No, but since we’re exporting democracy around the world we ought to learn to do it right ourselves. A free press can be a handy thing to have for such a purpose.

So thank you for covering this subject so well and, in general, for providing a news show that doesn’t feel it has to be a clone of all the others.

Enjoy your vacation; we’ll be watching when you get back.  Unless, of course, you’ve really been fired.  —Susan Carey Dempsey, New York, N.Y.

As for the recount in Ohio, I am not getting my hopes up.  But what were the chances of four hurricanes hitting Florida in one summer? The Redsox coming back against the Yankees after being down three to none? The Pittsburgh Steelers taking a quarterback out of college turn him into the premier league quarterback in his first year?  You see where my head is…  —Marge Lowery, Bushnell Fla.

Hope you’re in Hawaii drinking a Mai Tai and downing a Mahi Mahi sandwich.  Missed your show Friday night, but glad to see you’re still in the investigative journalism business, (re: voting fraud and irregularities) as opposed to those who would dismiss the claims pouring in as tin foil folly.  By trivializing these concerns through assigning labels such as “conspiracy”, and by ridiculing those who seek the truth, the right wing truth suppressers are engaging in their standard modus operandi.  First they get mad, then they trivialize, then they make funny jokes about it, then the truth finally emerges, because we aren’t going away.  It seems like they would welcome a truth gathering investigation to prove once and for all their guy won legitimately.  At least a statistical approximation of the truth would satisfy us.  For goodness sake, our democracy is based on honest and fair elections!  —Resa Harrison

Nov. 11

Dogs that can balance a biscuit
My mom used to train our cocker spaniels to do that trick.  They were great at it.
But I am quite sure they were a lot brighter than Ann Coulter.  —Mary Anne Loughlin

A Letter to Ann Coulter
Dear Ms. Coulter,

Now that President Bush has won re-election, I would think that you, Rush Limbaugh, and your friends at Fox News would focus all of your attention on promoting the president's mandate of eliminating the surge of gay marriage, bringing prayer to public schools, and delivering more huge tax cuts to billionaires.  But it appears that you have made time to address the less important issue of the integrity of last week's election.

When Keith Olbermann of MSNBC picks up the story and attempts to investigate, as some would say a responsible reporter should do, you and your friends immediately and predictably pull out the Karl Rove playbook: (1) Pick out a very small part of the story that is questionable and use it to discredit the entire story and (2) smear the reputation and professionalism of the messenger.

The issue of democratic counties voting for Bush in Florida occupied less than a minute of Olbermann's 15-minute report on Monday.  The majority of the report time focused on the issues of voting machine reliability and malfunctions, extreme partisanship by certain election officials in Florida and Ohio, unexplained deviations from election law with respect to vote counting in certain Ohio counties, and voter disenfranchisement.  To me, and many other Americans, these are very important issues and go to the very core of the legitimacy of our democracy.  However, I can certainly understand why you would want to cut this investigation off at its knees before it even gets started.

Based on the response to these voting irregularity reports by many conservatives in the media, it seems like there is some fear of an investigation.  But if "there is no mystery, no scandal" as you say in your column, why do you fear an independent inquiry?  I would think that you'd want a GAO investigation to conclusively prove that George W. Bush won in a landslide.

The more I hear you and other Republicans slam Keith Olbermann for trying to investigate this story, the more I question the legitimacy of last week's election.  I love to hear Republicans, defenders of freedom and democracy, bash a news reporter for trying to investigate a legitimate story.  —Ira Pulverman, Lake Forest, Calif.

Comments on Canada, converting and conspiracy directed to Keith…

Keith, I think its time for you to move to Canada with all the other conspiracy nuts!  None of the internet rumors regarding fraud in the election have even an ounce of truth to them. All have been debunked! Face it, now its time to get on with you life.  —Tom

I appreciate your ongoing investigation.  I am still at a loss for why your program is the only one to truly take this seriously.  The fact that Ann Coulter made the comment that she did indicates that what you are doing is making people sit up and take notice and some in the right-wing feel threatened by it as it gains legitimacy beyond simply a “conspiracy theory,” so they must begin fighting back with spin to discharge as much credibility from it as they can.  Why anyone—Republican or Democrat—wouldn’t want to get to the bottom of voting irregularities is simply a mystery to me. 

I’ve now become an MSNBC watcher because of your program.  If CNN wants to continue to ignore the story, I’ll go to where they’re talking about something besides the 56-year-old mom who gave birth to twins and a play-by-play on Scott Peterson’s jury.  —Anonymous

God bless you, Mr. Olbermann! 

Who'd have ever thought that true investigative, non-partisan journalism was still alive in the "mainstream" press... and on MSNBC, no less.    The truth about any wrongdoing in our elections is extremely important.  Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, everyone should be concerned if someone has tried to undermine the democracy that we hold so dear and have sent thousands to their death to support.  Someone like Ann Coulter should be especially grateful of your reporting since this democracy has allowed her to continue spreading her, uh, "truth" without being put in prison.  —Anthony G., Toronto, ON

I thank you again for continuing to work on this story as it really is at the heart of our democracy.

I love how others frame this story: CONSPIRACY, TIN FOIL, etc. I can understand in some things how these are natural reactions, but this just happened a week or so ago and we have the ability to research it and talk about it and report on it.  Why would we not?
The outcome probably will end up being the same, but it will be nice to find out the truth, especially on this topic.  —George

Voter-gate 2004
Nov. 9

I loved the story on voting irregularity.  That is the kind of news that needs to be covered because it is us, the voter, the viewer, the taxpayer, that's voice is being stymied by these blatant and abhorrent corrupt acts.  I don't care which party did it; I just care that it be fixed and the actors be punished (severely). 

To those negative emailers: the common complaint among all news watchers is the news works for the politicians rather than serve as a watchdog on them.  When the watchdog actually strikes, you can't be angry that it struck your side and not the other.  If the Republicans stole this election, then those negative emailers should be more appalled and outraged over these alleged actions because their vote is more of a farce than a Democrat’s vote. —Joey Favata, Valpo, Indiana

It's very simple: there is ZERO harm in simply making sure we got the numbers right.  It's in both parties' interests to make certain nobody has been manipulating our votes.  Audit whenever and wherever possible, red and blue counties alike.  —Fred Maske, Glendale, Calif.

The essential element of our democracy is the integrity of our voting system.  That issue transcends whether Kerry won Ohio or not. 

Our government, as all school children learn and become proud of, is "of the people, by the people and for the people."  Whether or not you agree they should be there, our young men and women are facing death in Fallujah today ostensibly to fight for this principle.  At the heart of this principle, the one that becomes the sacred trust of our elected representatives and leaders is the integrity of our voice, our vote.  Our right to express ourselves is further enshrined in the very first of our ten rights in the seminal Bill of Rights.  Our entire experiment in democracy is founded on these key elements of our political philosophy.

If our basic voting system is flawed, our founding and constitutional principles are in danger.  And it is the press -- not the Government Accounting Office -- which is the beneficiary of our first amendment, that has the most responsibility to investigate, understand and to communicate to and educate the public about what is happening beyond our smaller individual horizons of daily life. 

We wonder what happened.  We need to know more.   We need to understand in ways that have not been made clear.  How do voting machines work?  How are votes tabulated?  Who manages this process?  If and how is it subject to manipulation?  Let's look at some specific examples of problems, as you are doing, and let's explore how widespread the problems were. —Christopher G. Oechsli, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

This story is very concerning.  Especially since we know Mr. Bush's first election was clouded in mystery and finally decided by the court.  We certainly know in 2000 the election officials were not interested in finding out the truth, only in preventing a recount, which by most investigations, namely The NY Times, concludes that if the entire state was recounted, Florida would have gone to Kerry. 

We need to get the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to investigate.  We may even need the U.N. to come in and be sure that we have fair voting.  Congress should appoint an independent commission to report on voter fraud, and if there is evidence, the election should be voided, and God help us, a new election must occur.

One system of voting must in place across the country, with non- partisan officials in charge of the election, with no vested interest in the outcome. All machines must have a checkable, verifiable vote tally, with a trail, -with evidence for tampering.  Our elections should be impeccable and not open to question. —Howard Grodman

Kerry's concession could have been based on erroneous data. Given all the inconsistencies and suspected voter fraud, why doesn't the Kerry camp, the Democratic Party, or just concerned citizens demand verification of the Florida and Ohio vote counts?

I think it only fair that if fraud did determine the election, then the
situation needs to be corrected; if Kerry did win the electoral vote, then he needs to be declared the winner. If results cannot be confirmed, then the election should be declared invalid.  —Donald L. Barker

Statistically, it is impossible that the vote could have swung so suddenly from Kerry (in the exit polls) to Bush (in the actual count). The only possible explanations appear to be: 1). lots of people lied to the exit poll takers, or 2). There was fraud.  Motives for lying to the polltakers just aren't there.  I believe the Republicans stole the election.  —Roger Guettinger, Barcelona, Spain

Thanks for your column about the high potential that Florida and Ohio were subject to massive hacking/electoral fraud. It's hard to really know what happened in other parts of the country - in NYC where I live, the election results definitely fell into line with the conventional wisdom of the streets. But it seems like the growing information about votes exceeding registered voters and huge discrepancies between party registration and voting results point to a need for greater examination.  —Bill Bragin

I feel a sense of joy that you are at least looking into this situation. I would like to believe that George W. Bush legitimately won the election not because I voted for him, but because I am starting to lose faith that I actually live in a democracy. After the last election when the Supreme Court decided the election on the basis of which party appointed them, I felt the rug slipping.  —Nina Grossman Warner

They'll help Mackris with her bills too!
Oct. 25

My guess would be that if you started a fundraiser (such as the old PTL shows), and maybe got Jim Baker to run the program, you could surpass the 4 million that would be needed to save the tapes.  (Of course, the program would have to raise 8 million plus to actually get the 4 million to the right person)  I'd be willing to contribute just to see the old guy suffer his own slings and arrows. —William Millhollin

Is this a serious proposal?  If it is, I'll chip in $1000 provided that we also get the copyright.  In fact, I pay more, much more if we could also arrange to buy commercial time on the "O'Reilly Factor" to broadcast the choice bits on a continuous loop.  Let me know. —Mitch Guthman

Love the column… Where do I send my money? Maybe MediaMatter.org could sponsor a "Save the Tapes" foundation.  How much you want to bet in no time we would have the money?
Sue Wargo, Thompson, Conn.

As usual Keith is fabulous. I love the blog and the show. Thank you MSNBC for giving us 'Countdown'  Bloggermann will you marry me? —Anonymous

Keith, whatever you do, do not give this hypocrite a break. Ask him to come on your show to tell his side of the story.  Better yet start a bidding war, tells this young lady to put the tapes on eBay! To hell with 4 million!  I’d bet they’d go for a whole lot more! Sweet bidding. —Keith S., Pittsburgh, PA

I agree with your blog - I, too, would contribute to a "Save The Tapes Mackris Fund."
What made me LOL on your blog was the loss of a potential dance-mix version of O'Reilly talking about loofahs and falafels.  That was brilliant, and will be dutifully circulated among my coworkers Monday morning. Thanks! —Jan Young, Saugus, Calif.

Mr. Olbermann, My guess is that Larry Flynt would double any offer made by O'Reilly/Fox in order to publish the transcripts of the tapes in one of his mags.  Heck, if he doesn't why not starts a pledge drive.  I'll pledge my 25 bucks right now to the "Save the Tapes!" drive. —Jan N

Would $100 help defray the costs of your $99,000 tab?  I'd love to do more, but this is all I manage at this point (the Bush tax cuts have not seemed to have affected me, and I'm on track for $90-100,000 this year--go figure!). I had something happen to me at CBS back in the mid-80's, and while I don't agree with the way Andrea has handled things, the way I handled things left me with neither a job NOR a settlement!  You GO GIRL!  And many kudos to you, Keith, for seeing through the News Corp/Post distractions!!! PayPal or check online...let me know if you have a PayPal account, and the account #, or the address to which Citibank should mail the check.  I could help raise a few hundred $ or so to defray your most generous offer, if Andrea, if fact, needs it (student loans should not be counted in overall debt...hers may even be deferred at this point, who knows?). —Susan P.

Dear Keith, Excellent work, as usual.  If you would like to start at Blogathon or something to collect money to save the Mackris tapes, you can count on me! The power and resources of concerned Americans has to outweigh whatever Rupert Murdoch can offer.  And how much does she need?  I am good for at least $100, maybe more depending on the situation.  If enough people kick in, we can save history and torpedo a jerk at the same time.  Let's see what happens? Have a great week! —Joe Fraser, Bloomington, Minn.

I'll add $99.00!  Thanks. —Daniel Van Brunt

I urge all Americans to send their checks and money orders to Save the Tapes Foundation, c/o Count Down, MSNBC.com.  I'll even do the 501(c)(3) application so the donations are tax deductible.  I believe we can raise at least as much as O'Reilly is prepared to offer. —Bob Lewis

Wow.  Put me down for $10. Andrew Smith says you are the best. I agree. How about Sean Hannity? All these characters are human. Therefore, they all have some baggage they prefer would remain private. Why are they all so angry? Maybe their mothers made them wear dresses. Check it out. —Larry Beer

I'm just a poor student, but I'll pitch in with $50. Pass on the cup. —Henning Strandin

Great idea!  But you shouldn’t have to carry the whole load.  I’ll kick in $9.95 for the late-night K-Tel version of the tapes when they come out.  I imagine many other loyal viewers of your show would do the same.  Hell, come to think of it, we could pay the whole wad off and you could still get a hefty commission! —Steve Dixon

Bloggermann-mania
Oct. 19

I’m sure you get these comments all the time-it’s one of those generic "I-love your-blog-and-your-show" messages that has no real content, but might raise your self-esteem a little. It doesn’t mean it’s not true, however. I have indeed long been a fan of ‘Countdown’, and I can now say that I’m a fan of this blog as well. Keep up the insightful witticisms, Keith.
—Emily Alexandra Benavage, Fairfax, Va.

I turn to MSNBC for political coverage because your shows are consistently some of the best on the air. Just wanted to say a special thanks for giving us 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' as he is astute, funny and willing to dig down into areas that others ignore. Keith is a gem-thanks! —Jill

Newsmakers making news
Oct. 19

Here's an interesting thought about O'Reilly's situation. I'm neither fan nor foe. But let's remember that something happened during the days of Bill Clinton and it was obvious it would change certain perceptions in life. While many viewed that scenario as morally wrong, the majority felt that it didn't really matter; "it's just sex". So here we are - an example was set a few years back. And those who wish O'Reilly would "fall" need only look back at their support of President Clinton. Of course, we don't know if O'Reilly is guilty, although power seems to breed immorality. But, it will be difficult to point the finger at him when we had such a special example by none other than the President of the U.S. —Candy, Irvine, Calif.

You’re absolutely correct of the Sinclair situation. The problem, as I see it, is not the fact that they wish to run a politically slanted TV program-Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken do it in the radio world- it is rather the fact that they are doing it under the guise of a news program, and more importantly, the fact that they disguise themselves as an unbiased TV station. That is just dangerous to our society and our way of life. Think about it, the Islamic Republic News Agency in Iran does not call itself a propaganda outlet, rather, it calls itself a "news" organization, and under that cloak, sells propaganda to the public. The same holds true for Sinclair (and Fox News) wherein they sell unadulterated propaganda to the public under the cover of news. That is simply un-American. What is even scarier is the fact that more and more Americans either support this type of tactic, or intentionally overlook it. In a world that CBS backs down from showing a Reagan movie because of the Republicans' bullying, and where Disney decides not to distribute ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, and at the same time an entire 1 ½ hour film is run against a person who served his country honorably, we should ask ourselves: is this really America anymore, or are we living in some kind of a right-wing police state?
Kevin E. Dehghani

Regarding the ‘Boake O’Reilly’ story, there is an extreme element today about punishment of sexual misconduct, as seen in Clinton’s trial while in office. But radical ideas are not what O’Reilly is being chastised for; phone sex is sexual misconduct under the alleged circumstances-not radical ideas! I fail to see any comparison. Actually, you should look at Rush Limbaugh, who survived attack due to his drug addiction and see how O’Reilly fares with his followers. Will they support him in spite of his human errors, as they did to Rush? I am not a fan and will let the law make the choice if any guilt on his part.  —L Norton, Livonia, Mich.

I usually watch O’Reilly and, although I do agree with a good deal of what he preaches, I do see a man driven more by ego rather than by sincerity. He is somewhat of a glory hound, which is humorous considering the current situation. I guess if he was really a real guy if would not be so bad if all this came out. Let’s face facts, this type of stuff happens more than people want to believe, especially in today’s society. One would hope that both parties willingly choose this, but maybe Mr. O’Reilly thinks that his popularity allows him fringe benefits? In most cases, when something like this comes out, if true, the fall is so much harder than the climb.
—Jim Calcione

The whole Sinclair situation smells extremely funny to me. As a person who formerly worked in local television, I can’t believe that an owner would make stations run programming so obviously biased, and more importantly than that step on network programming during prime time. I seriously think the networks should very deeply consider pulling the affiliation of the stations that do run it. I mean, we are talking about must-see TV here (or whatever the other networks call them). I think it would be great if you gave viewers a list of Sinclair stations, so if nothing else they can vote with their remotes.  —Mark Peterson

I enjoyed your article on Bill O'Reilly. As one who used to enjoy O'Reilly's program, I am deeply disappointed by the recent events in his life. Like you, Mister Olbermann, I truly hope he doesn't fall as badly as Carter did. Although I'm struggling to keep an open mind regarding his guilt, I find it hard to watch his program with the same enjoyment I once did.
-Jack Cunningham, Metairie, La.

Okay, you've explained who Carter is and his life story and it would make a great film, but I don't think your argument is sufficiently supported as to how he's like Bill O'Reilly. Did O'Reilly join the KKK or al-Qaida or marry his twelve-year-old cousin because he's so completely out of touch with reality? Carter's story is tragic, but so far, O'Reilly has only allegedly gone the way of a Supreme Court justice and an American president. Even with the loofah and falafel debacle, this stage of the scandal is hardly O'Reilly's downfall. —Catrina Dickens

Apparently, Sinclair Broadcasting Group feels unencumbered to use their sixty-two stations to broadcast, to the millions of Americans, their personally held animosity toward Senator Kerry. It is extremely clear that the airing of "Stolen Honor", days before the 2004 Presidential Election, is an effort to affect the outcome of the election. It has been well documented that the owners of Sinclair Broadcasting Group, as well as company executives, have contributed the maximum allowed contributions to the Bush-Cheney 04 reelection campaign. Indeed, Sinclair Broadcasting Group has repeatedly demonstrated their agenda in past decisions including not to air, on their stations, an episode of Nightline that honored American soldiers who had been killed while serving their country in Iraq. I am deeply troubled by this misuse of the public airways by a single entity that has this kind of power. This film is not news, as Sinclair Broadcasting Group had alleged, it is the opinion of those involved in producing the film. It is not in the public interest to air a one-side view of a presidential candidate days before Americans go to the polls.  —Judy Ketchum, New Bern, N.C.

Oct. 14

Minus one point to Olbermann for blogging this rather than heading to Yankee Stadium. What the hell were you thinking? You could have combined the blogs on the debate and game. “Jeter scores on a single to center by Kerry, with a reference to himself as a gun owner.” “Bush swings and misses on the border crossing issue and Boston goes down one-two-three in the 4th.”
Final Score: Debate-0, Olbermann-0, MSNBC-1,000,000 for giving Keith a forum.  Keep up the good work big guy. —John Schneider, Glendale, Ariz.

Thanks, Bloggermann for your non-partisan (dare I say “fair and balanced”) coverage.  Enjoy your website and your show.  You should’ve been the moderator last night.  —Barbara Hawk, Aurora, Colo.

I don’t really care who won the debate last night.  When I listen to the debates, I try to get a sense of the man. I’ve been undecided, not because I can’t decide which policies I prefer, but because I have not been convinced that either man has the combination of character and ability to lead our country during these particularly complicated and dangerous times. 
Anonymous, Wausau Wis.

There’s so much hype about who won the debate!  If we’re voting for president of the debate team, maybe it matters. But we’re not.  We should be asking who will be the better president, and who has the best answers for the country as a whole. —Vicki, Mich.

Thanks so much for this entertaining and informative format of analysis. In what has become an often woefully repetitious campaign, your scoring has certainly helped to liven things up. It’s also a fun way to catch up on a debate you missed, as I did last night’s match-up.  —Katie Salvatore

Your blogs have kept those of us who were unable to view the debates informed of the major issues. You made events that some people cannot tolerate seem bearable. I’ve never considered looking at the presidential debates as a boxing match before, then again, this being the second major election I’ve been allowed to vote in, I’ve never really paid attention until now. Your witty banter and humor along with the facts each candidate presented made the issues clearer— not to mention leaving out all the big words that politicians tend to use. So keep it up Bloggermann, because this was a VERY good idea.

P.S. Surliness is very much ok...especially when it involves baseball and the inability to watch baseball...minus 10 points to the candidates for scheduling a debate on the same night as a ALCS game...:) —Delaynie Potts, Tempe, Ariz.

I don’t know what is funnier, reading Keith’s blogs or listening to him live on ‘Countdown’.  I was laughing so hard reading the blog from the last debate, that I was crying.  We need more of this to keep us awake through the next few days of the election!  —Karen Davidson, Nottingham, N.H.

I have a suggestion: I think a woman would have scored various parts of the debate entirely differently!  How about enlisting the help of an interested female reporter for a “female take” on the debate?  I think that’s a good idea for next time.  Otherwise, keep up the good work!
—Ginny Lyman

Thanks for clearing up what was a snooze fest of a third debate. Your entire “boxing” coverage of the debates was well done. MSNBC should get you a DVR so you don’t have to miss your game next time you do a public service like this.  —Mark Peterson, Coralville, IA

Keith - Were you in the bathroom during the 1st part of round 14? Neither candidate addressed the 2nd issue embedded in the question: stem-cell research! Kerry should lose a point for missing a chance to invoke the late Chris Reeves, and Bush should lose a point for not being smart enough to notice that Kerry sidestepped the issue.  —M. R. Shaw

Keith, these simple summaries help to clarify the positions of each candidate, as well as their playing styles.  I am appreciative to you for the fact-checking that keeps these people honest and thus keeps the picture clear.  If we had referees calling these debates for penalties, I would imagine Dick Cheney would still be in the penalty box for that bold statement that he had never met John Edwards until the debate.  —P. Davies

Round twenty you give it to Kerry? You have to be kidding me. Bush did excellent.  He was funny in a very touching moment.  Kerry just talks about his dying mother who tells him three words.  —Joey Blodgett, Salisbury, Md.

Thank you for your coverage! You do an excellent job of cutting through the typical vacuous punditry- who had better hand motions? Whose performance improved? - And really getting to the heart and the substance of each candidate’s performance. Also, I find it odd that after last night, you are the only person who was willing to flat-out call a winner. Kerry by a landslide, but no news sources are posting their snap polls. Strange.  Time to go to Olbermann--no pandering, no partisanship! You are the best! —JP Lennon, New York, N.Y.

Oct. 13

I love bloggers, They set the pace for truth, let the facts speak for themselves, adds a little humor, and helps me read each candidate a lot better. Thank you. —Audrey Tareco

Loved the round-by-round analysis! spot on, and full of chuckles.  —TB, Conn.

Fantastic blog on debate. I couldn’t have said it better. Love the muffling of microphone comments. Our blogger has great awareness of entire event and does not just “level” perception to the usual salient facts!! Have copied and sent to all my friends (numbering in the single digit, as in one)--anyway it codifies my experience perfectly and gave me a chuckle to help me relive (or is it relieve) the experience. Want to see more!  —Melanie Cleveland

Keith, I’m really confused… It seems that we have the media and their polls saying that this election is tied and the debates are tied.  Yet, how can this be tied if all internet polls show a 60%-80% favor leaning towards Kerry/Edwards? How can Cheney win a debate by a small margin when the score is 22.5 to 11??  The undecided votes are swinging toward Kerry/Edwards.  I can’t see how a tie comes out of these. Overall impact of bout: a marginal victory, on rounds and intangibles, for Vice President Cheney, with window open on possible past Cheney-Edwards meeting. —Jason, St. Louis, Mo.

It seemed to me that Cheney at least tried to answer most of the questions...   Edwards tried for the most part to avoid them and change the subject.   When they showed rear camera angles, I expected to see Kerry’s hand up Edwards’ neck.  Regarding blogs in general - those participating are much like arts critics— people who can’t do, passing judgement on those who at least TRY.  

Total Rounds: Cheney 8, Edwards 8, Drawn 5.
Total Net Points: Edwards 22.5, Cheney 11.

Sean Foster, Houston, TX

Olbermann’s comments were pretty well accurate and nicely broken down. As a supporter of Kerry/Edwards, I think Edwards left too many doors unopened to discount or bring up questions about the current adms. policies. I think it was a close debate, but would have to give Cheney a slight edge. —Jason


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