IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, December 28th, 2009

Read the transcript to the Monday show



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over):  Which of these stories will be COUNTDOWN‘s Favorite of 2009?

It was the year of the ox and the year of the Octomom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think it‘s hilarious.


OLBERMANN:  A balloon boy hoax distracted a nation‘s heart.

In 2009, we said good-bye to old friends—and hello to new political headliners.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  Michael Steele, you be the man. 

You be the man.


OLBERMANN:  But were any of them worthy of being a COUNTDOWN favorite?

That looks good.  Some of our candidates had their own candidates.




OLBERMANN:  Some were disqualified for spelling mistakes.


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  The one that‘s missing is “Y.”


OLBERMANN:  If you complain about your freedom of speech.


CARRIE PREJEAN, FMR. MISS CALIFORNIA:  There has been a campaign against me to try and silence me.


OLBERMANN:  And then violate your own freedom of speech.


LARRY KING, TV HOST:  You need to have a mike.


OLBERMANN:  You are on our radar.

If you dime out your ex-future mother-in-law while naked, you‘re in the running.


SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR:  I hear he goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now.


OLBERMANN:  And if you dare us not to mention you.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Let‘s see if you can do Rush withdrawal.


OLBERMANN:  We‘re going to nominate you.

Jump up and down, America.  It‘s time for your COUNTDOWN Favorites of 2009.


OLBERMANN:  Keep plucking that chicken.



OLBERMANN:  Good evening from New York.

As 2009 draws to a close, the year will largely be remembered in the history books for the momentous inauguration of President Obama.  The historians, however, will likely forget the events triggered by the president‘s swearing in, but comedians of the world and COUTNDOWN, certainly, the residents of Illinois, as well, will not.

Barack Obama‘s win against John McCain marked the first time in nearly half a century a sitting United States senator had been promoted into the Oval Office by voters.  This obviously left a vacancy in the Senate.  The state of Illinois would need a new senator.

According to state law, the power to appoint the replacement rested

solely in the hands of Governor Rod Blagojevich—where you would have

seen an opportunity to influence events and shape policy, he saw cash.  Do,

re, me—and that is lucky for us because B-Rod‘s alleged quest to exploit

picking a senator led to not just his impeachment and resignation, but as you will see, he was news conference gold.

Behold now our first COUNTDOWN Favorite of 2009.


OLBERMANN:  Breaking news: We now know why Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has conducted 20 -- count them -- 20 interviews over the past few days.  It‘s a warm-up act for his impeachment trial, the very trial he said he would not attend so he could do all the interviews.

BLAGOJEVICH:  There was a cowboy who was charged with stealing a horse in town and some of the other cowboys, especially the guy whose horse was stolen, were unhappy with that guy.  One of the cowboys said, “Let‘s hang him.”  And the other cowboys said, “Hold on.  Before we hang him, let‘s first give him a fair trial.  Then we‘ll hang him.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What do you say we let him go?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) that the governor has failed to appear or to answer the article of impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Governor Blagojevich remains defiant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Governor Rod Blagojevich.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Governor Rod Blagojevich, good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  As I‘m in California, I will talk to you first.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Thank you for being here.  It‘s nice of you to take the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Governor, open the window.  Open it.

KING:  Springfield, Illinois.  Hello.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Are you asking this now, am I on TV?


BLAGOJEVICH:  Yes.  No, I said (INAUDIBLE).  You‘re funny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There‘s been discussions of TV movies about this being made.  Who would play you?  Would you want to play you?

BLAGOJEVICH:  Oh, is that right?  Have there been?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.  There have been some discussions.  I mean, would you.

BLAGOJEVICH:  I wouldn‘t mind playing myself.  I could probably use the job.

PATRICK FITZGERALD, U.S. ATTORNEY:  The most cynical behavior on all this, the most appalling, is the fact that Governor Blagojevich tried to sell the appointment to the Senate seat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I got this thing and it‘s bleeping golden.  Hold up that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that Cubs (EXPLETIVE DELETED) them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You and your wife are potty mouths.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  F him for nothing?  F him.

BLAGOJEVICH:  I was raised in a big city and a tough neighborhood.

You know, we had gangs in the neighborhood I grew up in.

And I point out, when some of that language was used there were no women on the phone.

If that was said that‘s subject to many interpretations.

KING:  You can‘t tell me what the two words bleeping golden meant?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (EXPLETIVE DELETED) them.  Put that in context for me.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Well, again, that could be interpreted in a whole variety of ways.

MADDOW:  What could be kosher to exchange for a Senate seat?

BLAGOJEVICH:  How about helping us pass health care and a jobs bill?  I consider myself the anti-Nixon.  I‘m the opposite of Richard Nixon, who was always trying to protect his tapes.

JOY BEHAR, TV HOST:  Wait a minute.  He does a fabulous Nixon impression.  Do it for us.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Who said that?

BEHAR:  Somebody told me.  Come on.  Just say, “I am not a crook.”  Do it.


BEHAR:  Come on.


BLAGOJEVICH:  This is like an old Frank Capra movie where there‘s Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper, I do.  I see myself that way, in those movies, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll tell you what I want, sir, a chance to talk to people who believe me.

BLAGOJEVICH:  And I view myself as Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper.  And I know that‘s going to be, you know, met with mockery.


BLAGOJEVICH:  But that‘s how I see it.

No, I think the fix is in.

The fix is in.

The fix is in.

The fix is in.

I think the fix is in.  The fix is in in the State Senate.

The fix is in.

I believe the fix is in.

Because the fix is in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Who were you thinking of for Senate?

BLAGOJEVICH:  Do you have any suggestions on who I might have been thinking about?  What have you heard?


BLAGOJEVICH:  That is true.

Oprah was one of the many we thought about.

Oprah Winfrey for example.

And the question is, how do you—how do you suggest something like that so it doesn‘t look like it‘s just a gimmick to get cheap publicity at her expense?

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST (via telephone):  I think I could be senator, too.  I‘m just not interested.

BLAGOJEVICH:  That wasn‘t my idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ve said cuckoo once.  I‘ll say it again, cuckoo.

BLAGOJEVICH:  The silence of political allies who, the day before this all came down, which we call our personal Pearl Harbor day.

I had a whole bunch of thoughts.  Of course, my children and my wife, and then I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, Gandhi.

I‘m not the first person this has happened to.  All you got to do is read the Bible and parts of the Bible.  It‘s filled with stories like this.

In terms of what we tell our kids, it‘s a very difficult time for our family and our little girls.  My wife and I, we got them a little puppy during the Christmas holidays.

And I think everybody should do what they think is right and anybody who wants to say anything nice about me, it would be kind of nice because there hasn‘t been a lot said that‘s been nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘ll buy you dinner.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Is that ethical?


BLAGOJEVICH:  You know, there is an old gospel song, “One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus.”  When you‘re something like this, you take one day at a time.

And I have this delusion which I know is a delusion that I‘ll wake up sometime like tomorrow morning and then maybe they‘ll realize there‘s just one big misunderstanding to it.  That‘s likely not to happen.


DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST:  Why exactly are you here?  Honest to God. 



BLAGOJEVICH:  Well, you know, I‘ve been wanting to be on your show in the worst way for the longest time.

LETTERMAN:  Well, you‘re on in the worst way, believe me.

BEHAR:  He does a fabulous Nixon impression.  Do it for us.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Who said that?

BEHAR:  Somebody told me.  Come on.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Well, no, I.

BEHAR:  Just say, “I am not a crook.”  Do it.


BEHAR:  Come on.



BLAGOJEVICH:  Oh, my goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Open the window, Governor.


CONAN O‘BRIEN, TV HOST:  Yesterday, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was interviewed by Geraldo Rivera.  Yes.  They billed it as an “interview with the most hated man in America and Rod Blagojevich.”

LETTERMAN:  It looks like your wife‘s ex-husband.  He looks like an insurance salesman that keeps calling you “Captain.”


BLAGOJEVICH:  It could conceivably bring in 15 angels and 20 saints led by Mother Teresa to come in and testify to my good character.


STEPHEN COLBERT, TV HOST:  I believe we have footage of the governor showing up to his impeachment trial.  Jimmy?  There he is, walking from his car with his attorney.  Just look how vicious the press is to this poor man.

BLAGOJEVICH:  How can you throw a governor out of office when the rules don‘t even require that you prove up elements of criminal allegations?  And more than that, how can you throw a governor out of office who is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He‘s fine.  He landed on his hair.

JAY LENO, TV HOST:  Not only was he convicted.  His hair dresser was given the death penalty.


O‘BRIEN:  Bright side for Blagojevich, he has been offered a job as the before picture at Supercuts.


LETTERMAN:  It is one headache after another for this Blagojevich.  It turns out next month, his hair goes digital.


BLAGOJEVICH:  Then I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, Gandhi, and tried to put some perspective in all of this.


OLBERMANN:  Breaking news: and now, he belongs to the ages.  Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office by unanimous vote of the Illinois State Senate and he is no longer the governor of Illinois.

Our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN tonight.  And Pat Quinn, the state‘s lieutenant governor, just hours ago, is now the governor of Illinois.

Mr. Blagojevich, having been impeached and then tried and despite a closing argument before the State Senate is now former Governor Blagojevich, expelled from the office which he refused to resign.  The vote in the State Senate to remove him passed 59 to nothing.  Only a 2/3 super majority of 40 votes was required and effective immediately, after the vote was officially recorded Blagojevich was no longer governor.

A second vote to disqualify him from holding future office in the state of Illinois also passed, 59 to zero.

No third vote was taken on whether to bar him from doing any more TV interviews.

The governor‘s impeachment trial dealt with multiple accusations of wrongdoing, most notably that Blagojevich tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by then-President-elect Barack Obama.  It is the first time in 21 years that any governor in the U.S. has been removed from office.  The last one was Governor Evan Meacham of Arizona in 1988.

After a flurry of interviews in which he talked to everybody but the Illinois State Senate, Mr. Blagojevich decided to make an appeal before that body.  His closing argument, it lasted about 45 minutes.  Far shorter but far more compelling and weird was what he had to say only minutes ago this evening outside his home in Chicago.  A news conference that was vintage Blagojevich and then some.

Seriously, good golly, why didn‘t you sell tickets?

BLAGOJEVICH:  Let me begin by saying that I‘m obviously saddened and disappointed but not at all surprised and I wanted to say to all of you, the people of Illinois, who I‘ve been blessed to represent as governor for the last six years and before that, as a congressman for six years, and before that, as a state legislator, and before that, as a prosecutor, that I love the people of Illinois today, now, more than I ever did before.


BLAGOJEVICH:  Thank you.  And the fight goes on.

Let me say one more thing to the—to the people in the Latino community.  (SPEAKING SPANISH).

Reverend, how are you?  Thank you.  It‘s good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you plan to write a book?

BLAGOJEVICH:  Get these kids out.



BLAGOJEVICH:  They made their parent‘s permission, they‘re minors.

Let me ask you a question.  So if I, like, ask you guys to come and cover me if I want to say something, will you do it?  Will you?  Or is this the last hurrah?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Depends what you‘re going to say.



BLAGOJEVICH:  How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED KID:  Will you play hook with me on the summer?

BLAGOJEVICH:  Oh, absolutely.  There are tens of thousands of people across America, just like me, who are losing their jobs or lost their jobs.  So, I‘m not looking for any pity and I don‘t need anybody to sympathize or feel bad for me because I‘ll be just fine.  Patty and I will rebuild our lives.

I what would say to the Serbian community, the one I come from and am part of, that, again, I haven‘t done anything wrong.  I look forward to proving my innocence.  When it comes to their kids and if they think that maybe they can‘t have an equal chance in America because their names are long and hard to pronounce, all they got to do is look at me.


OLBERMANN:  In pure bloviating skill, Rod Blagojevich has nothing on Mr. Orly Taitz Limbaugh.  The Boss stepped outside of his role running the Republican Party and tried to run me and this network for a while.  He said, “Stop talking about me.”  We said, “F you.”  He said, “Stop showing pictures of me.”  We turned him into a bouncy logo on the screen.

We take the Rush Limbaugh challenge.  Burping is optional—next.


OLBERMANN:  So, now we come to that special moment in nearly every show, where we point out the utter stupidity and hypocrisy of Rush “Orly Taitz” Boss Limbaugh.  He‘s had a rough couple of years now.

He failed to get Hillary Clinton nominated for president.  He failed to incite riots at the Democratic Convention.  He‘s attacked American service personnel who do not agree with him, called them phony soldiers.

With no evidence at, all he accused Michael J. Fox of pretending to suffer the physical symptoms of Parkinson‘s disease.

He said he hopes the president of the United States fails.  He‘s been called incendiary by the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

And despite all that, if a Republican disagreed with Limbaugh, a public apology was expected to Limbaugh post-haste—which was why, this year, back in May, when Limbaugh issued a challenge to this network to leave him alone, he was probably surprised there was no apology.  Far from it—our response instantly became one of our COUNTDOWN Favorites of 2009.


OLBERMANN:  After Rush Limbaugh begged this network to stop criticizing him after he challenged MSNBC to not mention his name for 30 days, I offered to stop constantly referencing him if he would stop constantly referencing himself.  He has now responded.

TV writer David Bauder asking Limbaugh for comment and the answer,

quote, “Limbaugh responded in an e-mail to ‘The Associated Press‘ On

Thursday, quote, ‘That‘s incoherent.‘”

You spend more time talking about yourself than anybody else in broadcasting, you stop that, I‘ll stop it, too.  To help you find coherence in that, making its world debut on this very program, behold—our new and improved Limbaugh logo.

And now, a second challenge to him.  Since this was too complicated for you the first time, sonny, we‘ll give you a second chance.  It‘s tonight‘s “WTF Moment.”

Rush Limbaugh‘s startling admission that he cannot take it anymore, that this network‘s coverage of him has not only gotten to him, but gotten to him to a point perhaps never reached before by any other megalomaniac.  He has suddenly gone all Greta Garbo on us.  He wants to be left alone.

He has surrendered.  He cannot say it that way, of course.  Were he to, the entire edifice that is Rush Limbaugh would come crashing down and then we have to get one of those rescue squads from the ski resorts that goes for survivors.

No, no.  Suddenly, the impact of being accurately called out day after day, hour after hour as a faux populist, press release-regurgitating, lackey and repressive and regressive political flunky that has hit bone—finally.  It took a while.  And so, Rush Limbaugh who told me in person years ago that his dream of dreams was to be on television, to be on ESPN, perhaps to sit next to me on “Sports Center,” an utter television failure who yearns to somehow undo that permanently label, Rush Limbaugh does not want to be on TV anymore.


LIMBAUGH:  It seems that the liberalism that is MSNBC isn‘t selling as well as they would like because they cannot from the Scarborough show in the morning all the way to night, they cannot—they cannot go any appreciable length of time without showing video of me, the CPAC speech, or excerpts from this radio show, or having a bunch of hack guests on to discuss me.

So, my challenge is this: to MSNBC, let‘s see if you can run your little TV network for 30 days, let‘s see if you can do Rush withdrawal.  Let‘s see if you can run your little TV network for 30 days without doing a single story on me.  And then let‘s take a look at your ratings during those 30 days.  See what happens.


OLBERMANN:  F you.  You‘re in charge of this?  You‘re not in charge of this.  You put your bile out in the public airwaves for three hours a day and you get to decide how people react to it?  The hell you do.

There are rules about how we can and cannot react to the peril to this nation you successfully strive to become—there are no rules.  You built this little world.  Either man up and live through the bad press or get out.


LIMBAUGH:  Because, obviously, MSNBC thinks they cannot get numbers without focusing on me.


OLBERMANN:  To the degree that the numbers we are getting have anything to do with Rush Limbaugh, it‘s like the numbers we got after Hurricane Katrina.  There was a blight upon the land.  There was a huge campaign to B.S. the American public, that the problems were actually the solutions.  We told the truth about it and people watched.

Rush, you are the radio equivalent of “Heck of a job, Brownie,” and the Bush flyover and the refugees in the Superdome.  You are a human, federal disaster area.


LIMBAUGH:  It is clear to me that MSNBC is hoping to build its ratings on my back.


OLBERMANN:  This is where he would say, of somebody else, but there is so much room back there.  Instead, I will go here.  This man, this publicity addict, this fame junkie, this victim of the unquenchable thirst for attention—all of a sudden, he‘s afraid of being criticized on a television network which he believes has no viewers and no reach and no impact.


LIMBAUGH:  See if you can do it.  You know, stand on your own two feet.  Stand on liberalism.  Stand on what you believe.


OLBERMANN:  Rush, this is, in part, what we believe.  This isn‘t a bid for ratings.  We believe you suck.  We believe you have contributed to the coarsening and deadening of the political dialogue in this nation.  I‘m saying that as a guy who just said “F you.”

We believe your fixation on Bill Clinton‘s sex life lessened the chances that everybody in this country could have begun a serious discussion of terrorism before terrorism hit.  We believe that you use chicanery, trickery and outright lies to influence gullible people whose entire understanding of complex issues vital to their own happiness and survival is then reduced to a bunch of your catch phrases and they don‘t even understand the catch phrases.

We believe that the day you stop doing your show, even if you‘re replaced by one of those buffoons who fill in for you, that the collective intelligence of this nation will jump by at least one I.Q. point simply because you shut up.

We believe that as you boast that you are listened to by 14 million Americans a week, you cannot see the forest for the ratings trees.

All the rest of us—the crushing majority of the other 292 million Americans, we divided it into three groups.  Those who are hating you, those who are laughing at you, and those who will go in blissfully through their lives not having an earthly clue who the hell you are—or were.


LIMBAUGH:  So I challenge you, MSNBC, 30 days without anything mentioning me.  No video of me.  No guests commenting on me.


OLBERMANN:  No video you say?  You mentioned the CPAC video where you forgot the first rule that guys like, you and me, the hefty in this world are supposed to remember, never undulate.

You don‘t like us showing it.  I can understand that.  Well, you got it.  How is this?

You know, if you look at this long enough, it‘s got a strange, soothing effect, it‘s kind of the lava lamp of hate speech and condescension and a subconscious reminder to everybody to check the support columns under your front porch.  Do it today.

So, Mr. Limbaugh, your challenge—with all this yet: am I still up for negotiation?  That‘s one problems with having a liberal heart, when the wounded animal, no matter how venomous, no matter how much at fault begs to be left alone, I still listen.

I will go 30 days on this program without referencing what has been done or said or boasted about by Rush Limbaugh provided you go 30 days on your program without mentioning what has been done or said or boasted about by Rush Limbaugh.  Hannity would last longer on the waterboard.



OLBERMANN:  Someone else is trying to control what we say here on COUNTDOWN, none other than Carrie Prejean.  The ex-Miss California decided things were going south for her because of things Michael Musto and I were saying about her.  It had nothing to do with all those monosex videograms that she was sending to her boyfriend.

That and much more ahead on COUNTDOWN Favorites 2009.


OLBERMANN:  COUNTDOWN Favorites 2009.  I found myself inexplicably right smack dab in the middle of some other people‘s drama—Carrie Prejean‘s, for example.  Her support of opposite marriage put her in the middle of a political firestorm.  She got so distracted by her new cause that pageant officials not only took her crown away but they asked her to reimburse them for her breast implants.  Somehow all of that was my fault.

And then there‘s my responsibility in triggering this.  Taiwanese journalists say, “I‘ll see your puppet theater and raise you a Tiger Woods shady husband animation extravaganza.”

And Levi Johnston‘s New Year‘s resolution for 2009: start telling the truth about Sister Sarah.


OLBERMANN:  It‘s the time of the year to appreciate those near and dear, find comfort and joy in family and friends, to make nice with the almost in-laws.  But if you‘re Levi Keith Johnston, that last part, that might be a little tricky.  Freed from the constraints of campaign life, to say nothing of the constraints of underwear, this year, Levi embarked on his own kind of campaign, one of salacious, monosyllabic interviews, shocking, ghost written tell alls, and the peddling of an assortment of nuts—pistachios.  What? 

Taking the high road, his ex-future mother-in-law called him Ricky Hollywood on “Oprah” and accused him of selling his body and doing porn.  That alone was enough for Mr. Johnston to earn a spot among COUNTDOWN‘s favorites, but the lesson of Levi shouldn‘t be taken lightly.  Sometimes it takes a 19-year-old hockey player turned nude model from Alaska to remind us revenge is a dish best served cold.  And don‘t forget the nuts. 


LEVI JOHNSTON, FATHER OF SARAH PALIN‘S GRANDCHILD:  No, she means a lot to me.  I‘d do just about anything for her.  But I really don‘t think she‘s—I would vote for her if she ran for president. 

OLBERMANN:  Whether the engagement was real or just a stunt to spare her having to run for vice president as the mother of an unwed mother, Sarah Palin continues to discover what can happen when somebody you used as a prop starts to talk. 

JOHNSTON:  I mean, she is very smart.  But I just don‘t think she can handle the stress level as governor.  I don‘t think she can handle it as president or vice president. 

OLBERMANN:  Our third story on the COUNTDOWN, the governor‘s office went into action to respond to Palin‘s would-be former son-in-law, Levi Johnston, after he talked to investigative political journalist Tyra Banks. 

One issue, whether the governor thought her daughter was practicing abstinence. 

TYRA BANKS, “THE TYRA BANKS SHOW”:  She knew you guys were active. 


BANKS:  You think she knew? 

JOHNSTON:  I‘m pretty sure she probably knew. 

BANKS:  How are you pretty sure she knew? 

JOHNSTON:  She‘s pretty smart. 

BANKS:  So there were just wardrobe malfunctions? 

JOHNSTON:  I guess. 

BANKS:  Yeah?  Really. 

JOHNSTON:  I guess so. 

BANKS:  Every time you practiced safe sex? 


BANKS:  Every time? 

JOHNSTON:  Every time. 

BANKS:  Levi? 

JOHNSTON:  Most of the time. 

BANKS:  Most of the time.  There you go. 

JOHNSTON:  They said I didn‘t live there.  I stayed there.  I was like, OK, whatever you want to call it.  I had my stuff there, so if you want to call it staying there, that‘s fine. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You had all your things there? 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Tooth brush, pajamas, stayed there every night. 

JOHNSTON:  For a while, yeah.  So—

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So they‘re lying. 


Then after the running, she had talked about how nice it would be to take some of this money people had been offering us and just run with it. 

She pretty much tried to blame everything she could on other people. 

You know, if I wanted to hurt them, if I wanted to crush them, I could.  That‘s not what I‘m trying to do. 

CRAIG CRAWFORD, CQPOLITICS.COM:  In tonight‘s episode of the Wasilla Hillbillies—

OLBERMANN:  How did it happen that Levi Johnston turns into a Sarah Palin whistle blower? 

SARAH PALIN, FMR. GOVERNOR OF ALASKA:  He goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now.  So if that‘s the case—

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did Sarah ever make any sexual advances toward you? 

JOHNSTON:  No, she didn‘t. 

OLBERMANN:  He and Mrs. Palin; the almost son-in-law reveals all in “Vanity Fair.”

Our number one story on the COUNTDOWN, honestly, if it claimed there had been hankie pankie, it probably would have been better for the ex-governor than what Johnston actually wrote.  One survivor‘s story of late summer and early autumn spent with Sarah Palin‘s flying circus.  She thought her job as governor was too hard.  She thought she was running for president.  She wanted to keep her daughter‘s pregnancy a secret.  And perhaps worst of all, she doesn‘t hunt for her own food, so she makes her kids go fetch Crunch Wrap Supremes from Taco Bell. 

And the politics of pistachios. 

CROWD:  Levi!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now Levi Johnston does it with protection. 

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Let‘s just get this one out of the way.  Turns out pistachios aren‘t the only nuts Levi Johnston is selling.  Ha, ha, ha.  Number one story, Sarah Palin‘s ex-future son-in-law will pose for “Playgirl.”  In an effort to become the most famous model since Zoolander, Levi Johnston has already booked his next gig, centerfold in “Playgirl,” an idea that Johnston has been toying with for sometime.  In his last photo shoot for “Vanity Fair,” Johnston said of “Playgirl,”  I assume it‘s where a dude poses for women. 

What do we think they‘re going to  -- is there a motif they‘re going with after that Burt Reynolds, Cosmo, bear skin rug stuff that started all this as sort of a cliche‘ of cliches from 1972? 

MICHAEL MUSTO, “THE VILLAGE VOICE”:  I think there will be some moose-like body parts, as well as a hint of musk ox and a soup son of cockatoo, but no beaver.  I got an advance peek at it.  So did Bristol. 

OLBERMANN:  Oh, god. 


OLBERMANN:  The Levi Johnston/Sister Sarah debacle was not the only high profile family drama of the year.  There was, of course, the Thanksgiving golf club attack at chateaux Tiger Woods.  The brilliant minds at Apple Daily took us behind closed doors to bring all the Tiger headlines to life, or something that looked vaguely like it.  For us, the animation hocus pocus quickly became a COUNTDOWN favorite. 

Then there was  the fall of Carrie Prejean.  From beauty queen to defender of opposites to ex-beauty queen, with an extensive video library that sort of spoke for itself.


OLBERMANN:  On April 19, 2009, an otherwise nondescript beauty pageant contestant was asked her views on gay marriage.  She said, quote, “I think it‘s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other.”  Then she said, quote, “we live in a land where you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage.” 

Then she said, having just said it‘s great that Americans can choose, that Americans should not be able to choose.  Which would presumably be un-great.

In the uproar that followed, Carrie Prejean soared to even higher levels of rhetorical ding-battery.  The upshot, based on what her recent book has to say about the segments you‘re about to see, is that her right to free speech about her opinions has been violated by other people exercising free speech about their opinions.  For her ability to believe and say self-contradictory things in one breath without her head exploding, Carrie Prejean is one of COUNTDOWN‘s favorites of 2009. 


OLBERMANN:  When she told Perez Hilton she believed in opposite marriage, Carrie Prejean was prayed by the right for telling truth over the tiara.  But when Miss California became opposite employed, the tiara suddenly stopped looking so bad after all. 

Number one story. Carrie Prejean claims religious discrimination and sues, mentioning this program and MSNBC in the lawsuit.  The man at the center of the controversy is Michael Musto.  To analyze his precarious position, I‘ll be joined in a moment by Michael Musto. 

But first, Carrie Prejean has  filed lawsuit against Miss California Pageant Officials, citing slander, libel, public disclosure of private facts, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and religious discrimination, all of this stretching way back to Miss Prejean‘s original statement on gay marriage at the Miss USA Pageant in April. 

CARRIE PREJEAN, FMR. MISS CALIFORNIA:  We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage.  And, you know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. 

No offense to anybody out there.  But that‘s how I was raised, and that‘s how I think it should be, between a man and a woman. 

OLBERMANN:  Following that response, Miss Prejean was outed for using performance enhancers that the Miss California association had paid for.  Topless photos of her surfaced as she discusses Satan and temptation with James Dobson.  And less than a month after Donald Trump told her she could keep the crown, Miss Prejean was fired for contract violations. 

Now comes a 23-page lawsuit.  On top of page eight, 41, on April 30, 2009, “Prejean became the victim of a vicious attack by Michael Musto and Keith Olbermann on Olbermann‘s MSNBC program, during which they mocked Prejean, asserting among other vile things that she had had a sex change operation and needed a brain transplant.”

If only we had some way of replaying all those vile things that were asserted in the vicious attack. 

MICHAEL MUSTO, “THE VILLAGE VOICE”:  She sort of is like a human Klaus Barbie Doll.  You tell Perez Hilton you‘re against gay marriage, it‘s like telling Simon Cowell you‘re against screeching a show tune.  This is the kind of girl who sits on the TV and watches the sofa.  She thinks the innuendo is an Italian suppository. 

On the pageants now, they really should have easier questions, like what is your middle name or what show was Seinfeld on?  This girl is a ding-dong.  I didn‘t even like her earrings. 

OLBERMANN:  The moral in this is, what, never cross a beauty pageant official who knows you‘ve had implants? 

MUSTO:  Yes, exactly, that‘s it.  This has escalated to a public shaving.  What Moakler has left out, Keith, is that they also paid for Carrie to cut off her penis, and sand her Adam‘s Apple, and a get head to toe waxing. 

I know for a fact that Carrie Prejean was Harry Prejean, a homophobic man who liked marriage so much he did it three times.  Now he‘s a babe who needs a brain implant.  Maybe they could inject some fat from her butt?  Oh, they have? 

OLBERMANN:  I didn‘t like her earrings.  Joining me now, tonight‘s legal analyst, Michael Musto.  How does it feel to be mentioned in a Carrie Prejean lawsuit?  Is there pride, mixed with a kind of apprehension, mixed with a kind of what took her so long? 

MUSTO:  I‘m thrilled, Keith.  Not since last year, when Jackie Harry (ph) covered her face when she saw me have I gotten this kind of attention.  I‘m thrilled that she watches this show, not “Dora the Explorer” or “Real Housewives.” 

OLBERMANN:  She has a book coming out in November.  Presumably the lawsuit keeps her in the spotlight until then.  Are you expecting that you will be—if you‘re in the lawsuit, will you be in the book? 

MUSTO:  I better be in the book.  I actually got a sneak peek at the manuscript and she only refers to some guy who should not get married to opposite people, and also shouldn‘t wear polyester blend, because that‘s against the Bible, too.  I consider that a mention. 

OLBERMANN:  And the end of Carrie Prejean.  A sex tape from little miss preservation of marriage?  Not same-sex, not opposite sex, just kind of mono-sex. 

Carrie Prejean and the Miss California Pageant have these dueling lawsuits.  She wanted a million dollars for wrongful dethroning.  The pageant sought reimbursement for Prejean‘s breast implants.  The sides appeared headed for court until, according to, pageant attorneys played, with Prejean and her lawyers present, an X-rated video of a woman engaged in some kind of sex. 

The former beauty queen, confused, reportedly said, that‘s disgusting.  Then the camera panned to reveal the face of the woman, and it was Carrie Prejean.  Guess she forgot. 

Red faced and caught red handed, so to speak, Prejean‘s demands changed from a million dollars to covering her legal fees.  If she covered her legal fees, none of this would have happened. 

Carrie Prejean goes on NBC and calls out me? 

PREJEAN:  If Sean Hannity went out there and said some of the things that Keith Olbermann has said about me—you know, if he said anything about Sonia Sotomayor or Michelle Obama, he would be off the air. 

OLBERMANN:  Hey, lady, first, you‘re not Sotomayor or Michelle Obama.  Second, he‘s said worse about them than I‘ve said about you.  And, third, you made a sex tape that wound up being shown to your mother. 

The free speech and first amendment rights of the dethroned Miss California Carrie Prejean have been so silenced, her freedom so denied that she‘s only done three national TV interviews in the last 24 hours, including one in the downstairs part of this studio. 

Our number one story, did she leave any more of those personal videos hanging around? 

PREJEAN:  You can call it whatever you want to call it.  If you want to call it a sex tape, that‘s fine. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What would you call it? 

OLBERMANN:  It was me by myself.  There was no one else with me.  I was not having sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There are people who say they want to call you on the carpet when they feel you‘re being a hypocrite.  In your book you write, our bodies are temples of the lord.  We should earn admiration and respect for our hearts, not for showing skin to look sexy. 

PREJEAN:  Absolutely. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Now people have seen this tape, whatever you want to call it, and they‘re saying, she‘s a hypocrite.  She writes a book that says one thing.

PREJEAN:  I‘m a model.  I was in a beauty pageant.  I mean, if people want to call me a hypocrite, then that‘s their prerogative. 

OLBERMANN:  OK.  If the tea is steady, Ms. Prejean, you‘re a hypocrite. 

And the self destruction of Carrie Prejean, part 11 billion, the solo sex tape; she was 20 when she made it, says the guy she made it for.  And it was one of many tapes. 

And look what happened when Larry King tried to exercise his first amendment right to ask her about the settlement of her lawsuit. 

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR:  You took the mike off.  If you put the mike on, we can hear. 

PREJEAN:  Yeah.  I think you‘re being extremely inappropriate right now and I‘m about to leave your show. 

OLBERMANN:  Look, Carrie Prejean is being silenced.  Carrie Prejean‘s freedom of speech is being violated by that evil Carrie Prejean. 

When you complain about the media trying to silence you and then you cut off your own microphone after a softball question from Larry King, you have just silenced yourself. 

KING:  So the agreement discusses the motive behind why each party agreed? 

PREJEAN:  Larry, you‘re being inappropriate.  You really are? 

KING:  What? 

PREJEAN:  Larry, it was completely confidential and you‘re being inappropriate?  OK. 

KING:  Inappropriate King Live continues. 

OLBERMANN:  Speaking of madness, do you find it ironic at all that the title of the book is “Still Standing.”  That, of course, is an Elton John song? 

MUSTO:  I heard she tried to get the rights to “Big Bottom Girls” by Queen and also “Sweet Transvestite” from Rocky Horror Show.  She couldn‘t get the rights, so she went with a more mainstream gay artist.  I‘m leaving.  This is inappropriate. 

OLBERMANN:  No, no.  I‘m leaving, it‘s inappropriate. 

MUSTO:  Let‘s both go.  Let‘s go read her book.

OLBERMANN:  That would be great television.  Guest and host both walk off. 

MUSTO:  Yeah. 


OLBERMANN:  From the many cell phone videos of Carrie Prejean to the many alleged indiscretions of Tiger Woods.  We‘re pretty sure when Woods was meeting up with all those ladies, he never dreamed that the text messages would become public.  We‘re absolutely positive he never dreamed that his trysts would become a kind of celebrity meltdown version of “Toy Story.”  COUNTDOWN favorites 2009 pays tribute to the high tech art of Apple Daily.


OLBERMANN:  Thanksgiving weekend is supposed to be known as the official start of the holiday shopping season.  This year, however, it actually triggered something new: the 12 days of mistress.  The squeaky clean image of Tiger Woods came crashing down when he crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant outside his own home. 

What started as a disagreement of some sort with his wife, allegedly over another woman, has turned, instead, into a parade of other, other, other women coming forward.  To illustrate the headlines, COUNTDOWN could have called upon our trusty journalistic tool that we call puppet theater.  But the news gods of Taiwan trumped us.  They turned to computer generated animation.  Not just any animation.  They used news motion. 

Our hats off to the folks at Apple Daily for turning the tabloid Tiger headlines into works of art. 


OLBERMANN:  Depending on whose reporting you trust, the marriage of Tiger Woods is between six and ten women over par.  But his wife has reportedly taken a powder, if not a mulligan, and moved out of their home in Florida.  Our number one story, “Radar Online” reporting Elin Woods is living in another house nearby, but his people are trying to keep it quiet, because, quote, “they don‘t want any publicity about what is going on in the marriage.  Yes, that‘s working well.” 

No publicity, just a team of Taiwanese animators, working around the clock in shifts, having pumped out three more of their mini-masterpieces.  Using Sims like style of animation and a liberal interpretation of facts and gossip, Apple Daily last week produced its first video, title translating as “Woods, Broken Windows at Night to Save His Wife Crash, Shady Husband.”

The three new creations include the newspapers own translations from Mandarin to English, kind of English.  Here now, a selection from the third animation: “Tiger Woods‘ Lover Number Three Exposed.”  We‘re not saying any of this is exactly true.  We think of it more as art. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Tiger Woods is facing the biggest challenge of his love.  Tabloids have exposed a third lover, Vegas club executive Kalika Muqueen (ph).  She was a very influential person of the city.  The relationship happened when Elin was pregnant.

They met regularly and were seen publicly.  Woods was also seen at the VIP part of a bar, with girls on either side, and hand sup their skirts.  Reports said lover number two, Jaimee Grubbs, not only bragged to friends about the relationship, but also played the voicemail.

TIGER WOODS, PGA GOLFER:  Can you please take your name of your phone?  my wife went through my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We see it as anonymous phone call.

OLBERMANN:  Unanimous phone call.  Well, if it‘s ten women, maybe it was a unanimous phone call.  We continue with the animated tale of the prenup. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  According to “US Weekly,” the settlement is over 30 million.  Sources say Elin asked for revision short of the ten year limitation, and Woods has agreed, but has already transferred million of dollars into her account.

The couple has also begun intense marriage counseling at home.

OLBERMANN:  That was intense.  As you saw, Woods got a free Michael Jordan shoe phone with his subscription to “Sports Illustrated.” 

I know what you‘re saying.  What about alleged lover number one? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Alleged lover number one, Rachel Uchitel, canceled a scheduled press conference on Thursday.  Sources say Uchitel lawyer was bargaining on the phone with Woods, and finally agreed to a million dollars to keep quite.

OLBERMANN:  As you saw just there, apparently that was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brokering the deal.  It was apparently supposed to be attorney Gloria Allred. 

Luckily, thanks to Apple Daily, we now know exactly what happened before the crash.  Allegedly. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Uchitel saved hundreds of Woods‘ messages with highly sexual nature.  The two were texting before the accident.  Elin questioned Woods and tried to grab the phone.  During the struggle, the phone was broken, and so was the vestibule of the house.  That‘s why Woods refused to let the police.

OLBERMANN:  I broke my vestibule.  Refused to let him in, like a hockey goalie.  No soup for you, officer.  As for the post-accident blow by blow, Apple Daily has portrayed this before, but not with as much detail, and not with the neighbors who sleep in their day clothes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  US tabloids also report that, according to Woods‘ neighbor, Adams, about 2:30 am, right after the car crash, his sister heard a commotion and saw the car light shining in.  Adams was awake and went outside, and saw Woods lying next to the car, and Elin was talking to him.  Woods was unconscious and snoring.

OLBERMANN:  Unconscious and snoring.  I would have paid to see that.  Back to that prenup.  In the fourth video from Apple Daily, “Woods Break the Bank to Keep Lovers Quiet,” we learn more about the alleged prenup settlement and about the mother of Tiger Woods and what she was doing during all of the sexy time. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Woods agreed to pay Elin five million dollars.  If she stayed for two more years, she will be paid 55 million more, and must pretend to be still in love and not disclose anything to the public.  If she stays for seven years, she will be paid 75 million. 

Rumors said the rift between Elin and mom is the reason breaking the marriage, because Woods‘ mother demanded to build her a mansion next door, so Elin insisted to separate the house by water. 

Last month, when Woods met Uchitel secretly in Australian hotel room, Woods mom was standing right downstairs.

OLBERMANN:  Enjoying dinner, mother?  Apparently, Mrs. Woods is a witch.  The latest bombshell comes to us via a UK tabloid called “The News of the World.”  A waitress from a Perkins Restaurant in Orlando revealed steamy details of her alleged affair with the world‘s number one golfer.  Unfortunately, Apple Daily hasn‘t translated this video yet, but I did my best. 

Long cool woman in a red dress.  Tiger meets Mindy at Perkins, high class style restaurant.  He phones in order, has visions of red mushrooms.  He asks her back to his place or another restaurant maybe. 

MINDY LAWTON, ALLEGED TIGER WOODS MISTRESS:  He texted me constantly and he would call me regular will.  Every time he would contact me, it was for sex. 

OLBERMANN:  Some people look better as animated figures.  I don‘t know what she‘s doing here, but it looks like she needs a shower.  This they now do.  They have relations all over the place, in his house, but never Tiger‘s  bed, which is queen sized and located in a large closet. 

First of all, clearly, the animation team has never been to a Perkins restaurant.  Second, Mindy Lawton claims she and Woods were romantic all over the house, yes, in the shower, just not in his bed, which is queen sized and located in a large closet.  Ms. Lawton‘s story continues. 

Mindy says something about Tiger‘s wife, who suddenly getting an X over her face, possibly H1N1.  Tiger makes public appearances, adoring crowds, then the spanky spanky.  Tiger has thought bubble about underwear he wants her to wear, or maybe it‘s about Annika Sorenstam.  Text messages in, order to restaurant.  Van starts a rocking. 

So, she helped him change a tire?  Oh, you mean—oh. 

Night of crash, Tiger didn‘t feel so hot.  This is pill of Vicodin. 

Ouch, ouch, I fell on my keys.  Tiger Woods and wife check into hospital.  Woods using clever name to hide celebrity, William Smith.  Police wonder, now there are two pills of Vicodin. 

Seriously, you want to remain anonymous, so you check into the hospital as Will Smith.  Another tip if you want to remain anonymous, do not take pictures of yourself that might end up in “Playgirl.”

Anonymous woman has naughty photo.  Look at naughty photo go into lady‘s ponytail.  Tiger Woods takes picture.  That looks good.  We can sell this.  There is much rejoicing. 

Dude, Levi Johnston is going to be so upstaged. 


OLBERMANN:  Here is hoping in 2010 that you and your loved ones don‘t find yourself the subject of an Apple Daily extravaganza. 

A big thank you to our other favorites.  You, our viewer, we appreciate your support in watching.  We also appreciated your amazing financial support of the free health care clinics this year.  We wish you a happy and healthy new year.



Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.

No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research.

User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s

personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed,

nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion

that may infringe upon MSNBC and CQ Transcriptions, LLC‘s copyright or

other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal

transcript for purposes of litigation.>