Keith Olbermann suspended his vacation Wednesday night to return to "Countdown" with a Special Comment on the Shirley Sherrod scandal.
Olbermann blasted Fox News and right-wing media while at the same time calling upon President Obama to respond forcefully against their continued smear campaign.
"What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society," Olbermann said. "It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist -- even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so."
But Olbermann added that "this evil has not become institutionalized just because of the hard, soul-less work of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes and the scum [Andrew] Breitbart." Instead, he said, "the assassins of the Right have been enabled on the Left."
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And Olbermann specifically called upon President Obama to stop enabling the manipulation by staying above the fray and not responding:
The question used to be "fired up?" - and the answer: "Ready to go!" The question now is "fired up?" - the answer now is: "Not ready, because we cannot afford the impression of not looking sufficiently presidential and neutral and inviting a media circus in this atmosphere."
Olbermann challenged Obama to "come to terms with the fact that while you have spent these first 18 months and one day of your presidency bending over backwards for those others, they have spent this time insisting you are not actually president, or you are a communist, or you are bent on destroying whatever is starring this week in the paranoid fantasies churned out by Fox News and the farcical Breitbart.
"Mr. President, please stop trying to act, every minute, like some noble, neutral figure, chairing a government of equal and dispassionate minds, and contemplative scholars," he continued. "It is a freaking war out here, and the imagined consensus you seek is years in the future, if ever it is to be re-discovered."