Keith Olbermann had a special 7:00 “Countdown” on NBC Sunday. Two items …
One, while talking with Chuck Todd (at about 18 minutes into the show), he referred to the Democratic campaign as a,”Bataan like march to Denver.” Yes, just like Bataan except there are no Japanese soldiers cutting off the heads of American POW’s. Other than the missing heads, exactly the same. Oh, and there’s bowling today, too, that wasn’t available in the Philippines in 1942.
And two, the “worst person in the word” was Dick Morris for saying that Hillary lied about Chelsea’s whereabouts on 9/11. Here’s the quote from the Morris column that Olbermann is referring to:
Interviewed on the “Today” show one week after 9/11, she spun an elaborate yarn. The kindest thing we could say was that it was a fantasy. Or a fabrication.
She said that Chelsea was jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11 and happened to duck into a coffee shop when the airplanes hit. She said that this move saved Chelsea’s life. But Chelsea told Talk magazine that she was in a friend’s apartment four miles from ground zero when the first plane hit. Her friend called her, waking her up, and told her to turn on the TV. On television, she saw the second plane hit, disproving Hillary’s claim that “she heard the plane hit. She heard it. She did.”
Olbermann goes on to read this quote, available on Media Matters.com as evidence that Morris is spinning it incorrectly:
CLINTON: She’d gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and — and that’s when the plane hit.
JANE PAULEY (host): She was close enough to hear the rumble.
CLINTON: She did hear it.
The first part of what Morris said is wrong, but what about the exaggeration that Chelsea heard the planes hit? What’s odd is that Media Matters goes on to prove Dick Morris partially correct and repeats the excerpt from the Talk Magazine interview:
A November 9, 2001, UPI article about a piece Chelsea Clinton wrote in Talk magazine corroborates Hillary Clinton’s claim that Chelsea did, in fact, leave her apartment to have coffee the morning of the September 11, 2001, attacks:
“When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, I was 12 blocks away, (and) nothing has been the same since,” Clinton wrote in the December/January issue of Talk magazine, on sale Friday in New York.
Clinton had been staying with her high school friend Nicole Davison in her apartment near Union Square for a few days in September before she went to England to study at Oxford. After they had coffee together, Davison went to work and Clinton returned to the apartment.
Davison called Clinton with the news of the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. Clinton turned on the television and watched the second plane crash into the second WTC tower, and tried to reach her mother in Washington, but after speaking to her assistant, the phone line went dead.
Dick Morris could have told the “jogging” part of the story a little differently, but his second point was that Hillary made up the part about Chelsea being close enough to hear the planes hit. Media Matters confirms this.
There’s one other thing of note. Media Matters and Keith Olbermann are not quoting from the Today show. Their quote is from Nightline, on which Jane Pauley was the host. I’m not sure if Dick Morris just confused Today with Nightline because of Jane Pauley or if there’s another interview out there where Hillary said something different. That Media Matters report above suggest that Morris is referring to a different interview that both Olbermann and Media Matters are not providing the transcript to:
On the March 24 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dick Morris falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton “says Chelsea [Clinton] was in danger on 9-11, jogging around the towers of the World Trade Center and was saved only ‘cause she ducked into a coffee shop.” Morris added: “She — turns out she was in bed at home, and a friend woke her up and said, ‘Watch this on TV.’ ” Morris then asserted of Hillary Clinton, “She’s always saying this stuff that isn’t true … and she gets nailed.”
Morris made a similar false claim on the May 4, 2004, edition of Hannity & Colmes, saying:
MORRIS: Katie Couric interviewed her on the Today show seven days after 9-11. And she completely fabricated her story, made it up. … That Chelsea jogged around the World Trade Center and was only protected because she went into a coffee shop and that she heard and saw the planes hit. Chelsea wrote an article four months later, saying she was 40 blocks — 60 blocks away and watched it on TV, 80 blocks away, was not in danger.
It looks like Morris is referring to the Today show and not Nightline. Anyone have the transcript from 9/18/01 to check what Hillary might have said to Katie Couric?