The Corner

The Free-Speech Community, Cont’d

We’ve heard that the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank left Keith Olbermann’s program in a cloud of ill feelings over a Post column in which Milbank was insufficiently reverential toward Barack Obama.  Now, via Michael Calderone of The Politico, we learn that troubles between Milbank and Olbermann actually began a few weeks earlier when Milbank ventured off the Olbermann reservation and said something insufficiently negative about top McCain adviser Charlie Black.  From Calderone:

During the first week of July, Milbank spoke to [Olbermann] producer Katy Karp about why he had not been on the show for a couple of weeks. At that point, Milbank was told that there was an issue among staff with something positive he said the previous month about Charlie Black, a McCain senior adviser.

And what was that?  A few days before, Milbank had appeared on the program to discuss Black’s statement that a terrorist attack would help the fortunes of the McCain campaign.  In the course of that, Milbank said:

The irony here is that Charlie Black is a very soft-spoken, well-liked figure, and this does seem rather out of character for him to sound off in this way.

That, apparently, was simply going too far in the Keith Olbermann community.  Calderone writes that an MSNBC spokesman confirmed that Olbermann’s producer did speak to Milbank about the Black comment, but the spokesman told Calderone the producer was “only joking.”  Whatever the case, Milbank was gone a few weeks later.

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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