Watch: Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on the Irresponsibility of Inciteful Rhetoric

Keith Olbermann called a special edition of Countdown Saturday night. He spoke to columnists and Congresspeople on the day's horrific events after airing the inspired press conference from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. But nowhere was he somberer than during his Special Comment, which beseeched politicians and news personalities in particular to tone down the rhetoric. “We need to put the guns down,” he began. “Just as importantly, we need to put the gun metaphors away, and permanently.” He then went on to name names -- from Glenn Beck to Rep. West -- and apologize for what he perceived as his own escalated comments in the past. But while he scolded and maligned how ugly political speech has gotten, nowhere did he call for outright censorship -- just personal responsibility in the aftermath of the tragedy. He was one of the first voices in a slew of columns and comments calling for the end of violent imagery in politics. AlterNet's Adele M. Stan beseeched Boehner and other GOP leaders to help “end the gruesome rhetoric.” New York Timescolumnist Paul Krugman wrote that ”insults aren’t the same as incitement,” while Sheriff Dupnik has repeatedly called for politicians and radio/news hosts to cease the “vitriol” and denounce the climate of “hatred” and “bigotry.” It would seem a shift in tone was in the making... if it weren't for the denial we're seeing from some. Meanwhile... on Sunday, a housewife named Andrea Rouda blogged that in the wake of the shootings, Olbermann would make “a good target.” The post has since been removed.

Watch Olbermann below.

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AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 10, 2011, 3:43am

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