I used to like Keith Olbermann. I really did. What the hell happened? The guy really has become the Bill O’Reilly of the radical Left. Okay, he’s a little bit more interested in actual facts and fair, objective reporting than Bill-O, but as this clip shows (as well as his poorly conceived attack of British journalist Brian Deer earlier this year), he’s not interested in fair, objective reporting. In the clip linked above, Keith-O declares that the anonymous donor largely responsible for getting the Atheist Bus Campaign ads in NYC is the third worst person in the world. And why does Keith-O think they’re so terrible, presumably more terrible than Osama bin Laden, who didn’t make the list? Because of the Keith-O’s perceived irony over the fact that they’re remaining anonymous while financially supporting an ad campaign that encourages atheists to come out of the closet:
Tonight’s worst persons in the world. The bronze: To the person who donated the scratch for ten thousand dollars worth of ads on the sides of buses in New York City, promoting atheism. They read, “You don’t have to believe in God to be a moral or ethical person.” The hope, from president Ken Bronstein of the group NYC Atheists, is to get people to stop hiding their non- belief — to stop hiding it. No complaint about the message — however, while Bronstein says, “We want to get atheists to come join us, to get out of the closet,” unfortunately the donor who made the ads possible is keeping his identity anonymous. (Contemptuous eye-roll.)
So an atheist promoting a campaign to encourage other atheists to come out while choosing to remain anonymous yourself makes you a bad person? According to Keith-O, the answer apparently is not only YES, but it makes you the third worst person in the world.
If you were doing a segment about an ad campaign designed to let gay people know that they weren’t alone and to encourage them to come out of the closet — and one of the major donors to the campaign wanted to remain anonymous — would you decry them as one of the worst persons in the world?
Or would you understand that coming out as gay can — yes, still, even this day and age — be a hazardous enterprise? Would you understand that coming out can mean alienating family and friends, losing your job or your kids, getting beaten up or even killed? Would you understand that people have to come out on their own timetable, and that a person who wants to take action to support gay rights and gay visibility still might not be completely out of the closet? Would you understand that even gay people who are out to their families and friends and colleagues still might not want their name, and their gayness, splashed all over the national news?And if so, then why don’t you understand it about atheists?
There are some realities about living as an atheist that you may not know about, Mr. Olbermann. Coming out as an atheist can have serious real-world consequences. Parents get denied custody of their children for being atheists. People get harassed and vandalized by their neighbors for being atheists. Teachers get suspended for being atheists. Teenagers get harassed and suspended from school for being atheists. Politicians whip up anti-atheist fear to try to get elected. (And that’s just in the US. I’m not even talking about parts of the world where atheism is a crime, punishable by imprisonment or death.)
And that’s coming from someone who is both gay and an atheist. Sorry Keith-O, but I’m calling this one an EPIC FAIL!