EDITOR’S NOTE (Nov. 5, 2010): MSNBC today announced that it has suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann indefinitely for making monetary contributions to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates. Below is a story from July 15, 2010, in which Tucker Carlson spoke with BlogTalkRadio about buying the rights to KeithOlbermann.com. Carlson also said during the interview that “a lot of people [at MSNBC] really do hate KO because he’s cruel to people who work for him.”
Though Tucker Carlson claims no personal ill-will toward Keith Olbermann, he sure is reveling in the cyber-battle he picked with the MSNBC anchor—by nailing down the rights to KeithOlbermann.com.
Interviewed on BlogTalkRadio’s Mediaite, the conservative icon explains why he made such an acquisition, and what his site, The Daily Caller—which launched in January as a right-wing answer to The Huffington Post—plans to do with it.
“It evolved over the last six months. We started reviewing Countdown [with Keith Olbermann] every Friday,” Tucker, who formerly worked for MSNBC and CNN—and is now a paid contributor for Fox News Channel—tells host Steve Krakauer of the impetus for buying the domain.
“A writer, called Ruth Graham, in New York, has been tasked with watching every minute of every show of Countdown. She now has a facial twitch, actually, from it. And on the basis of that, writes a Friday column.
“We started running fluffy pieces on Keith Olbermann—crying on the air or whatever; pieces of interest to Keith Olbermann watchers—and we decided, Why not become the definitive site for KO news and information; the KO supestore, the Walmart of KO-nalia?
“So the opportunity to acquire KO.com arose and we felt there was a market niche we could enter and dominate, and that it would be a public service, so we did.
“Plus, it’s amusing as hell!” Tucker continues.
When Steve inquires about the cost of the domain, Tucker says:
“We prefer not to divulge methods and sources. We think of The Daily Call as the shadow—it appears. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not. Is it watching you while you sleep? You don’t know. It’s omnipresent. It’s like the Viet Cong. Short skirmishes, then melt away into the twilight only to reappear 50 miles away marching all the way in truck-tire sandles, subsisting on bowls of rice, sleeping in trees. It’s a light army… We are the Viet Cong.”
As for Tucker’s plans for KeithOlbermann.com, he says:
“My new address, my main email address, is Keith@KeithOlbermann.com. And I just got back to the office…and I came back to a 171 new emails, and I’m thrilled.
“It’s a great way for me to get in touch with some of our readers, and it dawned on me that I bet a lot of people would like to have KeithOlbermann.com email addresses. So were going to be giving those away to our readers. We have a couple KO-related essay contests coming up. We’re trying to raise money for a scholarship at Cornell College, where I believe Keith went, in Iowa.
“We’re going to be doing a lot of KO events around the launch of KO.com, but again I’m pretty sure a lot of our readers might like to have a KO.com email address. Wouldn’t you?”
Later still, Tucker explains his rationale—and supposed legal grounds—for the new site.
“My domain name, TuckerCarlson.com, was being held by a squatter, who’s intent and purpose was to raise money from me and extort money from me-to shake me down-in order to sell my address back to me,” he says.
“That’s not a noble purpose. It’s not protected by the First Amendment. And he lost and I got it back. It now redirects to The Daily Caller.
“KO.com is a news and information site. We’re not squatting it, we’re not trying to extort money from Keith. I wouldn’t accept money. It’s worth more than money.
“In order to get it back, Keith is in effect saying, I don’t think you ought to have the right to say what you’re saying. Keith is attempting to quash political speech, and we’re going to defend ourselves vigorously on First Amendment grounds.
“A lot of people may step back as Mr. O empties his bladder on the First Amendment—indeed on The Bill of Rights itself—but not us. We’re not going to stand back, it’s too important.”
Finally, Tucker shares her personal feeling about Keith.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Keith, because of his phobias—he won’t drive a car. He’s obviously a sad guy in elastic-band jeans.
“So I’ve never hated him or anything. But a lot of people [at MSNBC] really do hate KO because he’s cruel to people who work for him.
“A lot of those people have emailed me with joy, jubulation, in their voices, in their emails. Just letters of congratulations, just thank you for doing this finally.
“It’s funny, I emailed a friend of mine at NBC using my email@example.com address and he said it came into his email box and he shivered to see ‘Keith Olberman’ in his inbox. and he thought, Why is Keith bothering me?
“He’s despised at MSNBC as you know. Ask anybody that works there… I would say he’s the most disliked person in the building by a factor of 10.”
Click here to hear Tucker Carlson’s full interview.
To check out The Daily Caller, click here.