Summary: On MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named conservative radio host Neal Boortz runner-up for "Worst Person in World" for predicting that riots and looting by "aspiring rappers and NBA superstars" would erupt if Stanley "Tookie" Williams did not receive a last-minute commutation of his death penalty.
Nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz earned the runner-up spot in the "Worst Person in the World" segment on the December 14 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann for his weblog post -- noted by Media Matters for America -- that predicted riots and looting by "aspiring rappers and NBA superstars" if Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the Crips gang co-founder who was convicted of murder in 1979, did not receive a last-minute commutation of his death penalty.
Boortz's December 12 blog post, titled "They're Just Looking For A Excuse, Not A Reason," predicted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) would grant Williams clemency because allowing his execution would spark "wide scale looting" in "South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere." Boortz also wrote, "There are thugs just waiting for an excuse."
Williams was executed early on December 13, and, as Boortz noted on his blog later that day, the event spurred no riots. "Someone correctly opined yesterday that it was too cold in Los Angeles for riots right now," Boortz wrote.
In naming Boortz runner-up for "Worst Person," Olbermann said, "So, the guy's not only got no handle on predicting events, but he's also a racist? OK."
During the segment, Olbermann showed a photo of a man incorrectly identified as Boortz; in fact, the picture is of former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA).
From the December 14 broadcast of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
OLBERMANN: The runner-up: Neal Boortz, who was another one of those radio commentators who give free speech a bad name. In a blog posting, Boortz predicted that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would commute the sentence of convicted killer Stanley "Tookie" Williams because if he didn't, quoting Boortz here, "there will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere." Boortz added, "there are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now." So, the guy's not only got no handle on predicting events, but he's also a racist? OK.