Mary Katharine Ham ‘Worst Person in the World’

Mary Katharine Ham 'Worst Person in the World' Keith Olbermann has named Mary Katharine Ham the “Worst Person in the World” for expressing the view on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” that Bill Clinton has to be a bit stunned by the backlash over his negative campaigning on behalf of his wife because he was used to soft treatment from the press.

I think he’s sort of a victim of the — or not a victim, but he’s getting used to the 24-hour news cycle. When he was president, he was not subjected to quite as much scrutiny, and I think he got a lot of passes, and now he’s mad he’s not getting them anymore.

Olbermann gets positively apoplectic over this, making fun of Ham’s youth and pointing out that Clinton got the 24-hour news cycle in all its force during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and was, after all, impeached:

AllahPundit contends, “Nowhere did MK suggest that Clinton had gotten a pass about Monica, only that he’d gotten passes otherwise” but given the context of the “24-hour news cycle,” Olbermann’s interpretation isn’t unreasonable.

The so-called “CNN Effect” was in full swing by the time Clinton took office. Ham has a point though, that “the quick and constant fact-checking of the Internet” and the fact that “his mis-statements and blow-ups are routinely recorded and picked apart” are new advents. Matt Drudge made his name by scooping Newsweek on its own story with the Lewinsky affair but, for the most part, the pack mentality of the Big Media was all there was during Clinton’s time in office; the blogosphere kicked up the 24/7 scrutiny several notches.

Olbermann would be on much firmer ground here if he weren’t so over the top. While I’d argue that Clinton often benefited from a press corps that was sympathetic to his ideas and won over by his charm, it’s hard to make the case that he wasn’t subject to plenty of press scrutiny. But, surely, that’s not an argument worth blowing a gasket over.

While I realize that “Worst Person in the World” is one of Olbermann’s shticks and that it’s meant to be hyperbole, it’s really a bizarre title to bestow for expressing an opinion on such a minor issue.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    I am sure that Ms. Ham will wear this as a badge of honor. It ranks right behind condemnation by the NYT.

  2. carpeicthus says:

    It must get tiring to keep having to come up with new people. The Osama bin-Laden/Dick Cheney axis of evil would get boring every week.

  3. Mary Katherine Ham did win my Knucklehead of the Day award once. For her, and the original founders or backers of rightroots, who thought pissing away money on the hopeless Diana Irey campaign against John Murtha was a good idea.

    Mary’s reply to my calling her out on this political fantasy? Can’t please everyone Apparently Mary and the rest of Rightroots couldn’t be bothered with checking with the NRCC, otherwise they would have known the Irey challenge wasn’t a serious one.

    We all know who won in November 2006. Even crackpots or Masochists can be right sometimes.

  4. M1EK says:

    Uh, he has to pick one of these every show. Maybe the pickings were particularly slim yesterday?

  5. yetanotherjohn says:

    I wonder if Olbermann has a mirror?

  6. Tlaloc says:

    I can’t stand Olbermann for one simple reason:

    “Worse, worser, worst.”

    like the culture isn’t already dumbed down enough without that shit.

  7. Tano says:

    its called humor, James.

    You are sounding pretty Republican today,,,,

    “I wonder if Olbermann has a mirror?”

    yaj, Olberman has named himself WPITW a few times.

  8. James Joyner says:

    its called humor, James.

    He doesn’t come off as being tongue-in-cheek here, what with all the ranting. Maybe you had to be there.

  9. Tano says:

    tongue in cheek?

    geez, he is laughing throughout the whole “rant”!

    What is wrong with the Republcian humor gene?

  10. Vincent Manso says:

    In the United States of Idiocracy, Olbermann would be King, Prime Minister, Maximun Leader, etc. Back on Earth he has the lowest rating, “In The World”. I never watch him but you guys sure waste your time watching him and then waste our time telling us what he does that nobody watches in that world famous International News Org.