During the broadcast of his ESPN show on Thursday, Keith Olbermann once again lit into the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell. As he has done this entire week, he called out both the league and Goodell for the awful way it has handled the Ray Rice domestic abuse incident. With more and more information coming out portraying Goodell as completely incompetent, willfully ignorant or deviously manipulative when it comes to his ‘investigation’ into Rice abusing his then-fiancee and now-wife, the NFL announced on Wednesday that they would be launching an independent investigation into the Ray Rice investigation. Olbermann had a field day with this announcement Thursday evening.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Olbermann:
Below is a full transcript of Olbermann’s remarks.
We begin with the news that the National Football League has begun an investigation of its Ray Rice investigation after which it will have to begin a new investigation of its investigation of the Ray Rice investigation. Rare is the leader, unique perhaps, that can be relied on in a crisis to always do the wrong thing. Such a man is Roger Goodell.
The quote independent investigation that he suddenly announced last night will be led by a mediocre former head of the FBI who just happens to now be a partner at the law firm that happened to help the league negotiate its new deal with DirecTV. The law firm which just so happened to have represented Washington owner Daniel Snyder. The law firm at which NFL senior vice president and in-house counsel Jay Bauman just happened to work. The law firm for which 31 years just happened to have employed Dick Cass, who just happens to be president of the Baltimore Ravens, which if you understandably have forgotten, is the team Ray Rice used to play for, meaning Cass was part of the inner circle who screwed up the investigation that the new investigation is investigating.
And just in case, just in case there’s any remaining risk that the quote independent investigation will produce any REAL information, just in case it might lead to anything that might transforms this mess into some positive action against domestic violence, just in case it might conclude with something of substance, other than a scapegoat at the vice presidential level or lower, JUST IN CASE — the quote independent investigator Robert Mueller will be supervised by tow other attorneys, a Mr. John Mara and a Mr. Art Rooney. Oh, and guess what? They are owners of the Giants and Steelers, respectively. COINCIDENCE, NO DOUBT!
Now, a good leader doesn’t have just one backup plan to cover his backside. Selecting a pal from what might as well be your in-house law firm is wily and shallow. Backing that up by having two owners oversee your investigator pal is good but it isn’t airtight. But, specifying that it is “an independent investigation into the NFL’s pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice domestic violence incident,” that’s the mark of genius and leadership. That’s a third butt-protection plan.
See, that means Bob Mueller can limit his guided tour into the NFL offices — I’m sorry, his independent investigation — to whether or not the claim of the unnamed law enforcement figure in the Associated Press story is true. Whether or not the full knockout punch video of Ray Rice from inside the hotel elevator as early as April 9th. All he needs to figure out is, “What did the NFL know, and when did they stop knowing it?” Just find a scapegoat, purchase a mea culpa from him with a big severance package, and then — “Everybody over to Flashdancers! The tips are on Bob Mueller!”
You don’t have to look at the real crimes of the Rice fiasco, like who staged the Rice’s joint news conference, or the day Roger Goodell went against all accepted legal practice, and against all decency, and interviewd the domestic violence victim with the man who had knocked her out sitting next to her at the table, near the man’s boss and his boss’ boss. He doesn’t have to look at why, as of this Tuesday, the NFL still did not know which New Jersey law enforcement agency had jurisdiction over the video. And he certainly doesn’t have to decide whether Roger Goodell’s nonsensical claim in his letter to the owners Wednesday that nobody at the hotel could have legally given them the Rice video — whether that was Goodell lying or just him being stupid.
“We did not ask the Atlantic City casino directly for the video. again our understanding of New Jersey law is that the casino is prohibited from turning over material to a third-party during a law enforcement proceeding, and that doing so would have subjected individuals to prosecution for interfering in a criminal investigation.” Sadly, NO.
By request our reporter John Barr assiduously tracked down Paul Loriquet, the director of communications for the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and asked him if it would have been illegal for the Revel Casino to provide a copy of the entire Rice incident surveillance tape to the NFL. Mr. Loriquet replied, “Our interpretation of the law is that it would not have been illegal.” So, good guess, Roger, but the answer was yes! You could have legally gotten the tape from Revel. Thanks for playing, Roger, and all the best to you. You didn’t win but you have been a wonderful contestant. And before you leave, we’d like to give you the home video version of our show, ‘I Was Once NFL Commissioner.’ This is Bob Slur reminding you to have your pets spayed and neutered. Good bye, everybody!
Robert Mueller doesn’t even need to mention that or any of the other Goodellian gaffes that would be laugh-out-loud funny if they weren’t so tragic, so offensive — and if they hadn’t vaporized league credibility. He just has to figure out — and this will take months and months and months of painstaking work, the Associated Press story just broke yesterday, this can’t be done overnight, this will take time to figure out whether or not he league got the video — Mueller’s only mission is to determine if he can say something like, “We believe we now know the person at the NFL who received the Ray Rice video.”
“We believe we now know the person at the NFL who received the Ray Rice video,” Harvey Levin, founder and proprietor of TMZ.com, today. I worked with Harvey 25 years ago. Among many other things he is also a lawyer. Now, THAT would have been an independent investigation!
So, to summarize, Bob Muller’s independent investigation doesn’t have to touch the kangaroo court that Goodell convened with the Rices not the ludicrous initial slap on Ray Rice’s wrist not Goodell’s complete whiff on who had the tape nor this latest revelation that he could have gotten it from the hotel but didn’t. And everything else is in the hands of a partner from a law firm that is so tied to the NFL it might as well be the 33rd team! The term independent investigation — it’s a brand name. It does not describe, it does not instruct, it is just more official NFL merchandise. As surely as if it were just another item in the league’s online shop. Like, you know, just to pick one at random, this official NFL Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens Nike women’s alternate game jersey – black, still in stock and still just $94.95, though it was only left in medium, ladies.
YES! As of midday today, they were still selling Ray Rice unis for women at NFL.com. If that doesn’t tell you how much the league screwed this up, nothing can. Oh, and the independent investigation, it won’t be investigating that, either.
On Thursday evening, ESPN’s Outside the Lines revealed that a number of sources close to Ray Rice have refuted the claim that Goodell was unaware of the full nature of what happened in the casino elevator between Rice and his then-fiancee. Apparently, per the sources, Rice was honest with Goodell and told the commissioner in June that he hit Janay Palmer-Rice in the face that February night and that she hit her head on a bar afterward. It will be interesting to see how this new information will be treated by Keith.