What Does “Countdown” Have Against Andrew Johnson?

OK. I know this is not of any great significance but it gets under my skin all the same.

Back in May, Rachel Maddow was subbing for host Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s “Countdown” when she was discussing precedents for presidential impeachment. Along the way she made a remark about the impeachment of “Andrew Jackson”. Ehhhhhh, no. The president in question was Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln’s successor. At least Rachel corrected herself after the commercial break.

Last night, when David Shuster was subbing for Keith Olbermann it was deja vu all over again. This time the trivia tidbit was that “Andrew Jackson” had pardoned the entire Confederacy in an act of reconciliation. Yikes! There was no Confederacy to pardon when Jackson was president (waaaay before the Civil War). Again, the president in question was Andrew Johnson.

Could it be that Keith Olbermann is more careful about what he is reading off the teleprompter so he catches these dumb mistakes before they leave his lips while his substitute hosts can’t seem to keep up? I don’t know what the problem is but I wish the “Countdown” research staff and the substitute hosts would get their act together, at least for the sake of the kids who might be watching and may want to learn something.

Needless to say I’ll be paying close attention to “Countdown” on Friday, November 21 when whoever is hosting the show that night makes the following faux pas:

Tomorrow marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Approximately two hours after the shooting, Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.



6 thoughts on “What Does “Countdown” Have Against Andrew Johnson?

  1. If I remember correctly, South Carolina did threaten secession during the Jackson administration. Pres. Jackson, if I remember correctly, said that if they really did it, he was going to hang John Calhoun personally.

    I don’t think he was really the grant-a-pardon kind of guy.

  2. Wickle, I won’t challenge you on that one and your memory of Jackson’s response is certainly consistent with his personality. Still, the blanket pardon of confederate states would fall under Johnson’s purview. The incident you cite with South Carolina may have been the source of “Countdown”s staff’s confusion.

  3. Oh, I don’t think for a moment that they deserve that much credit. More like, they blundered into a vague historical connection.

    I suspect that someone made mention of Andrew Johnson, and some genius said, “No, it’s Jackson. See? Right here on my $20 bill.”

  4. I miss them also. Rachel returns tonight (Thursday). Of course the problem is that when Keith used to take vacation, Rachel was his sub. Now with her own show, those days are over. 😉

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