Controversial news host Keith Olbermann felt compelled to suspend his own Twitter account on Thursday after being inundated with a number of angry tweets. The host of MSNBC's 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann' was blasted
by his followers for the manner in which he and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore discussed the rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
When asked why Moore contributed $20,000 to help bail
Assange out of a British prison earlier this week, he told Olbermann that the WikiLeaks architect is a 'pioneer of free speech.' He then went on to suggest that authorities may be pursuing sexual assault charges against Assange because of his role in publishing thousands of confidential diplomatic documents.
'This whole thing stinks to the high heavens,' said Moore. 'They go after people with this kind of lie and smear. What they say he did... his condom broke during consensual sex; that is not a crime in Britain. This is all a bunch of hooey, as far as I'm concerned.'
Sweden is attempting to extradite Assange from Britain after two former WikiLeaks volunteers accused him of rape. Both women said
that the acts started as consensual, but stopped being so after one condom broke and the other was 'no longer in use,' according to the New York Times.
However, other news sources have a different interpretation of the allegations. The Washington Post's Jessica Valenti wrote
that Assange is 'accused of pinning one woman's arms and using his body weight to hold her down during an alleged assault, and of raping a woman while she was sleeping,'
While the brunt of the backlash was directed at Moore, Olbermann began taking heat for later retweeting a link to an Australian newspaper
that identified the names of the women involved in the case as well as questioned the validity of the rape allegations themselves. In the article, the author refers to Sweden's legal system as a 'laughing stock.'
'I've now discovered that I am accused of being a rape apologist in part because I didn't remove the quotes from the word rape in a retweet,' Olbermann wrote to his followers.
'I will thus unblock all blocks, wish you all a Merry Christmas and I'll suspend this account until this frenzy is stopped,' he later tweeted.
Meanwhile, Moore continues to question the allegations, and recently wrote on open letter to Sweden criticizing their rape laws.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard