For years Lawrence O’Donnell has graced the network of MSNBC with a righteously indignant pomposity that was seemingly unrivaled by any of his colleagues. Not since the comically unhinged Keith Olbermann used to hand out his nightly “Worst Person in the World” segment, ironically demonstrating in his ability to find and exaggerate the worst in people he disagreed with that no one was more deserving of such an award than him, has cable news had a lefty quite like O’Donnell.
But sometimes the persona that appears on the screen is not at all like the real person, and so viewers were left to wonder if Lawrence O’Donnell was truly as embittered, caustic, and foul as what he portrayed himself to be every evening. They need not wonder any longer.
In what will surely become one of the internet’s all-time classics, Lawrence had a complete meltdown on his staff, recorded and leaked online, leaving both his sanity and his reputation in a pool of his own flagrant portentousness. Move over Bill O’Reilly, there’s a new sheriff of self-importance in town:
“Someone in that control room is out of control,” he said during the Aug. 29 edition of “The Last Word,” adding, “F—. G– d–n it.” When he can still hear the noise, he bangs his fists on the desk, continuing to yell, “”F—k” and “G-d d–n it.”
If you can’t tell, watching this eight minute clip is not for innocent ears.
“Every time we go to a [clip], there’s a woman talking in my ear about something that has nothing to do with what we’re doing here,” he yelled. Then, when hammering sounds could be heard, O’Donnell loses it, screaming “Stop the hammering! Stop the hammering out there! Who’s got a hammer? Where is it? Where’s the hammer?”
Personally that was the line that had me rolling. O’Donnell stands to his feet with his jaw jutted out to the side like a tough guy ready to fight the helpless peons working on his staff, having absolutely no idea how much of a fool he was making himself out to be. And then, just to reinforce how important he was, it was right back to the dirty words:
“I’ll go down to the G——ed floor myself and stop it. Keep the G——ed commercial break going! Call f—ing [MSNBC President] Phil Griffin! I don’t care who the f—- you have to call!” “Stop the hammering,” he added. “Empty out the G——ed control room and find out where this is going on!”
This clip goes on for 8 minutes, which is longer than a normal person’s attention span in 2017. But if you can handle a grown man exercising the verbal restraint of a playground bully, it is totally worth your time to keep watching the train wreck.
Later in the show he also go upset over the editing of a clip. “I told you why I wanted those f—ing words cut,” he says to an unknown producer before adding. “It just f—ing sucks. It f—ing sucks to be out here with this out of control s—.”
It’s always fascinating to watch prima donnas exposed, particularly when you know it has to be unbelievably liberating to the dedicated workers on his program that O’Donnell quite obviously treats like peasants.
Will this public humiliation change him? Probably not. Has it humbled him? No question.