What is wrong with you, Lawrence O’Donnell? The Last Word’s Monday night Fox News-style ambush rant on Anthony Weiner

Last night on his MSNBC show The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell did two things that I didn’t think were possible: he made former representative and current NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner look like a sympathetic, reasonable candidate and made himself look like a stereotypical haranguing Fox News hack.

O’Donnell began the segment with a sucker-punch question to Weiner: “What is wrong with you?” He continued almost without letting Weiner complete a full sentence, let alone a full answer, constantly interrupting and peppering him with judgmental opinions disguised as “journalism”:

  • What is wrong with you that you cannot seem to imagine a life without elective office?
  • …what seems to be your absolute desperate need for elective office and what seems to be your inability to live outside of it.
  • You have been pursuing elective office for over 20 years now….it does not seem to be a fully healthy pursuit.
  • If you take in the totality of your life, Anthony, do you think you’ve spent your time well?
  • Why didn’t you do something for no money?
  • What drives you?…. I mean it from a psychiatric level…. You are being driven by some kind of demons….

And Murrow turns over in his grave….

O’Donnell repeatedly accused Weiner of “hustling his services” as a lobbyist. His proof? “Come on, I know the racket of ex-officials in this town.” Yes, that’s it: superiority without substance – always good to fall on when facts fail you. He calls Weiner a lobbyist because it wouldn’t sound as sneeringly gotcha to say “consulted to businesses that do business with the government”. Consulting to businesses that lobby the government or do work for the government is not lobbying, no matter how much your straw man wants it to be.

O’Donnell must remember replaying Bill O’Reilly’s February 2011 Fox News interview with Obama and keeping count of how many times O’Reilly interrupted the President. The final count, according to O’Donnell, was more than 70 (live and taped parts combined). The number of times that O’Reilly allowed Obama to complete an answer uninterrupted: 0. We all thought at the time that O’Donnell was being scornful of O’Reilly when he reported this…but maybe he was really just watching the Continue reading