With his total number of viewers having declined by 45 percent since his premiere in the 8PM time slot, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell appears to be taking a page from his predecessor Keith Olbermann's handbook.
On Monday's "The Last Word," the host did two segments about Fox News, the first included insults about Irish guys and Bill O'Reilly's "gullible" audience that ended with a school yard challenge to cable news's most-watched personality (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday expressed concern that someone like conservative author Ann Coulter has the "freedom" to make a joke about jailing journalists.
This was amazing expressed moments before "The Last Word" host applauded the free flow of information that enticed and united protesters to rebel in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday’s Last Word show on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell trashed conservatives for raising concerns about the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt as the MSNBC host claimed that, "The Muslim Brotherhood is the latest excuse for the right wing to whip up anti-Islamic hysteria, including the old standby that President Obama is secretly a Muslim." Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who appeared as a guest for the segment, even referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a "scarecrow," and dismissed concerns about whether a new government might adhere to the peace treaty with Israel as the Democratic Congressman asserted that, "You haven’t seen one Israeli flag. You haven’t seen one."
But, while the overwhelming majority of Egyptian demonstrators may be motivated by a desire for better economic conditions and more freedom, it would be incorrect to claim that there is a complete absence of anti-Israel sentiment. On Sunday, January 30, the NBC Nightly News showed an image of one sign held by a protester that tied then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Israel by placing the Jewish Star of David over his face. And, on Saturday, January 29, ABC's World News Saturday showed a second sign with a similar image of Mubarak with a smaller Star of David on his forehead, as if to attack the Egyptian leader as being too friendly to Israel and Jews.
On the Friday, January 28, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel even recounted concerns by some Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood would "hijack" the anti-government movement to take power:
On the February 8 edition of MSNBC's "Last Word," left-wing comedian Bill Maher disparaged Bill O'Reilly as "unpatriotic" for the way in which the veteran Fox News anchor conducted his interview with President Barack Obama on Super Bowl Sunday.
"And Bill O'Reilly, who claims he's such a patriot, how unpatriotic in my view to treat a president that way," railed Maher. "How does that look to other countries when you're interrupting and belittling? I just find it astounding."
The geniuses at MSNBC actually misspelled Bill O'Reilly's last name during a lengthy opening segment Monday bashing the Fox News star's interview with President Obama the previous day.
For the first minute and a half of the ten and a half minute "Last Word" piece, the graphic on a television screen behind and to the right of host Lawrence O'Donnell read "Interruptus O'Reilyus" (video follows with commentary):
In the wake of Monday's ruling by a Florida judge to toss out ObamaCare as a result of the individual mandate, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked liberal constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley Tuesday if the Democrats made a mistake not writing a severability clause into the law.
Turley surprisingly answered, "It was a colossal mistake" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Howard Kurtz on Sunday pointed out a delicious irony involving MSNBC and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
After complaining about CNN's decision to air the Congresswoman's response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, MSNBC spent the next several days giving far more attention to her than to the official GOP respondent (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's Today show never covered Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen comparing Republicans to Nazis, but on Friday co-anchor Meredith Vieira determined Sarah Palin's mocking of Barack Obama's Winning the Future slogan as the precise moment when the new era of "civility" in Washington, came to an end. After Vieira opened this morning's show announcing: "End of civility? Sarah Palin takes a shot at President Obama's call for winning the future...is the new tone of togetherness in Washington already over?" she brought on MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to chastise Palin and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
"[Palin] really struggles with that sounding presidential thing. It's a real challenge for her. And you know, look it's, it's as weird as it gets. But really if you are looking for a lack of civility or the argumentative stuff...this week you really have to go to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. No one else is doing it."
In a segment entitled "Remember Civility? Why Are Palin & GOP Stepping Up Criticism?" O'Donnell and Vieira took turns bashing the former Alaska Governor and Minnesota Congresswoman as seen in the follow January 28 exchange:
Prior to calls for civility and what turned out to be a disastrous "date night" for the Democrats, Barack Obama was nicely set up to catapult himself into a fabulous 2011 approaching next year's reelection campaign with an enviable head of steam.
Having been all but considered dead - am I allowed to say that post-Tucson? - after his shellacking at the polls in November, the President eked out win after win in the lame duck session, and did a very admirable job with his memorial speech.
Even conservatives like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer were singing his praises.
The nation was also getting a proverbial thrill back up its collective leg according to polls making the coincidence of all these stars aligning so perfectly right before the State of the Union address almost Capraesque.
The folks at MSNBC - and new owners Comcast for that matter - must have been jumping for joy when they saw the Neilsen ratings for their first official night without Keith Olbermann.
As the New York Times reported Tuesday, "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" premiere in "Countdown's" regular 8PM time slot attracted almost 50 percent more viewers than Olbermann has averaged recently:
It was to be expected that MSNBC commentators would publicly wish Keith Olbermann well after his surprise exit last Friday.
But the nonsense that spewed out of Lawrence O'Donnell's mouth Monday evening - "He invented op-ed TV...For eight years...No one in television history has ever done anything like it" - was so sycophantic and factually bereft it was almost sick-making (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday’s the Last Word show, in its new 8:00 p.m. time slot, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell referred to the manufacturers of high-capacity magazines as "merchants of death" who purchase "their political protection from the NRA." As he continued his push for a ban on magazines with 30 bullets in light of the Tucson shootings, O’Donnell dismissed a statement from the NRA which argued that such magazines are useful in self-defense, and went on to make his latest attack on the manufacturers:
So the merchants of death are buying their political protection from the NRA and leave us to stare at our children and wonder: Who among them will be the next nine-year-old their high-capacity magazines unload on? The next Christina Taylor Green.
He went on to plead with President Obama to talk about gun control in the State of the Union Address, or otherwise "become part of the problem." O’Donnell:
If the President follows Republican and Democratic tradition tomorrow night and says not a word about gun and ammunition control, if he does not use this moment of his increasing popularity, if he does not believe he has the communication skills to convey the necessity to control the capacity of automatic weapons, then I, for one, will become disappointed in him for the first time. And he will become part of the problem.
Editor's Note: The following is a brief statement released by NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) president Brent Bozell earlier today regarding MSNBC firing Keith Olbermann.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Olbermann was a failure because he was vicious, insulting and off-the-charts liberal. And they replaced him with Lawrence O'Donnell, who is Olbermann but without talent. It is absolutely guaranteed that MSNBC will sink even lower. This network is clueless.
NBC's failure to cover the Democratic congressman who compared Republicans to Nazis on the House floor trickled down to MSNBC yesterday, as anchor Lawrence O'Donnell neglected the story in favor of smearing House Speaker John Boehner and syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh.
After spending more than six minutes railing against House Republicans for repealing Obama's health care overhaul in a segment dubbed "Repeal & Misplaced," O'Donnell, a self-described socialist, omitted Rep. Steve Cohen's (D-Tenn.) remarks likening Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
At the top of his prime time program, O'Donnell took a partisan pot shot at Boehner (R-Ohio) for skipping the lavish state dinner for Chinese President Hu to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal the unpopular health care law.
In a fine example of the new civility at MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday actually yelled at an Arizona Congressman who didn't agree with him about the need for gun control following the shootings in Tucson.
The discussion on "The Last Word" really got heated after the host made the case to Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that additional security at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) Congress on Your Corner event wouldn't have mattered because "The overwhelming majority of bullets fired by police officers always miss their target" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Catching up on an item from the Tuesday, January 11, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell blamed President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress of 2004 for some of the deaths in the Tucson shootings because they did not have the "basic human decency" to renew the assault weapons ban and require Jared Loughner to reload his weapon sooner. O’Donnell talked of learning which victims would be alive if not for Bush and Republicans. O’Donnell:
When the investigation reveals the exact order of the 31 shots fired, we will be able to do the grim accounting and tell you exactly, exactly who would be alive today if the Republican House, the Republican Senate and the Republican President had the basic human decency to do the right thing in 2004.
Later in the show, he quoted the spokesman of the National Rifle Association and tagged him as "soulless" for opposing a rush to pass new gun control laws. He went on to contend that the NRA believes "there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns," and suggested that the NRA wants to keep the murder rate in America above that in other countries. O’Donnell:
Quote, "Anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate." So says the soulless spokesman for the National Rifle Association, the most successful special interest lobby in the history of lobbying. Success in lobbying is scored according to how difficult your case is. The NRA has a very difficult case to make, that there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns and bullets in this country, and that we must never allow our homicide rate to fall below any other country`s homicide rate.
A new poll just released by Quinnipiac University finds very few Americans agree with the media's view that heated political rhetoric was responsible for Saturday's tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
What should also surprise all of the so-called journalists that have been accusing conservative politicians and pundits for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to commit this heinous act is that people feel liberals are more responsible for this rhetoric than folks on the right (emphasis added throughout):
For the second night in a row, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell exposed a prominent liberal for being totally ignorant about the tax code.
His victim on Wednesday's "The Last Word" was liberal media darling Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), and this time O'Donnell had some assistance from two very unlikely participants (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday surprisingly exposed how ignorant liberals are of the tax code.
In a sometimes heated discussion with prominent progressives about President Obama's new compromise tax plan, "The Last Word" host aggressively challenged the knowledge of two of his guests (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's prime-time "town hall" on immigration reform yesterday exemplified one of the more unseemly elements of media bias: brazen political advocacy disguised as an "honest conversation."
Attempting to pass itself off as a forum for voices on all sides of the immigration issue to elevate the dialogue, "Beyond Borderlines" featured droves of liberal guests who dismissed, admonished, and overwhelmed only token conservative opposition.
From the outset of the program, conservative guests were disadvantaged and drowned out. The "conversation," which touched on a wide-range of issues related to immigration reform, was steered by hosts Lawrence O'Donnell, who is a self-described socialist, and Maria Teresa Kumar, who is executive director of Voto Latino, a liberal immigration reform group.
Mike Cutler, one of the few guests who offered a contrasting perspective on the issue, was repeatedly attacked by Kumar, who oscillated between the conflicting roles of questioner and answerer, and the other panelists.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Last Word on MSNBC, Mark McKinnon - former media advisor to the Bush and McCain presidential campaigns who writes a column for the Daily Beast- blamed Sarah Palin for the Republican Party’s failure to recapture control of the Senate, charging that "she put up some candidates that really weren’t qualified." He continued: "They lost. We lost. The Republicans could have taken the Senate if not for Sarah Palin. And so her stock is falling and pretty rapidly now, I think."
He soon reiterated: "It wasn't strategic. It was impulsive and it cost the Republicans the leadership of the Senate."
After quipping that Palin is "getting closer to her sell-by date," McKinnon also mocked Palin as being unworthy of comparison to Republican hero Ronald Reagan. McKinnon: "You know, she's comparing herself to Ronald Reagan. And, you know, I didn't know Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was not a friend of mine, but I can guarantee you this, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. And she talked about his movie. She didn't even get the name of his movie right."
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Last Word, MSNBC contributor and Princeton University Associate Professor Melissa Harris-Perry claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama have pushed a "sort of center right" agenda as she defended Pelosi’s decision to stay on to lead House Democrats despite her party’s defeat. As she missed the point that most moderate Democrats hold conservative-leaning districts where Pelosi and Obama are unpopular, she suggested that moderate Democrats fared poorly in the elections because they were not supportive enough of Pelosi and Obama. Harris-Perry:
It may be, in fact, that precisely what the party needs is to learn the lesson of 2010. In 2010, it was the Blue Dogs who lost most heavily as any individual category of Democrats, that the group most repudiated by voters in this election were those Democrats who didn't get on board with Pelosi's agenda, who ran against President Obama's agenda. The notion that we should now discontinue a Pelosi/Obama sort of forward-moving progressive agenda, and it's not that progressive, I mean, it's sort of center right, and the idea that we should move to the right of that agenda, I think, is exactly misreading what happened in 2010.
The Hill is reporting that America's only admitted socialist member of Congress on Tuesday said he would seek to block the merger of Comcast with NBC as a result of Keith Olbermann's suspension last week (h/t NBer Beukeboom):
The Baltimore Sun's media critic is still fuming about MSNBC's pathetic coverage on election night.
In his piece published Saturday, David Zurawik called the cable news network a "liberal prep school" while claiming the behavior of folks like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Keith Olbermann was "so egregious" that the "entire realm of TV journalism was diminished in the public mind":