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September 17, 2014

The Last Word with Lawrence ODonnell

Kathy Griffin Explains Why She Went After 16-Year Old Willow Palin (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Mar 9th 2011 10:45PM
Over the weekend, Sarah Palin ripped Kathy Griffin as an "adult bully" for saying that it was her New Year's resolution to "destroy" Palin's 16-year-old daughter, Willow.

On 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 8PM ET on MSNBC), Griffin explained that she had targeted Willow because Willow had used the word 'f-g' in a Facebook wall posting, a posting that the media had gotten hold of.

"When you're 16, you know, you're really not supposed to use that word," Griffin said. And that's a word you do really tie in with bullying, especially in the LGBT community -- a community I really don't think she really cares about ... Because you can see if you look at the posting, that's not a joke."

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Bill Maher Defends Elisabeth Hasselbeck-to-Egypt Joke (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Feb 9th 2011 6:20PM
On 'Real Time With Bill Maher' last week, Maher had a line about swapping attractive blond CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan, who had been detained (and released) by Egyptian authorities, for Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck took great offense to this, using the first segment of 'The View' on Monday to attack Maher as a "chauvinistic bigot."

Maher got his chance to respond to her response on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 8PM ET on MSNBC.)

"It was a joke," Maher told O'Donnell. "And not even that bad of one."

"There is a line that can be crossed, where you get into mean, bitter, chauvinistic. I didn't even approach it," he continued.

If fact, Maher argued, Hasselbeck should have been flattered by his joke: "Actually, she should be complimented. Because I was kind of putting her on par with Lara Logan, who we all think is a very attractive woman."

We're going to agree with Bill that this was a pretty harmless joke. However, when you gleefully break down how your humor reduces two accomplished women to pretty faces, it does invite the chauvinistic charge.

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Joan Rivers Tells Rachel Maddow She'd Look 'Hot' With Long Hair (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Feb 8th 2011 6:38PM
Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow usually have a brief on-air conversation as 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 8PM ET on MSNBC) ends and 'The Rachel Maddow Show' (weekdays, 9PM ET on MSNBC) begins.

During their chat Monday, Maddow made reference to something Joan Rivers -- O'Donnell's last guest of the evening -- had said. This pulled the irrepressible Rivers, who was still in the studio, into the conversation.

"Tell Rachel to grow her hair," Rivers said, from off camera.

"No Joan, have you ever seen me with long hair? I look like one of the Hanson boys grown up and gone bad," Maddow explained.

"You'd look very hot," Rivers disagreed.

Maddow appeared a bit embarrassed at first, but eventually seemed pleased that Mrs. Red Carpet Critic herself was complimenting her (potential) looks.

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Zach Wahls, Whose Defense of Gay Marriage Went Viral, Speaks About His Sudden Fame (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Feb 5th 2011 7:00AM
Earlier this week, Zach Wahls testified in front of the Iowa State House of Representatives, who were considering a bill that would ban gay marriage and rescind recognition of civil unions.

Wahls was raised by two lesbian parents, and his eloquent explanation of how normal his life has been, as well as his all-American looks, resulted in a YouTube video of the 19-year-old's testimony going viral.

Wahls, his two moms and his sister, appeared on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 8PM ET on MSNBC), where Wahls spoke about his sudden Internet fame.

"It's been overwhelming. I was sitting at work on Tuesday and a co-worker walked up to me and asked, 'do you realize that you're all over Facebook?' I didn't even know what she was talking about until she took me to her computer and that was like half of her news feed."

It's fairly unusual for someone to become an unwitting viral video hit without having done something goofy or stupid -- let alone be recognized for passionately standing up for their beliefs.

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Meghan McCain Rips Michele Bachmann's State of the Union Rebuttal: 'No Better Than a Poor Man's Sarah Palin' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 27th 2011 4:26AM
Meghan McCain, 'The Last Word with Lawrence O'DonnellThe Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain was on 'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' (Wed., 8PM on MSNBC), where she and the host responded to GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's response to the State of the Union address. MSNBC did not air the response, but CNN did, which McCain thinks they "should be ashamed of."

O'Donnell called Bachmann's statements the "second response to the State of the Union Address," because the designated Republican response had already been given. He agreed with McCain "about how there were these different people who are just using their platforms to their own personal advantage, rather than thinking about what it means for the party."

"I think it's important to note that Michele Bachmann is not a leader, and she's not the leader of the Republican Party," McCain said in response. She went on to say that Bachmann "is no better than a poor man's Sarah Palin."

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'Golden Voiced' Ted Williams Embraces the Reporter Who Discovered Him (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Jan 7th 2011 5:00PM
The heartwarming tale of Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, wouldn't have been possible without Columbus Dispatch reporter Doral Chenoweth, who spotted Williams panhandling on a local highway and shot a brief video focusing on Williams' unique talent.

Since the video hit the Internet earlier this week, Williams has received multiple offers to do voice-over work, including one from MSNBC. Appearing on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10PM ET on MSNBC), Williams talked about the video Chenoweth made.

"I had no idea this was going to be anything," Williams said of the video. "I thought if anything it would be a little tidbit of entertainment."

Then O'Donnell announced that Doral Chenoweth was backstage and would be joining Williams on the show.

"I love this man. He is truly, truly the reason," Williams said, his face beaming. "You couldn't have brought a better person."

As Chenowith was walking onto the set, Williams asked O'Donnell if he could get out of his chair so he could hug Chenowith.

Once O'Donnell said that would be OK, Williams locked Chenoweth in a warm embrace, thanking him for all his help. It was an incredibly powerful and emotional moment to watch on television.

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Meghan McCain: Having Different Opinion on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Doesn't Affect Relationship with My Father (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Dec 16th 2010 12:30PM
Meghan McCain is an enthusiastic advocate for repealing the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Her father, Arizona Senator John McCain, is one of the leading voices for maintaining the controversial policy, which bars openly gay soldiers from serving in the military.

Appearing on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays 10 PM ET on MSNBC), Meghan drew a distinction between her political and personal life, in terms of her relationship with her dad.

"I have to keep making this clear: My public political life and my private life with my father are very different. (New York Times columnist) Maureen Dowd wrote her last column about what Thanksgiving was like between me and my father, but if I couldn't separate these things I wouldn't have a relationship with my parents."

Really, Meghan might want to think about playing up the dinner table conflicts in the McCain household. A sitcom about a crotchety old senator and his hip, young, outspoken blogger daughter has a lot of potential.

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Lawrence O'Donnell Bemoans Sarah Palin 'Being Allowed to Rewrite the English Langauge' (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 17th 2010 5:33PM
Lawrence O'Donnell is not pleased with the New Oxford American Dictionary's decision to select the Sarah Palin nonsense mashup "refudiate" as their word of the year.

"While reality shows eventually fade away, Sarah Palin made a much more lasting and damaging contribution to society this week -- she is being allowed to rewrite the English Language," O'Donnell complained on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10PM ET on MSNBC.)

"No doubt Sarah Palin and her supporters will take this honor and run with it; next they will be demanding that cartographers actually move Russia even closer to Sarah Palin house."

Now that's a pretty good zinger. And a much more healthy response to the influence Palin and her minions wield than that of the guy who shot out his TV because he was frustrated that Bristol Palin inexplicably keeps escaping the cut on "Dancing With the Stars."

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Lawrence O'Donnell: "We Are All Socialists" (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 10th 2010 6:30PM
Last week, on 'Morning Joe," Lawrence O'Donnell emphatically declared himself a "socialist."

In response to right-wing talkers who have criticized this admission, O'Donnell used his own show, 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10PM ET on MSNBC) to make the point that in a mixed economy -- like the United States and most nations have -- there exists elements of socialism.

"We're all socialist now," O'Donnell declared. "Every tax payer in this country, every social security recipient, every Medicare beneficiary and everyone who uses the post office is participating in successful socialism."

"We need to take the political sting out the word socialist ... socialists like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and now Rand Paul should not be able to hurl that word as a slur against other socialists."

We're thinking maybe O'Donnell and Paul can cut some sort of deal in which Paul vows never to slur O'Donnell as a socialist, and O'Donnell promises not to make any more Aqua Buddha cracks about Paul. ('Cause, really, don't we all sort of worship Aqua Buddha?)

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Michael Moore and Lawrence O'Donnell Mock Notion that President Obama Can Get Anything Done With New GOP House Majority (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Nov 4th 2010 4:51PM
On the 'Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10 PM ET on MSNBC) O'Donnell and Michael Moore discussed the conciliatory tone President Obama took toward the GOP in his press conference the day after the midterm election.

O'Donnell seemed to suggest that Obama was correct for trying to find common ground with the new Republican House majority. Moore disagreed, and, as the discussion continued, it became clear that O'Donnell was being sarcastic when he first praised Obama's willingness to reach across the aisle. The two went on to voice the progressive critique that Obama is foolish for thinking he can get anything done with the Republicans, who are bent on his political destruction.

"That sounds good, that's why we all like Obama as a human being, he's really a good. . ," Moore said, shooting down O'Donnell's suggestion that Obama had done the right thing by reaching out.

"Good guy," O'Donnell said, finishing Moore's thought.

"Good guy, really good guy," Moore agreed.

"He's very well meaning," O'Donnell explained, his sarcasm becoming more and more apparent.

"Generous of spirit, O'Donnell added, leaving no doubt.

"Gentle," Moore contributed.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

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Larwence O'Donnell Blasts Reporter From Christian Broadcast Network For Asking Christine O'Donnell Question About God (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 27th 2010 5:02PM
On 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays 10 PM ET on MSNBC) O'Donnell repeatedly blasted a reporter for asking Christine O'Donnell questions about God, but oddly failed to mention that the reporter worked for the Christian Broadcast Network.

"Seriously, what is a reporter doing, asking how does God factor into your campaign. How did we get there?" Lawrence O'Donnell asked his panel, after playing a clip of the incident in question. (Which he had prefaced by harshly criticizing the reporter a first time.)

Clear from the watermark on the clip was that the reporter was from the Christian Broadcast Network, which would explain why he was asking religious-based questions that would be inappropriate in the secular press.

As the segment progressed, the panelist moved away from O'Donnell's criticism of the reporter, and instead had a more coherent discussion about why Christine O'Donnell only grants interviews to networks like CBN.

Nevertheless, O'Donnell's denunciation of the reporter cast an awkward pall over the discussion, and seemed to reflect a somewhat reckless desire on his part to squeeze every last drop out of the Christine O'Donnell story before it disappears forever in about a week.

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Tony Hopfinger, Journalist Detained by Joe Millers' Security, Speaks Out About Ordeal (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 19th 2010 4:10PM
On 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weeknights, 10 PM ET on MSNBC) O'Donnell interviewed Tony Hopfinger, the editor of Alaskadispatch.com who was handcuffed and detained by Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller's private security force after Hopfinger asked Miller a question he didn't want to answer.

"This was town hall meeting open the public," Hopfinger explained to O'Donnell via telephone. "I and other journalist were there to cover the event."

During the event, Hopfinger saw Miller in the hallway and tried to get him to address charges that he had been illegally engaging in politics while he was employed by the city of Fairbanks, AK.

"As I was asking him, he sort of walked away and I ended up kind of being surrounded by these security guards who were chest bumping me," Hopfinger explained.

"These guys weren't clearly marked as security guards. After the confrontation, which lasted thirty seconds tops, from the time I asked Miller the question to when I basically ended up in handcuffs. At that point I was taken over to a corridor of the school and detained for around twenty to thirty minutes."

Miller is still the favorite to win the election, despite this embarrassing caught-on-tape violation of the First, and possibly Fourth Amendments. If Miller decides to bring his private goon squad with him to Washington D.C., the much-maligned 'beltway media' would be well-advised to keep their heads on a swivel.

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Miners From Quecreek Cave-In Talk About Being Pulled to The Surface In a Pod (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 13th 2010 3:30PM
In 2002, nine miners working the Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania were rescued after spending 78 hours trapped underground. Although that was a much shorter ordeal than the Chilean miners who are being rescued today went through, it was much more intense, as the Quecreek rescue was a race against rising water and declining oxygen levels.

The experience both groups did share was the way the were extracted -- via a small capsule that was lowered to them. Appearing on the 'Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10 PM ET on MSNBC) Quecreek miner Tom Foy explained what it was like getting into the small pod:

"Getting into the capsule wasn't too much of problem, some of the guys were little bigger than others, but the way everybody helped everybody. All I know is if you want to get out of there bad enough you'll get in there whether you're upside down or what."

The rescued Quecreek miners O'Donnell spoke to seemed to agree it was a life-changing experience. Of the nine miners, only one continued to work underground.

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Alvin Greene Sticks to His Talking Points During Awkward Interview (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 12th 2010 6:42PM
Last June, Democratic primary voters in South Carolina elected Alvin Greene to run for U.S. Senate. This was a huge surprise because the 33-year-old unemployed Greene lives with his parents, is facing charges of sexual harassment, had never held any previous political office and did no campaigning in the primary.

Greene was a big story for awhile, but in recent weeks he has been pushed aside in favor of another brand of political wackiness, Christine O'Donnell. In fact, during Alvin Greene's interview Monday on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10 PM ET on MSNBC) the first question O'Donnell asked was if Greene was "a witch," a joking reference to a Christine O'Donnell campaign ad.

"No," Greene responded, humorlessly, before stating, in a monotone voice, "First I want to remind everyone that (GOP South Carolina Senator Jim) DeMint started the recession."

O'Donnell followed that with a question about Greene's high school nickname, to which Greene responded, "DeMint started the recession. DeMint is responsible for the recession."

And that was basically how the interview went: Whatever question O'Donnell asked, Greene robotically repeated his talking point about DeMint and the recession.

The spectacle was actually quite sad, as Greene seemed like he was terrified, and possibly suffers from some sort of mental disability. In fact, it made you long for articulate, camera-savvy political punch lines, like Christine O'Donnell.

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Lawrence O'Donnell Gives Michael Steele a Racially Charged Introduction (VIDEO)

by Jeremy Taylor, posted Oct 6th 2010 4:29PM
Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, appeared on 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell' (weekdays, 10 PM ET on MSNBC) Tuesday. O'Donnell, in his scripted introductory remarks, introduced Steele with what some could interpret as racially-charged language.

"As the first congressional election during his party chairmanship approaches, Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can trying to charm independent voters and Tea Partiers while never losing sight of his real master and paycheck provider, the Republican National Committee."

As well as being a longtime TV pundit, O'Donnell was the head writer for 'The West Wing.' The man knows language, and he must understand the extent to which the words "dancing" and "master" come off as a racial taunt of Michael Steele.

It will be interesting to see if O'Donnell further explains or apologizes for his remarks -- or if MSNBC decides to take action against him.

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