Lawrence O’Donnell has become a pompous, arrogant, humorless jerk. His tough-guy, soi-disant realist, Irish pol schtick is more irritating than Chris Matthews’ and his pretentious sermons more trying than Keith Olbermann’s ever were.
Last night, he made a big mistake, right up there with that poor Fox News interviewer’s minute of infamy in the ring with Reza Aslan, and then he went on making the same mistake, as bullies with imperfect sociosensory antennae tend to do. Clueless and blathering, I think he may have actually left the set thinking he “won” the bout. No he didn’t.
The suits at MSNBC should be thinking about who could make better use of his hour. “Please confirm for our audience the amateur, uninformed conclusion I’ve jumped to about this issue” is not a good interview question, especially to someone who actually knows things you do not. For an old white guy to browbeat a young woman is anyway very bad optics. Lawrence, you’ve worked as legislative staff. Even if you think someone is shucking you or getting into more and more trouble, didn’t you ever learn about letting out the string? Let alone, that many things that are obvious to you are not true? I never got good at the string stuff, but it was lesson one in Massachusetts government.
I would like to see guests mistreated in this fashion respond, on-air and otherwise, as Ioffe did. I would like them to start by saying “you’re welcome”, not “thank you!” when the host says “thank you” at the end, and to thus undermine the meme that they are on the show for their own benefit rather than the host’s and the audience’s.