Lawrence O’Donnell Apologizes to RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Tonight on The Last Word during the Rewrite segment Lawrence O’Donnell apologized to RNC Chairman Michael Steele for an intro to the Steele interview on last night’s program. I’ve been watching cable news for too damn long and I’ve seen a lot of controversies erupt, a lot of people put their feet in their mouth or get their facts wrong or manages to screw the pooch in some glaring manner. But I have never seen an apology so genuine, so heartfelt as the one O’Donnell delivered tonight. It was the real deal. It wasn’t the typical curt apology which sounds like it was dictated from management or the cynical type of apology which is immediately followed with a “yeah but…” moment. No. This was Lawrence O’Donnell figuratively falling on his sword. It was must see TV, one of the classiest things I’ve ever seen on primetime, and I hope puts it up for viewing.

Update: Video.

Cable news primetime talking heads, bomb throwers, and agitators should take note. This is how you’re supposed to do it when you screw up.


26 Responses to “Lawrence O’Donnell Apologizes to RNC Chairman Michael Steele”

  1. It was stunning. I didn’t even notice the previous evening’s transgression – and I’m usually pretty good about picking up stuff like that – but I can see why it bugged Steele. Nice work from Lawrence.

  2. I saw it and have to agree. One small thing that I wish he hadn’t mentioned was the reference to not asking about the Paladino emails and hoping no one would now ask Steele about them. They are now bound to. Other than that it was pitch perfect.

    The show has gotten very good very fast and if he continues like this ratings are going to follow.

  3. Yeah, I noticed the Paladino thing, too. It had a “what about you guys” element to it I didn’t like.

  4. icn2, VERY darn good for you to recognize what Lawrence has accomplished! I always note positives. Thank you.

  5. It’s a shame that such honest apologies are seen so rarely.

  6. It’s a shame that such honest apologies are seen so rarely.

    Rick Sanchez should study it. “I was tired”, “Inartful”, “I apologoze to anyone else whom I may have offended” is mealymouthed “sorry, but..” BS.

  7. LOD cracked 1 million total viewers yesterday. AC had about half that.
    LOD TV – 1,017,000 — Demo – 354
    AC TV – 519,000 — Demo – 156

  8. There should be 3 zeros behind the 356 & 156. Sorry.

  9. It was sincere, almost to the point of being obsequious. But in a good way.

  10. LOD is a class act. I heard about the controversy surrounding his comments while watching Countdown, and had a feeling that he’d ignore it and not mention it, like most hosts do. But, he took it like a man, and fessed up. I, personally, didn’t find the comment terribly racist, just a bad use of an insensitive word (“masters”). He’s a great guy, though, and I think his sensitivity will attract more viewers because he proves how genuine he is.

  11. On the other hand, listening to KO denigrate the quality of Rick Sanchez’s apology is just a bit much. When was his last sincere apology to someone on the other side?

  12. ^ Agreed. I saw the Sanchez thing earlier on Mediaite. I had the same reaction you did when I heard it again from KO. “Yeah, buddy, keep talking..”

  13. lonestar77 Says:

    It’s prolly no secret that I won’t ever be hanging LOD posters on my way, BUT, he obviously didn’t mean what he said in any sort of racial way. He should have explained that to Steele (prviately) and moved on. No on-air apology necessary. I cringed when I read newsbusters write about it because I like that site. I’m tired of all these apologies from people because someone finds something offensive.

    Steele was absolutely correct in pointing out the double standard and that LOD and his colleagues would have been yelling & screaming had it been a Repub. saying the same thing about Obama. But, he should have left it at that…simply pointing out the double standard.

    Bringing Paladino into it was dumb.

  14. lonestar77 Says:

    posters on my “WALL”

    God d@*$*, f*%@, I hate doing stupid s#!t like that.

  15. listening to KO

    Wait…since when do you watch Keith Olbermann?

  16. Mediaite.

  17. Ah.

  18. Perhaps some of us can let go of the ”Crazy Larry”-bit, at least until he goes off again..

  19. It was so well crafted and delivered that I was constantly aware of how pleased with himself LOD was about the whole thing, having so quickly found an opportunity to craft for himself a little West Wing moment. I liked Steele’s voice mail though, where he’s expressing dismay about having had to put up with this crap his whole career. Seems like a good guy even if I don’t agree with his politics, and LOD often comes off as arrogant and lacking empathy. But his show is working really well.

  20. pleased with himself

    Oh give me a break. That’s too cynical even for me.

  21. — pleased with himself —

    Well…perhaps that’s what I saw as borderline-‘obsequious’. In any case even if a person might be doing the right thing for the wrong reason, it’s still the right thing.

  22. It’s like saying someone shouldn’t feel good about doing something good. Screw that.

  23. We’ll see what he does when he insults an actual conservative. He’ll be downright in love with himself.

  24. ^ I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

  25. […] began, before repeating, “Mr. Chairman, I sincerely apologize.” The blog Inside Cable News reacted thusly to the apology: “Cable news primetime talking heads, bomb throwers, and […]

  26. […] display of sword falling by a network in a long long time…not since Lawrence O’Donnell did it many years ago. I’ve gotten used to meely mouthed “yeah, but” type apologies the past few years […]

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