Lawrence O’Donnell Profile…

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz profiles Lawrence O’Donnell…

O’Donnell’s tone on the show, at least in the scripted portions, is that of a disapproving prep-school headmaster. When he recently chastised Bill O’Reilly, whose 3.2 million viewers are triple his total, O’Donnell did it almost impassively: “When I look at O’Reilly, I also see dozens of guys I grew up with just like him: overbearing, argumentative Irish guys who think they know everything and can back up nothing. Those guys have always been a joke to me, which is why O’Reilly almost never has the capacity to outrage me.”

O’Donnell explained his approach to me this way: “If I’m describing someone my audience already hates, the audience can do the hating—I don’t have to. I can under-describe the negativity that person has created in the world.”

But he admits that when it comes to interviews and debates, “I can be as crazy as anybody and go over lines I should not go over.” When that happens, O’Donnell sounds less like the former editor of the Harvard Lampoon and more like the son of a Boston cop.

4 Responses to “Lawrence O’Donnell Profile…”

  1. — the audience can do the hating —

    I like the idea of that approach. It trusts the audience to not have to be yelled at in order to get the message. Assuming an audience, of course.

  2. O’Reilly is an overbearing, argumentative Irish guy? I will never forget the way LOD ranted and raved when he was on an opinion panel called the Varsity on Dennis Miller’s long-gone CNBC talk show several years ago. One of the other guests was the late Cathy Seipp, a writer, especially of all things Hollywood, who leaned to the right (in my opinion). In other words, she wasn’t a self-described Socialist like LOD is. In any case, I believe the topic was education and Seipp said something that got LOD so angry that he was practically foaming at the mouth; the veins on his neck looked like they were going to burst. He was rude, loud, angry, and would hardly let Seipp get a word in. Seipp remained calm, polite, and acted like the lady that she was, but she still stuck to her opinion. I believe both their children were in the same public school district. At the time Cathy Seipp was suffering from advanced lung cancer and everyone knew it. I still can’t believe LOD treated her this way, especially knowing the medical condition she was in. I still can’t look at his smug face without thinking of this incident. I tried to find a link, but am having no luck so far.

  3. joeremi Says:

    LOD is not a “self-described Socialist”, that’s called sarcasm. He’s a liberal just like millions of other Americans.

  4. carolmr Says:

    He has called himself a Socialist on Morning Joe. It didn’t sound sarcastic to me. Whatever. He’s a bully.

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