Lawrence O’Donnell had a really bad night on August 29, 2017.
We draw that conclusion based on the above clip obtained by Mediaite, showing behind the scenes footage of a furious O’Donnell absolutely going bananas in what appear to be breaks in his show.
The video, which lasts a full eight minutes, is a collection of clips from one evening (given O’Donnell’s consistent outfit) and show the MSNBC anchor fuming about earpiece malfunctions, blasting off obscenities and screaming at his staff. We were able to link it back to the August 29 show.
After introducing a clip about President Donald Trump, O’Donnell pauses, and during what one can presume was the clip going on air, a sudden flush of anger creeps onto his face.
“What’s going on, why am I losing this, why don’t I have sound,” he starts, voice rising. “Who’s asking for a Labor Day rundown in my ear?”
“God dammit,” he mutters, shaking his head, before bursting into a brief spasm of fury and slamming his fists on the desk.
In the next clip, O’Donnell finishes up a segment, and declares: “There’s insanity in the control room tonight.” He then begins to visibly shake with anger, but manages to hold his tongue, and continues reading from the prompter.
“You have insanity in my earpiece,” O’Donnell then seethes through tightly drawn lips. “Fuckin.”
The pattern continues in subsequent clips, with O’Donnell continuing to complain angrily about someone talking into his earpiece.
“STOP THE HAMMERING!” O’Donnell cries suddenly, in response to a knocking sound running faintly in the background.
He then stands up and launches into a shouted tirade past the camera.
“STOP THE HAMMERING UP THERE. WHO’S GOT A HAMMER? WHERE IS IT? WHERE’S THE HAMMER? GO UP ON THE OTHER FLOOR. SOMEBODY GO UP THERE AND STOP THE HAMMERING. STOP THE HAMMERING. I’LL GO DOWN TO THE GODDAMNED FLOOR MYSELF AND STOP IT, KEEP THE GODDAMNED COMMERCIAL BREAK GOING. CALL FUCKING PHIL GRIFFIN, I DON’T CARE WHO THE FUCK YOU HAVE TO CALL. STOP THE HAMMERING. EMPTY OUT THE GODDAMNED CONTROL ROOM AND FIND OUT WHERE THIS IS GOING ON.”
Phil Griffin is the president of MSNBC.
“Fucking out of control shit,” O’Donnell adds.
In the next and final wild piece, O’Donnell complains about the editing of a clip, wringing a piece of paper into a tight roll and throwing it to the ground.
“Jesus Christ,” he then says as he adds a pen to the things he chooses to slam on his desk. “Crazy fucking sound coming in my ear, this fucking stupid hammering.”
“It just fucking sucks,” O’Donnell laments, staring down at his desk. “It fucking sucks to be out here with this out of control shit.”
If the MSNBC anchor needs a sympathetic ear, his best bet may be an unlikely friend: former anchor titan Bill O’Reilly, who boasts the most infamous on-camera meltdown in cable news history.
Once more a critical reminder for all television personalities — the camera is always on.
UPDATE 8:14 p.m. ET — Lawrence O’Donnell has apologized for his outburst.
In a post to Twitter, the Last Word anchor expressed remorse for his behavior in the video.
A better anchorman and a better person would've had a better reaction to technical difficulties. I'm sorry.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) September 20, 2017
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com