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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Lawrence O’Donnell

September 25, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Lawrence O'Donnell

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.


People are really losing their goddamn minds over this “NFL players kneeling during the national anthem” thing, aren’t they? The President has weighed in on it, stars from other sports have taken sides, and the internets has exploded both for and against the kneelers. Now, this whole thing could have been ignored from the get go, but since it wasn’t ignored and it was turned into this gigantic issue, I think it’s time we do something drastic. I think it’s time we ended playing the national anthem before sporting events, both major and minor.

I mean, why do we do it at all? Why is it necessary to “honor America” and “the troops” and whatever else we’re “honoring” at the start of every football game, baseball game, auto race, etc.? Is that why you go to a game or a race or an event, to honor America? I know I’ve never purchased a ticket to an event so I could honor my country and then watch people beat the crap out of one another. I purchased the ticket so I could watch people beat the crap out of one another. So, again, why do we do it? Why is absolutely necessary?

It isn’t necessary at all. It’s also unnecessary to do an invocation, a pledge of allegiance, or even a moment of silence. Just get on with the show.

That isn’t going to happen, though. The national anthem is still going to be played at major and minor events. People are going to lose their minds on people who don’t stand, don’t take their hats off, and it’s going to be yet another thing used to divide us into “us and them.” Do we really want to see that?

So why not just do the following: if you want to stand for the anthem, stand for it. If you don’t want to stand, don’t. If you want to kneel, turn your back to the flag, raise a fist, whatever the fuck, go for it. Just do what you want, ignore the rest. Why is that so hard to do?

People just need to calm down about this shit.

And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.



This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to MSNBC prime time host Lawrence O’Donnell, for his recently leaked workplace meltdown tape. The tape, which was obtained and released by Mediaite, is apparently from the August 29th, 2017 edition of his MSNBC show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and it shows various clips of O’Donnell losing his mind during commercial breaks in the show’s live broadcast that night. O’Donnell complains about strange noises in his earpiece, a message about Labor Day for some reason, and, in the funniest bit, complains about hammering coming from another floor in the building (it’s like he’s Frank Cross in Scrooged. The video is a little over eight minutes long. O’Donnell did eventually apologize for his behavior in the video (I believe he apologized later that same day).

Now, it’s cool and all that O’Donnell apologized fairly quickly for his meltdown, but why the hell would anyone in O’Donnell’s position ever act like that for any period of time at work? If he wants to have a meltdown in front of his boss while engaged in contract negotiations, that’s one thing, but doing it at his job, in front of his employees/collaborators/crew, is incredibly unprofessional. Granted, I’m not on TV four to five nights a week, I have no idea what it’s like to produce a nightly TV show, and I’m not in the public eye 24/7, but none of that stuff is an excuse for flipping out like Lawrence O’Donnell did. It’s ridiculous.

Yes, it may be annoying to hear all kinds of weird stuff in your ear piece while doing a live TV show, but, shit, if every person on TV who was having an off night/experiencing technical difficulties lost his or her mind no one would want to work in live TV. Who would want to deal with that shit every single day?

This O’Donnell clip also makes you wonder how many times O’Donnell has lost his mind because of mistakes and or technical issues. I can’t imagine this is the only time O’Donnell has freaked out. There have to be other clips out there just waiting to be leaked to the internets for all to see. I mean, right? This clip doesn’t come off as a guy having a bad day and losing it because he just can’t take it anymore. This looks like something that could potentially happen at any time. And why the hell did he bring up Phil Griffin’s name, the head of MSNBC? What the hell was that about?

When I first heard about the video I thought it was some kind of joke/parody thing, not because O’Donnell is above reproach but because of the whole “hammering” thing. That sounded like a joke (and that image of O’Donnell, with the pained expression on his face and his hands up in the air, didn’t seem like something that was real or something to be taken seriously). But then I watched the whole video and, holy shit, what the hell happened to the fairly measured personality that appears on MSNBC Monday through Friday at 10pm? That kind of shit is just awful.

No one should have to put up with that shit. From his crew, to the people trying to fix whatever the problems were at the time, to the people in the control room, they should never have to go through that kind of shit. It’s outrageous.

Again, O’Donnell did eventually apologize after the video was leaked, and so far he doesn’t seem to be experiencing any sort of public backlash over the video. Hopefully, for the sake of O’Donnell’s crew the controversy surrounding this incident will be the last time they have to deal with O’Donnell losing his mind while at work. No one should have to put up with that shit. No one.

Do you think there are any videos of Rachael Maddow losing her mind on her crew? Chris Hayes? There are probably videos of Chris Mathews losing it just waiting to be put out. And there just has to be video out there of Brian Williams saying “motherfucker” in anger. There just has to be.

And why the hell hasn’t the internets come up with a cool song/YouTube video lampoon of O’Donnell’s meltdown? Yes, there have been a few mashups, some with MC Hammer involved, but where is the equivalent of the Bill O’Reilly “We’ll do it live!” remix song? From what I’ve seen, that hasn’t happened yet. And that’s sad as hell. Stuff like this is what the internets was created for. It’s been six days, man. What the fuck?


And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

The WWE, for the recent Jinder Mahal “Nakamura/Mr. Miyagi” segment on Smackdown!. Yes, it’s pro wrestling and Mahal is a bad guy trying to get the audience to hate him, but is engaging in lame Asian stereotypes really the best way to go here with their feud? What’s wrong with just saying “I already beat you once Nakamura, you’re not in my league, I’m the champion,” and leaving it at that?

The Ultra-Right Wing Media Machine, for complaining about Jimmy Kimmel’s recent political rants on his late night ABC show. Kimmel is just a liberal celebrity who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And why should he advocate for anything being a liberal celebrity? Shouldn’t celebrities just get on with the entertaining? Of course, the URWMM never seems to give a shit when people like Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, Tim Allen, Scott Baio, Gene Simmons, or Chuck Norris talk about politics. Why aren’t they ever told to shut up and stop talking about what they don’t know about (they’re in Hollywood!)?

-Current Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, for his ongoing private jet scandal. While he isn’t doing illegal, it is quite unseemly when a guy like Price, who complained about this kind of thing while in Congress when it came to Nancy Pelosi using private jets, starts doing it when he becomes a presidential cabinet member. Price has apparently stopped flying on these chartered private jets and there’s going to be an investigation. What the heck are the investigators going to find out?

-Actor Shia LaBeouf, for his latest controversy. Just go ahead and read the story at the link and shake your head. It’s what I did. What kind of help does this guy need?


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