This week, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell experienced his own “we’ll do it live!” moment when an eight minute clip of him losing his cool and berating employees during an Aug. 29th live broadcast of his show “The Last Word” was leaked to Mediaite. The very relatable footage—hey, we’ve all had bad days at the office—was punctuated by O’Donnell screaming “STOP THE HAMMERING!” which is a request I think we could all take to heart.
As funny as the clip is for fans of profane newscaster outtakes, O’Donnell mostly comes across as an understandably frustrated guy trying to get through the work day without having someone hammering inside his earpiece, and who among us could fault him for that? “Jesus Christ,” he said as he slammed his pen on his desk. “Crazy fucking sound coming in my ear, this fucking stupid hammering…it just fucking sucks. It fucking sucks to be out here with this out-of-control shit. Any fucking thing could come into my ear at any moment.” And in this moment, Lawrence O’Donnell was all of us everyday waking up to the news cycle.
Page Six now reports the footage may have been leaked as retaliation against O’Donnell because of a contract negotiation dispute last spring. Sources tell the tabloid that “the video was slipped to the site as a broadcast-quality digital clip” and “the small number of people with access to the clip suggests it was either leaked or authorized by ‘someone at a senior level.'” They point the finger all the way up the chain of command to NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack, who allegedly felt he was backed into a corner after O’Donnell tweeted about the contract negotiations.
For his part, O’Donnell denied there’s any bad blood between him and Lack, telling Page Six, “This is a ridiculous conspiracy theory. There’s only one person to blame for this video— me. Andy Lack brought me to MSNBC when he created the network in 1996. We were friends before that and have always remained friends.”
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
Colbert covered the leak last night as well, referring to O’Donnell’s behavior as “Dad on day three of [a] road trip.” Attempting to learn from O’Donnell’s mistakes, Colbert decided to leak his own uncensored meltdown. Come for the drilling, stay for the horse, leave the second Colbert’s hand starts choking him out.