Mount O’Donnell seems ready to blow!


The fire this time, Lawrence says: Your DAILY HOWLER keeps getting results.

This morning, Herman Cain’s sexy-time tale is off the front page of the New York Times. On the other hand, Lawrence O’Donnell aggressively played the fool on last evening’s Last Word.

In fact, what happened last night was a bit worse than that. Is Mount O’Donnell getting ready to blow?

We plan to profile the “Dorchester Dandy” next week. But we were stunned by how bad it got on last evening’s program.

Tugging on his ding-dong again, O’Donnell devoted the bulk of his program to his own sexy-time Herman Cain frolic. (And yes, that’s what this is, clowning and posturing to the side.) O’Donnell very much wants to hear from the one woman who says she wants to tell her story, though she may want to do so anonymously.

Eventually, familiar anger rising, Dorchester’s biggest known nutcase was hotly proposing that the Occupy movement should create a “firestorm” at a DC address he had named. And yes, O'Donnell seemed to mean it. To watch this full segment, click this:
O’DONNELL (11/3/11): Joel Bennett, a lawyer for one of the women who got a year`s pay settlement from the National Restaurant Association as a result of Herman Cain’s alleged conduct is negotiating with the association to release her from her confidentiality agreement and allow her to accept the Cain campaign challenge.

Sue Hensley, senior vice president for public affairs communication for the National Restaurant Association—do we have a picture of Sue? We do?

All right. Put it up. That’s right. Put it right up there.

I want people to see the people who are currently protecting the secrets of Herman Cain.

Sue Hensley said today, "Our outside counsel was contacted by Mr. Bennett today and was asked to provide a response to a proposed statement by tomorrow afternoon. We are currently reviewing the document and we plan to respond tomorrow."

All eyes that are not on the Los Angeles courthouse tomorrow where the verdict in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor could be delivered will be on the National Restaurant Association headquarters at 1200 17th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C. That’s at the intersection of 17th and M Streets, nearest Metro stop is Farragut North. That’s only five blocks from the Occupy D.C. protests in McPherson Square—an easy walk for anyone who might feel like occupying the National Restaurant Association.

Today may be the day to begin the National Restaurant Association occupation, to force them to open their secret files. As of now, we have no reason not to expect Dawn Sweeney—let’s get a look at her, the woman who now has Herman Cain’s old job, the CEO of the National Restaurant Association—to do the right thing.

Do we have a Dawn Sweeney picture? Looks like we don’t. We don’t have one.

All right. Well, we’ll find one. Dawn Sweeney’s picture will be here. Maybe not tonight.

She and anyone else at the National Restaurant Association has a standing invitation to come on this program and explain whatever they decide tomorrow.


If the National Restaurant Association decides to do the wrong thing tomorrow, if they decide to continue to allow Herman Cain and his campaign management to say anything they want about the former National Restaurant Association employees who have complained against Mr. Cain while the National Restaurant Association prevents those employees from speaking out in any way, then a firestorm should be visited upon the 1200 17th Street Northwest and the members of the National Restaurant Association.
How big a fool is Lawrence O’Donnell? Let us count the ways:

First, note his conception of our nation’s top news stories. Number 1 is the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor. And yes, that actually is what he said. Even we were amazed.

Number 2 is the Herman Cain harassment story. If you aren't watching the Jackson trail, you'll have your eye on that!

Second, note the menacing way O’Donnell let us see the faces of the people against whom he proposes a “firestorm.” Clowning hard, he pretended he didn’t know if he had a photo of Hensley. Comically, he then had to wait before he could post Sweeney’s mug shot due to some sort of glitch. (Eventually, the picture was posted.)

You have to watch the tape to catch O’Donnell’s tone. But the posting of these mug shots represented unbelievably bad judgment.

Eventually, O’Donnell made a truly demented proposal. He proposed that Occupy D.C. people should create a “firestorm” at the offices of the National Restaurant Association. (It's "an easy walk" from where they are!) His choice of words was amazingly unfortunate, especially given his menacing tone and his insistence that any nut who might be watching should know what the targets look like.

This is what Chris Matthews did back in 1999. He came within a whisker of getting a journalist killed—an innocent person who had been falsely accused of something on Hardball due to Matthews’ loud crazy insistence. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/20/99.

Occupy Wall Street is a very big deal. It really shouldn’t be about firebombing the headquarters of a trade group which refuses to issue a release from an agreement. Especially in the wake of the recent problems surrounding Occupy Oakland, O’Donnell’s familiar ranting represented amazingly bad judgment. From anyone other than O’Donnell, we might have been surprised.

(On last night’s Maddow Show, Michael Moore spoke very intelligently about the recent problems and errors in judgment involving Occupy Oakland. One hour earlier, O’Donnell had been calling for Occupy D.C. to create a “firestorm” at a building involved in a story that has his ding-a-ling fired.)

If Herman Cain did harass women in his employ, he of course shouldn’t have done so. But the Jackson trial isn’t the day’s biggest story, and the Cain matter isn’t number two. Beyond that, the Occupy movement is a very big deal, though errors in judgment could put it in peril. O’Donnell’s call for a “firestorm” showed amazingly bad judgment.

Coming from anyone but O’Donnell, it would have been a surprise. For the record, O’Donnell is also calling for a boycott of Starbucks and Disney World.

MSNBC has been forced to can this big nut in the past. Is Mount O’Donnell getting ready to blow once again?

Second question: Where in the world—where on earth—does this channel keep finding these people?

Worth a second look: Yes, O’Donnell actually said this: “All eyes that are not on the Los Angeles courthouse tomorrow where the verdict in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor could be delivered will be on the National Restaurant Association headquarters at 1200 17th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.”

That’s his idea of our really big stories. Where in the world—where on earth—does this channel keep finding these nuts?


  1. Mr. Somerby wrote:

    "Occupy Wall Street is a very big deal. It really shouldn’t be about firebombing the headquarters of a trade group which refuses to issue a release from an agreement."

    Mr. Somerby is clowning hard here when he pretends he doesn't know the figurative meaning of "firestorm."

    This is the kind of analysis I expect from Glenn Beck!!

  2. Yeah, calling for a "firestorm" by Occupy D.C. the day after Occupy Oakland protest degenerated into riots and arson isn't dangerous or provocative at all! It's not like he put targets on a map or something!

  3. Yeah, I'm not so worried about the implied threats of violence as the first point--that it shows a warped sense of what is newsworthy.

    But even more worrisome is how O'Donnell is trying to co-opt the OWS movement for partisan Democratic purposes. The idea that OWS should get involved in petty R v. D sex politics is what is truly frightening.

    Which is why I don't watch that crap. And I probably would have been pissed me off seeing rich neoliberal Democrats concern trolling about violence as well. The police have engaged in a disproportionate amount of the violence and there should be greater concern about police violence rather than protester violence.

    If you're going to be fair you should do some concern trolling about the media and politicians normalizing the use of military level violence against citizens and using violent phrases like wanting to "crack down" on protesters. If we're going to question tactics and the use of violence let's try to present the facts correctly. The use of language and political propaganda is overwhelmingly used to justify state violence and exaggerate "radical" violence.

  4. "Arson" is an inflammatory word to use. :)

    They made a barricade in the middle of the street and set it on fire. I've seen reports that it was done to draw the tear gas away from people or to block the police. It did not seriously threaten homes or people.

    This is about the only "violence" the protesters are accused of doing. Well, some of them got into a fight with each other about whether they should engage in vandalism and fought each other. So the only real violence was protester on protester violence! Unless one counts breaking windows and writing graffiti as "violence."

    The police claims of projectiles being thrown at them should be viewed with suspicion because I'm not aware of any video evidence of this while there is a lot of video evidence of them engaging in violence. The Bay Area police (not just Oakland) claim protesters attacked them after they kicked the media out of the camp before the predawn raid (and CBS and other media cut their coverage off as well--or had it cut--who knows? not our corrupt media). So according to the police, people woke up, grabbed projectiles, and threw it at the cops just before they were beaten and arrested and tear gassed and 5 in the morning. Who knows, I suppose it's possible people threw projectiles at the police, but who started it? Who showed up in military gear looking to beat people up? How convenient that there were no cameras here but when there are cameras there is little evidence of protester violence?

    What type of federal involvement is going on here? Is DHS and the administration encouraging the Bay Area politicians to stoke the flames of violence?

  5. Be fair. O’Donnell was using the word "firestorm" metaphorically, the way most people use it.

    He does not mean "firebomb."

    You are usually careful about using words.

  6. silly me, i kind of thought the top stories of the day are:

    1. greece getting ready to pretty much trash most of europe's economy., and

    2. the republican majority house again doing nothing about jobs.

    comparatively, herman cain's sexcapades rank a distant 20th or so.

  7. Top story for Brian Williams tonight, the Herman Cain sexual harassment story.
    Story number two: The trial of Michael Jackson's doctor.
    Greek economy came in third.

    Did O'Donnell write Brian's script?

  8. How would people feel about Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck using the word "firestorm" in a similar situation? That would probably make MediaMatters...

  9. Bottom line: The Howler has gone over the top in trashing O'Donnell before, but this time he brings it on himself.

  10. Occupy MSNBC!!!

    Greg: I actually thought Somerby was generally too nice to O'Donnell.

  11. How many times has O'Donnell freaked out at the Tea Party using terms that are far less imflammatory that "bring down a firestorm" is, claiming that they are inciting violence or even murder? The Howler is not exaggerating one iota.

    O'Donnell has been howling (pun intended) all week about this accusation against Cain, an accusation which is levelled anonomously and without details, and should therefor be ignored by any responsible journalist. That is why I have quit watching him, which takes me off of MSNBC altogether, as he was the last one of these idiots who I was watching.