Lawrence has fun with Mr. O!


Big pot calls large kettle black: Bill O’Reilly melted down Tuesday night on his semi-eponymous program.

On The One True Liberal Channel, Lawrence O’Donnell has had big fun with this major meltdown on each of the last two evenings. Last evening, he teased the vastly pleasing meltdown all the way through his program. It was the way he kept us rubes tuned in:
O’DONNELL (3/6/13): Having just watched his show, I can tell you that Bill O’Reilly is just as ignorant tonight as last night about President Obama and spending cuts.


O’DONNELL: Coming up, in The Rewrite tonight, Bill O’Reilly’s tools for anger management. I’m not kidding you. He actually has ideas about that.


O’DONNELL (after a brief video clip): That was Bill O’Reilly at the beginning of his show just a couple hours before. Bill O’Reilly’s whole show tonight—OK, almost his whole show tonight—was about his show last night and his on-air meltdown with Alex Colmes.

Bill O’Reilly’s problems with anger management have landed him once again in tonight’s Rewrite which happened to serve up the perfect opportunity to show you the absolutely greatest rage explosion in TV anchor history. It is vintage O’Reilly video that you just will never, ever get tired of seeing. That’s coming up.


O’DONNELL: Coming up, the ramblings of Rand Paul. And a video history of Bill O’Reilly’s problems with anger management. That’s in the Rewrite.
Finally, we reached the show’s penultimate segment. Lawrence started like this:
O’DONNELL: In tonight's Rewrite, the O’Reilly rules of anger management. Bill knows he has anger issues. And he’s working on them. He really is. He’s just not doing a really great job of working on them. He knows that millions of people have seen that video of him getting gloriously enraged back in his years as a gossip-monger on Inside Edition.
Let’s offer a few basic points:

First, O’Reilly didn’t devote “almost his whole show” last night to his meltdown with Colmes. O’Donnell was simply making that up. In his own preferred piddle-like parlance, Lawrence was “lying” again.

Second, O’Reilly did open last night’s show with a fascinating review of his Tuesday night meltdown. In a rational world, that opening segment would be seen as front-page news by our major newspapers.

Last evening, Lawrence ignored the massive news value of O’Reilly’s opening segment. In the penultimate segment of his own program, he simply treated his liberal viewers to some great big fun.

For Lawrence, this was big entertainment. This is one more way liberals get dumb.

There is a third point we ought to make about Lawrence’s review of O’Reilly’s “anger management problems.” In essence, Lawrence was a great big pot who was calling a large kettle black.

O’Reilly melted down Tuesday night in a vast display of misinformation and fury. Last night, Lawrence described an earlier meltdown by O'Reilly as “the absolutely greatest rage explosion in TV anchor history” (our emphasis).

There may be a reason for the word we have emphasized. As everyone knows, Lawrence himself has staged several of the biggest rage explosions in cable history. He has had to apologize for his explosions (and for the misstatements contained therein). He has been kicked off the air for months at a time.

That said, he wasn’t serving as an anchor during his most famous rage explosions. For sheer rage, one explosion in 2004 might make Lawrence a rival for O’Reilly’s crown—but Lawrence wasn’t an anchor that night. This means that Mr. O is the clear winner among rage-challenged anchors.

In the next few days, we’ll show you the transcript of O’Reilly’s meltdown, though last night’s follow-up segment by Mr. O was a great deal more newsworthy. During that segment, Kirsten Powers kept showing O’Reilly how wrong he had been in his factual claims during Tuesday’s explosion at Colmes.

O'Reilly kept refusing to admit that he had been wrong. He offered a string of absurd complaints about the corrections Powers was making. Adamantly, he continued to misinform his four to six million Fox viewers.

Last night’s segment with Powers was truly astounding, a world-class example of our horrendously broken pseudo-news culture. But then again, to a lesser extent, so was the clowning by Lawrence.

Lawrence is a gigantic clown—and he has a “mercurial” temper. He has been a clown for a good many years, although he’s well informed and functional in a few minor areas. (In fairness, so is O'Reilly.)

Lawrence O'Donnell is served to us liberals as a great big tribal star. In truth, he’s a deeply dysfunctional clown, though O’Reilly can sometimes be worse.

O’Reilly’s first segment last night was astounding. Our guy plays the fool every night.


  1. Good Lord, who cares?

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  3. "In the next few days, we’ll show you the transcript of O’Reilly’s meltdown,'

    Can't wait!

    1. I thought Josh Marshall covered the O'Reilly meltdown rather well yesterday, with not only the transcript but the video clip.

      But of course, he didn't tie it into the Election of 2000, so we must await Somerby's take for that.

  4. When the Daily Howler asks you to accept Bill O"Reilly's misstatements as mistakes he is playing his own readers for rubes. Also after Powers cleaned his clock, He brought on Dennis Miller to trash Combs. So a lot of the show, anyway, was given over to it.

  5. Lets see...Bill O’Reilly had a meltdown, but Bob saved his outrage for Lawrence O’Donnell. Have, I got that right?

    1. Yes you got it right. And it's because O'Donnell had a meltdown nearly nine years ago.

  6. BTW,
    Has anyone asked O'Reilly if there is any hidden agenda or Freudian undercurrents behind the his last two books; books about assassinating the President of the United States?

    What about his next book, about the assassination of Jesus Christ?

    Where is this nut coming from?

    More to the point, where is he headed?

    1. O'Reilly cranks out 3rd-rate history books with the aid of a ghost writer and makes millions. He'd be nuts not to come out with a third volume.

    2. Ask, Tiller the baby killer!

  7. I've seen LoD explode only once. It was on McLaughlin. Apparently he thought he heard another panelist imply that Sinn Fein was getting funding from Irish-Americans. He blew his top. (Was he protesting too loudly?)

    Here's the real harm done by O'Reilly. My father is constantly saying, after making some specious point, "As Bill O'Reilly might say, tell me where I'm wrong." Then when I tell him where's he wrong he simply waves me away, O'Reilly-style.

    The disease is spreading across the country.

    1. The meltdown to which Somerby apparently alludes happened during the 2004 election when O'Donnell was a guest on some shout show (I think it was Hardball) with the O'Neil guy who was pimping the "Swift Boat" bullroar.

      O'Donnell really went ballistic on the guy. Wouldn't let a word get out of his mouth.

      For the record, O'Neil and John Kerry had a history, in that O'Neil was the guy handpicked by Nixon to counter Kerry and his Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Kerry wound up cleaning the poor guy's clock in a debate on the Cavett show.

      Now regardless of what we might think of O'Neil, O'Donnell was clearly over the top, even for the low shout show standards of the time.

      But again, O'Reilly goes all bat guano, so Somerby reaches into the Wayback Machine for the club to use on O'Donnell.

      And barely a word about O'Reilly.

    2. By the way, as much as TDH is fixated on the sins of 2000, I think the whole phony "Swift Boat" thing was just about the lowest point in politics that I have ever seen.

      And the sin of the media, of course, was presenting it as some sort of "he said/she said" thing giving false equivalnce to "both sides" as if John Kerry's service in Vietnam could be debated.

    3. TDH documented the Swift Boat incident and the media's failure to respond in real-time pretty thoroughly.

    4. But nothing like his fixation on 2000.

  8. Much more recently and on MSNBC, I saw O'Donnell explode at Alan Grayson after the 2010 elections. It was very similar and every bit as irrational as a Bill O'Reilley. In fact, I did not watch his show after seeing that conduct.

  9. Alex Colmes? Whos he?

  10. Bill O' Reilly has his moments but they are not the nightly embarrassment that is Lawrence O'Donnell, according to Mr. Somerby.

    Anyone who objects to this characterization is tribal.

    That about covers it.

    1. Yep, the old false equivalency game. Take the host of the lowest rated primetime show on MSNBC and compare him to host of the highest rated show on cable news.

      If you want a better comparison between the two networks, ask what happened to Keith Olbermann when he grew increasingly bat-shit crazy as he let his ego fly, even though Olbermann was the highest rated show on MSNBC at the time and could be credited with finally finding the niche for MSNBC. And where did Olbermann land, albeit very temporarily?

      You think that will ever happen to O'Reilly as long as he pulls the viewers in?

      We should also bear in mind the evolution of MSNBC. Back in 2002, Phil Donahue got fired for daring to ask questions during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, even though his was the highest rated show on the struggling network.

      These days, after decades of media fearing attacks of "liberal bias," we finally have what Somerby derides as the "One True Liberal" network. (Don't need Spiro Agnew any more, do we?)

      Now as much as MSNBC can be criticized for not meeting standards of perfection that Somerby sets but never quite enunciates, let us note that we now have a network in the plethora of cable channels that is unabashedly "liberal" or "progressive" or whatever adjective you want to use. And that would have been unthinkable in decades past when "liberal" was turned into an epithet. (Remember George H.W. calling Dukakis a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" as if that alone disqualified him from the presidency? Worked quite well, didn't it?)

    2. well said, agreed