MSNBC Host Lawrence O’Donnell Declares Trump Supporters “Liars” And Refuses To Have Them On Show

500px-MSNBC_2015_logo.svgSome of us have been highly critical of the trend in media toward “echo-journalism” where cable networks tailor their coverage to reinforce and repeat the expectations of their viewers.  Few hosts are willing to admit to the formula coverage, though there have been telling moments.  None have been open than Lawrence O’Donnell on  The Al Franken Podcast when he declared that MCNBC was completely over the need to present two sides of coverage on Trump because defenders of Trump are “liars” and “I don’t bring on a liar.” It is that simple.  The other side is just lies so only our side needs to be reported.

As someone who once worked for NBC and MSNBC (and has appeared on O’Donnell’s show), I was astonished by the statement. I always found him to be an intelligent and perceptive person in our past dealings.  He should not want to work in a mere media echo chamber.

I am not sure what is more chilling: the suggestion that CNN is too far to Trump or the declaration that MSNBC has now abandoned even the pretense of balance. O’Donnell’s statement drew no correction or rebuke from NBC or MSNBC.  He was responding to a statement by Franken that CNN is a network which “[plays] it down the middle, except we hate Trump.”  That was at least a recognition of the bias at CNN, but strangely O’Donnell did not view it biased enough. Indeed, he suggests that CNN is preferred by Trump because it gives a balanced view but MSNBC discards with any such pretense:

AL FRANKEN: So, I want to ask you about cable news because you’ve got CNN, which is sort of, “We’re playing it down the middle except we hate Trump.”

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: No, they don’t. One third of the people on their payroll love Trump. So, you’re guaranteed on any hour of CNN to, minimum, one third of the programming will be supportive of Trump. Someone on their payroll saying, “Here’s why Trump is right.”

FRANKEN: Well, they bring someone on to do that. Their hosts don’t do that.

O’DONNELL: Their hosts don’t. But that’s one of the reasons Trump kind of wants you do watch CNN instead of MSNBC.


O’DONNELL: Because he knows on MSNBC there will be no one defending him because we don’t bring on liars. I don’t bring on a liar. I won’t do that. And there’s no one on CNN —

FRANKEN: Are you saying that to defend  Trump, you have to lie?

O’DONNELL: Yes, absolutely.

FRANKEN: Of course. Of course.

O’DONNELL: How else do you defend a liar, a pathological liar who lies about everything? You have to lie. So, CNN has people on the payroll who they basically pay to tell their lies to the CNN audience in the middle of, you know, a CNN hour for some number of minutes.


FRANKEN: So, you’re the progressive station. Fair to say?

O’DONNELL: Yeah, I’ll take that. I believe that what I do in my hour, what Rachel does, what Chris Hayes does, we discuss everything in a completely honest way and that sounds partisan in today’s era because the Republican Party is just non-stop lying.

There was a time when MSNBC would have been quick to correct such statements, including the idea that the entire network is there for one part of the electorate.

I recently wrote a column noting this one-sided approach to stories like attacking Republican senators for defending Trump before the trial but not Democratic senators for pronouncing his guilt.  Thus, in a column on such statements, MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance objected only that “some of the jurors have already committed to vote for the defendant.”  The reshaping of MSNBC as pure partisan advocacy has led to serious misjudgments like the airing of an unvetted allegation recently against President Trump.  O’Donnell apologized for that story on the air.  O’Donnell often takes jabs at Fox News for being one-sided but it appears that his objection is not with any bias but the wrong bias.  In reality, Fox News routinely has far more diversity of opinion than MSNBC, including considerable criticism of Trump who has repeatedly lashed out at the network.  Hosts like Chris Wallace has delivered some of the most stinging interviews with the President.

This is why this country is so rigidly divided. Media hosts now proudly declare that they will tailor the news to fit their view of truth and bar those who disagree as liars. In this case, a viewer can sit and watch O’Donnell and not hear a single thing that challenges their assumptions or bias.  No wonder people are so angry when they only receive news in such media silos maintained by hosts like O’Donnell.

102 thoughts on “MSNBC Host Lawrence O’Donnell Declares Trump Supporters “Liars” And Refuses To Have Them On Show”

  1. I watch MSNBC and I watch FOX NEWS. The different is FOX slant their news to support Trump and MSNBC just give you Honest news. You tell the truth on Trump on Fox, you’re out -Shep Smith.

  2. MSNBC is a communist media outlet
    Lawrence o Donnell of msnbc attacked and raped 14 yr old girl in a women’s restroom in an isolated area of MSNBC studios the girl was on a field trip with her school msnbc has covered this up and has refused to cooperate with police investigators including blocked access to woman’s restroom for DNA evidence collecting

  3. More of Jon Turley trying to slap lipstick on that pig named “Trump”. This piece assumes Trump is like any other person who has occupied the White House, but he isn’t. There is no validity to this person. He cheated to get into the White House, and everything he does is all about him, HIM, HIM. Attention, adulation, praise, power. All for HIM. He covers for Russia because they bailed out his failing company. He is not qualified by virtue of anything to occupy the White House, and those who try to spin facts to explain away his lies, his failures, his narcissism, his crimes against humanity, etc. are, indeed liars, and not worth the network’s time because they will not address the substance of his failures, his lying, his abuse of power and criminal conduct. All they do is spout talking points. They never even admit he lies, which he does all of the time. How can there be any meaningful exchange of ideas if we cannot even agree on the facts? The facts show Trump to be a liar, racist, xenophobe, misogynist, and total failure, so we have to have “alternative facts”. No, Kellyanne, there’s just the facts.

    Kellyanne Conway is the best example I can think of. She simply will not honestly respond to a question. When Trump has done something wrong, which is constantly, when asked, she pivots to accuse Democrats of making things up, denies the truth of the facts, even though they are overwhelming, and just gives that that homely little girl smile of hers. Then there’s the constant attack against any media that don’t lie or cover up his conduct and failures. The business of the United States is important. The POTUS is supposed to be accountable. The person occupying the White House is a crook and liar, motivated by nothing other than his own selfish needs. His supporters want to keep the power attached to him for selfish reasons: rolling back consumer and environmental protections, drilling in pristine environments, privateers paid a fortune to imprison children and migrants, tax cuts for the wealthy…the list goes on, and it stinks.

    See, the problem is, and always will be Trump himself. This is not politics. It is fair game, for instance, to argue about immigration policy and how best to implement, the environment, tax policy, and so forth, but that’s not the issue with his syncophants. We know from 3 years worth of experience that all we’ll hear from them are lies, spins, deflections, name calling of and false accusations against Democrats….the list goes on. This is what the malignant narcissist has done to this country.

      1. Dread, Natty Dread now, (Natty Dread)
        Dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dread)
        Natty Dreadlock in a Babylon: (Natty Dread)
        A dreadlock Congo Bongo I. (Natty Dread)
        Eh! Children get your culture (Natty Dreadlock)
        And don’t stay there and gesture, a-ah, (Natty Dreadlock)
        Or the battle will be hotter (Natty Dreadlock)
        And you won’t get no supper. (Natty Dreadlock)

      2. He may or may not.

        Still, can you imagine being a person responsible for Natacha on a day to day basis?

      3. Mespo’ s closing argument:

        “Your honor, my client is going to win and then what are you going to do?”

        Judge: “The court finds for the defense and awards reimbursement for all court costs. Court is adjourned.

      4. He didn’t “win” in 2016, because Russia helped him cheat by targeting districts in which Russian hackers spread lies about Hillary Clinton. We don’t know what Russia has up its sleeve this time, but we do know they’re working on it, with the help of Moscow Mitch McConnell, who won’t approve even modest methods to ensure that the vote of each American counts. That’s after they get to the polls and can vote. Republicans do as much gerrymandering as they can to suppress the effect of Democratic votes, they purge voter rolls, and now, they’re planning on doing poll watching to try to intimidate voters, harkening back to the days of Jim Crow. Then, there’s the lying about the issues. I’ve seen Nikki Haley’s current fund solicitation under the guise “Stand For America”. I almost feel sorry for her that she feels compelled to try to deceive people about the issues and engage in scare tactics. What little respect I had for her is gone.

        I do know this: most Americans are thoroughly sick of Trump and the damage he’s done to America. Most want him gone. He has Russian hackers helping him already, and they can potentially manipulate the vote In ways that can’t be detected or maybe even prevented at this point. If they can hack, they can delete the names of voters and change votes that are cast, and without backup paper ballots, what can be done? So, will the orange devil “win”? No, but that doesn’t mean he won’t or can’t cheat his way back into the White House again. There may be full-scale rioting if this happens.

        BTW: since you’re Hispanic, how do you feel when Trump calls others of Hispanic origin “murderers, rapists, breeders, vermin and animals”? Asking for my friend Rafael.

        1. What can you do if someone cannot understand who won the 2016 election over 3 years later? Who continues to misrepresent the Mueller report? Who posts comments on a blog but didn’t read its law professor author’s professional analysis of the Mueller Report? Who constantly fabricates false accusations?

          Too many people suffer poltiical poisoning fed by misinformation and hatred. You can’t reason with the irrational.

          Dennis Prager said that no Leftist is happy. A Liberal and a conservative can be happy. But no hard Leftist is happy. Natacha never sounds happy or calm. It really is a miserable poltiical ideology.

    1. Natacha – did you see how horribly Trump treated the LSU players? He offered to take individual pictures with them behind the Resolute Desk. What a meany!!!! He only thinks about himself.

    2. This piece assumes Trump is like any other person who has occupied the White House, but he isn’t.

      Well done, Snatch. You’ve accidentally acknowledged what constitution-loving citizens have known from day 1. No, not the assumption Trump is like every other president. The fact that he isn’t, in very important and consequentially positive ways. Your primary problem however is you backed a loser that proved she had no clue how to win a presidential election. If she couldn’t figure that out, then she had no business anywhere near that office. And after 3 years, the fact you haven’t figured that out, informs everyone else that you are as unqualified to vote for president as she was to run.

  4. Sounds like Larry is trying to rationalize why NO Trump supporters would show up dead on that farce.

  5. I am a Lib Dem and I love Lawrence but I feel he is doing what Fox News does. Although Fox does bring on a Dem now and then. Sorry Donald, I will have to stop watching. I can’t stand Trump either, but I just dont like this. We are better than this.

    1. We are better than this.
      Bravo. I believe the vast majority of Americans are tired of the partisan hacks on both sides.

  6. As a matter of habit I go to the gym around this time, but the university medical center gym where I train is closed due to today’s Lobby Day. Like Lawrence O’Donnell, the local and national news media, as well as local political leaders, have used Lobby Day to divide and conquer Americans with a broad brush in the most divisive, polemical way. That this practice is now the standard is the most alarming aspect.

    Attending the Va. State Capital rally is dangerous on many levels, but more dangerous are the fatwas that the news media (e.g. O’Donnell) and elected politicians promulgate on a daily basis against other Americans. When they push, not surprisingly the object of their fatwas push in return. Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion apply.

    Va State Senator Amanda Chase last night called on Governor Northam to resign.

    Last night thousands of people arrived to Richmond via charter buses which I find surreal. If Americans tended to their families, their goals, their neighbors, their communities, there would not exist political leaders who live to govern / control Americans. Politicians largely exist because they have created a mutualistic relationship with those who place them in power, just like Virginia. Americans vote for them so that government can “take care of them”. Thus thousands of Americans are prepared to descend at the Va State Capital, many armed, even if the object of their lobbying are the government officials who “care” for them.

    The government always wins. Virginians voted for their masters. They get what they deserve and the likes of O’Donnell and Antifa exist to stoke the flames.

    Antifa has published a BOLO that is has gotten no attention from the news media.

    Known Fascists & Sympathizers – Richmond Jan 20

    All in all this today’s Richmond event is a really bad idea.

    If Americans tended to their families, their goals, their neighbors, their communities…..

  7. An Avenging Angel is someone who started out believing they were standing up to bullies, protecting the weak. But they went too far until they became a specific type of bulky themself, clothed in righteous wrath.

  8. “Religious Americans are better neighbors than secular Americans—more generous with their time and treasure, even for secular causes—but the explanation has less to do with faith than with communities of faith”

    Robert D. Putnam in “American Grace”

  9. Is O’Donnell show opinion, of course most of it is, but anybody that watches his show or Hannity, would know immediately that his opinion has more fact and truth than Hannity any day of the week. But just don’t believe me, watch yourselves and make notes between the two shows and find the facts thru multiple sources and then check your notes and you will find out who uses opinion and who uses lies and propaganda.

  10. O’Donnell and others like him are never going to be mistaken for Cronkite. Their legacies will be forever hitched to a failed coup against an American President. The question is what will remain of these so-called news outlets once each of them have been fully exposed as the propaganda arm of traitors. Psst; that’s right, I said that and I don’t care if you’re offended.

  11. Once again JT ignores the dumpster fire in the oval office while focusing on witnesses who’s hair is on fire. ODonnel does not present a news show. It’s a political opinion show like many others which similarly feature largely sympathetic participants, and who attack and bully any foils they bring on. Foxx “News” who JT is constantly trying out for does this also, as well as functioning as the WH “News” network. JT has somehow missed this fact.

    And of course it is nor really possible to be in regular defense of a promiscuous liar without being a liar yourself, a phenomenon viewable in these comments everyday.

    1. “promiscuous liar …being a liar”

      Tell us again why your talking points are verbatim of Anon / Natcha / jinn? And while we are discussing your livelihood, what do your handlers pay you and do they offer employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged retirement plan?

  12. After the collusion narrative blew up in MSNBC’s face didn’t the New York Times forbid its reporters from appearing on that network?

  13. Bear in mind that O’Donnell is a professed socialist. The man literally HATES those who disagree with him and his politics. I would expect nothing less from him. He’s a political activist, not a “journalist.”

  14. So what is More Socialist-NeoBullCrap good and what idoes Macforiegnideologist propaganda show mean to me as an Independent self governing citizen and Constitutional Centrist except when they are exposed, identified, rejected and ejected. I have no time for enemies domestic BUT

    I could use a source of advertisers for NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN so as to choose wisely when deciding whose products not to purchase or use. Add in NYT WaPo, Poitico etc at the same time if possible.

    /s/ proud member of the Constitutional Centrist Coalition and the counter revolution against all enemies of the USA

    Now to go find a place to help bury Comrade Poke and Haunt Us, Bide a Ween, and of the socialist left and leader of the Bolselfik now Mensheviks meaning last place losers -Burning Sand. Or whatever that name was. Please keep running for office your votes no matter how misguided mean a lot to Constitutional Centrism. Our Constitutional Republic and Our Constitution

  15. Note to O’Donnell, it’s not about silencing those in opposition, it’s about defeating them. If you have someone on your show that you believe is lying, your job is to expose them with facts. That’s what we call good TV. If you fail in that regard, it exposes you.

    1. Most opinion hosts on MSNBC call on any Republican to come on and offer their opinion, very very few take up the offer. Your right, they should expose them being their job and all, but again very very few will take the offer, and there is a reason for that.

      1. because everyone understands they are completely biased

        and fools now too

        this was worse than the other irish guy’s fit…. remember that one? bill oreilly

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