UPDATE: MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell has issued an apology for his behavior seen in a leaked video, published Wednesday by Mediaite, where he uses multiple obscenities and is visibly angry about noises he was hearing in his earpiece, repeatedly cursing at the show’s behind-the-scenes team to fix the problem.
“A better anchorman and a better person would’ve had a better reaction to technical difficulties. I’m sorry,” he said in a Wednesday afternoon tweet.
EARLIER: Mediaite has posted a leaked video of The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell outtakes, and it features the host seething in anger for a combined eight minutes.
In it, O’Donnell expresses frustration through various profanity-laced asides, irritated by a hammering sound in his earpiece and the actions of the “out of control” control room. The video, according to Mediaite, features clips from his Aug. 29 episode and begins with O’Donnell being handed the show from Rachel Maddow, who hosts the previous hour block on MSNBC.
The trouble begins when, out of nowhere, O’Donnell screams, “Who’s asking for a Labor Day rundown in my ear?” He slams his fists on his desk and mutters “Goddammit” repeatedly. In the next clip, he appears to visibly shake in rage.
“Stop the hammering!” O’Donnell shouts later in the clip. “I’ll go down to the goddamned floor myself and stop it. Keep the goddamned commercial break going. Call f—ing [MSNBC president Phil Griffin], I don’t care who the f— you have to call. Stop the hammering. Empty out the goddamned control room and find out where this is going on.”
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The video continues on in the same pattern. Near the end, he goes on a final rant.
“Jesus Christ,” he says as he slams a pen on his desk. “Crazy f—ing sound coming in my ear, this f—ing stupid hammering … It just f—ing sucks. It f—ing sucks to be out here with this out of control sh–.”
The video is particularly reminiscent of an infamous video of Bill O’Reilly at the Inside Edition anchor desk, which similarly reveals him in a fit of rage while believing to be off-camera.
O’Donnell has experienced a sizable ratings bump in the last few months, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. The MSNBC host was mired in contentious contractual negotiations back in May, when it was expected the network would not keep him in the 10 p.m. timeslot. (“I’ll let you know where you can watch me June 5 if it’s not MSNBC,” he tweeted at one point.) However, he ultimately re-signed with the network on June 1.