Saturday, October 16, 2010


My Nose for News went into overdrive this morning at 7th and Montana as Veteran TV Producer, Actor and Political Analyst Lawrence O'Donnell, host of the new MSNBC show "The Last Word," made the scene. I've been enjoying his show since it started airing three weeks ago, and didn't mind telling him so. The fact is, too many cable hosts these days seem more interested in pushing their own agenda than conducting a balanced interview. O'Donnell, on the other hand, is gracious enough to allow his guests to get their point across without ceding control of the interview. "It's a tough balance," he said, "But you really have to give your guests time to answer the questions." I especially enjoyed his recent interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. During the interview, it became clear -- at least to me -- that Steele, as O'Donnell said today, is "in a tough position." He's forced to embrace Tea Party candidates with views so extreme they seem to have stepped right out of the Funny Pages. O'Donnell rightly asked Steele whether he agrees with certain Tea Party candidates that the Minimum Wage is unconstitutional. Steele hemmed and hawed, then made it painfully obvious that he didn't even know what the minimum wage is these days. O'Donnell remained balanced and polite through it all. He even publicly apologized to Steele the next day for a comment he had made in his lead-in -- a suggestion that Steele has been dancing to please his "masters" in the Republican Party -- which evidently rubbed the RNC Chairman the wrong way. On his show, O'Donnell allows his guests to have "The Last Word" when they have something meaningful to say. Today, however, he let me have the honor. I said "It was nice to meet you" ... and I meant it.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I love how you get to meet such interesting people.

Beth said...

Oh man, I am so jealous! I just love this guy. Unfortunately, due to other shows, I haven't had a chance to watch his new show yet. I need to find out when it is repeated, because this guy is one of my favorites. He asks tough questions and never backs down, but he does it in an amazingly polite way. I think he's just amazing, and one of the best journalists on TV right now. So glad you got a chance to talk to him, and let him know what a great job he's doing. I'm sure he appreciated the feedback.