Lawrence O’Donnell: My MSNBC Guests Are Less Politically Astute Than I Am

It’s tough being Lawrence O’Donnell—what with knowing more about politics than many of his guests.

Interviewed on Mr. Media, the host of MSNBC’s new political-commentary show, The Last Word—who previously served as a guest host on Countdown with Keith Olbermann—‘fesses up a long-simmering frustration.

“Frequently—because I worked in politics, because I worked in government—in the past, as a host, I’ve been sitting there knowing more than my guest, and I am being forced to ask a question of someone who knows less than I do,” Lawrence, who formerly served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and legislative aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, tells host Bob Andelman.

CAPTION: Lawrence: Finally got his own soapbox. (But can he get smarter guests?)

Lawrence: Finally got his own soapbox. (But will he be able to get more sagacious guests?)

‘There’s an awkward posture to that that I think we got away with, thanks to my acting skills,” he adds.

Lawrence knows whence he speaks on the acting front, having been a producer and writer for NBC’s The West Wing (for which he won an Emmy), as well as creator and executive producer of the network’s 2003 series Mister Sterling, which starred Josh Brolin as an idealistic U.S. senator.

As for which MSNBC guests than whom he’s more knowledgeable, Lawrence doesn’t name names.

But those who have sat opposite him on Keith’s show include Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), and Huffington Post Senior Editor Howard Fineman.

Then, of course, there was the guest who helped inaugurate the maiden edition of The Last Word this past Monday.

That would be Vice President Joseph Biden.

Click here to hear Lawrence O’Donnell’s full interview.

Click here to check out The Last Word.

5 thoughts on “Lawrence O’Donnell: My MSNBC Guests Are Less Politically Astute Than I Am

  1. Pinko the Bear

    man… I used to dig it that some ppl on msnbc would call out the Cons. It is old and tired. u cannot call out the Cons all day and ignore the REAL issue. The REAL issue is the sick nature of Capitalism. This left right fake debate in the Corporate owned Media Complex is a sham. It is professional wrestling. Good guys vs Bad guys but BOTH are employed by the WWF… or whatever they call themselves now… Capitalists For LIFE… the CFL!

    I like u Lawrence… but I hope to see some realness on the real issues. We already know the Right sucks. I am sayin the Left sucks too and they are both employed by the Billionaires and Killionaires. Go out in a blaze of glory. tell the truth on the TV and get fired. Join Chris Hedges and Phil Donahue and Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn in then Truth Telling business:) It will be good for your soul:) w00t w00t:)

  2. Terrence Gourdine

    When Republicans claim that health care, or unemployment compensation, food stamps, or the minimum wage are not in the Constitution, WHY DON’T YOU CALL THEM OUT ON THIS?

    Because, these things actually ARE provided for in the Constitution! They are provided for in at least two sections of the Constitution; in the Preamble — You know, those parts that “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility… promote the general Welfare…” and again in Article I; Section 8, that promotes more of that stuff about providing for “General Welfare.”

    If health care, unemployment compensation, food stamps or the minimum wage does not fulfill the Constitutional requirement mandating the government to provide for “General Welfare,” then what does? Please, please don’t let these people continue to get away with this kind of nonsense!

  3. Carol Branch

    Would you consider doing an intervew with Francine Busby by remote feed? Busby, as you probably know is the Democratic candidate running against Brian Bilbray in California’s infamous 50th district (where I live). Many people here think that she would have a chance to win this election against a corrupt opponent who replaced the even more corrupt Randy Cunningham if she had more exposure and more help with financing from the Party and/or constituents who could be more interested if they knew more about her and what she stands for. Her district, which was unquestionably Republican before Cunningham, has been leaning more and more to left since then and actually went for Obama by 4% in the last election. Francine lost only by a hair in the special election to replace Mr. C. Even if she’s not as politically astute as you are, she is nevertheless knowledgeable and astute in her own area of politics. She’s very smart,and quite fast on her feet with answers and information, and i think she would give you a really interesting interview.


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