Lawrence O’Donnell is a hard-left Democrat, hosts a weeknight show on MSNBC (the 10:00PM slot).
Tuesday night, when 9:00PM host Rachel Maddow turned things over to O’Donnell, he informed her that:
“A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers. If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin…
..this single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans. And that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs”
Maddow’s reaction was A physical reaction coupled with what sounded like a genuinely surprised “What?” (this is not to say she truly was surprised, only that it sounded that way. I assume O’Donnell gave her a heads-up beforehand).
O’Donnell then – only after dropping his bombshell – qualified his accusation with:
“…if true, and I stress the ‘if true’ part of this.”
Yeah, OK Lawrence. You blow the Maddow/O’Donnell audience away with an accusation about collusion between Trump and Russia, point out that it confirms your three years of yammering about such collusion – which Robert Mueller and his Democrats-only staff could not find no matter how hard they looked – and then toss out a quick “well, we don’t know for sure” at the end.
What a great display of ethics and professionalism. “Journalists” over at the Iranian, Cuban and North Korean news services would be proud to have you as a colleague.
But wait: there is a fascinating epilogue to this story.
Excerpted from John Koblin’s article in The New York Times:
The MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell retracted a story he reported on Tuesday night that claimed President Trump had made a financial arrangement with so-called Russian oligarchs.
Mr. O’Donnell said the reporting, which he had attributed to a single source on his 10 p.m. program, “didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process.”
“I shouldn’t have reported it, and I was wrong to discuss it on the air,” he said on Wednesday, referring to a report he issued on air the night before.
Hours before his broadcast on Wednesday, Charles J. Harder, an attorney for Mr. Trump, had sent a letter demanding that the network and NBC Universal, its parent company, “immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements.”
“These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” Mr. Harder wrote in the letter, addressed to NBCUniversal attorneys.
He added that without a retraction and an apology, Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization would consider “immediate legal proceedings” against Mr. O’Donnell and NBC Universal, which is owned by Comcast.
The bottom line? Everyone who heard this BS story still has it in his/her memory bank. And O’Donnell, who knew damn well he never should have reported it, covers his backside and walks away as if nothing happened. In other words, MSNBC “journalism” at its finest.
Chalk this up as another of the countless examples of why fewer and fewer people trust mainstream media for honest news coverage.
And be assured that it is far, far from the last.