MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Once an Anthony Weiner Defender, Turns On Him


Anthony Weiner made his final television appearance of the campaign last night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

What happened next cannot be accurately described as an interview, as much as an all-out assault.

O’Donnell invited Weiner on his show to ask a single question, and, to be fair, it’s a question many voters have wondered aloud at some point during this campaign.

“What’s wrong with you?,” he asks, again and again.

It was surprising turnaround for the MSNBC host. Sure, O’Donnell has called for Weiner to drop out of the mayoral race recently, but in 2011 when his first scandal broke, O’Donnell was a vocal Weiner defender.

Back then, O’Donnell told viewers, “Nothing should matter to you less than the legal sexual conduct of [a politician].”

On his June 1, 2011 show, O’Donnell even suggested Weiner run for mayor of New York:

Anthony Weiner can easily be re-elected in his district no matter what he tweets, and nothing has developed in this story so far that would prevent him from being elected mayor of New York, a job for which he is more than qualified and well-suited. New York voters know that there is nothing that should matter to them in this Twitter story as voters. Sure they might find some fun gossip material in it, but as voters they are smarter than the political media that thinks there is something terribly important about Anthony Weiner to be learned from his Twitter account.

It was all the more startling then to watch a determined O’Donnell lacerate Weiner so unapologetically.

O’Donnell is combative throughout the segment, and his line of questioning is mostly uninteresting–except for the fact that it crystalizes a deep and specific sense of betrayal former Weiner supporters have felt after being burned by the candidate not once, but twice.