I was nearly dozing off listening to the very end of Lawrence O'Donnell's 1-hour show "The Last Word" on Monday (Nov. 8), when his final words hit me in the face like a slap.
O'Donnell spent the final minute announcing coming attractions for tomorrow night's show, including his guest Glenn Greenwald, who had argued forcefully and effectively with O'Donnell on "Morning Joe" a few days ago. One would expect some teaser, but O'Donnell instead lashed into his guest with insinuations that Greenwald was somehow not...American.
More below the fold.
This was O'Donnell's exact words:
Tomorrow night...I’ll also rejoin, for real, political blogger Glenn Greenwald. He’ll explain why living in Brazil gives him a better perspective on the midterm elections than those of us who are stuck living somewhere in the fifty United States. And he’ll tell you why he really REALLY hates me.
Thus, in a very slimy fashion,O'Donnell taunts Greenwald as somehow not quite American, knowing full well that the reason Greenwald lives in Brazil, as he has made clear in his writings, is because he can't simply marry his male lover and bring him here to the US--because the US does not recognize same-sex marriage, and there's also all sorts of barriers to unmarried males moving here from Latin America. So this taunt is a triple whammy with threads of gay-bashing, alien-bashing and mindless flag-waving nationalism. If this was 1950, presumably O'Donnell would have also thrown in a little red-baiting as well, it's all the same technique.
In fact, one could point out that, in trying to get "a perspective" on what's going on in the U.S., it helps to get away from the U.S. media and its supersaturation with trivia and ignorance, and read the foreign press. But of course O'Donnell, who lives in the Washington beltway (he is, after all, a former aide to Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan), can't imagine that those foreigners know anything about the U.S. That's what makes him a perfect representative of the Democratic Party hack.
Samuel Johnson summed it up in 1775:
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."UPDATE: For the record, I'm adding a minor correction to O'Donnell's quote, even though it does not change the substance (I was working from a bad recording). In the first sentence, O'Donnell's actual words are
"I'll also be joined from Rio by political blogger Glenn Greenwald."This only adds to the main point of my diary, that O'Donnell was trying paint Greenwald as an outsider.