This past Monday, Anthony Weiner scheduled some 13 televised interviews in a last-ditch effort to improve his flagging campaign chances in the New York Mayoral primary that took place the next day. The last of these scheduled interviews was with Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC‘s “The Last Word.” Viewers should have gotten a hint that the interview would not go well when O’Donnell tweeted earlier in the day that:
For his last TV appearance before election Anthony Weiner will grace
@TheLastWord at 10pm. But I just can’t think of anything to ask him.
Sure enough, as seen in the video above, when Weiner appeared on “The Last Word,” O’Donnell said, “I have really just one question for you…: What’s wrong with you?” The interview devolved from there into what Weiner accurately characterized as a “split screen harrangue” by O’Donnell, who seemed obsessed not with Weiner’s sexting, but with the ex-Congressman’s years of public service and failure somehow to work for free after resigning from the U.S. Congress. It was beyond rude and bizarre. It was poor journalism. By the end, Weiner came off as a completely sympathetic figure and O’Donnell, ironically, was the picture of an ass.
This “interview” should be shown in journalism school with the caveat: If you’re being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to be a “journalist” and you schedule a tv interview with a public figure, either ask real questions or, if you admittedly can’t come up with any, cancel the interview.