NBC reportedly tracked down and fired a Today show editor who was allegedly responsible for leaking the eight-minute, Lawrence O’Donnell “stop the hammering,” profanity filled rant. A tape of the epic behind-the-scenes meltdown by the MSNBC anchor was leaked to social media late last month.
O’Donnell is the host of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, which airs on the NBC sister network at 10 p.m. Eastern time. A former aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat, O’Donnell was also a producer and writer for the TV drama The West Wing, in addition to being a political pundit.
In the NSFW clip that apparently dated back to August 29, O’Donnell is shown, among other things, complaining about voices or lack thereof in his earpiece (“insanity in my earpiece”) as well as “hammering” going on the studio evidently from construction work. The meltdown also prompted several parody videos.
Parenthetically, the footage also seems to reveal that lead-ins for some segments are prerecorded out of sequence and that the show isn’t aired/recorded in a linear fashion.
A strident foe of President Trump, O’Donnell, 65, describes himself as a socialist who is to the extreme left of liberals, the Huffington Post reported in 2010. O’Donnell will soon compete directly against Trump supporter Laura Ingraham on Fox News, whose show debuts on October 30. The almost cancelled Last Word marked its seven-year anniversary last month.
According the “Page Six” gossip section of the New York Post, NBC digital sleuths figured out who was responsible and hammered him, as it were.
“Multiple sources said that a male Today show editor was found to be the culprit…One source said, ‘The video of Lawrence O’Donnell was leaked on Sept. 20. The leaker was identified, confronted and fired on Sept. 26. It turned out to be a Today show editor who said he did it because he thought it was funny. But it wasn’t exactly the perfect crime — he left a very clear trail.'”
The unnamed terminated staffer supposedly was among just a small group of workers at NBC with the ability to access and share (initially to the Mediaite website) a file that was of broadcast quality, “Page Six” added.
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Lawrence O’Donnell apologized on Twitter that same day for his behavior and also denied some buzz that the leak might have been a form of internal retaliation for difficult contract negotiations with the network over re-upping for The Last Word.
Neither NBC nor MSNBC has ever publicly commented about the incident or its aftermath.
Watch the Lawrence O’Donnell “stop the hammering” clip below which is NSFW for language.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]