Video: World’s worst TV interview

posted at 11:25 am on August 8, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s say you’re a talk-show host and you get the one guy who precisely predicted the financial collapse a year before it happened.  You want to talk to him about the health-care reform debate and the financial implications of the current legislation.  Note also that the guest has been openly considering a run against an incumbent Senator.  As an interviewer, what strategy would you choose?

A. Ask him to detail in depth how he predicted the financial collapse and to provide parallels to what he sees in the health-care debate

B. Acknowledge his success in predicted the 2008 collapse, but focus instead on the financial implications of health-care reform as a separate topic

C. Research the topic thoroughly and debate him point-for-point on substantive matters within the bill

D. Talk over him, don’t allow him to answer anything completely, offer juvenile demands to force the guest to give complicated answers in “30 seconds”, and berate him when he attempts to explain why that’s the entire problem with the health-care debate

Most interviewers will choose either A, B, or C, and all three are legitimate ways to interview an expert guest.  If you want D, you usually have to tune in to MS-NBC, where Lawrence O’Donnell filled in for Ed Schultz on The Ed Show and channeled his inner Wally George.  O’Donnell interviewed Peter Schiff, the man who tried to warn everyone that the housing bubble would burst and create a catastrophe, only in the sense that Schiff was allowed to remain on camera during an almost-uninterrupted diatribe by O’Donnell:

Why did O’Donnell act like a middle-school bully instead of a news interviewer? Apart from the fact that O’Donnell is a middle-school bully on air, Schiff wants to run against Chris Dodd for his Senate seat, and Schiff opposes ObamaCare.  Instead of allowing Schiff to actually explain why, O’Donnell simply shouts over him and issues ridiculous time demands, and does just about everything short of sticking his fingers in his ears and yelling “NA-NA-NA-I-CAN’T-HEAR-YOU” when Schiff tries to explain his positions.

You know, if MS-NBC was an actual news organization, someone there would be embarrassed.

Mr. Schiff, if you want to appear on an Ed show that will allow you to talk, I’ll block out a half-hour for you any time at TEMS here at Hot Air.

Update: I added the link to Schiff’s campaign site; be sure to give it a visit.  And yes, I have extended the invitation by e-mail as well.

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When Obama goes down MSNBC goes with him, it is just a matter of time. GE can’t keep putting money into that nonsense forever.

echosyst on August 9, 2009 at 3:54 PM

When Obama goes down, Immelt/GE goes with him. Immelt has put all of GE’s eggs in Obama’s basket. The only major divisions of GE that stand to get out of the red anytime soon are the ones getting bailouts under Omama’s ideological pet programs, such as energy and health care.

GE’s profit is down, but better than expected, Reuters, Ap 17, 2009:

General Electric Co posted better-than-expected quarterly profit, as a strong performance at its large energy operation offset declines at the GE Capital finance and NBC Universal units….
“Energy Infrastructure has been the backbone of growth for the company,” said Daniel Holland, equity analyst at Morningstar in Chicago.

GE Renewable Energy Unit Posts Gains Amid Dismal Q4in Sustainable Life Media, Jan 27, 2009:

Jan. 27, 2009 – General Electric reports that its renewable energy business posted the company’s sole revenue increases in the final quarter of 2008, as overall profits dropped 46%.

GE Energy, which specializes in green energy technologies such as thermal and wind, reported a 15% bump in earnings on a 29% increase in revenues in Q4.

GE’s profits overall slipped 22% in 2008. By contrast, GE Energy posted a profit increase of 27% for the year.

In May, GE reported that revenues for its Ecomagination suite of green products had topped $14 billion.

GE to pump $2 billion more into renewable projects WSJ MarketWatch, Jan 14, 2008:

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — GE Energy Financial Services said Monday it would boost by $2 billion its purse for stakes in renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass projects to a total of $6 billion by 2010.

GE said it’s targeting more deals after a slew of transactions totaling about $3 billion, including its largest wind investment yet — $300 million for wind farms in four states…
In addition to giving good press for government’s green largesse, Immelt has his networks pounding us relentlessly on the global warming/green energy memes. As Glenn Beck said last week, GE’s television networks actively color the hard news with the global warming ideology to promote the growth of GE’s renewables business.
It’s a huge conflict of interest on several levels.

petefrt on August 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM

For clarity regarding the poorly written 4:09 post.

The heavy intrusion of too much government involved in other private sector’s aspects (cost of living, cost of doing business) is exactly why tuition for private schools is so high. It is the only way to stay in business in the artificially inflated environment.

anuts on August 9, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Liberals are some of the angriest people on the face of the earth. They have a skin/shell a millimeter thick and you touch it or any opportunity they get the most vile bilious rage comes pouring out. Is it because they’re all atheists and there’s no peace of God available? I don’t know, but its frightening to watch. Worst interview ever for sure, but the thing is he doesn’t seem much angrier, nuttier, ruder, or dumber than most of the liberals I know. As for Schiff, I’m going to have to pick up his book. Wish he was running in my state.

Simona on August 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM

When Obama goes down MSNBC goes with him, it is just a matter of time. GE can’t keep putting money into that nonsense forever.
echosyst on August 9, 2009 at 3:54 PM

MSNBC is already down, that is how a total misfit hack like Lawrence “O” finds himself as a host, even for a day.

Recall a couple of years ago this fool berated, snarled and dragged a guest down so hard that he was suspended (I believe) from the network for a good six months.

Such a hateful partisan, a hateful person.

FireBlogger on August 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Interview? That wasn’t an interview; it was a tirade by a leftist operative of General Electric. Boycott GE, Hollywood and AARP, to name a few.

chipandcharge on August 9, 2009 at 4:32 PM

I need to make a donation to this man’s campaign. That was not an interview …….. it was pure verbal abuse. MSNBC needs to let O’Donnell go back to work for the Democratic Party.

SC.Charlie on August 9, 2009 at 6:01 PM

This needs to get maximum airplay.

Anytime the GOP is tasked with being “thugs”, I want to see this played as a response.

Anytime the MSM (especially MSNBC) claim that they are not biased, or want to point the finger at Fox, I think this would be a nice reminder of who they really are.

It should be played at the GOP convention.

connertown on August 9, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Oh goodness, I always wondered if there was anyone out there worse than Ed Schultz. My life is now complete.

These people are dumbest on earth…it’s truly unbelievable.

Grafted on August 9, 2009 at 6:20 PM

This needs to get maximum airplay.

Anytime the GOP is tasked with being “thugs”, I want to see this played as a response.

Anytime the MSM (especially MSNBC) claim that they are not biased, or want to point the finger at Fox, I think this would be a nice reminder of who they really are.
It should be played at the GOP convention.

connertown on August 9, 2009 at 6:18 PM

I completely agree. Fox News is conservatively biased somewhat, but MSNBC hosts seem almost murderous in their rage at people (i.e. Olbermann, Schultz, and O’Donnell). The Fox News hosts are a little bit more fair about debating people. Even if O’Reilly has a temper, he doesn’t fly off the handle and treat people the way they do. MSNBC tried a liberal alternative to Fox News and they got a whole of bunch of crazy lunatics.

NathanG on August 9, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Could Larry have more make up on? He looks like a wax figure in a museum.
I miss all of you. My shooting season will be over in three weeks and I will be back.
I even miss Allah!

carbon_footprint on August 9, 2009 at 7:50 PM

At the end when O’Donnell invited Schiff to come back, why oh why didn’t Schiff say “Why would I come back to watch you act like an a$$hole?”

I never watch MSMBC (not a typo)–ever…and I’ve never been happier about that.

Stillwaiting on August 9, 2009 at 8:16 PM

The secret is out….Larry wears mommy panties.

yoda on August 9, 2009 at 8:47 PM

How ironic that Lawrence O’Donnell believes himself incapable of suffering fools.

R Square on August 9, 2009 at 9:54 PM

What a prick! MSNBC should be sued for false advertising. They actually claim to be news; that was disgraceful.

Laura in Maryland on August 9, 2009 at 10:31 PM

O’Donnell was disgusting. That was no interview! That was a total ambush without the least pretense of fairness. O’Donnell would first ask the question and then interrupt the answer and attempt to answer it himself with distortions and misleading statements. I hope journalism schools everywhere bring this clip into the classroom as an example of how to abuse a guest, co-opt a conversation, and appear like an arrogant egomaniac. He is a liability and I would hope he never works again. No self respecting news organization should hire him.

Lori on August 9, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Wow, Schiff did really well in a very openly hostile interview! He kept his cool (more than you could say for the interviewer), and he made sense. Actually, had Schiff picked up his chair and broken it over the head of that clod, I could hardly have blamed him.

morganfrost on August 10, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Is it considered astroturfing when an openly hostile pundit attempts to generate sound bytes for a comrades campaign or is it simply nepotism?

Why not simply walk off or call the guy out for fishing for sound bytes?

Levinite on August 10, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Why are the Republicans so civil with these clowns?

How can I contribute to/for Shiff?

Does MSNBC approve of the Dodd/Frank/Democrat/ACORN housing reform (Community Reinvestment Act) that led to the great housing reform and aid to the downtrodden to have decent housing? How about…One sentence of it?

IlikedAUH2O on August 10, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Can I get a mortgage like Dodds?

IlikedAUH2O on August 10, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Sink GE.

IlikedAUH2O on August 10, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Screw the Senate race– SCHIFF for PRESIDENT!

leftnomore on August 10, 2009 at 8:29 PM

Is it because they’re all atheists and there’s no peace of God available?

Simona, you answered your own question. This flak doesn’t care about truth or liberty. He’s a paid operative for an atheistic organization called MSNBC. As far as I’m concerned, both MS and NBC can go to hell for creating this. They can all rage at each other in the confines of the lake of fire.

leftnomore on August 10, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Whew! You guys have strong constitutions. I made it to 2:11 before I almost threw my computer out the window.

alohapundit on August 10, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Lawrence O’Donnell isn’t even making a pretense of conducting an objective interview. Peter Schiff showed remarkable restraint, and class, while being abused by ‘ole Larry Boy.

A lesser individual would have embeded shoe leather into the MSNBC host’s southern regions.

realitycheck on August 10, 2009 at 10:38 PM

BerkshireHathaway loves GE.


IlikedAUH2O on August 10, 2009 at 11:21 PM

MSNBC; I don’t even know what channel that is… Really…

Khun Joe on August 11, 2009 at 12:40 AM