The PJ Tatler

Yet another disgraceful performance from David Gregory

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell pulled an almost unspeakable smear job on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Meet the Press this morning. Read this transcript from host David Gregory’s roundtable discussion:

MR. LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, you know, one of the things I was struck by in your interview with the governor is, just to go back to a point, is that he said that he rejected, rejected the idea of sending in troublemakers to the demonstrations. That means the idea was discussed. That means someone in the governor’s office said, “How about we send some people in there to cause physical trouble in these demonstrations?” And this governor thought about it, discussed it, rejected it. OK, he rejected it. But to say he rejected it and think, “Well, that’s the end of it, that’s a noncontroversial moment,” it’s quite shocking to think that there was a governor thinking about that. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

GOV. BARBOUR: Well, Larry, you added the word physical. Nobody ever–you could talk about should you send people out there to talk to the employees?

MR. O’DONNELL: OK, let’s, let’s just–OK, I’ll, I’ll retract that. Let’s just say troublemakers. This–it’s, it’s shocking to think the governor, among the things they were discussing was, “Should we send in troublemakers?” How long did you–would you have to discuss that?

What you don’t get from reading the text, is O’Donnell’s tone. He put the accent on “say,” as in, “Let’s just SAY troublemakers.” Let’s just say it, he intones, even though we all know Governor Walker really did consider sending thugs in to beat up peaceful union workers. O’Donnell didn’t really retract his smear at all.

And Gregory — who by my count interrupted Governor Walker at least four times earlier in the show — couldn’t find a spare moment to help Barbour correct O’Donnell. The “impartial” host let the smear stand, as though it were a petty partisan difference between his two guests.