Before Lawrence O’Donnell became an unwatched fixture on MSNBC, he was a writer and producer for Aaron Sorkin’s ham-fisted moderate-liberal fantasy “The West Wing.” Unfortunately, once he made the move to news, he forgot he was supposed to leave fiction behind.
O’Donnell, the pre-eminent mirthless voice of soporific boredom on a network hardly lacking in either of those qualities, gets his paycheck from a liberal media outlet that does plenty of crowing about fake news. However, O’Donnell ended up with quite a bit of egg on his face when he himself was caught spreading “fake news” via his Twitter account.
According to the Daily Wire, O’Donnell posted a video of a Muslim student allegedly beating up a racist white student who tried to grab her hijab.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the video — titled “Welcome to Washburn” after the Minneapolis high school where it was recorded — was watched over 6.5 million times. So, O’Donnell decided to tweet it:
One problem: The video was almost certainly a fake.
“Dirk Tedmon, a spokesman for the school district, said Saturday that school officials who talked to families of the students after viewing the video learned that it was a ‘play fight’ and intended as a joke,” the Star-Tribune reported. “School safety and security staff confirmed the alleged incident never happened. By the time it was discovered to be a hoax, the video had gone viral, Tedmon said.”
Now, keep in mind that the announcement was made on Saturday, with the Star-Tribune’s story posted just after midnight Sunday. O’Donnnell’s tweet? Much later Sunday morning, according to The Right Scoop.
If this were just a case of him retweeting a video without ascertaining the provenance because no evidence existed as to whether it was a real or a fake, it would be one thing.
(Although given how often these internet videos turn out to be hoaxes and the fact that one look at the video show punches so obviously fake it looks like the WWE, even an MSNBC journalist shouldn’t have been fooled.)
But all O’Donnell really had to do was perform a quick search on Google and he would have come up with the requisite information that this was a fake. Instead, he just blasted it out.
The tweet has since been deleted with no mention of it made on his Twitter feed. Because, as we all know, that always makes things better.
Original video can be seen on Twitter here.
Perhaps the ultimate irony is the pinned tweet from Jan. 11 that appeared ust above it: “If Trump gets dementia, how will we know?”
That would be horrible — forgetting how to do your own job, making inexcusable mistakes because you forgot key steps that you need to do in order to … oh wait. Is O’Donnell projecting?
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