Friday, April 13, 2012

Lawrence O'Donnell Apologizes---Sort Of

Dear Madame L,

I saw on "The Last Word," Lawrence O'Donnell's MSNBC news commentary show, on Wednesday evening (April 11), Mr. O'Donnell apologize for his lying slur about Joseph Smith, the founder of your church.

He said he wished he had never said those two sentences.

I'll bet he wishes that! However, he never acknowledged that those words were untrue, and he "invited" LDS church spokesmen to come on his show to "explain." What do you think about that?


Still Think O'Donnell Has to Make a Real Apology

Dear Real Apology,

Madame L agrees with you. For those Dear Readers who didn't see Madame L's earlier column on O'Donnell's attack on the LDS religion, Mr. O'Donnell claimed on his Tuesday, April 3, show that Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in order to excuse and legitimize, for the sake of his suspicious wife, a relationship he had with a servant girl in their household.
Madame did not see Lawrence O'Donnell's show on Wednesday night (April 11) but watched that segment later, and she was struck by his lack of sincerity. He made it clear that he wasn't apologizing for the lies he told or trying to correct them, but was only responding to negative comments from many Mormon and non-Mormon viewers.

Madame L also had to chuckle at Mr. O'Donnells's disingenuous "invitation" for church leaders to come on his show to "explain" their beliefs and history to him.

Here's what Mr. O'Donnell said: "I am truly sorry if I said something inaccurate about Joseph Smith, and I am happy to provide time on this show to a Church of Latter Day Saints spokesman to correct any inaccuracy. I just wish I could take those words back.”

Madame L still, Mr. O'Donnell's fake apology notwithstanding, thinks Mr. O'Donnell should REALLY apologize. 

He needs to come clean and admit it: He's a bigot. 

While bewailing the way right-wing pundits bring up religion and pretending that religion should not be an issue in politics, he himself not only brought up religion but attacked, with lies, the sincere and humble beliefs of an entire group of Christians. (Oh, yes, Virginia, and Mr. O'Donnell, Mormons ARE Christians.)

For any of Madame L's Dear and Gentle Readers who are wondering what the fuss is about, here is a summary of the lies and truths around the story of the maid, and the truth about the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (which, as you have surmised by now, had nothing to do with the maid and everything to do with the appearance of the Angel Moroni and the translation of the Book of Mormon).

Lawrence O'Donnell has given lots of free advice on his show to other public commentators on how to make a real apology. He has pointed out that a true and sincere apology does NOT include hedging ("...if I told a lie," or "...if I offended anyone") and does NOT include a challenge to the injured parties to come and engage in a battle on the air.

Shame on you, Mr. O'Donnell! Some of Madame L's readers, who used to be fans of yours, have told her in comments on this blog and in private email messages, that they cannot believe anything you say any more, since your egregious, irresponsible and unprofessional lies about the Mormon church and your empty and hypocritical "apology"  a week later.

But since you have four evenings of air time every week in which to make your views known, unlike most of the people you offended by your sarcastic lies, YOU, Mr. O'Donnell, can make up for it any time, and you DON'T need any church officials to prod and poke fun at while you do it. 

Tell the truth. Make a complete apology.

In case you don't want to commit the time necessary to search out the historical facts, many others have already done so, and Michael Sherer has laid them all out for you here.

Ball's in your court, Mr. O'Donnell.


Madame L


Cassie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassie said...

Thank you for your post, and for emailing O'Donnell.
I thought Michael Sherer wrote a great article, and helped bring the focus back (from the obscure place O'Donnell had taken it) when he said "Without evidence contradicting Romney’s contention that he will govern independent of religious authority, he should not be held responsible for the entire history of his faith."