The Last Word is pulling in record ratings, but Lawrence O’Donnell’s show will end when his contract expires because Trump put pressure on NBC to fire the host because he was too critical of the President.
Showbiz 411 reported, “My NBC sources say that O’Donnell’s tireless criticism of Donald Trump is the cause of the trouble. O’Donnell calls Trump a liar on TV almost every night. Says my observer: “Phil Griffin fought back Trump’s demands to Comcast chief Steve Burke that O’Donnell get fired for years. But now he’s president and now it’s Andy Lack’s decision and Andy has never run a single promo for O’Donnell and he wants access to Trump for Lester Holt interview and more.”
There are logical reasons to doubt this report, like why would Comcast mess with a primetime lineup that is generating high ratings and great ad revenue? It doesn’t make sense to mess with success.
However, there has been talk for the last few years that O’Donnell would be moving on when his contract ended, but that was before MSNBC’s primetime ratings surged and O’Donnell began setting records for the network in the 10 PM ET timeslot. O’Donnell has been a fiery and fearless critic of Trump. His criticism has been blunt and direct. He often says things that no one else will say on cable news.
If endlessly calling the president who endless lies a liar is a fireable offense, this is exactly why there is so little truth telling on cable news. Trump understands that at the end of the day it all comes down to access. NBC and Comcast would fire anybody not named Todd, Scarborough, or Maddow to protect their access to the president.
MSNBC fought for O’Donnell, but it wasn’t enough.
Now more than ever, the country needs voices like Lawrence O’Donnell’s. If Comcast is allowing themselves to be bullied by a weak president, and the result will be a disservice to MSNBC viewers.
Lawrence O’Donnell and his excellent staff at The Last Word deserve better than this.