The infamous, viral video of MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s melt-down, during breaks in an Aug. 29 live broadcast of “The Last Word,” was reportedly leaked to Mediate by senior NBC staffers in retaliation for his antics during contract negotiations this past spring.
The 8-minute video of O’Donnell screaming at the staff on his show to silence people in the control room, and to stop a “hammering” sound in the background, was handed to Mediate as a broadcast-quality digital clip — which is something that only a handful of people are believed to be capable of accessing and transmitting.
Multiple sources told Page Six that O’Donnell had angered NBC and MSNBC leader Andy Lack in May by tweeting to fans about his contract negotiations.
Insiders told reporters that the negotiations between O’Donnell and the networks had been “tense and unusually public,” while another said that O’Donnell had caused a “groundswell of ‘save Lawrence sentiment’” among viewers who “backed Lack into a corner.”
Sources have told the news outlets that only a small number of people having access to the clip suggests that it was either leaked or authorized by “someone at a senior level.”
Footage of his Aug. 29 program depicts O’Donnell as a raving lunatic, losing his mind at production staff when hearing unwanted voices in his earpiece.
“What’s going on? Why am I losing this? Why don’t I have sound?” O’Donnell asked. “Who’s asking for a Labor Day rundown in my ear?”
“G_d d_mit!” O’Donnell continued, slamming his fist on the desk.
The host’s outbursts in-between short segments only ramped up in intensity.
“There’s insanity in the control room tonight.”
“You have insanity in my earpiece,” he said. “F_king….”
O’Donnell apologized on Wednesday, saying, “A better anchorman and a better person would’ve had a better reaction to technical difficulties.”
Regarding the leaked video, O’Donnell told Page Six, “This is a ridiculous conspiracy theory. There’s only one person to blame for this video — me. Andy Lack brought me to MSNBC when he created the network in 1996. We were friends before that and have always remained friends.”
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