The Last Word (video)

Further to Cole’s post, here’s the video:

Mediaite claims that Graham “owned” LOD. I don’t see it. Graham was creepy and babbly and sounded like he was lying. Am I wrong? Of course not.

49 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    Hey, creepy, babbling and lying is the ultimate goal of Republicans, so yeah, he kicked LODs ass.

  2. 2
    ABL says:

    i meant “babbling.” “babbly” is a product of vodka.

  3. 3
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    I watched it and, honestly, I didn’t see it as a dismantling.

    “So you’re saying you don’t know for sure whether Obama, or anyone for that matter, is a Christian?” and

    “So if you’re a Christian, why don’t you give all your stuff away like Jesus says to” and

    “So you’ve NEVER voted for a Democratic candidate for President? Hmmmm, interesting.”

    Is there more of this interview that I’m missing, where O’Donnell gets into the birth certificate business? And Graham filibustered the hell out of him to boot.

    Unless I just watched the wrong part of this thing, I’d have to give it a 1.5 on the five-point Dismantlement Scale.

  4. 4
    sven says:

    Apparently Bobby Jindal is attempting to privatize the Office of Group Benefits which administers health plans for the majority of Louisiana state employees. I had assumed that the term ‘privatize’ was intended to suggest employees would purchase private insurance. But then TPM has this:

    OGB is providing data to the Division of Administration (DoA) to aid DoA in determining if the “sale” of OGB to a private company is appropriate, and DoA will seek outside expertise to determine a valuation. He characterized OGB’s operations as “a significant book of business–we cover about 250,000 plan members and dependents and collect $1.1 billion in premiums per year.”

    What the hell?

  5. 5
    Shadow's Mom says:

    I only wish that LOD had not let Graham get away with the non-answer to the question ‘Have you given up everything you have to be a disciple of Christ?’ Saying that you got on your knees and said ‘I believe’ is NOT giving up everything you have. I thought LOD’s response that Graham had convinced him was too conciliatory by half.

    Still I thought his rewrite was brilliant.

  6. 6
    Tony P. says:

    “And Graham filibustered the hell out of him to boot.”

    Sometimes the best way to expose a man as an idiot or a fraud is to LET him filibuster.


  7. 7
    justanotherjones says:

    I was mostly creeped out by all the preaching. Yuck!

  8. 8
    Comrade Mary says:

    ABL, you were right the first time with “babbly”.

  9. 9
    handy says:

    I wanted to say something snarky about cable news, but I can’t bring myself to it. The state of our media just depresses me. The Kremlin runs a better news department, for crying out loud.

    To quote the late* great Richard Bruce Cheney, America is in its dying throes.

    * – allegedly.

  10. 10
    justanotherjones says:


    When Republicans say they want to “privatize” services, what they are really wanting to do is turn those services over to private firms (often with no-bid contracts). What usually happens is that those services are more expensive and of lower quality. The good jobs that were held by federal employees are given to non-union, low wage employees. The government (taxpayers) still pays for the services, only now they usually cost more because FREE MARKET!!1!

  11. 11
    ABL says:

    Having read the rest of the comments on the prior thread, particularly those from folks who were raised in evangelical households, the consensus seems to be that they were having two different conversations.

    it freaks me out that there are franklin grahams out there. it made my skin crawl to watch him preach-babbling at me.

  12. 12
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Freakin’ freak. This stuff is sooooooooo creepy. Watching this makes me realize that some significant percentage of my fellow Americans and I have NOTHING in common. Nothing. Not even a common language. How the hell do we work out our grand civic project on that basis?

  13. 13
    Phoebe says:

    1. Is FG wearing a toupee?

    2. FG was a loon, but LOD kind of sucked. He kept hammering the wrong thing. He should have asked him what about Obama makes FG question Obama’s christianity. “He says he’s a christian but–” But what? Why is he questioning it? What unchristianlike thing did Obama do or say? What is in the “con” column?

  14. 14
    The Dangerman says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner:

    I’d have to give it a 1.5 on the five-point Dismantlement Scale.

    You’re being kind; I’d have to give it about a 1. If Mediaite is claiming the Graham was the “owner”, that’s a load of crap, too. Much ado over not very much.

    This was about as clear an argument for separation of Church and State as there could be; Graham’s argument about what makes one a Christian is arguably correct, but why that should be a program like the Last Word is beyond me.

  15. 15
    Politically Lost says:

    I saw the exchange as essentially inane. What I also drew from this was when he was being excerpted from the other interview he took an opportunity to take a shot at the president’s “otherness” in other words the president is not a Christian and he wasn’t born born here.

    Code for: black black blackity black. The president is not one of “us”.

    Stomach churning, unsurprising, and red meat for those that want to hear it, while being just under the level required for the village media to find it sufficiently uncomfortable enough to have to distance themselves from it.

  16. 16
    Phoenix says:

    This is East Texas in a nutshell.

    Times like these all you can really do is go to
    get some insight and catharsis.

    You can note how he talks about accepting Jesus almost like it’s an incantation…that you say the special words to take Jesus into your heart and you’re all good.
    Here is what was important to him when he was on his knees.
    Believes Jesus is his son
    He died on a cross
    and Jesus will save you from hell by believing in that.

    Seems quite often like they invoke Christ like summoning a djinn.

    Mediate’s article described it as Graham being able to convert part of LOD’s audience…but that isn’t how it works. Graham is speaking a language built for the choir and it leads other people to feel different and see him as babbling and creepy.

  17. 17
    johnny walker says:

    I’m f’ing shocked to see Mediaite delivering aid and comfort to the conservative end of the spectrum. No really.

  18. 18
    Lolis says:

    I think O’Donnell did let Graham expose himself to be the hypocrite and fool he is. There is no way a reasonable person could think Graham won the exchange. However, I agreed with other commenters here that it wasn’t a total smackdown. O’Donnell didn’t focus on the fact that Obama has released his birth certificate.

  19. 19
    sven says:

    @justanotherjones: My initial assumption was that the plan mirrored calls to ‘privatize’ Social Security of Medicare. For these programs the call has been to end a government offered service and force Americans into private alternatives. If Jindal were ‘privatizing’ a bridge I would have immediately understood.

    It occurs to me that perhaps the reason SS and Medicare aren’t being sold outright is that no single firm is large enough to purchase them outright.

  20. 20
    johnny walker says:

    Having now watched it (stupid NBA) I don’t really see how this is going to change anyone’s minds. The bit about “Did you give up everything you have?” is pretty bad for Graham, but he manages to immediately filibuster it away. Other than that part, I’d have to agree that they’re just talking past each other.

  21. 21
    different church-lady says:

    To paraphrase Bogart, “My, my, my! Such a lot of ownage around town and so few brains!”

  22. 22
    Rathskeller says:

    @ABL: That’s precisely it, this was a cats and dogs conversation. O’Donnell is a Jesuit-trained Catholic, he thinks words have precise meanings, that logic is important and ultimately a foundation of faith. Graham is an evangelical Christian, and unthinkingly conservative. The bible is just true for him, inerrantly so. Graham has no critical thinking skills, and doesn’t possess the ability to parse why democrats or a black man seem wrong to him; they just are.

    I was also raised as a fundamentalist. I think if LOD had done a little bit more preparation or been in less of a hurry to get to his “gotcha” question, he could have gotten somewhere interesting. But these two were having two conversations. No one would be persuaded to change their mind by this exchange, from any direction.

  23. 23
    cokane says:

    Dumb, nearly worthless interview. LOD just let him filibuster with religious boilerplate. Didn’t even get to ask decent followup questions about Trump or Obama.

  24. 24
    roshan says:

    I think John Cole needs to read this, in-view of his recent spat with Andrew Sullivan over the Ryan Budget fraud:

    On November 3, 1969, Richard Nixon gave a speech claiming he had a plan to wind down the war. The commentators went on the air immediately afterward and told the truth as they saw it: that he had said nothing new. Ten days later, the White House announced that Vice President Spiro Agnew was about to give a speech that it expected all three networks to cover—live.
    The speech was an excoriation of those very networks and their Stern White Men [29]—”this little group of men who not only enjoy a right of instant rebuttal to every presidential address, but more importantly, wield a free hand in selecting, presenting, and interpreting the great issues of our nation…. The American people would rightly not tolerate this kind of concentration of power in government. Is it not fair and relevant to question its concentration in the hands of a tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one, and enjoying a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by government?” Those in the habit of exposing the sins of the powerful were no longer independent arbiters—they were liberals. Such was the bias, Agnew argued, of “commentators and producers [who] live and work in the geographical and intellectual confines of Washington, DC, or New York City,” who “bask in their own provincialism, their own parochialism.”
    Foreshadowing Reagan’s framing of reform-minded truth-telling as a brand of elitist meddling, Agnew singled out for opprobrium the kind of reporting that “made ‘hunger’ and ‘black lung’ disease national issues overnight” (quotation marks his). TV reporting from Vietnam had done “what no other medium could have done in terms of dramatizing the horrors of war”—and that, too, was evidence of liberal bias.

    Link via Digby.

  25. 25
    oondioline says:

    This fucker needs a shiv in the eye.

  26. 26
    Kane says:

    “The people on the far left hate God, they hate his standards, and hate the name of his son.”

    -Franklin Graham

    I see no difference whatsoever between Graham and the guy burning the Koran.

  27. 27
    Kidhill says:

    This is what they call in Vegas “a push.” FG reminded me of the movie Jesusland, and LOD missed the point of his own interview. Also, for a group of people who rely so heavily on the myth of the “self-made man” conservatives sure are chock full of people doing the same thing their successful daddy did, only poorly.

  28. 28
    brettvk says:

    “The people on the far left hate God, they hate his standards, and hate the name of his son.”

    No, honey. It’s your arrogant, hypocritical ass we hate.

  29. 29
    RosiesDad says:

    Need some Sam to get the slime off me.

  30. 30
    Captain Howdy says:

    LOD is a frigging ass-clown. This is the worst kind of journalmalizing: repeatedly asking inane questions that are only intended to trip up a fool interviewee. Graham does come off as a babbling idiot, but that’s how he came in. LOD comes off as an irritating bully with an agenda. A fucking pointless agenda at that.

    The more I hear self-appointed Christ-Psychotics jibbering for Jeebus, the more I am convinced that at their cores they are inveterate narcissists. Note the first thing this ass says: ‘I want everyone to know that God loves them …’ It sounds sort of innocuous and almost kind-hearted at first but think about it–the author of the frigging Universe, All-Smitey God Hisself loves you, but for some reason you need Billy Graham’s drooling idiot son to give you that Good News.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    I thought it was horrible. Lawrence O’Donnell had to get his own life and his own ego out of the way in these interviews.
    Graham is raising questions about Obama’s religion and parentage because Graham is smearing Obama.
    I have no idea what hectoring Graham on his religion is going to prove. Was it to discredit Graham? With whom?
    My fucking kingdom for someone who knows how to ask a clear question, on the goddammned issue, and the ISSUE is character assassination of the President by his political opponents.
    Graham is saying Obama is
    lying. The birth certificate is just a vehicle for making that accusation. That’s the accusation. Can someone challenge these people on why they’re making that charge? Because they don’t have shit to back it up.

  32. 32
    kay says:

    Franklin Graham and fully half of the rest of the conservative choir are repeatedly asserting that Obama is lying about his parentage and religion, and the response of the Great Litigator of the Left is to fight with him about religion?
    That’s a completely different issue. It has not one thing to do with what’s happening here. It has a lot to do with what Lawrence O’Donnell thinks of himself, however, so I guess that was the point. Lawrence O’Donnell wins the religious contest. Bravo. Too bad he let Graham get away with the central smear, and gave him yet another forum to promote it.

  33. 33
    CarolSoprano says:

    Hi, folks. Long time reader, first time poster.

    I think the point that’s missing in this interview (especially with Graham’s repeated bullshit about Obama “proving” he’s a Christian) is that there is no religious test for office. Period. End of story. For Christ’s sake, it’s in the Constitution – Article VI, Paragraph 3:

    “…but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    LO completely missed the opportunity to nail this asshole on a very basic concept of American democracy. So what if Obama is a Muslim? Who cares what he is? It is irrelevant in terms of his fitness for office. Yes, I know that in the real world of American politics it’s anathema to be thought of as a Muslim, but for once I’d like to hear someone “of the cloth” try to explain why it is that they hate the Constitution and why the Founding Fathers were such Jesus-haters that they put that clause in the very document that the right wing has elevated almost to Biblical status. There would indeed have been some babbling going on, that’s for sure.

  34. 34
    CarolSoprano says:

    @Kay: LO has a very bad habit of injecting himself and his ego in interviews. I very frequently can’t stand to watch them (I feel the same way about Chris Matthews). The interviews are always about them. That’s why Rachel’s interviews are so wonderful. She rarely interjects herself and her ego, and she’s tough, hard-hitting, and doesn’t let people get away with the kind of nonsense we see in this interview. She lets people complete their sentences, too. I get crazed when I hear LO or CM step on people’s answers, most of the time to prove some inane point they’re trying to make.

  35. 35
    Triassic Sands says:

    “…First of all, if he was vetted, uh, and he’s a nomination for the party, I certainly would be interested in him…” [sic]

    The party. I guess in Graham Land there is only one party.

    And O’Donnell nails that down for us. Nice job.

    Franklin Graham: “Jeebus…blah, blah, blah, Jeebus, blah, blah, blah, Jeebus, blah, blah, blah.”

    What an inspirational message. We need God’s help and God is going to deliver Donald Trump to be president? So, the Reverend Graham thinks Donald Trump is the kind of Christian leader we need to “lead us back to prosperity?”

    One God, One Party, One Brain Cell.

    What a Gawdawful bore. He’s like a recording wound too tight — the second he’s given an opening he instantly reverts to Christian boilerplate — devoid of any real meaning. Blah, blah, blah. God loves you, but if you don’t believe in God, he’s going to punish you with eternal hell fire. What a loving and lovely guy!

  36. 36
    bemused says:

    Papa and junior Graham were/are both repugnant to me. I think Papa Graham was just not as publicly overt about his prejudices, rigid religious beliefs or exerting those beliefs into government policies. Forty years ago, media wasn’t as accepting of blurring the lines between church and state and Rev. Billy had to keep his political activities below the surface to avoid public repercussions. Today there are few repercussions to or ho hum acceptance of religious figures openly jumping into politics, no matter how extreme they are. If Rev. Billy was alive and in his prime today, he might be on the tv saying Trump is what we need in a president too.

    I like Lawrence O and Keith O but both made the decision to go on excessive, over long rants which are theatrical and counterproductive, imo. I tune out.

  37. 37
    RSA says:

    I’ve had short conversations with cult members on the street who were more coherent than Graham.

  38. 38
    gnomedad says:

    LOD never got around to asking Graham why he challenged Obama’s Christianity but not Trump’s. That was a hanging curve ball, but he basically ended up playing Graham’s game. I’m kinda disturbed that Cole was impressed with this.

  39. 39
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I didn’t understand a word of Graham’s fundy word salad. If there is a more obtuse way of describing a personal experience, they would be using it. As he demonstrates, you can be considered an important and serious spiritual leader by convincingly combining random meaningless adjectives and nouns.

  40. 40
    JR in WV says:

    There’s no point in talking to these religious fanatics. They’re not able to think, they’ve been brainwashed to not think since they were born. Just believe! Now you’re Saved!

    There’s no logical thought process allowed. AS so many other posters quoted, “Jeebus blah blah blah…” That’s why he doubts President Obama’s religion, because President Obama thinks about it, and rejected his minister when the Rev. spewed hatred.

    Mr Graham spews hatred, don’t you dare question him! He’s Holy!

    Yetch! I’m glad my laptop won’t play the video, I’d lose my morning banana!

  41. 41
    russell says:

    The sermon was basically Graham’s way of being totally non-reponsive to LOD’s questions about his endorsement of Trump.

    Q: Are you endorsing Trump?
    A: Jesus loves you.
    Q: But are you endorsing Trump?
    A: Jesus loves you Jesus loves you Jesus loves you I can’t hear you.

    Graham’s a minister and is associated with a religious non-profit. If he endorses a candidate, he is in danger of losing his tax exempt status.

    He wants his cake and he wants to eat it too. Nobody gives a crap whether Graham thinks Obama is a Christian or not, LOD should have kept hammering him about his all-but-explicit endorsement of Trump.

    Because he’s legally not allowed to endorse a candidate, and all of the Jesus talk was just squid ink.

  42. 42

    What you have to remember about Mediaite is that their substance free coverage of media personalities inherently favors a conservative politician.

    Not to mention that Brian Kilmeade is about 3 times smarter than Tommy Christopher.

    Fuck Mediaite. No one should read them.

  43. 43
    WM Rine says:

    I don’t see any owning on either side. LOD had a chance, once he had established that Graham doesn’t know whether anyone is a Christian, to ask questions aimed at the jugular: “Why are you asking this question specifically about Obama, when you know as much about him as you did about George Bush? Did you raise this question about prior presidents? Since you can’t know for sure anyway, what’s the point of raising the question? Do you have something in particular out for Obama?” And so on.

    Similar, with the birther nonsense, when is an interviewer from the MSM going to know enough about the specifics of Hawaii to be able to counteract this ridiculous crap? I don’t expect TV interviewers to rise above the deadbeat level, but even a deadbeat should be able to do that.

  44. 44
    WM Rine says:

    I don’t see any owning on either side. LOD had a chance, once he had established that Graham doesn’t know whether anyone is a Christian, to ask questions aimed at the jugular: “Why are you asking this question specifically about Obama, when you know as much about him as you did about George Bush? Did you raise this question about prior presidents? Since you can’t know for sure anyway, what’s the point of raising the question? Do you have something in particular out for Obama?” And so on.

    Similar, with the birther nonsense, when is an interviewer from the MSM going to know enough about the specifics of Hawaii to be able to counteract this ridiculous crap? I don’t expect TV interviewers to rise above the deadbeat level, but even a deadbeat should be able to do that.

  45. 45
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Can I ask an impolite question? If Franklin freely admits that he can’t know what’s in his god’s heart or mind with respect to deciding who is or is not a True Christian, how is it that Franklin can know that his god actually prefers Christians in the first place?

  46. 46
    Quicksand says:

    Am I wrong? Of course not.

    Wow ABL, you just summed up the internet, politics, media, and corporate America in six words.

  47. 47
    JustPeachyAndYou says:

    Graham was infuriatingly moronic. Whenever he got in dangerous waters (which for him was the kiddie pool), he started shilling Christianity. It was like watching Sarah Palin in the debates, when her answers had nothing to do with the questions asked because she didn’t know the real answer, or they weren’t on her list of talking points, or she resented the question altogether. (Magazine, anyone?)

    LOD gets these cretins to expose their pernicious beliefs on the air by withstanding the temptation to go for their jugulars, but it would be gratifying to see an evisceration or two of the most deserving.

  48. 48

    […] Balloon Juice.   « More on the Republican War on the Poor in Michigan | […]

  49. 49

    Oh fucking barf. I couldn’t get through “Rev.” Graham’s bullshit filibustering.

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