Jerry on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell MSNBC tonight

By Grania

Jerry asked me to let everyone know that he’s been asked to be on MSNBC’s The Last Word tonight with Lawrence O’Donnell. They’ll be discussing ISIL and its religion.

It airs at 10pm, and you can catch up with the show on its website if you miss it. [Note by GCM– that’s 10 PM Eastern; it’s 9 PM in Chicago, and so on.]


  1. Benjamin Branham
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, Jerry needs more face time! They better plug his book for him gracing them with his presence!

    • rickflick
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink


  2. Jeff Rankin
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow neat! I don’t have cable, so I’ll catch it on the web.

  3. Randy Schenck
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Channel 356 for anyone on Direct TV….

  4. pk
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Just make sure that you emphasize that ISIL has nothing to do with true Islam :).

    • Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      That’s funny what you did there.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Tee hee

    • ladyatheist
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      …because it’s up to atheists to determine which variety of each religion is the “true” one

  5. E.A. Blair
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s at 21:00 Central time (that’s Nine PM for those of you on twelve-hour clocks) and it repeats two hours later (midnight Central, 01:00 elsewhere).

  6. Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Yay! Awesome opportunity to plug the Albatross.

  7. rose
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Good to know hope it will be 7:00 in Ca.After Scandal the show on ABC ,many watch that one.

  8. GBJames
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be sure to catch it!

  9. E.A. Blair
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Watched it – good segment.

  10. Posted February 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Not able to watch live, here in the future. Hopefully it will be up on the website later (sooner?)

    • gluonspring
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      It’s up now.

  11. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    There didn’t seem to be a great deal of difference of opinion between the participants. The woman on the left was somewhat of an apologist for Islam, but not much of one in my opinion. The woman on the right was very critical of Islam and in particular the ISIS brand, and Jerry was, of course, Jerry. It would have been more interesting if O’Donnell had included someone like, say, Glenn Greenwald.

    There’s been criticism from right wing gasbags like Rush Limbaugh about Obama mentioning the historical atrocities of Christianity. The problem, obviously, is that Obama was factually correct.

    • gluonspring
      Posted February 5, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. It was an odd segment. Everyone agreed there is no one objectively true version of Islam and everyone agreed, in one form or another, that Islam needs to change. The person on the left wanted to exclude ISIS from Islam, but it sounded more like a tactical position than a philosophical one… the belief that, tatically, you need to paint the conservative/barbaric takes on Islam into a corner relative to their co-religionists.

      It’s a reasonable question, I suppose. While it would be better for them to wake up and realize their god is imaginary, this seems unlikely. So, can you do something to, in Jerry’s words, infect Islam with Enlightenment values? Would painting those who embrace a version of Islam that doesn’t have those values as “not-Islamic”, even though we know that’s a crock, achieve anything toward that end? After all, genocide is not now considered “Christian”, though it’s right there in the book. Is there a counter rhetoric other than “Islam is evil”, which might serve that infection? I don’t know.

      It was great to see Professor Ceiling Cat on TV, though. I thought he was great. I always enjoy seeing him talking. I find him personable in print, but even more so on video.

      When I see some of my conservative friend’s reaction to the President’s speech, a la Rush Limbaugh, it is pretty striking how much they are in denial about Christianity’s history. They are so intense sometimes about the glories of Christianity and the depravity of Islam, in fact, that it feels like maybe the world is a powder keg, ready to break out into full on global religious war between Christians and Muslims (I’m sure that would be great for atheists…). When I feel this intensity from people I know, sometimes I think maybe the President is right to take measured words and not strike too many matches.

  12. DSG
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Just watched it it was extremely short
    just when Jerry was getting going it was all over
    I did not agree with anything those two ladies had to say
    their soundbites were completely wrong
    and Lawrence O’Donnell was trying to get there but time ran out.
    Too bad Lawrence O’Donnell can’t spend an hour just talking to Jerry that would be a good hour of television something you don’t see very much on MSNBC too many commercials.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t see it (don’t get cable either) but it sounds like the typical thing – an important topic with several guests but only a few minutes to discuss it.

      I listen to Rachel Maddow’s show a lot and she just spent about 5 minutes talking about an owl that has been attacking people in Oregon. And she speaks very fast because there’s so much news to report, but then reiterates and reiterates and reiterates until the actual rate of news reporting is snail-like. Ugh.

  13. microraptor
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Whew, just barely saw this announcement in time to switch to the second broadcast. I don’t normally have TV, so I’m only able to see this because I’m kitty sitting (technically, the moggie is sitting on me).

  14. mordacious1
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    The problem, as always with these things, is that you have 3 guests and 15 minutes of time. That wouldn’t be so bad if the host didn’t take up 7 or 8 minutes of the segment.

    • Greg Esres
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, he was using his guests as a pretext for pontificating on his own point of view.

      • mordacious1
        Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:05 am | Permalink

        SOP with all these shows. A good host will moderate without pontificating (too much), but that’s rare these days.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:10 am | Permalink

          I like O’Donnell, and I thought his point of view was OK, although he got a little carried away, but this was a poorly produced segment. No fault of Jerry’s.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I felt the irony when the host said that they are running out of time for his guests to say what they wanted to say, whilst he wasted hearly half of the alloted air time on himself. Hosts should butt out and let their guests speak. Either do an editorial of invite the opinions of others, but don’t invite guests so that you can use them as a foil for your own opinions. He even stopped his guests a couple of times whilst he allowed himself to ramble on enlessly.

      • Fred M
        Posted February 6, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        I find it incredibly impolite and disrespectful towards the three invited people to use most of the time for your own monologue.

  15. Greg Esres
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Jerry did a good job….I like how he always sounds vaguely amused. To me that increases the effectiveness of his presentation.

  16. Stephen Barnard
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    It must be frustrating when you have about 30 seconds to make your point on a complex topic, and someone is trying to interrupt.

  17. Dominic
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    That was quite interesting. A measured discussion, if too much Lawrence O’Donnell (who was OK though), & no advert breaks?! However only about three minutes for PCC in all that…

    • Posted February 6, 2015 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      Maybe Jerry will now get to have a private or after the interview dialogue with the two guests and the host where he can try to get them to use his words about enlightenment and the secularization of societies more often.

      This may take the gas out of the bags of Rush Limbaugh types because, while they can keep pretending that there is no comparison between horrible ideas in the OT and horrible ideas in the Koran, even the religious public will get to agree that yes the bible DOES say bad stuff “BUT …….enlightenment and secularization” This will allow even moderate Muslims to agree that yes the Koran ACTUALLY does say bad stuff and then they can get on to “BUT …… enlightenment and secularization…still to come …. and this is what we are working on.”

      I think this would work best if the message comes from Muslims, aimed at other Muslims, although I am not sure how two Muslim women will fair trying to tell Muslim men of the ISIL variety what needs to be done.

      In most of the angry demonstrating Muslim videos one sees on line — even of ANTI-ISIL demonstrations, one rarely if ever sees women. I understand why that is the case, but it’s half the population we are talking about for goodness sake! Women rising up to demand the enlightenment and secularization might just have an effect. (I’m sure I’m not the first or even the thousandths to suggest this)

  18. BillyJoe
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I think the woman on the right came off best of all, but only because she always spoke before Jerry and she pretty well said what Jerry would have said.

  19. Posted February 6, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Offically, the US and some allies are tilting their formidable military powers to engage and completely destroy one specific religious idea: Islamic State.

    Will someone please tell the President?


  20. Fred M
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I fail to understand Lawrence O’Donnell’s problem with Obama’s speech.

    I thought that it was pretty good. Obama pointed out
    (i) the relation between religion and injustice often of a violent nature
    (ii) compared to Christianity, Islam is lagging behind a couple of centuries

    Professor Ceiling Cat was right to complement this by pointing out that the Enlightenment is responsible for this, but O’Donnell’s problem apparently was mainly that point (ii) was not made sufficiently explicit. As if that was not totally obvious.
    Everybody can draw that conclusion, can’t they?
    Oh, they can’t. I see.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      What O’Donnell didn’t like about the speech, I think, was that Obama kept making the specious claim that ISIS and other religious barbarians aren’t representatives of their “true faiths”.

      Here are some early the essential bullshit items:

      …terror “perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, … but are in fact are betraying it”

      We see ISIS, a brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism…and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.”

      That theme pervades the speech even as Obama makes constructive comments about what needs to happen. As if barbarism is something obviously antithetical to religion. As if there is actually some legitimate “true” source of religious authority. As if there is some way to legitimately say that Islam and Christianity are not death cults.

      O’Donnell thinks it was a terrible speech because he is willing to say that politiicans almost by definition give their worst speeches to religious groups because they must pack the greatest number of prevarications and outright lies into such speeches in order to placate people who cling to primitive superstitions to guide their lives.

      • Timothy Hughbanks
        Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        … early the essential…

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          grrr … I can never remember how to do a strikethrough in WordPress comments. It sure would be nice to have a 5 minute edit option for lazy proofreaders like me.😀

          • JohnnieCanuck
            Posted February 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            I expect it’s <s> to start the strikethrough and </s> to end it.

            • JohnnieCanuck
              Posted February 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

              It isn’t or strikethrough would have been struck through. Trying <strike> on this attempt.

  21. Granny Sue
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Didn’t see it till this morning. I thought Professor Coyne was great. As always on these interviews it was too short.

  22. Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This was a splendid sequence on the Last Word. Jerry was insightful and cogent and Lawrence did a good job of pushing the point that nobody, least of all, a political leader can actually stipulate what is and is not true religion, not matter what the creed under discussion is.

  23. Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    There is a lot to say, but I’ll keep it brief.
    – Obama’s speech was not the worst ever by a president.
    – Maybe his father’s creed does indeed give him a somewhat rosy idea about what Islam could or should be.
    – Just when one expected the discussion to become *really* interesting, time ran out. A good beginning of a discussion was all we got.
    – Jerry was superb, that ironic little smile, just -but only just- not smug.
    – I think the lady on the right and Jerry were basically on the same wagon. Lawrence and the lady on the left were not really far off either. We *might* have seen a ‘good’ conclusion, with lots of agreements in the end, if the debate had been an hour or so.
    – Love to see Jerry sandwiched between two not unattractive muslim women 🙂

    In other words, very disappointing, not due to what was said, but due to the hatched of air time.

    • colnago80
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      It should be pointed out that Obama’s father was an atheist, as was his mother.

      • Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Well, that may be (kudos to him -Obama Sr-, if so), but was he not from a Muslim background?
        For myself, I think Barack Obama is a closet atheist.
        I just speculate there might be more to his ‘IS is not Islam’ than just political expediency. Maybe he possibly is somewhat sincere in a way?

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      – Obama’s speech was not the worst ever by a president.

      O’Donnell said it was the worst speech given by Obama in his presidency, just after saying his was the most gifted writer and speaker in the American presidency.

      • Timothy Hughbanks
        Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        …most gifted writer and speaker in the history of the American presidency. [sigh]

        • GBJames
          Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Makes sense to me. Obama is, and it was.

  24. YF
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Nicely done Jerry. Indeed, Islam needs to be ‘hijacked by enlightenment values’.

  25. elizabeth3hersh
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Strong and spot on, Jerry. I enjoyed your contribution immensely.

  26. Les
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Favorite part was Jerry Coyne saying
    Christianity used to be as brutal as Islam
    but got hijacked by the Enlightenment.
    That is exactly what Islam needs.

  27. Hempenstein
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Hope to read here sometime that Charlie Rose just called.

  28. NAY
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Loved it when the Professor – very politely – wouldn’t let one of the women interrupt him. (I couldn’t tell which it was, but suspect the one on the left) Also, Lawrence mentioned the Albatross several times. Good job, Professor!

  29. Posted February 7, 2015 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Finally got to watch it, after attending an all day, out of town 70th birthday party

    The best comment was Jerry’s “christianity has been tamed” though I would prefer constrained I think. I’m pretty sure, if let off the leash, it would still be pretty dangerous.

  30. Xuuths
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I am glad Jerry politely refused to let the other guest steal his limited time making their inane “point”. He had something worthwhile to add.

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