Mediaite reported on Wednesday, September 20th that Lawrence O'Donnell, News Anchor at MSNBC, experienced an irate breakdown during breaks in an August 29th broadcast. The eight-minute video features clips from throughout the show, all occurring between segments.

O'Donnell begins by expressing frustration that someone not associated with the control room is talking in his earpiece about a "Labor Day rundown." Later, he starts yelling about hammering that is apparently happening elsewhere in the building. O'Donnell curses profusely, angrily crumples papers and slams his hands on the desk as he exclaims his frustration to the crew.

What leaked footage means for O'Donnell

Sine the video has surfaced, O'Donnell has tweeted an apology.

His tweet signals his lack of professionalism and decency, and it is this lack that signals the main reason why news of this sort is so high profile. Bill O'Reilly is still haunted by his infamous on-air rant, even though his firing from Fox News over sexual harassment complaints may eclipse this episode when his scandal-filled career is said and done.

There is a reason why seeing news anchors break face is so startling, and thus so newsworthy.

The air of professionalism that is required for an on-air personality paints a certain sanitized picture of anchors. When the cameras are off, and the facade of on-air personality fades away, news anchors are average human beings.

It is understandable to be frustrated when what is being fed into your ear is not the information that you need to perform a live broadcast.

This just ups the odds that something will go wrong on-air, which is how anchors lose their jobs. When the cameras go off, then, it makes sense that O'Donnell would voice some concerns over what is out of his control.

Can we blame him for being upset?

You should not blame O'Donnell for getting upset, as it is a human reaction.

The real question is: "Can we blame O'Donnell for how he responded?"

From a professional standpoint, the answer is yes, but not for the reason that you might think. Yes, it is inappropriate for a boss to spew profanity at or around employees as a means of solving a problem. If anything, it is a reductive response. However, it happens at professions everywhere. The only difference for O'Donnell is that his profanity happened to be caught on camera.

No, the reason O'Donnell acted unprofessionally is because he was on camera. The outbursts occurred in the seconds between live segments. If any part of his tirade was caught on live television, then he would be putting himself and MSNBC in jeopardy.

FCC complaints would probably be through the roof, and O'Donnell would have cost his network money from fines that they would have received.

In the context of his job, that is unprofessional. The anchor getting mad and dropping some F-bombs: that is mostly harmless. It is entirely juvenile, but it is mostly harmless.

Currently, there is no comment from MSNBC on the matter.

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