Did MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ignore President Obama's previous calls for civility? The late-night host, in a five-minute Thursday night tirade, called for violence by specifically telling Occupy D.C. protesters to bring a "firestorm" to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) headquarters nearby, as well as to the NRA's corporate sponsors which include Starbucks and 7-11.
O'Donnell insisted that the organization release presidential candidate Herman Cain's accuser from her confidentiality agreement and let her bring the allegations against Cain to the public. If by Friday they still refused to do so, "then a firestorm should be visited upon the 1200 17th Street Northwest and the members of the National Restaurant Association," ranted O'Donnell. [Video available shortly. Click here for audio.]
O'Donnell carefully articulated the building's address twice and also gave the nearest intersection and Metro stop, telling Occupy D.C. protesters that it lay only five blocks from their protest at McPherson Square.
He also aired a picture of an NRA executive, explaining that "I want people to see the people who are currently protecting the secrets of Herman Cain." This came just before he called for protesters to occupy the NRA headquarters and bring a "firestorm" there.
The MSNBC host also called for a boycott of NRA's corporate sponsors, which include Starbucks, 7-11, Domino's, McDonald's, and Wendy's, among others. "That is who is paying the salaries of the people who are keeping Herman Cain's secrets," he stated, calling for his audience to boycott all the corporations he mentioned.
"If Starbucks wants to avoid a boycott, Starbucks can write a letter to [NRA CEO] Dawn Sweeney telling her to do the right thing," he added.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on November 4 at 10:21 p.m. EDT, is as follows:
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Herman Cain's breathtakingly incompetent campaign manager issued that challenge believing that he had the protection of confidentiality agreements that would prevent any woman from actually coming forward. Such confidentiality agreements are locked away in this building –
[Screenshot: National Restaurant Association Building]
– which houses the anti-minimum wage lobbying operation that calls itself the National Restaurant Association. Joel Bennett, a lawyer for one of the women who got a year's pay settlement from the National Restaurant Association as a result of Herman Cain's alleged conduct is negotiating with the association to release her from her confidentiality agreement and allow her to accept the Cain campaign challenge.
Sue Hensley, senior vice president for public affairs communication for the National Restaurant Association – do we have a picture of Sue? We do? Alright, that's good, put it up. Put it right up there.
[Picture: Sue Hensley, senior vice president, public affairs communications]
I want people to see the people who are currently protecting the secrets of Herman Cain. Sue Hensley said today, "Our outside counsel was contacted by Mr. Bennett today and was asked to provide a response to a proposed statement by tomorrow afternoon. We are currently reviewing the document, and we plan to respond tomorrow."
All eyes that are not on the Los Angeles courthouse tomorrow, where the verdict in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor could be delivered, will be on the National Restaurant Association headquarters at 1200 17th Street Northwest in Washington, D.C. That's at the intersection of 17th and M Streets –
[Screenshot: Street view of intersection, 17th St. NW and M St. NW, Washington D.C.]
– nearest Metro stop is Farragut North. That's only five blocks from the Occupy D.C. protests in McPherson Square, an easy walk for anyone who might feel like occupying the National Restaurant Association.
Today may be the day to begin the National Restaurant Association occupation to force them to open their secret files. As of now, we have no reason not to expect Dawn Sweeney – let's get a look at her – the woman who now has Herman Cain's old job, the CEO of the National Restaurant Association – to do the right thing. Do we have a Dawn Sweeney picture? Looks like we don't. We don't. We have – we don't have one. Alright, well we'll find one, Dawn Sweeney's picture will be here. Maybe not tonight.
She, and anyone else at the National Restaurant Association has a standing invitation to come on this program and explain whatever they decide tomorrow. The National Restaurant Association lives on the funding of its giant corporate sponsors. Here is a sample of who used to pay Herman Cain's salary, and who is paying to keep his secrets now:
7-11, Burger King, The Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle, Denny's, Domino's Pizza, Hooters, Krispy Kreme, McDonald's, P.F. Chang's, Starbucks, Wendy's, Walt Disney World.
That is who is paying the salaries of the people who are keeping Herman Cain's secrets. Now there is some good stuff in that list, but let's face it, most of that stuff is junk. Real junk food. It is not hard, and it's good for you to give up most everything on that list. I mean boycott anything and everything on that list. And yes, it is possible to get coffee in America without going to Starbucks.
If the National Restaurant Association decides to do the wrong thing tomorrow – if they decide to continue to allow Herman Cain and his campaign manager to say anything they want about the former National Restaurant Association employees who have complained against Mr. Cain, while the National Restaurant Association prevents those employees from speaking out in any way, then a firestorm should be visited upon the 1200 17th Street Northwest and the members of the National Restaurant Association. If Starbucks wants to avoid a boycott, Starbucks can write a letter to Dawn Sweeney telling her to do the right thing. But that's what members of the National Restaurant Association should have to do to retain your business if Dawn Sweeney continues to let Herman Cain hide behind their confidentiality agreements.