Lawrence O'Donnell told his viewers he was banning Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh from his show until the Republican pays the child support he owes his wife and children.
O'Donnell seemed seriously disgusted with Walsh, who has become something of a regular presence on television since the debt ceiling drama began roiling Washington. (Besides talking to O'Donnell, Walsh also had a memorably rowdy conversation with Chris Matthews.) He played a video of Walsh saying, "I won't place one more dollar of debt on the backs of my kids" before noting that Walsh owes those kids $117,347 in child support.
O'Donnell called Walsh's lawyer "reprehensible" for saying that his debts were no more than those of any "average guy," and announced dramatically that Walsh was hereby banned from his show.
"He can go tell his lies about his family values and his sense of fiscal responsibility elsewhere," he said. "I can only hope that a ban on deadbeat dad politicians...will extend to all political television programs on all networks."
O'Donnell then told Walsh to pay his child support "because it's the right thing to do...that's what being a father is: doing the most for your children every day in every way that you can."
He said he would welcome Walsh back "on the night when he has done his duty to his first three children and the mother of those children." But he ended on a scathing note. Pointing out that Walsh has refused to compromise over the debt ceiling, O'Donnell said, "to our utter disgust, we now know what he's like as a no-compromise father."
Correction: An early version of this story listed the amount alleged to be owed by Walsh, as depicted in the video clip, as $117,437.