March 27, 2012 7:21am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Lawrence O'Donnell Interviews Empty Chair After George Zimmerman's Lawyer Walks Out (Video)
Lawrence O'Donnell planned for a contentious interview on Monday night, and he got one. Just not in the way he had anticipated.
The Last Word host, who has been covering the Trayvon Martin case quite closely over the past few weeks, had scheduled Craig Sonner, the lawyer of Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, to appear on his show. Sonner has been making the media rounds, suggesting that Zimmerman was acting in self defense when he shot Martin, whom he claimed attacked his client. But after arriving at the MSNBC satellite studio in Orlando, Sonner decided to bail on the interview, leaving O'Donnell without his anticipated guest.
Instead of switching his segment at the last minute, O'Donnell decided to continue on with the Sonner interview, even though the lawyer wasn't there. In a bit of theatrics and point-making, the host still asked his questions, but to the unoccupied chair in the bare studio.
"He knew these questions were not gonig to be the questions he was facing everywhere else he went," O'Donnell raged. "He wasn't going to be let out of here with an easy interview where he was going to be let off the hook with his lawyerly questions. And so Craig Sonner has been the first guest in the history of this particular show to get scared, to be terrified, so terrified of coming on this show that he has literally run away, he is in our car right now, taking him home from our studio."
O'Donnell continued in his introduction, accusing Sonner of getting away with non-answers and having not asked Zimmerman about what happened the night of the Martin's killing. The host has long been critical of both Zimmerman and the police in Sanford, Florida, where the murder took place, going so far as to allege that there was a cover up that night.