On his Monday MSNBC broadcast, “The Last Word” host Lawrence O’Donnell returned from a 75-day hiatus in which he recovered from injuries that he and his brother sustained in a car accident on a vacation in the British Virgin Islands earlier this year.
O’Donnell thanked several people including first responders and those who had helped his recovery along the way. Included among those was one unlikely name in David Koch.
Koch, one the Koch brother pair often maligned by O’Donnell and other MSNBC hosts for their contributions to conservative causes, happened to have donated $25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, the hospital from which O’Donnell received treatment for the injuries he suffered from accident.
O’Donnell admitted he still strongly disapproved of the Koch brothers’ political activities but acknowledged that it was possible for him to hold those two opposing idea in mind when expressing his gratitude for David Koch.
Partial transcript as follows:
Our planes landed around midnight Sunday night. An ambulance took me to a place I had never heard of, the Hospital for Special Surgery. It’s rated number one in the country and therefore the world for orthopedic surgery. The first words I saw when I was rolled into the hospital was the name “David H. Koch.” Yes, that David Koch.
Now brace yourselves, please, for the first positive words said about David Koch on this program. I agree with Harry Reid’s critique of the Koch brothers’ contributions to American politics, but that is not the only thing they contribute to. They have given $100 million to Lincoln Center. They have given huge amounts of money to medical research and treatment. David Koch has given over $25 million to the hospital that put me and many other men, women, and children back together, people with much worse injuries than I had.
David Koch’s money helped make their hospital experience a better one and that is a very, very good thing.
F. Scott Fitzgerald spoke to what some of you are feeling right now when he said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
You can pass that test. I know you can. You can be outraged by what the Koch brothers do with their money in politics, and you can appreciate what they contribute to hospitals and medical research. And you can do that at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
Look, I’m doing it right now. And I’m still sort of functioning.
And so yes, I feel some gratitude to David Koch, and I feel much more gratitude to many more people than I will ever be able to thank.
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