04/12/2011 07:40 am ET | Updated Jun 12, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell Apologizes For Crying About Planned Parenthood: 'I Failed' (VIDEO)

Lawrence O'Donnell apologized for crying on air during an emotional defense of Planned Parenthood.

On his Monday show, O'Donnell addressed the hubbub he had caused when he read an email from a friend who depended on the organization--whose federal funding has come under heavy attack from Republicans in recent weeks--and couldn't hold back the tears as he read the end of the note out loud. Most prominently, Glenn Beck tore into O'Donnell, mocking him and suggesting that only "hookers" depend on Planned Parenthood.

O'Donnell did not spend too much time on Beck, though. He read bits of a column from Mediaite that criticized his breakdown and called it "contrived."

"That is exactly what I would have thought if I had watched someone else do what I did on Friday night," he said, adding that "I did everything I could to control my emotion in that reading but I could never say the last line clearly."

O'Donnell said that he thought about not reading the line because he didn't want to distract from the actual email. "I failed," he said. "I have distracted some attention from the content of the email and I regret that deeply."

He said that the last line--"please yell some sense into these people"--had gotten to him because he knew that "I couldn't--that there would be no way to yell any sense into people like that, and someone who had mistaken the power of this box sadly thought I could do that."


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