05/15/2012 02:04 pm ET Updated May 15, 2012

Lawrence O'Donnell Rips Newsweek's Obama Gay Marriage Cover: America Is 'Wicked Stupid' (VIDEO)

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Lawrence O'Donnell ripped Newsweek on his MSNBC show Monday night for its provocative cover celebrating President Barack Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage.

After showing an image of Newsweek's cover featuring Obama with a rainbow-covered halo above his head (or as one HuffPost editor fondly dubbed it—a gaylo), O'Donnell called the magazine "wicked desperate."

"Newsweek had two headlines they were thinking of going with," O'Donnell told his panel. "'Please Buy This Magazine' was one...and the other was 'The First Gay President.'"

O'Donnell seemed to take issue with the fact that some Americans may believe Newsweek's headline as factual statement about the president.

"We live in a wicked stupid country, okay," O'Donnell said. "This is a country that believes, in a very substantial proportion, that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Huge number, millions and millions of 30 percent, think he wasn't born American. They think he's Kenyan. Crazy, crazy beliefs. And Newsweek, it seems to me, has to consider the responsibility of sending out into such a collectively stupid country and stupid electorate this thing, which is the only sentence in Newsweek that most people are going to read this week - the sentence on the cover."

O'Donnell added that the cover and headline could perpetuate more misinformation about the president. "The 'Obama is gay' number is now going to go up to 35 [percent]," O'Donnell said, referring to the portion of the population that could mistake Newsweek's headline for fact.

Watch the discussion in the video above. The exchange comes at about 3 minutes into the segment.



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