Unless you live in the east, you may never have seen the Morning Joe show on MSNBC, or know its stars Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, because it airs on the Pacific Coast from 3-6 am.
Even though I’ve written that the first 30 minutes of Morning Joe are the best 30 minutes on cable television, if you believe politics matters (it is virtually commercial free at the start), I stopped watching a while ago because the presidential election is still, even now, more than a year away, and a lot that’s happening, especially with Republicans, may be interesting political theater, but only that (four years ago, some guy named Herman Cain -- remember? -- was the GOP’s leading presidential candidate).
But my wife, La Verle, has become a Morning Joe addict (watching by TiVo); she really loves the show, especially Mika.
But this week my wife got upset with Joe, the otherwise likable, even lovable, conservative. She told me I needed to watch the show because Scarborough was in a major rant about liberal media.
Having watched, I was moved to write a note to Mika, with my wife’s urging (my wife knows I know her, if slightly).
So I wrote:
“Mika, you know I’m a big fan of you, Joe, and the show, and my wife has become even more devoted, watching by TiVo every day.
“But we both agree, that on Monday’s show, Joe skated way over the line in his rant that 90 percent of journalists are ‘Democrats.’
“How does he know?
“I was a press aide to Bobby Kennedy, a press secretary to two U.S. Senators, one of whom was a Republican, and knew Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, Dan Rather, Roger Mudd, Robert Pierpoint, Sander Vanocur, Chet Huntley, Tom Fenton, Paul Duke, Jack Chancellor, Doug Kiker, Fred Graham, etc., and I never knew the political party registration of a single one of them, other than those who told me they were registered ‘independent’ – and I never, ever, thought of them as ‘partisan.’ Liberal, probably; Democrats, unlikely.“But what annoyed me
Monday was Joe’s rank hypocrisy, ranting endlessly about liberal media's dominance, while he, a self-confessed “conservative Republican,” hosts a network show that’s on the air 15 hours a week; anyone else you know who gets 15-hours of network time?
“It’s quite stunning to me, Mika, how deferential others on your show are toward Joe, including Mike Barnacle, who knows better. Are they intimidated?
“That said, I wrote in 2012 that had Joe Scarborough been the GOP’s presidential nominee, rather than Mitt Romney, he would have been elected; he would have defeated Barack Obama, because he’s such a likable guy; except when, as today, he acts like a horse’s behind.
“Finally, what has increasingly troubled me is all the white, media establishment regulars on Morning Joe. (True, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post is seen, and he’s terrific, but my point stands.)
“It’s the Boston, NY, DC Axis personified.
“And because of that, the Morning Joe ‘insiders” missed what happened; highlighted, of course, by Scarborough’s major anti-Nate Silver rant, saying that Silver (then of The New York Times) was totally wrong in predicting a big Obama win; a view generally shared with Joe by others on the show, but not to Joe’s emotional degree, who basically said Silver was an idiot, even if most people think Silver is a genius
“Meanwhile, little old me, out here in San Diego in September of 2012, came to the same conclusion as Silver about the presidential race (and a professor at Stanford) and correctly predicted the president would win 332 Electoral College votes and 52 percent of the popular vote (he received 51.9), while the principals on Morning Joe were clueless.
“Joe knows, does he not, that most media in the USA are owned by conservative interests; that over 1,000 radio stations are owned by one corp. entity, and you can’t find a ‘liberal’ talk show host on any of their stations; and, sorry to say, truly, the largest cable news network is owned by Rupert Murdoch (who also owns the nation’s largest newspaper, WSJ).
“Love ya, Mika, but please tell your broadcast partner, that most of the time, his affability goes a long way; but yesterday it went way too long – and he annoyed my wife, annoyed me, and, perhaps several thousand other Morning Joe regulars.”