In what has become a common theme for the MSNBC conservative, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough failed to live up to his self-titled conservative values on March 13. Following a ruling by a New York state court on March 11 invalidating New York City’s large soda ban, Scarborough and the rest of the Morning Joe crew sans Mika Brzezinski mocked Bloomberg’s failed efforts on March 12.
Despite Scarborough’s outright glee at the court’s decision, when given the opportunity to confront Mayor Bloomberg in person on March 13, Scarborough remained silent. Such a complete reversal is surprising, given the lengths Scarborough went to show his glee that Bloomberg’s latest nanny state overreach had been shot down. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday, Scarborough was seen laughing throughout the segment while drinking a large drink, going so far as to have a member of the Morning Joe staff where a hat with two “Big Gulp” cups filled with soda to drink out of. However, despite Scarborough’s antics, his attitude towards Bloomberg on March 13 could not have been different.
Bloomberg appeared on set with four other mayors including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and was only briefly questioned by Mika about the soda ban. Brzezinski, who has been extremely vocal about her support for such a ban asked Bloomberg:
Do you think that the approach perhaps wasn't the right one? Should you have gone after overall portions? When you look at the judge's ruling and how he describes why he struck down—
Scarborough’s only comments during this segment were in response to Bloomberg, in which Scarborough said that the Big Apple's mayor was, “encouraging healthy habits.” For those conservatives upset over Scarborough’s failure to challenge Bloomberg they shouldn’t be surprised. As NewsBusters has documented, Scarborough has a history of slamming people behind their backs then remaining silent or defending them when they appear on his show.
The most recent example was in October 2012, when Scarborough slammed presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer behind his back, but when he came on his show, praised his performance. Scarborough’s unwillingness to stand up for his so-called conservative values by confronting Bloomberg’s intrusion into our private choices is yet another reason why many conservatives view Joe as nothing more than a RINO.
See relevant transcripts below.
March 12, 2013
6:02 a.m. EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: A lot to talk about this morning. Our top story, though, is about big, sugary sodas. They came out victorious yesterday as a state court invalidated New York City’s ban on oversized beverages. The decision came as a blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who pushed for the law as an outspoken advocate for the prevention of obesity.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah.
BRZEZINSKI: In his decision, the judge called the law arbitrary and capricious saying the city had interpreted the board of health's power so broadly it would create a quote administrative leviathan. Industry groups like the National Association of Theater Owners who serve popcorn that is so full of salt it'll kill you and these big drinks that you sit for two hours and drink and become sick
SCARBOROUGH: The beverage association also--
BRZEZINSKI: Look at this, the American Beverage Association is relieved because they can continue to make money poisoning people.
SCARBOROUGH: Can I just ask –
BRZEZINSKI: Look, let me help everybody out. Even Sarah Palin tweeted.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, I was going to ask Willie.
BRZEZINSKI: Victory in New York City for liberty-loving soda drinkers. To politicians with too much time on their hands, we say government stay out of my refrigerator. Please.
BRZEZINSKI: Please. Wow.
SCARBOROUGH: That's all right. My refrigerator. If you don't want them in your refrigerator, why do you want them in your bedroom. The question is, what's the "New York Post" saying, that's really -- this man speaks for New Yorkers everywhere.
GEIST: Pour it on.
SCARBOROUGH: Look at that face. Look at that face. All right. So let's not make too much light of this.
BRZEZINSKI: No, because it's actually a really serious issue.
SCARBOROUGH: Let's get the constitutional ramifications of this. Let's go right over right now to our flash cam.
SCARBOROUGH: And see --
GEIST: Oh, my gosh.
SCARBOROUGH: Lewis, what are the implications for this?
LEWIS: Oh, Joe, the constitutional implications are just remarkable.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, my god.
STEVE RATNER: I didn't know this was "The Daily Show."
March 13, 2013
8:29 a.m. EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Mayor Bloomberg, I want to ask you about the soda wars here in New York City, which I think could have such a profound impact on the rest of the country, as the conversation continues. Not going to argue the science of the toxicity of sugar, and in a book that I'm writing that's coming out in May, I even go farther and talk about the addictiveness of these substances that are put in almost all of our foods, but let me ask about what you put forward here in New York. Do you think that the approach perhaps wasn't the right one? Should you have gone after overall portions? When you look at the judge's ruling and how he describes why he struck down--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: We think the judge is 100 percent wrong. And we think we will prevail in court. Obesity is something, for the first time, Mika, in the history of the world, more people will die from overeating than from starvation. This is the first disease that has gone from a rich person's disease to a poor person's disease, that obesity among people that have less resources and less education is so much greater than those who are more fortunate. This is a poor person's disease. We've got to do something about it. And the cost of treating obesity is going to bury all of us, because the health care costs are something -- we can't afford our health care now. This is going to--
BRZEZINSKI: I don't disagree, but look at the front page of "the new york times" today, and look at the battle that -- look who you're up against. Rahm, jump in, and then the mayor.
RAHM EMANUEL: I want to -- if I can, we have a different approach in Chicago, but mike and I are trying to go to the same goal. We have a comprehensive wellness plan. Obesity drives two other chronic illnesses. Both on the heart, blood pressure, as well as on diabetes. Now, we have a different approach, but that said, mike and I share the same goal, because if we don't tackle this issue of obesity, the health care costs will swamp everything else you're trying to do. Not just for a city, but as a society. And whether -- I actually think Mike's going to win this case, but that said, he has to -- he's going to win the campaign of focusing on obesity as an illness that is driving so much else of our health care costs.
BLOOMBERG: Let me just also point out, we tried to get the federal government to do something. You can use food stamps to buy sugar-filled drinks which hurt you and the purpose of food stamps, you look at the enabling legislation, was to improve the health, not to reduce costs. We've asked states to put in taxes. "The New York Times" says you should do those things. Yeah, if we could do them, we would, but the truth of the matter is, nobody else is doing it, and you've got to do what you can do. And the portion control size, just using the cup, doesn't take away anybody’s rights. If you want 32 ounces, take two cups. If you want 64 ounces, take four. It's just there to remind you, this is not good for your health, and then let people do what they want to do. We're not trying to ban anything. We're simply educating and we do that with a lot of things.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Encouraging healthy habits.