Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell are not the only ones on MSNBC cynically exploiting the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. On his Morning Joe program today, Joe Scarborough said that conservatives are “somehow suggesting that he deserved getting shot in the chestwith a 9 millimeter."
Long gone are the days of Joe Scarborough the conservative congressman from Florida. Now as MSNBC's token right-of-center host he spends him time repeatedly bashing and lecturing conservatives on his own show “Morning Joe.” During the same show, Scarborough quipped regarding the birth control mandate debate,
“I guess that idea of chaining women to a radiator in the kitchen, that the Republicans wanted to put on platform, not going over.”
Scarborough's guests certainly did little to defend conservatives from Scarborough's smear. In the discussion about Trayvon Martin, Mark Halperin agreed with Scarborough lamenting of conservatives that “they feel they must talk about it and in a partisan way and in a way that is just so bad for the country.”
Morning Joe contributor Willie Geist mildly defended conservatives saying, “They are trying for some reason to provide balance, to pull it back the other way," but then added, "I think they picked the wrong case to do that."
The full transcript is below
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, co-host: In the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Flordia, we still haven't heard directly from the George Zimmerman. But a new eyewitness account of the confrontation plus police security video from the night in question are helping to shape the public's perception of the case. Zimmerman was brought to the Sanford Florida police station less than 40 minutes after the shooting of the 17-year-old in what he claims was self-defense. Zimmerman’s defenders say his injuries aren’t clearly visible in the police video because he wasn’t given–because he was given first aid before reaching the station. The gunman's brother insists Zimmerman used his weapon as a last resort after being attacked by Martin.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, JR, George Zimmerman’s brother: George was out of breath. He was Barely conscious. His last thing he remembers doing was moving his head from the concrete to the grass so if he you know was banged one more time, he wouldn't , wearing diapers for the rest of his life and being spoon fed by his brother. And there would have been George dead.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, host: No. Well, what we don't understand -- I think I agree with -- think some of us don't understand this. Like why is it that some on the right are actually taking this up as a cause when as a National Review said almost immediately after it happened, this has
nothing to do with gun rights. This has nothing to do with the second amendment. This has nothing to do with stand your ground laws. This has nothing to do with the NRA. This has everything to do with a guy that's trying to play security cop who was unhinged, who chased down and shot a 17-year-old kid, armed with skittles and iced tea. And yet, I mean, Mark, some of these guys on the right are jumping in with both feet on the far right. They should listen to the National Review when wise conservative thinkers and not take this up as a cause. But they are and they are trashing Trayvon Martin. It's uh disgusting.
MARK HALPERIN, Time magazine: It's two of the most depressing trends in our political media culture. One is in the wake of the O.J. Simpson trial, every criminal case with disputed facts just becomes fodder for people in the media. But the other is, everything has to be political for some of these people. And this is the big story of the day, they feel they must talk about it and in a partisan way and in a way that is just so bad for the country.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Willie, "The New York Times" has something online in the lead. Um, I forget what the blog is called. I guess it's the lead blog.
WILLIE GEIST, Morning Joe contributor: Yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: And showing how some websites, including some racist websites, but also sadly some fairly mainstream websites, are actually going in to Trayvon Martin's social media pages, be it twitter or myspace, and they are trying to find ominous looking pictures while skipping over pictures of him holding up a birthday cake smiling, him fishing with his dad, him standing outside proudly of his home dressed in a tux ready to go to prom. But they are trying to cherry pick pictures trying to make him look ominous. Somehow suggesting that he deserved getting shot in the chest with a 9 millimeter, because they find a picture that may make him look ominous.
GEIST: And to what end? It's not just the photographs, too. They are pulling tweets out that don't actually say anything relevant to the case but make him sound thuggish maybe in some way in the way he’d speak. I'm not quite sure what they are going for with that. I think Mark's right. Some on the right view this as a moment were many in the media rushed to judgment took one side right away without hearing all of the facts. They put up the sweet young pictures of Trayvon Martin. They are trying for some reason to provide balance, to pull it back
the other way, but I think they picked the wrong case to do that.
SCARBOROUGH: And Trayvon Martin's mother, the pain, the agony that she's going through, she said first my son was killed, and now they are trying to kill his reputation. You go through that twitter feed. It's innocuous at best. I–I can show you a lot of white kids from suburban neighborhoods, and take you through their facebook pages, their twitter feeds, their pictures. Come on.
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah. That's a really good point.
SCARBOROUGH: This is really -- I mean, i wonder if some of these people that are attacking him would like their children's social media pages gone through. This is beneath contempt. And we've talked about this before. This is beneath contempt. Uh, and these people on the right, far right, are being fools to try to try to make this a political issue. Again, there are responsible, reasonable conservative outlets, and I talked about the National Review from the very beginning. Darrell Peden out of florida, very conservative guy who drafted the stand your ground bill. A lot of Republican politicians that are doing the right thing. But there are some out there that are marginalizing themselves and making fools of themselves.
BRZEZINSKI: Because they have picked this case to make a stand. It's ridiculous.
SCARBOROUGH: I guess it's because the President actually said something to comfort the parents. And I guess they just can't handle that. I guess in their warped, twisted, distorted political world view, that makes this dead 17-year-old boy who was kept in the morgue for three days before they even notified his parents of his whereabouts. I guess that makes it ok.
BRZEZINSKI: That's pretty sick.