Tensions are running high at MSNBC, at least surrounding veteran host Joe Scarborough who seems to be increasingly discontented at his network's decision to market itself as the cable net of choice for Bush haters. That hasn't sat well with the likes of the far left Keith Olbermann who has played a large role in getting MSNBC to pursue this strategy
The Democratic convention seems to have only exacerbated those tensions. Last night saw Olbermann caught on an open mic blurting out profane disgust at Scarborough, prompting the latter to verbally call him out while fellow MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews sat back mortified at the intra-family dispute.
Things don't appear to have been smoothed over either as Scarborough was involved in another altercation this morning with liberal correspondent David Shuster on today's "Morning Joe." Scarborough ultimately accused Shuster and his MSNBC colleagues of being Democrats, their independent political registrations notwithstanding. (Exchange happens at 2:15 in video to the right.)
A news segment about Iraqi President al-Maliki's call for the withdrawal of US troops set off the skirmish. Shuster snidely suggested to Joe that "your party, the Republican party" mocks those who call for withdrawal. All hell ensued. The entire seven-minute exchange is worth viewing, but the highlight was Scarborough's challenge to Shuster and MSNBC at large over their independence.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I will let you know that "my party," my party, loathes me, much more than your party, the Democratic party, loathes me.
DAVID SHUSTER: Well that's a whole 'nother issue, but the fact of the matter is --
SCARBOROUGH: No, it's not another issue, because you said --
SHUSTER: The party you served with in Congress have repeatedly suggested, they have ridiculed --
SCARBOROUGH: What about your party? What's your party? David Shuster, David: what's your party?
SHUSTER: I have no party. I'm a complete independent.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, you're independent. Just like all --
SHUSTER: I'll show you my voting card. I'll show you how I'm registered later.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, I feel so comforted by the fact that you're an independent. I bet everyone at MSNBC has "independent" on their voting cards. "Oh, we're down the middle now." Go ahead, David. No, no, go ahead. You're an independent David. Go ahead. Talk about my party. Go ahead.
SHUSTER: Are you done?
SCARBOROUGH: No, I'm not done, when the fact is that I'm about as down-the-middle as anybody on television on any network, and you come in with a cheap shot, calling up "your party."
A bit later, Scarborough jabbed Shuster over his tardiness.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you never watch this show?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He's on this show!
SCARBOROUGH: You must be asleep. Oh, that's right. You usually sleep through the show.
SCARBOROUGH: Because you didn't show up three times in a row! Three times you slept through your alarm and didn't come on this show.
SHUSTER [to fellow panelists]: That's how the argument works.
Let's hug it out, boys. H/t reader cgb1.