Peggy Noonan made a serious point about MSNBC's slanted coverage, and I suppose seriousness compels me to mention it first. But please do yourself a favor and stay tuned for the description of Peggy's un-PC laugh line that could be the best guilty pleasure of the campaign season. Joe Scarborough opened today's Morning Joe with an ode to the wonderfulness that was Obama last night. He was entirely in tune with Olbermann's claim that the speech was beyond criticism. All the adoration apparently annoyed Peggy, and she made a point of providing a counterweight when she appeared later in the show.
PEGGY NOONAN: Well, it was a bit of a "flop-a-lini" to tell you the truth.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wow!
NOONAN: There were things about it that didn't work. Six months from now we're all going to remember the event. We're going to remember the Parthenon, the 60,000 people, the confetti shot out of the cannon. We're going to remember all that. We will not, I think, remember what he said. I think there was simply a number of problems with it . . . I'm actually putting a little edge on my criticism just to make up for the fact that on MSNBC last night somebody said, quote, "it wasn't a speech: it was a symphony." I'm sorry; I won't even name who did it. I am here to balance that bit of fatuous -- fatuous suck-upping!
Without naming him, Scarborough then took a shot at Olbermann for his over-the-top praise of Hillary's speech.
SCARBOROUGH: A symphony, huh? We actually heard a few nights ago that Hillary Clinton's speech was a "grand-slam out of the park," and of course it was pedestrian at best
Later came Peggy's laugh line that, as you'll see from the screencap, literally had Joe and Mika guiltily doubled-up with laughter.
SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan said this was a manly speech; this wasn't from the party of Oprah anymore: he rolled up his sleeves and he punched. And he did, and I'll tell ya, I was glad to see a Democrat do that. Did not worry about offending sensibilities. Was it a manly speech? Was it a tough speech?
NOONAN: I'm thinking about this. You know what?
SCARBOROUGH: This is coming from Buchanan, for God sakes.
BRZEZINSKI: Pat Buchanan!
ANDREA MITCHELL: He knows manly!
NOONAN: I understand that. He said earlier it was a manly speech. I'm still thinking about it. My way of saying it would be, that it was not a sissy speech. It wasn't that kind of ususal wah-wah, "oh, the poor child born with two heads and no medical insurance and they're using him as a bowling ball."
SCARBOROUGH: Oh my God!
NOONAN: You know the terrible things they say.
MITCHELL: Those delegates do not want another Dukakis or Kerry election.
NOONAN: Everybody is sick in their world, I'm sorry. You know how everybody is an unhappy, unwed single mother whose feet are exploding. And they don't exactly see the bright side of America.
SCARBOROUGH: Stop it! We'll be back!
Note: It was actually David Gergen, speaking at CNN, who got off the "symphony not a speech line." But Peggy's point remains entirely valid. Olbermann, Matthews & Co. at MSNBC tried to outdo each other in their praise of the speech's perfection. Hat tip reader M. M. Bates.