Drifting around the dial this morning, I happened on MSNBC's Weekends With Alex Witt. Within minutes, I was stunned by two Witt whiffs, to wit:
1. Criticizing the Tea Party's lack of "diverse thinking," she asked Joe Scarborough "how much has the Tea Party damaged the Republican party?" Joe gently explained that far from damaging the GOP, the Tea Party propelled it to historic landslide victories in 2010. 2. Witt later cast the Salt Lake Tribune's recent endorsement of Barack Obama as a "surprise," ignoring the fact that in 2008, the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed . . . Barack Obama. View the video after the jump.
Watch Witt whiff. Note also that if Witt had really wanted to highlight a surprising and significant endorsement, she would have mentioned that of the Orlando Sentinel, which yesterday endorsed Romney after having endorsed Obama in 2008. In a battleground state like Florida, that could make a difference, whereas Utah is of course irretrievably Romney's.
ALEX WITT: What has the Tea Party done to the Republican party? There doesn't seem to be a lot of embracing of diverse thinking. How much has it damaged the Republican party?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, I don't know how the Republican brand is doing now, if you just look at the election last year in 2010, two years ago. The Tea Party was part of a coalition that gave Republicans the largest majority landslide nationwide in the history of the country.
A bit later, Witt teased the upcoming segment on the Salt Lake Tribune endorsement.
WITT: In a moment, a newspaper endorsement for President Obama that you might have expected Mitt Romney should have received.
Then, after returning from the break . . .
WITT: Well, Mitt Romney saved the Salt Lake City Olympic Games from becoming a financial disaster and he shares a common religious bond with so many there, as you might expect the Republican nominee to garner an endorsement from the city's major newspaper. Think again. The Salt Lake Tribune is endorsing President Obama, citing a number of reasons, including the president's stimulus spending, auto-industry bailout, and foreign policy. About Romney, the Tribune says he morphed into a friend of the far right and then quickly shifted back to the center. The Trib says there are too many Mitts whose domestic agenda lacks detail and is worthy of mistrust. Whooh!