MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski Thinks Both Sides of Ambush Interview Acted Wrongly

Mika Brzezinski, the self-proclaimed Democrat and co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," thinks the two men who tried an "ambush interview" of Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) acted wrongly, along with the congressman.

In a video that surfaced online Monday, the Congressman was caught on camera grabbing a man by the wrist, swatting at his video camera, and demanding to know who he was. The man videotaped the congressman walking down a Washington, DC street, approaching him asking "Do you support the Obama agenda?"
"As a matter of respect to any human being, don't stick a camera two inches away from their face," Mika lectured to the show's audience, assuming her best soapbox demeanor. "That's rude. And a little bit threatening."

'There were two wrongs there," she summarized the situation.

Joe Scarborough, the show's host, agreed with Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin that the question posed to the congressman was a "trick question."

The panel did not doubt that the congressman acted wrongly in his intimidating behavior toward the two men with cameras. However, they seemed to view the two cameramen as little more than annoying street activists.

The transcript of the segment, which aired on June 15, 8:25 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

(Video of incident)

JOE SCARBOROUGH: That was an Ali move, you grab him behind the neck and then pull him to you. And the question was–by the way, the question was this–do you support the Obama agenda? (Garble)

MARK HALPERIN: Trick question.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: That was a trick question.

WILLIE GEIST: Congressman Bob Etheridge, Democrat of North Carolina, ambushed he would say, on the streets. He has apologized. He said he regrets it, he said 'The truth is, I had a long day, but that's no excuse.'

DAVID REMNICK: Yeah, we all have long days but don't beat up high school kids.


WILLIE GEIST: Didn't he get to anchor on 'Way to Early' that morning? Now you know how I feel everyday.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just don't see this the same way. I'm not going to engage in another fight where you, um–

WILLIE GEIST: No matter how annoying someone is, you don't put your hands on them.  

JOE SCARBOROUGH: We have a lot of people saying a lot of ugly things to us, and you don't grab kids behind the neck–

DAVID REMNICK: It's better not to. It's better not to.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I have seen you exhibit tremendous restraint in situations like this.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You just keep walking. That's what mature adults do, they keep walking.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Also, by the way, as a matter of respect to any human being, don't stick a camera two inches away from their face. That's rude. And a little bit threatening.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You just keep walking. As Bono would say, 'Walk on.'

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So there were–there were two wrongs there. 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014