Chris Reeves was an intern in the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division.
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On Monday’s Morning Joe, New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker was welcomed onto the panel to discuss his and his colleagues’ latest report about President Trump’s TV news-watching habits. In the course of discussing the piece, MSNBC National Affairs Analyst John Heilemann made a point of bringing up how Trump’s favorite nightly news show to hate-watch is, reportedly, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. Heilemann tried and failed to get Baker to pin Trump’s dislike of Lemon on the President’s supposed hatred of African-American people before turning to Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., the show’s only black panelist, for backup. Glaude did not explicitly agree with Heilemann, but was clearly amused by Heilmann’s “slightly devilish” suggestion.
On Friday’s Morning Joe, the MSNBC show’s hosts and guests spent most of their broadcast mourning the announced resignation of Minnesota Senator Al Franken from Congress in the wake of over half a dozen allegations of sexual assault against him. In a stunning display of hypocrisy, MSNBC’s liberal morning pundits went to extraordinary lengths to cast doubt on the women who have accused Franken of sexual misconduct, violating the network’s own oft-repeated standards for Republican and conservative politicians.
Clearly inspired by veteran NBC journalist Tom Brokaw’s sermon warning of the dangers of “rushing to judgement” on the over half-dozen different charges of sexual harassment against Democratic Senator Al Franken, both Andrea Mitchell and Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus rode to the rescue to back him up.
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, the show’s liberal panelists were still reeling from the aftermath of President Trump’s speech yesterday publicly pledging to uphold Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel. MSNBC’s morning pundits were not upset at the violent protests being orchestrated by Palestinian authorities though. Instead, they blamed Trump for “setting the Middle East on fire.”
Less than half an hour before Trump made his speech today recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell brought NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel onto her MSNBC show to discuss the implications of the President’s announcement. Reporting from the Palestinian Territories in Ramallah, Engel went to great pains to promote his hosts’ perspective on Trump’s upcoming speech, lamenting Palestinians’ lost “dream” of “a future capital.” Engel also characterized Trump’s Jerusalem policy shift recognizing that “the Israelis are right” as “profoundly unsettling.”
Wednesday’s Morning Joe devoted a significant portion of its broadcast to covering President Trump’s upcoming speech that will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In response to reports that the Palestinian Authority is reacting to this development by calling for potentially violent protests and a “day of anger,” MSNBC’s top liberal pundits knew precisely where the blame for any resultant violence should fall – Trump, of course.
This week on Morning Joe, the show’s liberal panelists have been working overtime not to cover one of the most significant stories that broke this past weekend. Namely, multiple journalistic outlets have revealed significant conflicts of interest at the FBI over the past two years that could have directly impacted agents’ investigations into Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and their respective associates.
Morning Joe just cannot get over Trump’s retweets of three anti-Muslim videos last week. Last Friday, with no evidence, the liberal morning show’s panelists promoted the idea that Trump’s retweets were part of a top secret, sinister plot to incite potentially murderous violence against Muslims in America. This Monday, co-host Joe Scarborough tried a new angle, repeatedly insisting that Britain First, the group whose leader Trump retweeted, is a terrorist organization that “assassinates members of parliament” in the United Kingdom. Simply put, Scarborough’s claim is completely false.
Friday’s Morning Joe was still devoting a substantial portion of its news coverage to discussing President Trump’s Wednesday morning retweets of three anti-Muslim videos originally posted by one of the leaders of the far-right UK political party Britain First. Not happy with just criticizing Trump for drawing attention to a group like Britain First or pointing out that one of the videos that Trump retweeted does not appear to depict a Muslim migrant attacking a Dutch boy (as the accompanying tweet claimed), host Joe Scarborough and MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann instead accused Trump of deliberately trying to “incite hatred” so that his followers would kill or otherwise harm Muslims.
On Friday’s Morning Joe, the show’s liberal pundits doubled down on their claim that everybody around Trump thinks he has signs of serious mental deterioration. Host Joe Scarborough did not reveal his source for yesterday’s assertion that Trump has “dementia,” but he and the other panelists used this claim to advocate for current military servicemen and presidential cabinet members to “stand up to Trump” and not follow orders from the President. USA Today senior politics reporter Heidi Przybyla also took the opportunity to misrepresent a poll from the Military Times, claiming that it supported the idea that most military officers think Trump is mentally not “fit” to be commander-in-chief. The poll that she appeared to be referencing asked no such thing of the troops that it surveyed.
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough claimed that anonymous sources “close to” the President “during the campaign” have said that then-candidate Trump was exhibiting symptoms of the “early stages of dementia.” Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski have referred to Trump as being literally insane and therefore dangerous to the United States on innumerable occasions.
As Wednesday’s Morning Joe was just starting the second hour of its broadcast, the news broke that Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC for his “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” The MSNBC morning show’s panelists went out of their way to praise Lauer as a man of “class” and “dignity” who was a “loved” “mentor” and “friend” to those who have worked for the Today show, where Lauer was an anchor for two decades.
Tuesday’s Morning Joe opened with sixteen solid minutes of discussion about the most pressing news story of the day – President Trump calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” yesterday at a ceremony honoring Navajo World War II veterans. The show’s liberal panelists not only wholeheartedly swallowed Warren’s argument that the word “Pocahontas” is a racial slur, but also came up with an elaborate theory that Trump was not simply making fun of Warren, but actually trying to send a “coded” appeal to the “white nationalist,” “racist elements” of his base. Mika Brzezinski also personally attacked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for “shill[ing]” for Trump’s “racism” and “bigotry” and suggested that she was a bad mother who shouldn’t be able to face her children.
Nancy Pelosi received near-universal condemnation for her comments on Sunday’s Meet The Press when she praised accused sexual harasser and fellow Democratic House Representative John Conyers as an “icon.” Even CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who is not exactly pro-Republican, called Pelosi’s remarks “catastrophically bad.”
And yet, on Monday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were inspired to double-down on Pelosi’s comments, repeatedly declaring that Conyers is an “icon” and thanking Pelosi for “speaking the truth.” Neither host was upset by the California congresswoman’s dismissal of the truthfulness of Conyers’s alleged victims.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough and rest of the show’s liberal pundits expressed their extreme frustration with President Trump for one of his Thanksgiving weekend tweets where he criticized CNN International as being “a major source of (Fake) news.” With absolutely no evidence, Scarborough came to the conclusion that Trump’s comments were intended to encourage “tyrants” to “jail” or “do worse” to American reporters because the press “won't kiss [Trump’s] ass every day on the air.”
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, while discussing President Trump’s remarks to reporters yesterday on the White House lawn, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt decided to do an impromptu campaign ad for Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones, who is Roy Moore’s opponent in the Alabama special election. Part of Hunt’s pitch involved the fact that Jones is best known for prosecuting the perpetrators of the infamous 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls. Co-host Mika Brzezinski instantly saw a connection between this piece of information and Trump’s earlier claim to journalists that Jones is “soft on crime.” From this realization, she concluded that Trump must in some way be okay with, or at least not that concerned by, blowing up and killing children in churches for racial reasons.
In spite of repeated proclamations from MSNBC pundits that anyone expressing a scintilla of skepticism about any claims of sexual misconduct must therefore support that gross misbehavior, MSNBC’s best and brightest repeatedly broke this self-imposed standard over the past week vis-a-vis the Al Franken sexual assault allegations. Morning Joe added to this shamelessly hypocritical coverage on Tuesday, questioning if the latest Franken accuser can “prove” her accusation that Franken shoved his tongue in her mouth. The hosts also waffled on whether or not Franken should suffer any serious consequences for his alleged sexual crimes, with co-host Willie Geist wondering whether Franken should be treated as a “pariah” and “have his life ruined and thrown out.”
Last week, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote an op-ed calling for Al Franken to resign in light of radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden’s claims that the Democratic senator sexually assaulted her multiple times while on a USO tour to the Middle East to entertain American troops back in 2006. However, on Monday, Goldberg published another piece retracting her original call for Franken to be replaced. She primarily based her new argument on the grounds that Franken’s support for “women’s rights” should preclude him from being subjected to feminists’ purported standards for alleged sexual abusers. Goldberg also fretted that getting rid of the senator at this point would set a dangerous precedent that would “risk unilateral disarmament” for Democrats in the political arena.
Given the extensive coverage of the allegations of criminal sexual misconduct against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, you may be wondering how liberal journalists have been covering the multiple accusations of sexual assault against Democratic Senator Al Franken. Well, if you were expecting unreserved condemnation and calls for Franken to resign his seat, you would be pretty disappointed, at least if you were watching MSNBC.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski finally lost it with Hillary Clinton. Last Friday, Brzezinski condemned Bill Clinton as a sexual “predator.” This week, Mika was extremely upset at Hillary Clinton’s “hypocrisy” in going after Trump as a “sexual assaulter” while simultaneously defending her husband from similar or more serious charges of sexual assault and rape. Brzezinski told Clinton in no uncertain terms that she “needs to stop talking about this topic.”