Samantha Cohen is an Intern in the News Analysis Division for the Media Research Center
Samantha graduated from American University in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. At AU, Samantha was a member of the College Republicans. Throughout college she interned for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the College Republican National Committee and the Laura Ingraham Show. Currently, Samantha is a second-year student at the University of Richmond School of Law, and is actively involved as the President of the Student Bar Association, Secretary of the Federalist Society and a member of the RVA GOP.
Latest from Samantha Cohen
On Wednesday the liberal host of Andrea Mitchell Reports jumped to the defense of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her recent comments that Donald Trump is a “faker.” Many have spoken out against her decision to launch a partisan attack, as it is highly inappropriate for a member of the high court to comment on the presidential election. When Donald Trump responded to the judge and suggested she “has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements” about him, Andrea Mitchell had to step in and “set the record straight.”
Eyebrows were raised Tuesday on Morning Joe after the New York Times featured a Harvard study that highlighted the relationship between race and the use of force in police shootings. Even Roland Fryer, the author of the study, described it as “the most surprising result of his career.” Panelists were most troubled by the findings of “no racial bias” in 1,300 incidents of police shootings in Texas, Florida and California. Bewildered Eugene Robinson described the results as “not comporting with reality” while melodramatic Mike Barnicle “got a headache reading it.”
Tensions were high on Morning Joe, Monday, in the aftermath of Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend and following a deadly week of shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. MSNBC’s Harold Ford Jr. and Reverend Al Sharpton reacted loudly to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments that the Black Lives Matter Movement has “put a target on the back of police officers.” Host Joe Scarborough chimed in, too, decrying Giuliani’s comments as “a distraction.”
There was a chill in the air Friday in the wake of the heinous shooting in Dallas, where five innocent police officers were killed and seven wounded, while protecting a Black Lives Matter protest. In the days leading up to the ambush in Dallas, two separate videos went viral of black men being shot and killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, LA and in Minneapolis, MN. On Morning Joe, viewers were led to believe that the “at the heart of this problem is something called the value gap.”
On Thursday, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell appeared on Morning Joe to dissect Hillary Clinton’s lucky break from the FBI. What struck O’Donnell was the notion of precedent, or a lack thereof, in finding a single similar case that supported criminal charges for Clinton’s private server. Unlike FBI Director James Comey, MSNBC’s O’Donnell believed the plea and pardon of former CIA Director John Deutch could pass as precedent.
The discussion of FBI Director Comey’s controversial decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her private server raged on Thursday’s Morning Joe. Opinions swirled around the table over Clinton’s flagrant mishandling of classified information. Surprisingly, the liberal Mika Brzezinski repeatedly referred to panelists as being “hostages [to the Clintons] for thirty years who don’t know how to think anymore.” The loudest critic was co-host Joe Scarborough, who asserted “Neither Hillary Clinton nor all the people around her should ever be within 1,000 miles of classified information again.”
In the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend Hillary Clinton be prosecuted for her private server, there have been varied reactions from the media. Wednesday on Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski condemned not only Clinton but the entire Obama Administration in their handling of the scandal. Even panelists Nicolle Wallace and Mark Halperin shared harsh words for the former Secretary of State. HuffPo’s Sam Stein, on the other hand, found Comey to have “been a little unfair” to Clinton.
Friday on Morning Joe, the conversation continued over the controversy surrounding former president Bill Clinton and his private plane rendezvous with Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Phoenix. There was a stark contrast between the reaction of the Morning Joe hosts to that of NBC News panelist, Chuck Todd. According to Joe and Mika, “There is no way [Bill and Hillary] don’t completely understand how completely inappropriate a meeting like that is.” Todd, on the other hand, boiled it down to “human error.”
Thursday on Morning Joe the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, Ben Smith, attempted to justify President Obama’s recent stunt in a commercial that mocked the difficulties people face when registering to vote. Naturally, making a joke of it in a BuzzFeed video was Obama’s way of addressing the complexities of voter registration. The perplexed hosts of Morning Joe vocalized how “disturbed” they were by the video. Ben Smith’s response? “YOLO,” short for “You Only Live Once.”
Wednesday on Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough finally got mad over the report released by the Select Committee on Benghazi. The report outlined the colossal failure of Hillary Clinton’s State Department for the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in September 2012. Even Jon Meacham joined in the angry chorus as the two vehemently disagreed with Hillary Clinton’s position that “it’s time to move on.” According to Scarborough, Clinton “got it completely wrong.”
In the aftermath of the Clinton/Warren rally in Cincinnati, MSNBC correspondents hailed the “magic” of what was apparently more like a “rock concert” than a campaign event. On Tuesday, Morning Joe exhibited more of the same as they obsessed over Clinton and Warren’s “really good chemistry.” Yes, another MSNBC groupie took the compulsive idolization to another level, as host Joe Scarborough likened Warren to rock n’ roll legend Led Zeppelin:
Monday on Andrea Mitchell Reports, the host salivated over the “magic on stage” at the Clinton/Warren rally Cincinnati earlier in the day. Mitchell and Anita Dunn, former White House communications director, went back and forth as they praised the pair for their “very real” chemistry on stage. They went on and on, suggesting the women looked like a “pretty good winning ticket for the fall” who resembled the “boomer magic” of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
This just in: Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren performed live in a rock concert in Cincinnati, Ohio on Monday. According to their devoted groupies at MSNBC, the concert served as an “audition” for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is being vetted for vice president. The two women entered the stage “hand in hand, locked in arms” as they readied the crowd for their performance.
On Friday the Morning Joe crew marveled over Brexit as the people of the UK spoke loud and clear: they want out of the European Union. Panelist after panelist on the morning show expressed shock and concern over the UK’s decision to go it alone. Economist Steve Rattner, on the other hand, stuck out like a sore thumb as he painted a rosier picture of the UK’s seismic decision.
As the fight for gun-control legislation continues on Capitol Hill, so too does the hypocrisy of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. On Wednesday, the show criticized Senator Susan Collins’ bipartisan legislation that would prevent people on two government watch lists from buying firearms. Host Joe Scarborough is so accustomed to attacking Republicans that he quickly chastised Senator Lindsey Graham for making his point on the need for greater constitutional restrictions regarding firearms.
In the moments following Hillary Clinton’s “heartfelt” remarks on the economy, MSNBC on Tuesday showered the candidate with their ritualistic, post-appearance bravado. Correspondent Kristen Welker described the occasion as one where Clinton “turned up the heat on Trump.” As for reporter Kasie Hunt, the speech was one from a candidate who is “in a groove.”
On Tuesday, PBS host Tavis Smiley appeared on Morning Joe to enlighten viewers with his presidential election analysis. What did we learn? Apparently progressivism is a gift that keeps on giving. According to Smiley, Bernie Sanders should take a page out of Jesse Jackson’s playbook, without Jesse Jackson there would have been no Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton is a much better candidate thanks to Bernie Sanders.
The vicissitudes of election coverage over the past year have made one thing certain: Morning Joe has been on an emotional rollercoaster with Republican nominee Donald Trump. In late 2015 and early 2016, Trump was regularly featured on the show and praised for his unprecedented primary performance. Now, as Trump’s favorability plummets in the polls, so too does his favorability among the Morning Joe hosts.
The two Democrats being hailed as heroes of the gun control filibuster, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Chris Murphy, have used MSNBC to their advantage as they prepare for a vote on the Senate floor this Monday. Thursday, Andrea Mitchell Reports featured Senator Booker, and on Friday Senator Murphy appeared on Morning Joe. What emerged from both interviews: Republicans will not be able to face their constituents if they don’t support these measures, and terrorism creates a window for gun control reform.
Frequent MSNBC guest and Huffington Post senior politics editor Sam Stein thinks that Donald Trump is very close to “talking about internment camps.” Rather than discuss the mounting concerns over the pending influx of people into our country, on Thursday, the Morning Joe squad picked apart Trump’s every word at a rally in Atlanta.