Shock: Mika Rips NYT for Interest in ‘Rubio’s Driveway’ But Not the Clinton Scandals

Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC took a strange turn during a discussion of Bill Clinton’s latest comments about the Clinton Foundation scandal when co-host Mika Brzezinski demanded to know from panelist and New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters “why your paper is so interested in Marco Rubio's driveway” as opposed to continuing to dig into allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation.

After Brzezinski had made the comment off-air while a clip of Clinton was being played, co-host Joe Scarborough urged her to state it on the air and so she turned to Peters to inquire: “I'm just curious why your paper is so interested in Marco Rubio's driveway.”

Peters immediately defended the paper’s reporting on Rubio’s traffic tickets and finances by arguing that: “They are absolutely legitimate questions about how Marco Rubio handled his finances because if you look at his history, this is a guy who has kinda of always operated within an inch or two of the rule.”

In addition, he contended that the Times’s reporting “raise[s] a larger question about [Rubio’s] judgement and his good sense and whether or not he’s somebody who can manage the way he claims to be.”

Brzezinski prefaced her response by citing how she’s looking forward to Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign rally on Saturday, but also made clear that, as a member of the media, she’s still seeing questions about the Clintons that “scream out at me”:

What in the world happened with the foundation and these ulterior motives this money and the e-mail server? I'm sorry. Those scream out at me. So when I, you know, look forward to Saturday. I want to hear it, but I don't understand how Bill Clinton can get on stage and say maybe some people had ulterior motives and we're just going like, okay, let's cover Marco Rubio's driveway. We’re not going – I'm sorry. I'm sure it's fine. It's fine. 

Later, Brzezinski observed a double standard that, if questions were raised surrounding a foundation started Republican presidential candidate, their “campaign would be dead.” From there, she again went after The New York Times for, in her mind, not having “the guts to truly report on this story.”

Peters worked to explain the current state of foundation coverage with the analogy that questions have always been “built into the cake with the Clintons” because “[t]here are always questions about propriety and whether or not they skirt the rules and whether or not they're too legalistic.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Morning Joe on June 12 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe
June 12, 2015
6:16 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Bill Clinton: ‘Don’t Know if Foundation Donors Sought Favors]

MIKA BRZEZINSKI [TO The New York Times’s JEREMY PETERS]: I'm just curious why your paper is so interested in Marco Rubio's driveway.

(....)

THE NEW YORK TIMES’s JEREMY PETERS: There are absolutely legitimate questions about how Marco Rubio handled his finances because if you look at his history, this is a guy who has kinda of always operated within an inch or two of the rule. 

(....)

PETERS: And his finances, though, I think raise a larger question about his judgement and his good sense and whether or not he’s somebody who can manage the way he claims to be

(....)

BRZEZINSKI: I want to know what Hillary Clinton needs to do Saturday to try and put this behind her because what just screams out to me, but, of course we're in the industry of analyzing, of covering this – I got it – of, of looking for the questions and asking them and the questions scream out at me. What in the world happened with the foundation and these ulterior motives this money and the e-mail server? I'm sorry. Those scream out at me. So when I, you know, look forward to Saturday. I want to hear it, but I don't understand how Bill Clinton can get on stage and say maybe some people had ulterior motives and we're just going like, okay, let's cover Marco Rubio's driveway. We’re not going – I'm sorry. I'm sure it's fine. It's fine.

(....)

SCARBOROUGH: You said if this happened to a Republican – 

BRZEZINSKI: I do feel – the campaign would be dead – 

SCARBOROUGH: – that it would be up in flames and you think The New York Times is underreporting this story. Is that right? 

BRZEZINSKI: It does not feel like anybody has the guts to truly report on this story and it's coming out because it has to...

(....)

BRZEZINSKI: Ok, look, there have been pops with this story that have just gone away. Tell me why, Jeremy. 

PETERS: You know, I think this is because this is built into the cake with the Clintons, right? There always have been questions – 

BRZEZINSKI: I’m sorry. What? 

PETERS: There are always questions about propriety and whether or not they skirt the rules and whether or not they're too legalistic. You know, it depends on what the definition of is is type stuff. So, I just think that these allegations – 

BRZEZINSKI: But it’s because somebody didn't cover it because it's built into the cake. 

PETERS: No, no, I’m not saying that – I think, we, The New York Times, lots of other news organizations are covering this exhaustively. I just think it's harder for these kinds of allegations and questions to stick to her when they've been exhausted for 20 years.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals MSNBC Morning Joe New York Times Video Clinton Foundation Mika Brzezinski Jeremy Peters Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Marco Rubio
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