Scarborough Shocked by Snark Over 'Straight' Reporter Brian Williams—But Shouldn't Be

February 11th, 2015 8:21 AM

Joe Scarborough is shocked by the outpouring of "sheer hatred, snarkiness and snideness" directed at Brian Williams. 

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough drew a contrast between himself, who as an opinion person has to expect much criticism, and Williams, who he claimed reported the news in a "straight" way.  But as Newsbusters and our parent MRC has carefully documented, Williams has been anything but a "straight" reporter of the news. Like so many of his MSM brethren, Williams had a distinctly liberal slant.

From literally bowing to President Obama, to snarkily suggesting to President Bush that his "patrician" background made him insensitive to the suffering people after Hurricane Katrina, Williams has been consistently toed the liberal line from his powerful perch.

Moreover, as managing editor of NBC Nightly News, Williams exercised great control over which stories would--and would not--air, and the way they were presented.  So even if the bias didn't always emanate from Williams' mouth, he was responsible for his show's overall leftward lean.

Finally, perhaps Scarborough underestimates the deep well of resentment that millions of Americans feel toward the MSM at large for its liberal bias.  So the fall of one of its most prominent members becomes an occasion for an outpouring of those thoughts and feelings.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: What he did is wrong, the people above him said it was wrong, the news staff said it was wrong. Everybody said it was wrong. It was wrong. But I have never seen on Twitter, online, such a gleeful, gleeful display of just sheer hatred and snarkiness and snideness in my 20 years in public life. And I think while what Steve Burke did is completely in line. I do think the reaction by Brian's critics have been, have lost perspective, and lost perspective about the second day of this crisis. 

. . . 

RICHARD HAASS: The contrast, possibly Jon Stewart doing something for his friend [announcing his retirement on the same day Williams' suspension was announced to take some of the spotlight off it.] All these people who never knew Brian Williams, the sheer meanness, the snarkiness, the schadenfreude out there in the social media and the newspapers: what did Brian Williams ever do? I don't understand.

SCARBOROUGH: I'm sure that's a question that Brian is asking himself, because, you know, I had talked to Brian when we first moved up to town with him and we were talking and he was saying, you know, I say, have you so many more people watch your show. We were talking for a reason that I'm not going to get into right now. We were just trying to figure some stuff out, whether, you know, whether I should do a certain interview or not. And he said, yeah, what you do, you have to go on the air every day and you are paid to give an opinion. You talk politics and basically no matter what we say. I can say right now the president gave a great speech and half the people would hate me, even if I was playing John Madden analyst, right? Or I can say the president let America down and the other half would hate me.

We engage in opinions so much here that that is a lightning rod. That's just unfortunately, I say to my family that has to read a lot of the garbage out there. That's just the price, I'm an analyst. Would it be easier to be a football analyst? Yes, it would. But we're political analysts. Brian Williams was a news reporter. He read the news. And he did it straight and he did it well, and Mika, the fact that he did it so straight really does raise the question of the level of hatefulness and where that putrid well rose up that again was so out of proportion with the sin.