Mika Brzezinski Tries, Fails to Get Guests to Use Memorial Day to Attack Trump

On the Memorial Day edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski tried to bait liberal commentators Mike Barnicle and Paul Rieckhoff to use the national day of remembrance to attack President Trump. Fortunately, the two Trump critics, likely recognizing there is a time and a place for everything and that today is not that time, refused to go along.

Brzezinski started by asking Barnicle about the attitude the country has towards the military, suggesting it could be a complicating subject in the age of Trump due to the deployment of troops along the border:

BRZEZINSKI: I want to ask you what your reflections are during this time in terms of our attitudes in America, our knowledge and our understanding of people who serve in the military, who serve multiple tours of duty, who have taken part in wars on behalf of this country, and also are being deployed by this president by let's say maybe perhaps controversial means interms of their deployments at southern border for caravans that are coming in. It's a convoluting time, is it not? 

Barnicle side stepped the issue and instead talked about how despite the fact that Memorial Day invokes memories and how Memorial Day used to mean something more than the start of summer. He lamented how social media and smartphones have caused us to lose those memories and that because only one percent of the country serves in the military, that the, "impact on [those who serve] and their families is pretty much off to the sidelines. That's the sadness."

Brzezinski then turned to Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  "I would love for you to reflect on what Mike Barnicle just said and also, the work that you have done, how you're feeling about the way the military perhaps is being used by this presidency?" Reickhoff briefly concurred with Brzezinski in lamenting how Trump has used the military, but quickly said that despite that, "Memorial Day still can be a time where we come together as a nation and it's a time when we're so divided."

Reickhoff encouraged the country to take, "One minute on the moment of silence observed at 3:00 local time everywhere in America, take one minute and reflect on someone that you know that has died or even if you don't know someone who has died, someone that has died on your behalf to give you the opportunity to have a barbecue or go to the beach or even if you're at work take one minute to reflect on what this means."

Reickhoff would go on to criticize the idea of "forever war" and to say that asking "hard questions" about potential future wars, specifically citing Iran, was a "good way to honor people who have died."

MSNBC has had some troubled history with Memorial Day commentary and on Monday, Mika Brzezinski tried to use the occasion to give extra credence to her anti-Trump views, but two Trump critics refused to join her politicization of Memorial Day. 

Here is a transcript for the May 27 show:

MSNBC

Morning Joe

7:03 AM ET

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Mike Barnicle, before you take it to a next panelist, I want to ask you what your reflections are during this time in terms of our attitudes in America, our knowledge and our understanding of people who serve in the military, who serve multiple tours of duty, who have taken part in wars on behalf of this country, and also are being deployed by this president by let's say maybe perhaps controversial means in terms of their deployments at southern border for caravans that are coming in. It's a convoluting time, is it not? 

MIKE BARNICLE: Mika because of my age, my background, my family history, there's a certain sadness with me about Memorial Day. Because you think of the word “memorial” and part of that word incorporates memory. And with all the tools we have today, with Snapchat and Twitter and our smartphones, they're incredible instruments but they've caused a loss of memory in America, memory about who we are and who we've been. Memorial Day used to be May 30th. And Memorial Day used to be a time that was not just the start of summer, it was the time when nearly everyone remembered the fallen because nearly everyone in this country had been touched by the fallen on the street where they lived, in the parish where they belonged, in the clubs that they joined, in just the people they knew. They had either lost a member of their own family or knew someone on the block who had been lost. Multiple members of the -- of people on the block. That's gone. We now live in a 1% world where less than 1% of people serve in our military and the impact on them and their families is pretty much off to the sidelines. That's the sadness. 

BRZEZINSKI: And Paul Rieckhoff, I would love for you to reflect on what Mike Barnicle just said and also, the work that you have done, how you're feeling about the way the military perhaps is beings used by this presidency? Does it really match their role in history?

PAUL RIECKHOFF: I think sadly that’s right, Mika, but as a starting point, Memorial Day still can be a time where we come together as a nation and it's a time when we're so divided even if we just take…

BREZEZINSKI: Say thank you. 

RIECKHOFF: … One minute on the moment of silence observed at 3:00 local time everywhere in America, take one minute and reflect on someone that you know that has died or even if you don't know someone who has died, someone that has died on your behalf to give you the opportunity to have a barbecue or go to the beach or even if you're at work take one minute to reflect on what this means. I think it's actually an opportunity for us to reinvigorate what patriotism means. An inspiring generation that served overseas and we take inspiration from the ones that came before us and I think that can be kind of a silver lining in the sadness, looking at the fact that three post-911 veterans are running for president. No matter what party you come from, that can be a sign of inspiration. 

We have to remember we are profoundly disconnected. Most of America is going to the beach or going to work and our troops are overseas or remembering their friends at a cemetery. So, it's a time of deep disconnect and a time forever war where there's no real political or social accountability. People keep going over and over again. Because of the Authorization of the Use of Military Force, we can basically go to war forever with a blank check in any country the president wants, so I think we have to put it in timely context and we're on a potentially new war with Iran and we’ve got to really ask hard questions and that's a good way to honor people who have died. 

NB Daily Military MSNBC Morning Joe Video Mika Brzezinski Mike Barnicle Donald Trump
Alex Christy's picture


Sponsored Links