'Morning Joe' Spends Hour on Weiner Scandal, Never Once Calls Him a 'Democrat'

July 24th, 2013 11:57 AM

MSNBC’s Morning Joe spent nearly half of their Wednesday program covering the latest revelations in the Anthony Weiner scandal, yet never once mentioned that the disgraced former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate is a Democrat. The panel was extremely critical of Weiner and his candidacy, but apparently did not consider the candidate’s political affiliation to be of any importance to the story.

But while the (D) label was never applied to Weiner – save for one graphic showing a Democratic primary poll – the MSNBC show did have time to squeeze in two partisan labels – one for Republican Senator David Vitter and one for Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, in a round-up of other scandal-scarred politicians. In that same round-up, Democrat Bill Clinton was, like Weiner, not labeled.

All in all, the Morning Joe segments on Weiner added up to nearly 60 minutes of coverage – 43 minutes of which was new coverage, 16 minutes of which was replayed – in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET program. That's about half of the show, after taking commercials into account.

On Tuesday, new allegations surfaced that Weiner engaged in sexual misconduct for more than a year after he resigned from Congress in disgrace. Morning Joe kicked off their Wednesday show with footage from Weiner’s press conference yesterday with wife Huma Abedin, in which Weiner acknowledged his mistakes as Abedin stood by him in support.

The Morning Joe panel was extremely critical of Weiner. NPR’s Cokie Roberts called Weiner’s actions “lewd, disgusting, and in every way nuts.” Host Joe Scarborough mockingly claimed the “new and improved Anthony Weiner” was “Carlos Danger,” referencing Weiner’s chosen handle in his scandalous online chats.

Morning Joe had five separate segments addressing the Weiner scandal. The first segment, at 6 a.m., lasted 16 minutes. The next segment, at 6:48 a.m., lasted five minutes and addressed a Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for Weiner’s withdrawal from the mayoral race. The third segment included a simulcast with the Today show at 7 a.m. – in which Scarborough opined that Weiner was “the Chuck Yeager of sex scandals” – and also lasted 16 minutes. The fourth segment was a replay of the first segment, at 8 a.m. The fifth and final segment, at 8:31 a.m., saw NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd join the Morning Joe crew, and lasted six minutes.

See Morning Joe’s coverage here.

UPDATE, 12:50 p.m. ET: In a previous version of this post, I claimed that Morning Joe applied only one partisan label to a politician in their coverage of the Weiner scandal (Republican Sen. David Vitter). Upon re-examination of Morning Joe's segments on the scandal, I found that co-host Mika Brzezinski had identified former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as a Democrat. I apologize for the error.

UPDATE, July 25, 2013, 10:57 a.m. ET: In a previous version of this post, I also asserted that Morning Joe had never once labeled Weiner a Democrat. Based on one's interpretation, this is true. However, Morning Joe producers did at one point put a graphic up on screen displaying the polling for the Democratic primary in the New York City mayoral race. The graphic identified the poll as one tracking the Democratic Party's primary in the New York City mayoral race, and featured a blue donkey image alongside it. However, Weiner was still never audibly identified as a Democrat.