As the political tensions in America have ratcheted up, some network pundits have begun struggling to maintain their composure while covering the White House. Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski is one such example, as she again demonstrated on Friday with her comments about White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and NRA spokeswoman Dana Leosch.
Brzezinski spat fire at Sanders during a segment on the NRA’s role in politics. Host Joe Scarborough kicked things off by lacing his criticism of the organization with the subtle implication that when he’d been in office, the NRA had seemed like “a very noble organization.”
“But at some point,” he rambled, “and I don’t know exactly when, it stopped being about gun owners and started being about the profits of Wall Street investors in gun companies.” Perhaps if pressed, he would describe this alleged change in philosophy as having occurred sometime around September of 2001, when he left office. But that’s just speculation.
Brzezinski seemed to bristle at her co-hosts’ platitudinous attitude toward the organization, and she seized upon comparisons between NRA spokeswoman Dana Leosch and Press Secretary Sanders:
We look at her and wonder how she does her job every day. Literally, how she spews lies at times for this President when she’s supposed to be serving this country.
“Wow,” Scarborough commented. “Well,” Brzezinski rationalized, “you can’t call them, like, little pawns.”
“That escalated quickly,” he responded with faux concern, later adding, "I'm uncomfortable."
Despite the combative nature of Brzezinski’s comments, they were far from the harshest words spoken about Sanders on the set of Morning Joe that week. Two days earlier, Scarborough himself had characterized the role of White House Press Secretary as akin to being “number three in Al Qaeda after 9/11.” The recency of that comment exposes the disingenuousness of his reaction on Friday to Brzezinski’s comparatively mild accusations.
However, seeming mild by comparison does not make Brzezinski’s attack on Sanders any less aggressive and partisan. But at least this time nobody compared her to Al Qaeda. Perhaps that’s a low bar, but in the case of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, we'll take what we can get.