Furious Joe: Fox News Trying to Create Another ‘Timothy McVeigh’

On Monday’s Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough and his band of liberal misfits devoted a full segment of the show’s second hour to accusing Fox News journalists of trying to “inspire hatred that will lead to the killing of Americans.” How is Fox supposedly doing this? Well, in the minds of Scarborough and his fellow MSNBC pundits, Fox News hosts and guests who have compared Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump administration to an attempted “coup” and the FBI to the KGB are trying to inspire a Timothy-McVeigh-style attack on the Bureau through their heated rhetoric. Joe and company failed to explain how their own repeated comparisons of Trump to Soviet and communist mass-murderers like Joseph Stalin would be substantively different from what Fox’s commentators have said recently.

 

 

Morning Joe started the segment by characterizing President Trump’s praise of law enforcement officers at Quantico on Friday as “demented” and “postmodern” given Trump’s recent critiques of FBI leadership. However, the MSNBC journos quickly moved on to demonizing Fox News as Scarborough began to rant about Fox’s coverage of corruption within the FBI:

They are literally -- and it's very dangerous, because, ‘cause blood will be on the hands of people that, that, that whip people into a frenzy and, and lie. But they’re saying that there's a coup going on right now, which is, is one of the most extraordinarily irresponsible things I’ve ever heard a major network do. But that's what they’ve been saying all weekend. But there you have Donald Trump again, saying one thing one minute, and the next minute completely reversing himself.

Heilemann followed up Scarborough by attempting to paint a picture of what “blood” would be on the hands of Fox’s journalists:

HEILEMANN: Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously incredibly self-serving. And in addition to being postmodern – self-serving, inconsistent, ridiculous, hypocritical, insane, detached from reality, all -- you throw all those words out there. I -- but I do wanna say the thing that I think you're pointing to, which is really important, and I -- it's not the first time in the course of the last twelve months where I felt compelled to just remind people of what happened in Oklahoma City now about a decade ago – or two decades ago now – in, in 1995?

SCARBOROUGH: 1995.

HEILEMANN: 1995 when McVeigh blew up the, the Murrah building and some of us in this business had to fly out there and see what paranoid, conspiratorial, anti-government ranting led to,-

BRZEZINSKI: Right. This is not funny.

HEILEMANN: -which was a militia member going and blowing up a federal building and killing-

BRZEZINSKI: Daycare center.

HEILEMANN: -hundreds of people. That, it’s -- it hasn't happened yet, thank god, and hopefully it won't. But every time you are striking these matches and throwing them-

BRZEZINSKI: Thank you.

HEILEMANN: -at this giant pool of gasoline,-

BRZEZINSKI: Yes.

HEILEMANN: -you are courting this kind of disaster.

BRZEZINSKI: That is correct.

HEILEMANN: And when it happens, we will be able to point to the people who helped enable it happening quite pointedly because they’re on television every day doing it.

(...)

SCARBOROUGH: [W]hen you are spreading a message that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and that a Vietnam war hero who won a, the Purple Heart and, and, and one medal after another and has devoted his entire life to America, that he is launching a coup against the President of the United States, that will, in the same way that all the conspiratorial theories that I heard about black helicopters when I was running in 1994, that will attach to somebody like Timothy McVeigh. And they will take action. And yes, we will know who put those diseased thoughts in their heads saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigations was launching a coup against an elected president. I, I, I cannot think of a more reckless, irresponsible thing I have ever heard in my life.

Bizarrely, nobody appeared to realize that according to Heilemann and Scarborough’s pseudo-logic, both of Morning Joe’s co-hosts and many of its regular guest panelists must be equally guilty of inspiring violence.

Just over the past couple of months alone, the top MSNBC morning show has compared Trump to both authoritarian dictators and mass murdering Soviet tyrants, claimed that Trump either is okay with or is encouraging his followers to murder racial and religious minorities without evidence, and portrayed Trump as being so dangerously mentally ill that he must be removed from office immediately.

Is it not just as possible that Morning Joe’s “reckless, irresponsible,” and “conspiratorial” ramblings about Trump trying to kill Muslims, nuke the world, and promote fake terrorist assassinations could lead to violent actions being taken against him or his supporters? If Scarborough and Heilemann are so sure of the power of the news media to cause violence through incendiary rhetoric, why do they so frequently engage in exactly the same activity?

None of these sorts of questions came up during today’s segment. Instead, without a shred of self-awareness, the MJ dream team railed against comparing Mueller and his compatriots to the KGB and Stalin. Scarborough became visibly enraged and red in the face as he contemplated Fox News comparing FBI agents to the Soviets’ infamous secret policemen:

HEILEMANN: [inaudible] more people -- you know, that network has these clowns on television who last week went on and repeatedly compared the FBI to the KGB. They said we should shut down the FBI because it's turning into an Obama-led KGB. Do these people have any idea what the KGB did in the Soviet Union for a hundred years? That the KGB was complicit in deaths of millions of people?

SCARBOROUGH: Tens of millions of people.

HEILEMANN: [in tandem with Joe] Of millions of people.

SCARBOROUGH: Tens of millions of people.

ELISE JORDAN: [trying to cut in] You know why it’s so-.

HEILEMANN: It is, and these, and these people go on television and say the FBI is the KGB. Like, like, it is -- in a weird way, to your point, Steve, I like kind of -- when Trump says it, even though he's the President of the United States, I sort of think: Well, we're getting u- -- [gibberish] Trump says stuff like this all the time. It's up to us, everybody who goes on television, to be the sane ones in the room and not do the, like, kind of, kind of -- let the President go off and say what he's gonna say, because there's no way to contain him, but the rest of the responsible adults out here should not be going around saying things like the FBI is the KGB.

SCARBOROUGH: [face gets progressively redder, voice louder] Joseph, Joseph Stalin, Joseph Stalin’s KGB killed, many historians believe, over 30 million people. They are on Fox News right now, this weekend, people comparing the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us, who put their lives on the line under the leadership of Bob Mueller after September 11th to make sure we didn't get hit with another 9/11. And we didn't get hit with another 9/11 in large part because of Bob Mueller. And they're comparing Bob Mueller to Joseph Stalin’s KGB. There are no words.

JORDAN: And you're talking about what the FBI has done post-9/11 to try to keep us safe. And, as someone who spent time in Baghdad, I know what FBI agents over there were doing. An American gets kidnapped, they're on the ground immediately trying to figure out what happened. An American gets killed, they're trying to track down and figure out what happened. They're not just in the United States. They're everywhere that we are at war. And they’re going to war in the same way that our troops do and I think that it's ridiculous that these so-called conservative news outlets are denigrating people who are putting their lives at risk for our country.

SCARBOROUGH: In Afghanistan, in Iraq, across the globe. Every day their sons and daughters don't know whether they're going to come home at night. They do it to protect us. They have done it to protect us. Bob Mueller has done it to protect us. You have problems with Bob Mueller, that's fine. But don't say he's launching a coup on the United States of America. Don't compare him to the KGB, to, to, to Stalin’s KGB. Don't inspire hatred that will lead to the killing of Americans.

Just over a month ago, Scarborough reacted to the news of a potential re-investigation of the Clinton-Uranium One scandal by declaring that such a course of action “is what Joseph Stalin would do. This is what tyrants have done for years, is sic their people on political opponents.” So therefore, based on Joe’s own self-professed standards for public political discourse, he has “inspired hatred” that could lead to the assassination of President Trump or members of his administration.

This clearly presents quite a conundrum for Scarborough. If he genuinely believes that comparing Americans to reviled mass-murderers is inherently some sort of dog-whistle for homicidal violence, then he has a lot of explaining to do.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

The following is a partial transcipt of the Morning Joe segment:

7:43 AM EST

JOE SCARBOROUGH: They are literally -- and it's very dangerous, because, ‘cause blood will be on the hands of people that, that, that whip people into a frenzy and, and lie. But they’re saying that there's a coup going on right now, which is, is one of the most extraordinarily irresponsible things I’ve ever heard a major network do. But that's what they’ve been saying all weekend. But there you have Donald Trump again, saying one thing one minute, and the next minute completely reversing himself.

JOHN HEILEMANN: Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously incredibly self-serving. And in addition to being postmodern – self-serving, inconsistent, ridiculous, hypocritical, insane, detached from reality, all -- you throw all those words out there. I -- but I do wanna say the thing that I think you're pointing to, which is really important, and I -- it's not the first time in the course of the last twelve months where I felt compelled to just remind people of what happened in Oklahoma City now about a decade ago – or two decades ago now – in, in 1995?

SCARBOROUGH: 1995.

HEILEMANN: 1995 when McVeigh blew up the, the Murrah building and some of us in this business had to fly out there and see what paranoid, conspiratorial, anti-government ranting led to,-

BRZEZINSKI: Right. This is not funny.

HEILEMANN: -which was a militia member going and blowing up a federal building and killing-

BRZEZINSKI: Daycare center.

HEILEMANN: -hundreds of people. That, it’s -- it hasn't happened yet, thank god, and hopefully it won't. But every time you are striking these matches and throwing them-

BRZEZINSKI: Thank you.

HEILEMANN: -at this giant pool of gasoline,-

BRZEZINSKI: Yes.

HEILEMANN: -you are courting this kind of disaster.

BRZEZINSKI: That is correct.

HEILEMANN: And when it happens, we will be able to point to the people who helped enable it happening quite pointedly because they’re on television every day doing it.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, they’re on television every day doing it, and I, I, I will tell you, I had a conversation with Roger Ailes after Gabby Giffords-

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: -and said to him: We’ve known each other for a long time. I, you know what, I, I don't criticize you guys that much. I’ve never told you how to do your job. But we’ve crossed a line. And I specifically said: Glenn Beck has crossed a line. And he says, I won't say the word that I said, stuff on television every day that has my mother and other people in my family calling me up believing that the government is literally coming to kill them. I said: This leads to people getting killed. And I will say it too. I then walked down and I talked to Phil Griffin. I said: Phil, you have people on your air that are whipping up extremists on the other side of Glenn Beck and words have consequences. Your television shows have consequences. Enough. And, you know, of course, I had told Phil that every day for six years, so it didn't have as much of an impact on Phil-

BRZEZINSKI: [interjecting] No, you guys had a really good conversation about it, actually.

SCARBOROUGH: -as maybe on Roger Ailes. But, but, but, we had a great conversation. And Roger did -- and I'm sure it wasn't because of my phone call, but at some point, he and everybody else at Fox understood-

BRZEZINSKI: So describe that compared to now.

SCARBOROUGH: -that at the point Glenn Beck was being irresponsible, which is something, by the way, Glenn Beck now says himself. But this,-

BRZEZINSKI: This is-.

SCARBOROUGH: -when you are spreading a message that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and that a Vietnam war hero who won a, the Purple Heart and, and, and one medal after another and has devoted his entire life to America, that he is launching a coup against the President of the United States, that will, in the same way that all the conspiratorial theories that I heard about black helicopters when I was running in 1994, that will attach to somebody like Timothy McVeigh. And they will take action. And yes, we will know who put those diseased thoughts in their heads saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigations was launching a coup against an elected president. I, I, I cannot think of a more reckless, irresponsible thing I have ever heard in my life. This even surpasses what Glenn Beck was saying.

STEVE RATTNER: Absolutely it does. But -- and remember that even worse than when Glenn Beck was saying it, it's being aided, abetted, encouraged by the President of the United States and his followers. And to John’s point – yeah, absolutely we could see another Oklahoma City. But I would argue we’ve already seen a version of it in Charlottesville,-

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

RATTNER: -that things like Charlottesville come directly out of this kind of rhetoric, this kind of incitement, incitement against the government, incitement against democracy and everything that we stand for.

HEILEMANN: I don't wanna ge- -- wan-, just wanna get in the business of comparing tragedies and hate crimes. Bu-, and, and, so they’re both horrible.

BRZEZINSKI: No, I-.

HEILEMANN: They’re both horrible, but I was just thinking about the scale of it.

RATTNER: [interjecting] Yeah, yeah, no. I’m just saying-.

HEILEMANN: [inaudible] more people -- you know, that network has these clowns on television who last week went on and repeatedly compared the FBI to the KGB. They said we should shut down the FBI because it's turning into an Obama-led KGB. Do these people have any idea what the KGB did in the Soviet Union for a hundred years? That the KGB was complicit in deaths of millions of people?

SCARBOROUGH: Tens of millions of people.

HEILEMANN: [in tandem with Joe] Of millions of people.

SCARBOROUGH: Tens of millions of people.

ELISE JORDAN: [trying to cut in] You know why it’s so-.

HEILEMANN: It is, and these, and these people go on television and say the FBI is the KGB. Like, like, it is -- in a weird way, to your point, Steve, I like kind of -- when Trump says it, even though he's the President of the United States, I sort of think: Well, we're getting u- -- [gibberish] Trump says stuff like this all the time. It's up to us, everybody who goes on television, to be the sane ones in the room and not do the, like, kind of, kind of -- let the President go off and say what he's gonna say, because there's no way to contain him, but the rest of the responsible adults out here should not be going around saying things like the FBI is the KGB.

SCARBOROUGH: [face gets progressively redder, voice louder] Joseph, Joseph Stalin, Joseph Stalin’s KGB killed, many historians believe, over 30 million people. They are on Fox News right now, this weekend, people comparing the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us, who put their lives on the line under the leadership of Bob Mueller after September 11th to make sure we didn't get hit with another 9/11. And we didn't get hit with another 9/11 in large part because of Bob Mueller. And they're comparing Bob Mueller to Joseph Stalin’s KGB. There are no words.

JORDAN: And you're talking about what the FBI has done post-9/11 to try to keep us safe. And, as someone who spent time in Baghdad, I know what FBI agents over there were doing. An American gets kidnapped, they're on the ground immediately trying to figure out what happened. An American gets killed, they're trying to track down and figure out what happened. They're not just in the United States. They're everywhere that we are at war. And they’re going to war in the same way that our troops do and I think that it's ridiculous that these so-called conservative news outlets are denigrating people who are putting their lives at risk for our country.

SCARBOROUGH: In Afghanistan, in Iraq, across the globe. Every day their sons and daughters don't know whether they're going to come home at night. They do it to protect us. They have done it to protect us. Bob Mueller has done it to protect us. You have problems with Bob Mueller, that's fine. But don't say he's launching a coup on the United States of America. Don't compare him to the KGB, to, to, to Stalin’s KGB. Don't inspire hatred that will lead to the killing of Americans.

BRZEZINSKI: So I’m gonna make sure we post this entire conversation online, because this will be the most important conversation probably so far this year that people who really want to understand the dangers that we face should maybe take a second or a third listen to. Thank you for that, that was really important. We'll be right back.

(...)

NBDaily Communism Double Standards Communists MSNBC Morning Joe Video Elise Jordan Steve Rattner Joe Scarborough John Heilemann Mika Brzezinski
Chris Reeves's picture


Sponsored Links