MSNBC’s Morning Joe has, in part, been defined by co-host Joe Scarborough’s jealousy for Florida Republicans who had a more successful political career and following than he did.
Such was the case Wednesday when he and his crew of middle school bullies spent over 25 minutes smearing Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as “anti-business,” “anti-conservative,” “insecure,” and “stupid” for fighting woke Disney and working to undo the state’s crony arrangement with Reedy Creek.
With 2024 on their mind, they also made sure to fawn over Donald Trump linking with Disney to attack DeSantis.
The silliness started 40 minutes in when Scarborough gloated over “oh, poor Ron” when wife and co-host Mika Brzezinski said DeSantis went to “Capitol Hill yesterday, hoping to build support for his potential presidential campaign” and “did little to sway lawmakers” away from Trump.
He gloated to giggles from Brzezinski, co-host Willie Geist and Way Too Early host Jonathan Lemire that DeSantis has “got the look of like, a picture with like an 8.90 ERA” pitcher with Geist gloating he’s “getting lit up” by Trump
As for Disney, Scarborough kept his sugar high in proclaiming DeSantis “crossed the wrong guy” in Disney CEO Bob Iger as the latter’s now “just running circles around” someone who’s acting like he’s never “lived in the State of Florida.”
The ever-pompous goon later quipped: “You know, Willie, as a Florida guy, I am a Florida man, it’s never made sense these attacks on Disney.” He explained that “Floridians take great pride in” Disney and he has “friends” across the spectrum, so DeSantis doing anything to fight the multi-billion dollar corporation was “a great example...of Republicans overrplaying.”
Nowhere in these 25 minutes of hate did they care to admit DeSantis was reelected in November by nearly 20 points, Republicans swept state row offices, and the GOP gained super-majorities in the legislature.
Scarborough started down an imaginary scenario of DeSantis being physically beaten by a Mickey Mouse with “brass knuckles” who was so unthreatened that he’s “throw[ing] the biggest LBGTQ [sic] celebration in the history of the world on main street Disney.”
As Brzezinski interjected in agreement, Scarborough gloated Disney won’t lose a dime as if their wokeness doesn’t affect their bottomline or their status as the largest employer in Florida (with both being pants-on-fire lies) (click “expand”):
SCARBOROUGH: And you know why he can do that? Because he can do that and people will still come to Disney. Why? Because they love Walt Disney. Long after Ron DeSantis is lobbying for the corn cob makers of America in Tallahassee, Florida, Walt Disney will still be attracting millions and millions of people from across America every year.
GEIST: [I]t’s not just a feeling people have. In the state of Florida, it’s an entire economy.
BRZEZINSKI: It’s a vibe.
GEIST: It’s the largest private employer.
BRZEZINSKI: They love it.
GEIST: And it’s not just that park. It’s all the ancillary stuff that comes with it. Bob Iger has come out and said we’ve got billions more to spend in the coming years. We’re going to be here and let’s remember what this is about for Governor DeSantis. This is about one piece of legislation that the former CEO of Disney objected to.
GEIST: We can talk that legislation as a separate matter, but Ron DeSantis is willing to die on this political hill over that one issue. He’s going to try to fight Disney, which is obscenely popular in the state of Florida and in the country for a guy that wants to run for president.
Brzezinski inserted Trump into the equation by saying Disney “in the history of the world on main street Disney” and hit him “hard” on Truth Social. Scarborough joined: “He is shocked — shocked — that Ron DeSantis is engaging in a political stunt.”
Scarborough queued up frequent panelist Donny Deutsch to paint DeSantis’s focus on Disney as pointless. In response, Deutsch referred to DeSantis as a “stupid” person for going against Disney and, therefore, “America” and “family values.”
Conveniently, no one brought up the why (besides some vague claims about wokeness) and the crony arrangement and special privileges that was the anti-thesis of the free market (click “expand”):
SCARBOROUGH: Oh my god. Donny, let’s just talk branding again. Let’s talk branding. You just can’t — you can’t beat Disney. You just can’t beat it.
BRZEZINSKI: It’s Micky Mouse.
SCARBOROUGH: — and by the way, there may be some things that Disney does that everybody doesn’t agree with. There’s stuff that major league baseball does, that the NFL does, that — you name the institution, they do it, that everybody’s not going to agree with. But the NFL, who I heard several years ago, “oh, people are going to stop watching the NFL. Nobody is going to watch NFL Joe, yeah, I’ve stopped watching the NFL.” The NFL, seriously? They seriously — I feel really bad for Roger Goodell because he’s serious — he’s got to have horrible back problems from carrying all the gold bullion — [PANEL LAUGHS] — he has to carry —
BRZEZINSKI: So much!
SCARBOROUGH: — from the money they make. It’s insanity. And it’s the same thing with Disney and he’s taking them on for some stupid woke — woke thing that — tgat most people don’t even understand.
DONNY DEUTSCH: You talked about the brand of Disney. What is it? It’s America and it’s family. So, you’re taking on America and you’re taking on family values when take on it. That’s the irony of this.
DEUTSCH: They’re all about family values and they’re taking on the company that’s built on family values and family togetherness.
BRZEZINSKI: It doesn’t make sense.
DEUTSCH: What — Joe, you’ve also talked in the past and I’ve agreed with this that DeSantis, once the stage starts to get bigger, is going to start to wilt a little bit. You can just see he’s got no answers. He’s got no punches. He’s fighting a fight he can’t win and this, to me, is a precursor of him on a bigger, national stage. And he’s just stupid. It’s a stupid, stupid play.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, yeah.
Scarborough’s personal beef resurfaced when, in going to the BBC’s Katty Kay, he griped that the ever-“humiliated” DeSantis often “yell[s] at a female reporter in a Tallahassee press conference, which is what he likes to do the most” and “not let[ting] them talk.”
Kay worked Trump back into the equation as, after blasting the “anti-business” DeSantis for having the “crazy idea” of not cowering to Disney over his law keeping schools from discussing graphic sexuality with kids, she said “there’s been questions for a long time about Ron DeSantis and whether he has the — the charisma...to take on Donald Trump.”
Throw in the horror of wanting to treat Disney like any other business and she warned “donors” are cool to him as he’s “destroying his own state” and “running on an anti-business platform.”
After most of that segment was replayed in the third hour, the fourth hour began with Disney and Scarborough reupping his “brass knuckles” fantasy of Iger donning a Mickey Mouse suit to fight DeSantis for the crime of opposing “a Magic Kingdom that people all over the world come to and see.”
The show continued its disconnect from reality with panelist and former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who insisted as though she were an expert on Republicans that they’re “all about limiting people’s freedom” after having “wanted government to stay away from business, and less regulation, and less telling them what to do.”
Scarborough agreed and went onto cite DeSantis’s criticism of the Tampa Bay Rays, “one of the most successful franchises in Major League” (despite attendance issues, porous stadium, no World Series titles, and questions over the years about relocation) “because they tweet...sympathy for the children of Uvalde.”
Unsurprisingly, that was wildly misleading as the team, along with other teams, boycotted a game to instead send tweets advocating for gun control.
All told, he said DeSantis governs using “the heavy hand of the centralized state” in “the most anti-conservative position” he’s ever seen in his professional life.
McCaskill used this to question DeSantis’s mental state, saying he’s a “bully” and is thus “a very, very insecure mean.”
Following a taped report from NBC correspondent Gabe Gutierrez that cheered Trump’s reveling in “DeSantis...‘being absolutely destroyed by Disney’” and seeing more of Congress endorse Trump, Scarborough and Lemire tag-teamed to praise Trump as more empathetic, having “seemingly better people around him” than 2016 or 2020, and successful at “political blocking and tackling” (click “expand”):
SCARBOROUGH: This is really something that the — the Congressman Greg Steube — right — the one who — who hurt himself, we’re glad he’s — he’s doing better. Now, cause he really had a serious fall off of his roof. And — Steube — Craig [sic] Steube and he’s feeling better, which is great news, but reading —
SCARBOROUGH: — what he has said about why he endorsed Donald Trump instead of Ron DeSantis is so instructive on why Ron DeSantis just may not be temperamentally cut out to be president.
SCARBOROUGH: I’ve heard this, by the way, from Republicans in Tallahassee for two years now who say you guys keep talking about this guy. He doesn’t have what it takes personality-wise to be president.
LEMIRE: There’s real questions about the personality, about his retail political skills, and this anecdote related in Politico Playbook this morning is really revealing where there was a hurricane disaster, and DeSantis — DeSantis had an event, the congressman wanted to stand with the governor, and the staff said, no, this is the governor’s event, you should not, even though that, of course, was his home state, his — his constituents impacted as well. The congressman says that DeSantis’s team had rejected his efforts at conversation for weeks. He had not spoken to anyone in DeSantis’s office on a number of issues over the years and that changed when DeSantis was trying to court his endorsement. Meanwhile, he had this fall off his roof —
LEMIRE: — where he was seriously injured, never heard from DeSantis or his team. The first phone call he received was from Donald Trump.
LEMIRE: He said that’s part of the reason I’m doing this and we should note, the Trump team in 2016 and 2020, not exactly seen as the most professional —
LEMIRE: — and smooth operations. This time around, he has seemingly better people around him, and the blocking and tackling, the political blocking and tackling that he’s done so far, this time, successful and yesterday was a great example of that —
LEMIRE: — where as DeSantis comes to Florida, that’s the same day that Trump touts all of these endorsements from the congressmen from Florida that DeSantis was trying to woo.
Rounding out the fact-free personal crusade, McCaskill asserted “DeSantis may succeed in putting Florida back on the map as an in-play state” for Democrats.
It’s as if these people have chosen to omit the fact that DeSantis and his agenda faced voters just a few months ago and, when given the chance to vote it out, they kept it by wide margins.
Morning Joe’s desperation to defeat DeSantis and, like 2016, promote Trump were made possible thanks to advertisers such as Consumer Celluar, Dove, Flonase, and Liberty Mutual. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcript from April 19, click here.