Liberal Senators Miffed 'Morning Joe' Wasn't Toeing Party Line on Contraceptive Mandate

February 11th, 2012 11:20 PM

When it comes to culturally liberal policy positions, MSNBC has been repeatedly eager to portray conservatives as engaged in a "war on women" with Democrats and the Obama White House being the white knights riding to the defense of damsels in distress everywhere.

But when one program dared to deviate a little from the party line earlier this week to voice concerns about the Obama administration treading on religious liberties, it left a pair of liberal Democratic senators rather irate, reported BuzzFeed late Thursday evening:

The Senate's Democratic women are furious at "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for their opposition to the Obama Administration's contraception mandate, two sources told BuzzFeed.

California Senator Barbara Boxer and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen both got in touch with MSNBC after the two hosts of the show that starts many politicos' days were unanimous Monday in their criticism of the rule, which would require Catholic hospitals and other institutions to offer health care plans providing contraception to their employees.

"If the federal government can do this to the Catholic church, can they not do this to any church?" host Joe Scarborough asked. Brzezinski called the move an "overstep" and "wrong." Guests, including conservative Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, agreed with them.

"The women Senators are up in arms. They think the coverage is slanted, Mika is not doing enough to articulate their position, and they can’t get equal time," a Democrat familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed.


Spokespeople for the senators and for MSNBC declined to comment on the tiff, which is if nothing else a sign of the show's centrality in the political conversation.

And the cable network did not exactly shut them out Thursday: Boxer appeared on The Daily Rundown, Shaheen spoke to Chris Jansing at 10, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke to Luke Russert in the 1:00 hour.

Perhaps Boxer thinks she should have run of the network given her chummy tag-teaming with Andrea Mitchell two weeks ago over the Komen/Planned Parenthood row. At any rate, the fact that Democratic senators are taking the network to task over one single program's deviation from Democratic talking points is further testament to how MSNBC has ceased to be a news network and become a Democratic Party organ.