One of our media bias categories at NewsBusters is Double Standards. There was a classic example of the phenomenon on today's Morning Joe. The show's running theme was relentless mockery and ridicule of Ted Cruz for crossing the street yesterday to calmly debate a group of Trump supporters.
But later in the show, when a clip was run of Hillary being confronted by a West Virginian over her boast that she would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business," the panel reverentially praised Clinton, giving her "credit" for her courage in doing so. The panel had the chutzpah to insist that Hillary's moment was "organic" and wasn't staged. Really? She's sitting around a table with a handful of voters. Is Morning Joe asking us to believe that the former coal company worker wasn't hand picked and that Hillary wasn't fully briefed on what to expect? Please. Earlier, Mika Brzezinski actually introduced the Cruz segment by saying it was an example of someone "choking like a dog." The double standard was glaring and outrageous.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We can show you choking like a dog and then you can find your own words instead of saying "choking like a dog." Here is Ted Cruz leaving a campaign stop in Marion, Indiana yesterday when about a half-dozen Donald Trump supporters were across the street holding signs and crying out "Lose with Cruz" and "Do The Math." That's when Cruz passed by his motorcade and went over to speak with them.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Don't do it! Don't do it, dude.
MIKA: Why would you do that? Because when you do that, this happens.
TED CRUZ: I'm running to be everyone's president, those who vote for me and those who don't vote for me.
PROTESTER: We don't want you.
CRUZ: What? You're entitled your view, sir. And I will respect it and in fact --
PROTESTER: Do the math! You asked Kasich to drop out. It's your turn. Take your own word.
CRUZ: You know on the wall that Donald told the New York Times editorial board he's not going to build a wall, he's not going to deport anyone --
PROTESTER: Once again, Lyin' Ted!
CRUZ: Sir --
PROTESTER: He'll take down ISIS, you'll take down the whole--
CRUZ: Civilized people just don't scream and yell at each other. I'm not yelling.
PROTESTER: Where's your Goldman Sachs jacket at? We know your wife works there.
CRUZ: Actually I was supported by -- and am supported by 1.3 million contributions all over the country. Our average contribution is $60. Donald Trump is deceiving you. He is playing you for a chump. Sir, America is a better country --
PROTESTER: Without you.
CRUZ: Thank you for those kind sentiments. Let me point out, I have treated you respectfully the entire time and a question everyone here should ask --
PROTESTER: Are you Canadian? Are you Canadian?
CRUZ: Do you want your kids repeating the words of Donald Trump?
[ Laughter on the set ]
MIKE BARNICLE: That's great stuff.
MIKA: It went on for five minutes. I want more, Alex [exec producer]. Why did you cut it off? What's wrong with you?
JOE: Are you Canadian? Mark Halperin, what is he doing?
. . .
KRISTEN WELKER: Take a listen to the exchange. It's really striking.
WV RESIDENT: The reason you hear those people out there saying some of the things they say is because when you make comments like "we're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs." These are the kind of people you're affecting. This is my family. As my hope is in God, that's my future. I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend. Because those people out there don't see you as a friend.
HILLARY CLINTON: I know that, Bo. And, you know, I don't know how to explain it other than what I said was totally out of context from what I meant. Because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time. And I did put out a plan last summer. And it was a misstatement. Because what I was saying was that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs. What I said was that is going to happen unless we take action to try to help and prevent it. So I don't mind anybody being upset or angry. That's a perfect right for people to feel that way. I do feel a little bit sad and sorry that I gave folks the reason or the excuse to be so upset with me. Because that is not what I intended at all. I'll be honest with you, a lot of people said, just don't go to West Virginia. Right. You know, go to California. There are a lot more votes there. I know that my chances are, you know, pretty difficult, to be honest. I'm here because I want you to know whether people vote for me or not. Whether they yell at me or not is not going to affect what I'm going to try to do to help. Because I feel like that's a moral obligation.
WELKER: Important to point out the Clinton campaign says that they were not prepared for that question. That was an organic moment.
. . .
JOE: Mark Halperin, a fascinating moment there with Hillary Clinton. It was, you can tell it was unscripted. I mean, the guy was tearing up talking about his family . . . I will tell you this, politicians get credit for showing up.
MIKA: And answering questions like that! Which she did.
JOE: Gets credit for showing up in that sort of situation instead of walking across the street.
MIKA: Absolutely, oh my God.
JOE: But I think Hillary Clinton gets credit for going to West Virginia.
MIKA: And confronting --
JOE: And sitting down there and being confronted, again, by a guy who is tearing up talking about his family.
MIKA: Oh no: I'm not criticizing her!
JOE: Nothing looks staged about that event at all.