We made it a point to tune into Joy Reid's debut this morning in the MSNBC slot formerly occupied by Melissa Harris-Perry. For anyone who imagined Reid might be more fair-and-balanced than MH-P: fuggedaboutit. After an all-liberal opening panel blamed Bernie Sanders for failing to adequately address the concerns of African-Americans, the remainder of the show was one, long, hate-Trump fest.
Mac Stipanovich, a Florida lobbyist who in the past worked on one of Jeb's gubernatorial campaigns, was the token representative of the GOP. As the headline indicates, he was Joy Reid's kind of Republican. Stipanovich called Trump a "fascist" who is "worse by far" than Hillary. Concluded Stipanovich: "we can't have him be President of the United States." Questions for Reid: in the course of a two-hour long show largely devoted to trashing Trump, amongst your numerous guests couldn't you have found one who, you know, supports him? Do you want your show to exclusively preach to the liberal choir, or do you have any interest in attracting a wider audience?
Yesterday we noted here that Chris Hayes called Trump a "hot wet rag applied to an infected wound." We declared Hayes the early leader in the race to tag Trump with the most disgusting metaphor. But fittingly, on this Kentucky Derby day, there's a new entrant in the field. Later in the show, Reid approvingly cited a Vox article. Author David Roberts fears that the media, in search of a competitive race, will try to make Hillary vs. Trump a case of "Coca-Cola versus Pepsi." The truth, according to Roberts, is that it's "Coca-Cola versus sewer water."
You'll see in the transcript below that Republican Stipanovich claims to be "unalterably opposed" to Hillary Clinton. Let's put this in polite, technical, terms: BS! Earlier in the show he urged Florida Republicans to stay home on Election Day, throwing the crucial state to Hillary. And in the clip, he says that Trump is "worse by far" than Hillary, and "we can't have him as President of the United States." So yeah, Mac's "unalterably opposed" to Hillary, if by that he means "I want her to win."
MAC STIPANOVICH: As I said, I'm unalterably opposed to Hillary Clinton. I mean, the first segment on your show made me want to open a vein. But Donald Trump is worse by far. Hillary Clinton is a Democrat. She's a mainstream Democrat. She's no more loose than Lyndon Johnson, no more liberal than Barack Obama, no more transactional than her husband and we will survive. Donald Trump is a fascist. He's a dangerous man. And we can't have him be President of the United States.
. . .
JOY REID: We've gotten a preview this week of the likely general election throwdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And one of the things you're already beginning to hear is the narrative that this is going to be a contest between two highly and equally disliked candidates. And it's true, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have high disapproval ratings, but the metrics show that one of these things is not like the other. And that the "both sides" narrative that tends to take over political coverage is not only flawed, it could actually be problematic. It's not just that the Real Clear Politics polling average shows Clinton with a persistent lead over Trump in the national surveys. It's also the probability that, as David Roberts wrote this week on Vox.com, there will be a tidal pull to normalize this election, to make it Coca-Cola versus Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola versus sewer water.