Just when you thought MSNBC couldn't get any more vulgar, along comes Donny Deutsch this morning to suggest that the judge who yesterday sentenced Paul Manafort had a "hard-on" against the Mueller investigation.
For those unfamiliar with the expression, in this context it would mean that the judge held a grudge against the investigation. But the origin of the phrase is, of course, of a graphically sexual nature.
Deutsch also asked what he admitted was a "silly and ignorant question," wondering out loud whether President Trump might have gotten a message to the sentencing judge to go easy on Manafort.
That was too much even for confirmed Trump-foe Joe Scarborough. He replied with a flat "no," saying there was "no evidence at all" of such a thing. He added that he'd never heard of such a thing happening because "the consequences would be so severe."
The question arises: does MSNBC maintain any standards for language on its air? Last year, we noted regular Morning Joe guest John Heilemann alluding to President Trump as a "total scumbag." And now, we hear "hard-on." Perhaps there's nothing someone can say on MSNBC that will cause them to be sanctioned, so long as it is directed at someone in Trump world.
Apparently, MSNBC does find some language offensive--when directed at a Democrat. As our Tim Graham noted, Mark Halperin was suspended in 2011 for calling then-President Obama a "dick."
At least it's not quite at Jon Stewart level -- he snarked that Vice President Dick Cheney had a "Bronsonlike torture boner."
Here's the transcript.
6:11 am ET
DONNY DEUTSCH: Just a silly, ignorant question, Joe. I just want to ask you this. I'm not saying any of this happened. The same way we see Donald Trump reach across every unreachable aisle in America, whether it is firing Comey, saying to Comey, the FBI Director, hey, go easy on my boy Mike Flynn. Are there any three, four, six steps removed where messages come down to [sic, from] presidents, to judges? Does that ever happen in this world of ours? From the very beginning this judge seemed to have had a hard-on for just the Mueller probe overall.
WILLIE GEIST: There's no evidence of that.
DEUTSCH: Not even close. I'm just saying: is that beyond the realm? I'm not saying -- it was such a clear, direct line you just go: where is this coming from?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, the thing is, first of all: no. No evidence of that at all.
DEUTSCH: I didn't say evidence. Is that beyond the realm of thought?
SCARBOROUGH: I'd be shocked. We'll talk to people who have practiced in front of federal judges a lot more than I have but, no, I never knew of that happening because the consequences would be so severe, so absolutely severe.