One way MSNBC hosts pander to their left-wing base is to posture against those stupid people who watch Fox News instead. On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, they played soundbites of Republican senators objecting to the idea that the January 6 riot was “some rowdy peaceful protest of Boy Scouts.” Mitch McConnell explicitly denounced Tucker Carlson’s video-clip packages as a “mistake” at variance with the Capitol Police.
Mika Brzezinski liked these clips so much that she asked the producers to “re-rack” the clips and play them again, urging her viewers to share the clips with their “Fox News-loving family members. You really need to show them this, okay?”
John Heilemann was dubious, making the case that Mika's gambit was unlikely to change the minds of many MAGA Republicans.
"I think if you play that clip for them, they would say what Donald Trump would say about Mitch McConnell. Which is, they would extend a long, stiff, middle finger."
Mika replied: "These guys are doing the right thing for America. And Mitch McConnell, we hope you're feeling better. Don't agree on everything, but they are taking a stand on disinformation, and that is the right thing to do at this time in our history."
As if MSNBC touting Russian collusion, or Hunter Biden's laptop being "disinformation," was the quality information?
She concluded by boasting: "Look at where the country is, check out the midterms, check out where people stand on guns and abortion. And take a look at where this country stands on our democracy! WE. LOVE. IT! We don't like insurrections, dum-dums! Only Donald Trump does!"
That kind of condescension and disdain is probably not the best way to make friends and influence people, Mika!
The GOP clips were so nice, she had to play them twice. But wow, were these quotes re-racked. MSNBC edited out any sense that the senators featured were also calling out the Left. Here’s the clip of Sen. Kevin Cramer that Mika played:
CRAMER: It was not just some rowdy, peaceful protest of Boy Scouts. To somehow put that in the same category as, you know, permitted peaceful protest, is, is just a lie.
Check out the fuller answer to CNN’s Manu Raju, egging on Republicans to diss Fox News (unused words in bold):
KEVIN CRAMER: I didn’t listen to Tucker Carlson, I generally don’t. But my recollection of the day was it was not just some rowdy, peaceful protest of Boy Scouts, nor was it, you know, the takedown of democracy that others on the extreme side wanna call it.
He spoke for several more sentences until he denounced the "lie" of a peaceful protest. Likewise, Sen. Thom Tillis called out both sides, citing a CNN report from Kenosha before he denounced the idea that rioters were just tourists:
TILLIS: In the same way that the Kenosha people, I remember vividly a picture on some news outlet that when we were seeing all the devastation in Kenosha, there was a building burning, I think it was a church, and the headline was Mostly Peaceful Protest. Both of those were inexcusable, and they should be called out for what they are.
Tillis also could have mentioned MSNBC's Ali Velshi standing in front of a fire in Minneapolis desperately saying the situtation was "not, generally speaking, unruly."
Mika's cherry-picked clips of Republican senators were supported in part by Liberty Mutual.
Here's the transcript.
6:15 am EDT
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Here's how a handful of GOP lawmakers responded to claims by a primetime host on Fox News that the January 6th insurrection was much ado about nothing
THOM TILLIS: I think it's bull-[bleep.] When you see police barricades breached, when you see police officers assaulted. If you were just a tourist, you should have probably lined up at the visitors center and came in on an orderly basis. I just don't think it's helpful.
MITCH MCCONNELL: It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that's completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.
KEVIN CRAMER: It was not just some rowdy, peaceful protest of Boy Scouts. To somehow put that in the same category as, you know, permitted peaceful protest, is, is just a lie.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Can we just re-rack, if we could, those Republicans, including Mitch McConnell holding up the piece of paper? I want to play that again.
Because if you, out there, watch Morning Joe, but you maybe have some Fox News-loving family members, you really need to show them this, okay? You really need to show them what the Republicans are saying about the whole Tucker Carlson thing, January 6th, and anybody who's trying to make it anything less than a violent, deadly insurrection, and an attack on our democracy.
. . .
All right, let's hear it again. Again, this is for your Fox News-loving family members. Take a look.
[Replay of comments by McConnell and Cramer.]
MIKA: These guys are doing the right thing for America. And Mitch McConnell, we hope you're feeling better. Don't agree on everything, but they are taking a stand on disinformation, and that is the right thing to do at this time in our history.
. . .
JOHN HEILEMANN: I will say this, Mika, about your Fox News-loving friends.
HEILEMANN: I think if you play that clip for them, they would say what Donald Trump would say about Mitch McConnell. Which is, they would extend a long, stiff, middle finger: "I don't like Mitch McConnell."
They don't care what these senators say. They think Tucker Carlson is speaking the truth, and they think those bought-and-paid-for corporatist—Old Crow is what I believe Donald Trump likes to call Mitch McConnell. Their attitude is, they're not going to be, "oh, hey, Mitch McConnell's criticizing Tucker Carlson. We're on Mitch McConnell's side." That's not where the MAGA base is, the MAGA base --
MIKA: So, John Heilemann, I agree with you. I agree with you: they're, everyone's going to listen to Donald Trump. But these are Republicans who were there. It's just an opportunity for Fox News-loving family friends to take a look at Republicans who were there, who, perhaps Vice President Mike Pence could speak on this --
MIKA: -- or you could tell us about this interview. My bigger point is, they were there, and they are Republicans. So who do you really want to believe, Fox News-loving family members?
. . .
HEILEMANN: I don't, I have to say, I mean, is it good, is it helpful? I'm for it. I'm for it!
HEILEMANN: But do I think it's changing a lot of minds among MAGA voters? I don't think it's changing many minds at all.
MIKA: No, but you got top Republicans saying to fellow Republicans, who for some reason still find themselves needing to be Trumpy, that it loses! This is a losing position. They're saying lose, lose, lose, lose. You've heard it from Joe, he can go through each loss in depth. But Donald Trump is a losing proposition! Don't stand with him: it gets you nowhere. It gets you somewhere in a primary and nowhere in every other possibility.
And they really want the MAGA base-loving Republicans to shut up! Just shut up! Stop losing. And they can't.
Like, Ron DeSantis now is, is obsessed. He's got some sort of weird addiction to saying things that are Trumpy. Like that's going to get him somewhere. It might in Tampa, Florida, it might in Tallahassee.
But look at where the country is, check out the midterms, check out where people stand on guns and abortion. And take a look at where this country stands on our democracy! WE. LOVE. IT! We don't like insurrections, dum-dums! Only Donald Trump does!