Morning Joe Segment On Anniversary of RFK Assassination Never Mentions the Assassin

June 6th, 2023 2:35 PM

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough MSNBC Morning Joe 6-6-23 If Morning Joe did a segment on the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., think they'd mention his assassin, James Earl Ray, and the fact that Ray was a segregationist and a supporter of George Wallace? Rhetorical question.

So how was it conceivable that today's Morning Joe, in addition to marking the 79th anniversary of D-Day, devoted extended coverage to the anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy--yet never mentioned even the name of his assassin, Sirhan B. Sirhan, let alone the fact that he was a Palestinian motivated by RFK's support for Israel? Or that Sirhan was a fan of communism, having written: "Long live Communism... I firmly support the communist cause and its people... American capitalism will fall and give way to the worker's dictatorship."

You'd have to put that question to Joe Scarborough, who brought in Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to extol RFK's transformation from being "a very conservative guy" into someone "who identified with all the progressive things happening in America."

Scarborough himself also lauded RFK's "extraordinary ability" to transition from conservative to progressive, thereby becoming "this extraordinary man."

Perhaps Scarborough sees himself as a latter-day RFK, having transformed himself from a conservative congressman into an "extraordinary man" identifying with progressive positions of the day, from abortion to gun control. 

The show opened with a clip of Ted Kennedy's emotion-choked eulogy of his older brother. 

Morning Joe devoting extensive coverage to the anniversary of the death of Robert F. Kennedy without mentioning that his assassin was Sirham B. Sirhan, a Palestinian motivated by RFK's support for Israel, and a Communist, was sponsored in part by Abbvie, maker of Rinvoq, Trivago, Sling, and GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the meningitis B vaccine.   

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:00 am EDT

TED KENNEDY: My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. To be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him, and take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world. As he said many times in many parts of this nation to those he touched and who sought to touch him, some men see things as they
are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not?

JOE SCARBOROUGH: That was Senator Ted Kennedy at the funeral of his brother Bobby. Second funeral he would have to mark. And today is June 6th. David Ignatius, two monumental things happened on this day, of course, the assassination and the death -- the assassination on the 5th. And the death of Bobby Kennedy on June 6th, 1968, a day that really marked, in many ways, a low point, the chaos of the 1960s. And I must say, also, a day that many say this country, still, has not recovered from, politically. 

DAVID IGNATIUS: I remember vividly, I was a young man of 18 when Bobby Kennedy died, and there was a way in which life seemed to break in that moment. He was a person, whether because of his family or the change that he'd gone through --

SCARBOROUGH: An extraordinary change.

IGNATIUS: He had been a very conservative guy, conservative voice in his brother JFK's ear. But he became somebody who identified with all the progressive things happening in America's civil rights movement, needing to end the Vietnam War. And it is true that day when he was shot, it was as if the hope that he embodied had gone away. 

. . . 

SCARBOROUGH: And, Gene, the fearlessness of Bobby in his final years, the extraordinary ability to grow from somebody that worked, actually, for Joe McCarthy, and was the hard, tough voice in his brother's ear when he was Attorney General, to this extraordinary man.

EUGENE ROBINSON: Yeah. He was such an important figure. I don't know if people today who don't remember that day understand who he was and what he did and what he was going to do.I mean, it was his trajectory that everybody was following.