Joe Scarborough was rip-roaring mad Wednesday morning about Fox News’ press release regarding Donald Trump refusing to attend the next debate. Scarborough believed that Fox News and Megyn Kelly had been biased and unfair to Trump in past debates, and would not subject himself to questioning from the network: “I would rather set myself on fire. I would rather jump off a cliff.”
The host played a lineup of video clips showing Kelly asking tough questions of Trump, at the first GOP debate, and clips of her talking critically of Trump and his actions. The video compilation was designed to paint Megyn Kelly as a biased journalist that had it out for the real estate mogul. Scarborough sarcastically remarked, “That is just good, unbiased journalism and if I were a candidate, I certainly would want that person asking me questions in a fair and a balanced way.” he proclaimed. “No, actually, as I said before, I would rather set myself on fire in front of the Fox News studio than go on a debate stage with that.”
While Scarborough played up the hyperbole, he failed to point out the key reasons why Kelly was saying those things. During the first GOP debate Kelly asked a critical question of Trump regarding some of his statements towards women. Prefacing the question with Trump’s own on-the-record comments from Twitter and his reality show, The Apprentice.
The rest of the clips were the result of the firestorm that raged around the two after the debate. In the aftermath of the debate Trump attacked Kelly calling her a “bimbo,” along with other nasty things. Her comments in the video clips were her defending herself. Since declaring he’s not going to the next debate, Trump has taken to twitter to, once again, attack Kelly and the network.
Ignoring those facts, Scarborough stood behind Trump’s decision stating: “And I will tell you, Trump feels the same way. He would rather lose this election than be taunted by a news organization that's claiming they're going to be fair. Which is just ridiculous on its face.”
Scarborough claimed that only Fox News could stoop so low as to “troll” a presidential candidate. “There's no way any news organization that Ron Fournier worked for would ever taunt a candidate and troll a candidate, and then expect that candidate to show up. Gene Robinson, the Washington Post would never do that.”
That line of argument is interesting, seeing as there is a plethora of evidence to the contrary in just this election cycle alone. Who could forget the attack The Washington Post leveled against Senator Ted Cruz’s daughters. The Washington Post also mocked Governor Rick Perry as a ‘zombie’ and a ‘specimen.” Let’s not forget that the CNBC debate. The National Republican Committee found it so bias and filled with attacks that they stripped NBC from holding their debate on February 26. NBC did not even report that they lost the privilege to host the debate.
Partial transcript below:
January 27, 2016
6:42:44 – 6:43:56 a.m. Eastern
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That's the deal right there. He's on precipice of potentially, Joe, using this to raise just as much money as the network would have made having him for wounded warriors, which would make a huge story.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Raise it for wounded warriors and really the provocation here-- and, you know, I'll just say it-- I saw Ron Fournier and other people saying, that Donald was a coward for not wanting to confront Megyn Kelly. There's no way any news organization that Ron Fournier worked for would ever taunt a candidate and troll a candidate, and then expect that candidate to show up. Gene Robinson, the Washington Post would never do that. And as I said, If I was running in a race and a news organization put out a-- I would turn to people telling me to go to that debate, say “I would rather lose, I would rather set myself on fire. I would rather jump off a cliff than give them”--
BRZEZINSKI: Or in Trump case, raise money for Wounded Warriors.
SCARBOROUGH: And I will tell you, Trump feels the same way. He would rather lose this election than be taunted by a news organization that's claiming they're going to be fair. Which is just ridiculous on its face.
8:29:57 – 8:31:53
[Video clip of Megyn Kelly]
MEGYN KELLY: You’ve call women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on "Celebrity apprentice" it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound, to you, like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the democratic nominee, that you are part on the war on women?
[Cut to another clip]
KELLY: Trump, who is the front runner, will not apologize and I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism, so I'll continue doing my job without fear or favor.
[Cuts to another clip]
KELLY: He's getting a little bit sharper in his language against his competitors. And I guess, just as ornery as ever about reporters who don't cover him exactly the way he wants to be covered.
[Cuts to another clip]
KELLY: Trump is not used to not controlling things, as the chief executive of a large organization, but the truth is he doesn't get to control the media.
[Cuts to another clip]
KELLY: Reaction from our leaders and elected officials was nothing compared to the nonstop, incessant drum beat of media outlets that first booked Donald Trump to appear on their shows, then played those interviews ad nauseam all day long. CNN and MSNBC had trump half hour interviews by phone on their morning shows and then reran the exchanges in their entirety later in the day. It was all trump all the time across almost all the media.
[Cuts back to Morning Joe]
SCARBOROUGH: That is just good, unbiased journalism and if I were a candidate, I certainly would want that person asking me questions in a fair and a balanced way. No, actually, as I said before, I would rather set myself on fire in front of the Fox News studio than go on a debate stage with that. That was a look at some of the recent coverage of Megyn Kelly over of Donald Trump.