Morning Joe: The ‘Media Can't Be Objective’ About Trump's ‘Assassination’ Comments

On Wednesday, the discussion on Morning Joe was dominated by Trump’s Second Amendment comments yesterday as he highlighted the jeopardy the Supreme Court will be in if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Segment after segment, the co-host’s and panelists besieged the Republican nominee for his remarks that were akin to an “assassination attempt” on his Democratic opponent. Meanwhile, co-host Mika Brzezinski briefly addressed and subsequently dismissed the presence of Omar Mateen’s father at a Clinton event as the “Trump campaign making political hay at his attendance.”

Co-host Joe Scarborough and his liberal comrade boiled the “disqualifying” comments down to an “assassination attempt” that resembled “fascism.”

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The word, Mika, that’s been thrown around many times about Donald Trump over the course of the past year has been fascist, fascism, I always brushed it back because a key element in fascism was a call to violence. I said you, he never crossed that Rubicon. There was never a call to violence. There was never a call to an armed uprising. This is the suggestion. That if she's elected president of the United States, the one thing that, "Second amendment people" which is an insult to millions and millions of people that fight to defend the second amendment is to kill her, or to kill judges. That is, he, talk about, he crossed a lot of Rubicon’s yesterday.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He crossed the line to disqualifying. 

Panelist Mike Barnicle addressed the absence of objectivity in the media regarding “Donald Trump’s performances” and concluded that no objectivity is necessary. Apparently, “there is no other side.”

BARNICLE: And yesterday's performances will have consequences, it already has had consequences. But it gets to something that Jim Rutenberg wrote about on Monday and it’s a question for the media. And it's a question of whether, do we legitimize Donald Trump's performances, and they are performances, by trying to be objective about it. By bending over backwards to try to be objective about what he said yesterday. I don't think you can be objective about it. 

BRZEZINSKI: No, you can't. 

BARNICLE: But the role of the media in this, is going, I think, come under increasing surveillance. I mean how are we covering this? What he said yesterday was so out of bounds and so beyond the pail. There really is no other side.

This begs the question, can the media be objective? The answer is a resounding no. This was made even clearer later in the show when Mark Halperin pointed out the obvious: Sure, the media could talk about the plentiful problems with Hillary Clinton, but they choose not to.

MARK HALPERIN: Look, they also want to talk about the economy, they want to talk about the fact that the Orlando shooter’s father showed up at a Hillary Clinton event. The Trump campaign wants to talk about that today, but, that's, you know, there's a backup here because people are still going to be talking about what he said.

BRZEZINSKI: It all would be such big news if not for this.

Correction: It all would be such big news if the mainstream media reported on it.  Brzezinski’s true feelings shined bright later in the show when at 8:42 AM the presence of Sadiq Mateen was mentioned for the second time. 

Okay. Still ahead on "Morning Joe," we have a lot to cover. The father of Orlando shooter speaks out in Hillary Clinton after being spotted at one of her rallies. Now, the Trump campaign is making political hay at his attendance. 

The Trump campaign is making political hay at his attendance, and MSNBC is making nothing of his attendance. Thereafter, Willie Geist spent exactly one minute on the topic before moving on to their next guest. No political analysis, no robust discussion, and above all, no objectivity.

View Full Transcript Here:

08-10-16 MSNBC Morning Joe
06:08:40 AM – 06:14:55 AM

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The word, Mika, that’s been thrown around many times about Donald Trump over the course of the past year has been fascist, fascism, I always brushed it back because a key element in fascism was a call to violence. I said you, he never crossed that Rubicon. There was never a call to violence. There was never a call to an armed uprising. This is the suggestion. That if she's elected president of the United States, the one thing that, "Second amendment people" which is an insult to millions and millions of people that fight to defend the second amendment is to kill her, or to kill judges. That is, he, talk about, he crossed a lot of Rubicon’s yesterday.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He crossed the line to disqualifying. The reaction was swift, and not just from Democrats. Conservative columnist John Podhoretz tweeted “He not only implied assassination, he applied that second amendment supporters are all potential assassins.” The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol added, “In the general pattern of Trump damaging everyone and everything he touches, he’s now hurting the cause of defense of the 2nd Amendment.” Conservative writer Wes Lewis posted “HRC is an awful presidential candidate. She is not, however, a free pass for Trump to act ballistically unhinged.” And former press secretary to Newt Gingrich Rich Galen wrote, “Has the secret service ever arrested a protectee?” As we mentioned, the secret service tweeted they were aware of Trump's comments. And former CIA director and retired general Michael Hayden who recently signed a letter with 49 other Republican national security officials saying Trump would put the country at risk had this to say. 

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Someone else had said that outside the hall, he would be in the back of the police wagon now with the secret service questioning him. I used to tell my seniors at the CIA, you get to a certain point in this business, you're not just responsible for what you say. You are responsible for what people hear. And that might be a good lesson here. 

BRZEZINSKI: The Trump campaign responded to the backlash with a statement titled, “On Dishonest Media.” "The power of unification –2nd amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year they will be voting in record numbers and it won't be for Hillary Clinton. It will be for Donald Trump.” Trump retweeted support from the NRA. They posted “Donald Trump is right. If Hillary Clinton gets to pick her anti-second amendment supreme court judges, there is nothing we can do.”

SCARBOROUGH: Ah but hold on. He said there was something they could do. And that is the entire point.

BRZEZINSKI: And then he said it will be horrible.

SCARBOROUGH: The NRA just set them up, Mike Barnicle. Because Donald Trump did say there's nothing you can do. And then he goes oh, wait a second, there is something maybe the second amendment people can do after she gets elected. 

MIKE BARNICLE: You know I don't know whether Donald Trump realizes the power of his own words or not. I don't know what’s in his mind. But the power of words here coming from a presidential candidate.

SCARBOROUGH: With a rabid following. 

BARNICLE: With an intensely rabid following. Intensely.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. Where he can say whatever he wants to say on one day, say something else the next day, something completely different the next day, something completely different the next day and they follow him no matter where he goes. As he said himself, I could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose a vote. Donald Trump testifying himself to the power of his own words. So, wouldn't those words suggest the possible assassination of his political opponent, if she were to be elected? Then those words have consequences. 

BARNICLE: And yesterday's performances will have consequences, it already has had consequences. But it gets to something that Jim Rutenberg wrote about on Monday and it’s a question for the media. And it's a question of whether, do we legitimize Donald Trump's performances, and they are performances, by trying to be objective about it. By bending over backwards to try to be objective about what he said yesterday. I don't think you can be objective about it. 

BRZEZINSKI: No, you can't. 

BARNICLE: But the role of the media in this, is going, I think, come under increasing surveillance. I mean how are we covering this? What he said yesterday was so out of bounds and so beyond the pail. There really is no other side. From his explanation of the second amendment repealing the second amendment.

BRZEZNISKI: But here’s the problem, Mike. You have Trump defenders and apologists bending over backwards trying to explain away his remark. Conservative author Ann Coulter tweeted, “I just woke up from a nap to an all new fake media scandal about Trump. He’s joking about assassinating Hillary.” Saying “Number one it wasn't about assassination. Number 2, the media is trying to get Trump assassinated by incessantly calling him Hitler.” Excuse me? And shortly after winning his primary last night, Republican house speaker Paul Ryan gave Trump the benefit of the doubt. 

PAUL RYAN: I've been a little busy today. I heard about this second amendment quote, it sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that. I didn’t actually hear the comments, I only heard about those comments. 

BRZEZINSKI: Really? Really? Is that really what you're going to say? You're going to say you didn't hear them and therefore you didn't know. Paul Ryan, enough. What more does he need to do?

SCARBOROUGH: Well you should actually hear them. If you're the highest, if you're the highest ranking Republican in America and you have heard that the Republican nominee may have threatened or suggested that his political rival is assassinated, especially with the environment that we're in 2016, you actually make it your business to look at the 20-second YouTube clip. First of all, I don't believe him. I'm sure he saw it. How busy. I've been in races where you win 80%. You're not that busy. Right? 

BARNICLE: No. No. Not with something like this.

SCARBOROUGH: I won a primary with 79%, 80%. I'm not too busy to say, somebody say, hey, did you hear the Republican nominee, you know, George W. Bush just threatened to, you know, you would stop and you would watch it. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaign Watch Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Morning Joe Government & Press Mike Barnicle Mark Halperin Willie Geist Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
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