Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday whined about conservatives calling out the media’s hypocrisy on George H.W. Bush. As the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes pointed out on Monday, many of the same journalists saying nice things now are ones who trashed him as a racial exploiter back when he was in power.
Scarborough complained, “I saw some of my conservative friends come out yesterday saying how hypocritical. The media hated Bush and Bush hated the media.” After admitting “that was the case,” the MSNBC host offered this ridiculous comparison: “It was like Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill had a deal that they fought like hell every day. And then at 6:00, they put it to the side.”
It's not like that at all. When did journalists ever put aside their hatred for Bush? Was it when Dan Rather tried to torpedo the Republican’s hopes for getting the 1988 Republican nomination? Or when they implied he was a racist? (Go here for these examples and more.) On Saturday, hours after his death, MSNBC hosts were still attacking Bush for “appealing to racial animus.”
Scarborough lectured, “You can have a contentious relationship with people professionally and still save your humanity to the way George H.W. Bush did for people who may go after you in the daytime. It's an example we all have to follow.”
Save your humanity? On this same show, Tuesday, Morning Joe hosts said it was unfair to compare Donald Trump to mob bosses because it’s not fair to mobsters. This is the same show that called Trump supporters traitors in October.
The hosts of Morning Joe should work a little harder on preserving their humanity. They aren’t following George H.W. Bush's model of decency.
A partial transcript is below:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Maureen was a woman, as was Ann and many other people in the press that went after George H.W. Bush every day. I saw some of my conservative friends come out yesterday saying how hypocritical. The media hated Bush and Bush hated the media. Well, yeah. That was the case. It was like Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill had a deal that they fought like hell every day. And then at 6:00, they put it to the side.
Because they could do that, Willie. And this morning, Maureen Dowd quote that I read yesterday that was from her column, a note that George H.W. Bush sent to her after the work that she did loathing the work that she did for the New York Times for such a long, long time. George H.W. Bush says this, “I reserve the right to whine, to not read, to use profanity. But if you ever get ready hurt or if you have are really down and need a shoulder to cry on or just need a friend, give me a call. I will be there for you. I'll not let you down.” That is the whole point. You can have a contentious relationship with people professionally and still save your humanity to the way George H.W. Bush did for people who may go after you in the daytime. It's an example we all have to follow.
[Talking to DNC chair Tom Perez.]
SCARBOROUGH: One thing that hasn't been mentioned, Tom, and this is something that Republicans and Democrats did together over the course of the 1990s, we were facing what we then thought was a deficit problem, a debt problem, and George H.W. Bush made a deal with Democrats that cost him his presidency a few years later.
Bill Clinton made a deal with his own party, Democrats, that actually cost him the house and Senate majority. Got people like me elected who ran against actually that tax increase. But you take those two actions there, two very politically unpopular actions, and you have the reason with Republicans and Democrats making tough choices throughout the '90s, reason why we balanced the budget for the first time in a generation and balanced it four years in a row for the first time since the 1920s. A century ago. That was the work of Republicans and Democrats alike.