Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

As I noted here, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's "Morning Joe" for using a "phony story" to go after Rush for his "phony soldiers" comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.

Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin.

Video (0:52): Real (1.41 MB) and Windows (1.60 MB), plus MP3 audio (404 kB).

As Brent Baker of MRC/NB has documented, MSNBC has been among the worst MSM offenders in propagating the falsehood that Rush Limbaugh had accused all anti-war military members of being "phony soldiers."

A point of light at that same network this morning, however, as Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist combined to debunk the Media Matters allegation, accusing the organization of using a "phony story about a phony soldier" to go after Rush.

It began at 6:04 A.M. EDT today, during the "Morning Joe" opening coffee klatsch.

View video here.

Joe Scarborough is still trying to wring mileage out of bashing Bill O'Reilly over his Sylvia's comments. After calling the "Factor" host a "moron" yesterday, the "Morning Joe" host was back at it today.

Figures. Who else would Mika Brzezinski's ink-stained doppelganger be but Maureen Dowd?

"Morning Joe" has apparently introduced a new feature, "Three Things to Read Today," in which each of the panelists recommends an item from that morning's newspaper crop. Willie Geist went first today, and being the pop-culture maven he is, suggested the New York Post's coverage of the sexual harrassment lawsuit that a former female New York Knicks employee has brought against coach Isiah Thomas.

Then it was Mika's turn.

View video here.

Less than a half-hour after Kiran Chetry and Roland Martin speculated whether O’Reilly’s recent comments on race would be the next "Imus Moment," the cast of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" mocked the Fox News host. Co-host Mika Brzezinski put on her best Meryl Streep imitation after a clip of O’Reilly’s comments were played. "Oh, my God.... Wow... That's attractive," and also made an audible Al Gore-style sigh. Guest host Willie Geist went further. "Also, using the term 'blacks.’ I don't think anybody's said that since like 1973." Come again?

Brzezinski, Geist, and host Joe Scarborough discussed O’Reilly at the top of the 8 am Eastern hour on Tuesday’s "Morning Joe." While the cast played the O’Reilly clip for the first time, a caption spun O’Reilly’s words: "O’Reilly Shocked That Harlem Restaurant is ‘Normal’ (see above picture). The three were so "overwhelmed" by the clip that they played it again.

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski said MSNBC would show the full comments in context of Rep. King, a top advisor of Rudy Giulliani. Instead they begin the video segment directly with the mosque statement.

Partners in deception, partners in denial . . .

Earlier today I noted that in her HuffPo column, ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes continues to cling to the delusion that the Memogate documents were authentic. In an inteview on "Morning Joe," Dan Rather has now made a comparable reality-defying claim.

"I'm a Dan Man myself, so I tend to look at this from his viewpoints [sic]." -- WaPo media critic Tom Shales, on today's "Morning Joe."

It's a morning for candor on "Morning Joe." Earlier, Mika "Bubbles" Brzezinski had admitted that "the SATs were not my strong suit." Later in the show, the notoriously tough-on-conservatives [see, e.g., MRC item #3 here] Tom Shales acknowledged that he has a soft spot for Dan Rather, calling himself a "Dan Man."

I'll say. Despite the overwhelming mountain of uncontroverted and incontrovertible evidence, Shales refuses to admit the obvious: that the documents at the heart of Memogate were the most transparent [literally] and amateurish of forgeries.

Substitute anchor Willie Geist interviewed Shales at 8:30 A.M. EDT this morning.

View video here.

Regular readers of this space know that MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski is one of our favorites, serving up heaps of grist for our mill with her regular injections of liberal opinion into her newsreading on "Morning Joe," as here.

We'd been searching for an apt nickname for Brzezinski, and as of this morning, Mika herself has supplied one. Meet "Bubbles" Brzezinski. Mika was reading headlines from the morning's crop of newspapers, when she came across an item from the Boston Globe.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Boston Globe: "Many colleges ignore SAT writing test." I find this very interesting because SATs were not my strong suit. I probably would never have been allowed to go to college if it was based on just my SAT scores. But apparently hundreds of universities, including several top schools, are ignoring or paying little heed to students' scores on the writing section of the SAT in admissions. I never had a writing section, just bubbles.
View video here.

Damn the NewsBusters, full speed ahead!

Look for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to be pinning a DNC medal for heroism on Mika Brzezinski. The MSNBC newsreader opened today's "Morning Joe" with an intrepid assault on President Bush, undaunted by the rhetorical fire she knew it would draw from NewsBusters.

View video here.

Some people are hard to shop for, but when it comes to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski it's going to be a breeze. Next to her name on my Chanukah list, I'm putting her down without hesitation . . . for a Roget's Thesaurus. Because when it comes to describing the performance of people across her political divide, Mika seems stuck on a solitary word: "underwhelming."

As noted here, reading the news of Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance last week, Mika editorialized that "it was sort of underwhelming, but . . . it's done."

At the top of today's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough invited Mika to assess General Petraeus's performance before Congress yesterday, and . . . you guessed it.

View video here.

If part of NewsBusters' mission is keeping the MSM on its toes, it looks like we're succeeding when it comes to the MSNBC show "Morning Joe." For two days running, host Joe Scarborough has mentioned our site, conscious that we're on the prowl for evidence of liberal bias. Yesterday at about 6:30 A.M. EDT, Joe and newsreader Mika Brzezinski were discussing the fact that President Bush had mentioned to Robert Draper, author of the new Bush biography "Dead Certain," that he was expecting to replenish his financial coffers upon leaving office.

Said Scarborough “I hope NewsBusters heard that cause you said [it was only] a little [untoward on Bush's part].’ I say ‘a lot.’ Let them make me the poster boy today.”

Joe had NewsBusters on the noggin again today. At about 7:07 A.M. EDT Mika injected her opinion into the reading of a news item about Fred Thompson's "Tonight Show" appearance.

Video Clip: Real (2 MB) or Windows (2 MB), plus MP3 (381 KB)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: In true Hollywood fashion, the former actor made his long-awaited announcement on last night's "Tonight Show." It was sort of underwhelming, but . . . it's done.
When Mika made to move along after taking her potshot, Joe stopped her short.
JOE SCARBOROUGH [presumably speaking to producer Chris Licht]: Hey, can you call NewsBusters?