Chris Reeves was an intern in the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division.
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In his most recent column this week for The New York Times, Paul Krugman claimed that the Republican Party is going “full authoritarian” by trying to transform America into a one-party state where elections are rigged and the media is controlled by the government. As a corollary to this column, Krugman tweeted that the United States is now part of a “new axis of evil” together with Russia and Saudi Arabia.
On Thursday, The New York Times published an op-ed arguing that mental health professionals should abandon treating gender dysphoria, the condition most typically associated with transgenderism, as a mental disorder.
On CBS’s Tuesday night broadcast of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert dedicated a short segment of his “Meanwhile…” bit to making fun of a man who accidentally shot himself in the groin inside an Arizona Walmart store. Momentarily striking a more serious tone, however, Colbert also said that the incident was “further proof that all of our gun laws are too lax” and ridiculed the NRA for its well-known stance that individual people are responsible for shootings, not their guns.
To usher in the start of Hanukkah on Sunday, The New York Times published an op-ed by Jewish novelist Michael David Lukas arguing that the celebration of the religious holiday by urban, secular Jews is an example of gross “hypocrisy” because, as the subheading explains: “It’s a holiday that commemorates an ancient battle against assimilation. And it’s the one holiday that most assimilated Jews celebrate.”
On CBS’s Wednesday night broadcast of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert used the news about Paul Manafort’s developing legal troubles and possible connections to Wikileaks to joke that President Trump is a cannibal who eats “human flesh,” but only when it is “very well done with some ketchup.”
On CBS’s Tuesday night broadcast of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart used his hard-left comedy to mock Donald Trump’s presidency as a “giant turd asteroid” that Stewart is glad to have avoided covering.
As the countdown towards a possible government shutdown began on Friday, Morning Joe’s pundits were already obsessed by the question of who would be to blame. Co-host Joe Scarborough was particularly set on holding both President Trump and congressional Republicans responsible for any failure to reach a deal on continuing to fund the government beyond midnight.
On Wednesday, The New York Times published an op-ed from guest contributor Steven Buser, a clinical psychiatrist who previously worked for the U.S. Air Force. Unfortunately, instead of providing actual insight about President Trump’s mental health, Buser used his authority as a former evaluator of airmen who worked with nuclear weapons as a license to commit psychiatric malpractice. Without providing any concrete evidence, Buser portrayed Trump as a potential existential threat who is mentally unstable enough to launch an “impulsive first strike nuclear attack” on some unnamed foe. In response to this imaginary crisis, Buser urged Congress to pass a bill that would seriously hinder America’s capacity to respond to nuclear threats.
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough doubled down on his promotion of the “girther” conspiracy theory by repeatedly attacking the character and integrity of Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the official Physician to the President. The MSNBC host labeled the doctor a “shameful” man who “sounded like a sycophant” and used “the words of a political hack.”
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski sunk to a new low by promoting an Internet conspiracy theory claiming that White House physician Ronny Jackson lied to reporters on Tuesday when he announced the results of Trump’s physical exam. For his part, Scarborough questioned not only Jackson’s report of Trump’s weight, but also the doctor’s finding that the President is in good mental health.
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough made three separate impassioned pleas to Democrats to use Trump’s “shithole countries” comments as a pretext to seize the moral and political high ground and demand passage of a clean DACA bill. In demanding amnesty for Obama’s “dreamers,” Scarborough called on Democrats to vote for shutting down the government instead of giving any concessions to conservative Republicans regarding immigration reform or a border wall.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, as part of their nearly three-hour long marathon of anti-Trump hate in reaction to the President’s alleged comments describing Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shithole countries,” co-host Joe Scarborough brought on just the right person to attack Trump as a race-baiter–the Reverend Al Sharpton himself. Apparently unaware of the intense irony, Scarborough presented Sharpton as a legitimate voice of moral authority on questions of racism and both MSNBC pundits went on at length about how Trump’s true political “agenda is to race-bait and bring [America] backwards” “100 years.”
After nearly three hours of hyperventilating about President Trump’s purported comments last Thursday describing Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as “shitholes,” Monday’s Morning Joe brought on author and NBC Political Analyst Anand Giridharadas to discuss Trump’s “radical,” “reactionary,” and “racist” comments. Predictably, Giridharadas did not have many kind words for the President, declaring that it was, in fact, America that was being turned into the “real s-hole” by Trump.
On Friday’s Morning Joe, the show’s liberal pundits could not contain their shock and horror at yesterday’s news that President Trump allegedly called Haiti, El Salvador, and several African nations “shithole countries.” While co-host Joe Scarborough saw the incident as more evidence that Trump is “in the early stages of dementia,” guest panelist Donny Deutsch and MSNBC National Affairs Analyst John Heilemann saw far more sinister undertones in Trump’s comments.
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens was brought on to promote his December 29 column explaining why he still considers himself to be an adherent of the “Never Trump” movement. In spite of expressing his agreement with many of the Trump administration’s actual policy positions, Stephens argued that Trump’s poor personal character and harsh criticism of the liberal media and FBI/DOJ leadership is “systematically corroding, corrupting, and [...] destroying our culture of governance” and thus negates any of his key political achievements.
On Wednesday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof published a column promoting an upcoming book by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt arguing that President Trump shows the “four warning signs” of being a “dangerous authoritarian.”
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, reacting to President Trump’s comments during an open door meeting with top members of Congress about DACA and immigration reform, co-host Joe Scarborough argued that Trump’s performance was indicative of his supposedly deteriorating mental state and even stooped to mocking Trump as a doddering, forgetful, and schizophrenic old man who listens to “voices in his head” for political advice.
In a stunning admission that contradicted Scarborough’s numerous past attempts to paint Trump as sociopathic, homicidally insane, and suffering from predementia, Joe responded to Greenfield’s arguments by conceding that in regards to these sorts of claims about Trump’s mental instability: “You have to have [...] objective evidence, the sort of objective evidence that we do not have and most likely will not have.”
On Monday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were both back in-studio to talk to Michael Wolff about his new anti-Trump book Fire and Fury. In a wide-ranging 25-minute interview, Wolff went after his critics at the New York Times and Washington Post, repeatedly called the President’s mental health into question, and even insisted that “100%” of Trump’s “closest” advisors in the White House think that there is “something fundamentally wrong, something that scares them” about the President.
In spite of growing evidence that Michael Wolff’s explosive new book Fire and Fury should not be treated as the epitome of truthful and accurate reporting, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson were still keeping the faith and treating it as the Holy Grail of recording the true story behind the internal workings of the Trump administration.