Scarborough vs. MSNBC Primetime? Maybe not this time…

A segment from Morning Joe has been making the rounds on the internet because of something Joe Scarborough said to Eugene Robinson…

Gene how is that any different, because I made the mistake of turning on this network in prime time last night and my head almost blew off, how is that any different from what Democrats did to George W. Bush from day one, from what Republicans, I will say this, did to Bill Clinton in 1992. I can read you the columns that were written before George Bush was sworn in by Washington Post columnists that you work with, talking about how George W. Bush has no legitimacy.

Both TVNewser and Mediaite have come to the conclusion that this was another Joe Scarborough swipe at MSNBC’s liberal primetime programming and/or talent. But I’m not so sure this time…

If you take the highlighted sentence out of the paragraph and stand it on it’s own, yeah it sorta does look like another shot at MSNBC’s primetime programs. But I read the whole paragraph, several times, and I just don’t get that feeling. It doesn’t feel like a shot specifically aimed at MSNBC primetime as an entity.

What Scarborough said was he turned on MSNBC during primetime and his head almost blew off. That’s pretty vague as to what the cause is. But examine the context in which that statement is made; specifically that demonization is a problem that’s been going on, on both sides, for a long time now. This question Scarborough posed was in response to something Robinson wrote in the Washington Post concerning demonization of the NYC “mosque”. That’s Exhibit A.

Exhibit B can be found on Scarborough’s Twitter feed last night. Scarborough spent considerable time ragging on what was airing on Hardball concerning the NYC “mosque” debate…

EJ Dionne is talking on a Hardball segment called “Going to Extremes.” When is the last time EJ diverged from a predictable left wing view?

I like EJ personally. But like too many opinion pundits on both sides, his positions change based on who is in the White House.

EJ is right on this one, but he always calls conservatives extreme. I agree though that GOP leaders MUST call out this hate.

Then there was another Hardball guest talking about the “mosque” which Scarborough didn’t think highly of…

I saw that guest on Hardball and she was extreme on the other side. Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right…

Add Exhibit A to Exhibit B and a different picture emerges. It’s possible that what caused Scarborough’s head to nearly blow off was all the extreme rhetoric going on during Hardball on both sides of the issue. If that’s the case then this alleged shot against MSNBC primetime wasn’t a shot at MSNBC primetime at all but a shot at all the extreme rhetoric going on during MSNBC primetime, specifically Hardball. Not all were that extreme however and Joe made a point of noting that…

The guy from the 9/11 group on Hardball was very respectful and well reasoned. We’re reaching out to him for tomorrow’s show.

All of the above is just an guess albeit a semi-educated guess. But it seems more likely to me than the “Joe’s gone off the MSNBC reservation again” storyline that’s currently being advanced. Complaining about the level of extreme rhetoric concerning the “mosque” debate, rhetoric coming from talking head pundits, analysts, and guests isn’t a crime and wouldn’t violate Phil Griffin’s “no external-internal squables” rule.

Clarification: Yes, you know and I know that Hardball isn’t really primetime. But that doesn’t stop some from counting 7pm programming as part of “primetime” as an identity. If Joe was playing fast and loose with “primetime” then that may be why people are all looking at Countdown and The Rachel Maddow Show as the subject of Joe’s derision when he was actually referring to elsewhere.

Update: We now know it wasn’t Lawrence O’Donnell that was the subject. Scarborough tweeted this afternoon…

Lawrence is the best!! RT @ATLjackie Your head didn’t explode over your man-crush, Crazy Larry, did it? I hope he still comes on your show.

15 Responses to “Scarborough vs. MSNBC Primetime? Maybe not this time…”

  1. I’m glad to hear MJ is finally inviting a guest who disagrees with everyone else on the show concerning the mosque.

  2. Good analysis, but…is Hardball part of primetime? I thought primetime started at 8:00 pm.

  3. MSNBC loves to include Hardball as part of its primetime in ads and occasionally in ratings releases. Yeah, it’s not primetime really but whatever.

  4. tooncigars Says:

    i really think joe’s “going of the reservation again”– it’s the way he is and cannot help himself– he has done it time and time again– why else would he sit at home at night and watch chris matthews who he can’t stand and twitter about it, knowing that he’ll get in trouble with Griffin– he either doesn’t care or has too much power to screw with Phil– maybe he’s feeling the “heat” about his new and improved radio show “snicker”–

  5. Both Joe and Olbermann need to go away they annoy me.

  6. I saw this when it happened. In my opinion, it was a generic swipe at some discussions on MSNBC, which may or may not have included the hosts involved. Joe’s position on the story is that everybody on both sides should pipe down, so I don’t think he’s singling out a particular personality.

  7. The real story on mj was not Joe, Mika was, she just could not understand in her on little mind how and why people oppose the masque site location.
    As far as i know mj has not had any firemen, policemen, and family members that were involved in wtc attack that oppose the masque issue on thier show.

  8. bushleaguer Says:

    Joe – I saw it as well and I didn’t take it as a swipe at anyone in particular either. He was addressing overheated rhetoric on both sides of the issue in general.

    ouchboy – Maybe a little behind the curve, but MJ did have an opponent of the location of the Mosque on the show on Tuesday (a representative from a 9/11 victims group).
    As far as Mika goes, I’m with her in that the conflation of those who attacked America on 9/11 and Islam as a rationale for not wanting an Islamic community center 2 blocks from Ground Zero is troubling and needs to stop. The emotional backlash from those who suffered personal loss on that day is certainly understandable, but those who want to build this center are not tied to Al Qaeda and don’t support terrorism or what happened that day. A lot of people need to chill out and have a rational dialogue about this.

  9. Yes i saw the show and was impressed by the rep. of 9/11 victims group, i think Joe was to and decided to tone the mosque opponents bashing that all of msnbc does. I think thats why he mentioned the prime time lineup.
    I know the liberals see it different but that is expected.

  10. tooncigars Says:

    ^it’s hard to hear through all the chaff, but some folks in this country are having a “rational dialog” about the mosque issue– most accept the leagalites of building the cordoba center at the site but are simply asking the owners that if they want to “heal wounds” and “bridge the gap” in this country between islam and the rest of America to build it elsewhere– rational, yes?
    This whole thing has become Mika’s new “salt” issue where she can’t see the other side no matter what is said to her– bushleaguer got it right when he talked about them FINALLY having a rep from the families on the tuesday show– that goofball Harmon grilled the guy like he was on a Chris Matthews and the gentleman responded intellegently and unemotionally– he even made a point at the end that had Mika mumbling in agreement (but she has to check her blackberry to see if her “sources” in the Adminstration think it’s ok)–

  11. If you’re talking about the rep being Nick Leischen, Joe wasn’t even at the table during that segment. Mika was.

  12. I was disappointed that Joe was not at the table. They told me that unlike Hardball I would not be pressed and interrogated. I kinda was though. Also I noticed that when someone said to me things like “All due respect” they were about to disrespect me or the 9-11 Families.
    Mika said that there was a Mosque in the Pentagon. She also said that I was demonizing the Muslims. BOTH WERE COMPLETELY FALSE! When people run out of facts in this issue they seem to turn to inflammatory language and rhetoric. Why is it that anyone who disagrees with the PROPOSED LOCATION of the Mosque is a “Racist, Bigot, and an Islamaphobe”? I am none of these but have been labeled as such. My good friend Mike is a NYPD wounded police veteran and a rescuer from WTC. He is also a Muslim and he feels that the proposed location is extremely inappropriate.
    It seems to me that a lot of the language and protest that we are seeing is as a result of the coping mechanisms of the 9-11 Families, 9-11 Survivors, 9-11 First Responders, New Yorkers and American Citizens. We were all seriously hurt on 9-11. Certainly some more than others. That is not gone and it will not go away in our lifetimes. What about American Muslims? They were injured and marginalized by the attacks on 9-11. They are hurt too and they are coping.
    I believe that we all need to take a deep breath and ratchet down the volume. Only then will peaceful and respectful communications and resolutions be possible. One last thing. The hate mail from extremists that I am getting is misplaced. I am not opposed to building the Mosque and Community Center. Heck, I’ll get in there with Mike and help build it. I am only voicing the opinion of America’s 9-11 Foundation, that “The proposed location in such close proximity to WTC is extremely inappropriate.” It has caused tremendous pain and fear in the hearts and minds of so many people. This will likely only get worse if the project moves forward as planned.
    I am a career Law Enforcement Officer and worked for NYPD during the aftermath of 9-11. I have a pretty good view of the facts.
    God Bless America. “NEVER FORGET!”
    Nick Leischen

  13. Sorry, one last thing. I said on MJ and really meant it that I have respect and appreciation for Joe Scarbough and the work that he did to push for continued medical benefits for WTC Forst Responders.

  14. tooncigars Says:

    ^Mr. Leischen– thank you for your service sir– some of us will never forget– and thank you for taking the time to come on to this site and respond– you were ambushed on that show and you gave a good accounting of yourself sir, hold your head up high– thank you again from the bottom of my heart– Fond Regards, tc

  15. ToonCigars, nearly five years later and I realized that I missed your response on this thread. Thank you for your comments. Two additional things; First I was surprised that Joel never acknowledged receiving the Foundation’s Challenge Coin that I carried to all three 9-11 sites and presented to him. A Coin like that has great significance and is intended as an honor. Secondly, after every mission with the SOG / NYPD we (SOG Team) smoked a good cigar. It was a great form of decompression after stressful and exhausting assignments at “The Pile”. I will always be proud of my service to my home town New York City!
    Regards, Det. Nick Leischen (RET-West Palm Beach)

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