Alex Korson Interview…
The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton interviews Morning Joe EP Alex Corson.
Where does that place “Morning Joe” on the ideological spectrum?
I would describe our show as fiercely independent. Joe is a straight shooter. He calls balls and strikes. He’ll give it to the Republicans just as much as he does Democrats. Look at 2012; he was very critical of his own party. Mika can be critical of the White House at times when she’s frustrated with them, and she’s critical of Republicans when they don’t pass the minimum wage. That’s just who they are.
I think Washington dysfunction is driving the way (in ratings decline), particularly for shows that focus on that. I think, collectively, America is like, “Throw the bums out, we don’t want to hear it.” That’s a challenge for any show that’s politically focused: how to cut through that frustration and find the story lines and characters that are still important.
How do you avoid a rinse-and-repeat policy when booking those characters?
Go down the list — we [book] the top people in each field. As a result, you’re going to have some repetition; some of the most successful shows on cable are predicated on repetition. That said, we do want and look for opportunities to increase our voices at the table. I think we’ve done a good job of that in the last few months. We value original reporting, and we don’t want generalists who are just going to say, ‘what do you think’ and be cable news talking heads — we don’t do that. People are weighing in on conversations all the time that they might not have a Ph.D. in, but that’s the nature of a breakfast roundtable. You don’t see the same kind of guests we get on other morning shows — that’s the one thing I’m fiercely proud of: the kind of guests that we get.