The MSNBC show is a window on a tiresome and deluded chattering class.
Perhaps there is no better window on the awfulness of the self-appointed New York-to-DC ruling class than MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The show revolves around a collection of chattering-class bores who devote the start of their day to seconding each other’s shallow and smug criticisms of Trump. The women make faces; the men roll their eyes.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski is a feminist who lectures other women on the need to show firmness in a man’s world. Yet she spends most of the show acting like a prim, entitled Victorian-era dingbat on a fainting couch. She grips her chair for balance while she makes faux-terrified faces, then turns to “Joe” for guidance on how to address this or that Trump “outrage.” “Joe” is the vainglorious former Congressman Joe Scarborough. The two are engaged, but one suspects the relationship won’t last Trump’s two terms.
Scarborough resembles a beady-eyed frat boy whom one can more easily imagine bellowing over a keg than cracking open a serious book. Yet he casts himself as Trump’s moral and intellectual better. Trump, you see, lacks Joe’s “substance.”
Never mind that the conversation over which “Joe” and “Mika” preside (along with, among others, plagiarist and journalistic coaster Mike Barnicle) barely rises above the level of snotty cheerleaders at a high school cafeteria. The ratings for the show are wan, but from the self-importance of its participants, one would think that they occupy the commanding heights of politics. They imply that poor “Donald” lacks their understanding of the American people and so forth. They see themselves as the cool kids of American politics, whose mission it is to identify the misfits in the cafeteria. Collective chucks or sighs ensue the moment one of those “losers” violates the judgment or taste of the show’s participants.
They don’t feel any need to make arguments on the show. It is sufficient for the mean girls to point and laugh. While pretending to want more depth from the Trump administration, Joe and Mika attack anyone from it, such as Stephen Miller, who provides some. Earlier in the year, after Miller appeared on TV to make serious points about Trump’s travel ban, Joe and Mika pounced, denouncing him for such high crimes as “looking bad” on TV and daring to participate in presidential politics in his mere thirties.
“Young, little Miller,” sputtered Scarborough, claiming ludicrously that Miller hadn’t read the founding documents of the country. “Andrew Jackson — you go into your president’s office; you know, that one — and you look on the walls, and there are all these pictures of Andrew Jackson and books of Andrew Jackson. He talked about judicial independence. He talked about the importance of the judiciary. You really need to go back and read the Constitution.” He continued: “And, seriously, the White House has got to stop embarrassing themselves by putting this guy out.… I had people working me: ‘Oh, wasn’t Miller great?’ No. That is the worst performance of anybody — that made Susan Rice [on] the Sunday after Benghazi look smooth. I mean, that was horrendous and an embarrassment.”
It is hard to believe Scarborough has ever read the founding documents of the country carefully. For one thing, he didn’t appear to know, even as he ripped Miller on little more than ageist grounds, that Alexander Hamilton was younger than Miller at the time he helped write The Federalist Papers.
Trump once called Mika a “neurotic dope,” and now, according to a fresh tweet, he has revealed that she and Scarborough desperately courted him down in Florida for an interview while Mika was recovering from a “face-lift.” This will set off a new round of chattering-class chastisements. Maybe Joe and Mika will bring on special guest Megyn Kelly to chew over the “misogynist” meaning of it all. “Conservative” Nicole Wallace will report on Republican disillusion over the matter, etc., etc.
The nonsense never ends. The American people know perfectly well that Trump isn’t a saint. They don’t need the media to hold endless powwows on this subject. What’s more, they know that even with his flaws he is a hell of a lot more serious than the smug “sophisticates” always sniping at him.
In happier days (Wikimedia Commons)