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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 12, 2016

 
Vice President Morning Joe?

by digby



















So Joe Scarborough is causing the MSNBC honchos some heartburn for being completely in the tank for Donald Trump. Go figure:

Last November, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough sat on stage at the 92nd Street Y in New York and recounted the various times he had given Donald Trump political advice.

"I've actually called him up and said, 'Donald, listen, you need to speak in complete sentences at debates," Scarborough said. "After the second debate ... I walked into his office, I said, 'Donald, do you know how to read? ... I said, 'You should read before a debate! ... Read a paragraph on Syria, read a paragraph on education reform!'"
The anecdotes, which were meant as a testament to Trump's off-the-cuff political savvy, drew laughter from the audience. But today, at NBCUniversal's headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Center, Scarborough's relationship with the Republican presidential frontrunner has become a subject of frustration among staff, and an increasingly problematic issue for the network's top brass.

In background discussions, NBC News and MSNBC journalists, reporters and staffers said there was widespread discomfort at the network over Scarborough's friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate.

"People don't like that Joe is promoting Trump," one MSNBC insider said. Others described Scarborough's admiration for Trump as "over the top" and "unseemly."
Four of those sources also said that the growing media scrutiny over the two men's relationship has caused the network's leadership to more closely monitor Scarborough's comments. "The higher-ups are definitely aware about what's going on," said another person within MSNBC. "It's an issue."

Scarborough and NBC News declined to comment for this article. "Morning Joe," which airs weekday mornings, is followed closely by Washington and New York's political and media influencers, and is seen as a key platform for political figures.

Both Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski are close friends with Trump and members of his family. Scarborough, a former four-term congressman from Florida's 1st district, has often stayed at Trump's Mar-A-Lago Club, in Palm Beach, Florida, with his family and was there during the week between Christmas and New Year's, two sources at the hotel during that time said.

On the night of the New Hampshire primary, Scarborough and Brzezinski visited Trump's hotel room for what MSNBC described as background discussions with the candidate's senior staff and a conversation with Trump that "lasted less than five minutes."

In recent weeks, Scarborough has spoken about Trump in increasingly glowing terms, praising him as "a masterful politician" and defending him against his political opponents and media critics. The Washington Post has noted that Trump has received "a tremendous degree of warmth from the show," and that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often feel like "a cozy social club."

Scarborough has always been opinionated and outspoken, and he has never made any secret about his political opinions. Nevertheless, some of his colleagues believe that his coverage is influenced by his friendship.

Some MSNBC insiders also cringed at an on-air exchange Scarborough had last month with radio host Hugh Hewitt, who pressed Scarborough on whether he would serve as Trump's vice president. Scarborough ruled out the possibility but not before saying he would do "just about anything to try to get the White House back."

Trump, meanwhile, has also spoken in glowing terms about Scarborough.

"He's a great guy, and he has a great show ... and we have a lot of fun," Trump told Howie Carr, the Boston talk radio show host, in January. "Joe's doing well. You know, he's making money for the first time in his life, really making some pretty good money."

That's sweet. The article goes on to point out that Trump hyimself has openly called Joe and Mika supporters on the air and they got flustered and had to explain that they had actually been critical of The Donald a time or two, really!

One wonders if the Village rumor mill that's breathlessly poring over Clinton emails which show reporters agreeing to demands from the State department to shape stories in a certain way is similarly shocked by this.

And then, there's this which absolutely nobody cared about.

These issues have all been out there for years. You'll have to forgive for being a little bit cynical that anything's going to change.


Update: Meanwhile, here's Scarborough, the "influencer" telling African Americans leaders how they should think about race and what they should care about:


"If you're the Urban League, isn't the question who would help black voters the most?" he asked Morial. "Whose policies would actually break away the ongoing vicious cycle we have where the rich get poorer, the poorer—I mean the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, isn't that what's critical? Because it's black Americans who share the disproportionate burden of those numbers."

Morial said his organization wants to know which candidate would give African Americans the "opportunity" to be a part of the country's policy discussions.

"I would frame it this way, who offers to African-Americans an opportunity to be a significant part of their governing coalition once they become President? That's the issue," Morial said.

Scarborough continued to press Morial on what would be the most important issue for African-American voters.

"Is that more of the issue than jobs?" he said. "Getting black teenagers back to work? Black Americans back to work instead of who is going to give me a job in the administration."

Morial said that being involved in how "policies are shaped" was critical.

"You don't understand what I'm saying," he told Scarborough. "Being a part of a governing coalition means you will have a seat at the table to be a participant as policies are shaped."

They really should listen to Scarborough. If anyone knows the best way for African American leaders t5o achieve their goals it's him.