Welcome to The Monday Line
by Denis G. Campbell
Former Congressman Joe Scarborough took over the 6-9 am MSNBC time slot five years ago when radio host Don Imus was kicked off the air for calling a mostly black women’s college basketball team “a bunch of nappy-haired hoes.” What replaced him is a version of FOX light in MSNBC’s faux attempt to add balance to an otherwise left leaning network.
Since most cannot stomach the Republican propaganda FOX News Channel, Morning Joe is, most days, a less disgusting and important look at how the US Conservative right thinks. Their contributors can be erudite and funny, but they mostly disagree without becoming disagreeable… as long as Joe and his side are winning.
But when co-host, former CBS newswoman Mika Brzezinski tries to make a liberal or left leaning point, she is hooted at and shut down. At times it is like watching drunk boys in a frat house. Only they can see how ‘hilarious’ they are, we’re not in on the joke.
Last Thursday was the icing on the cake. It was almost as bad as the old Hannity & Colmes show on FOX except Alan Colmes was a meek mouse who never raised his head above the parapet. Mika has a brain and she uses it.
Thursday, two days after the 2nd debate, Mitt was caught in an important lie (although since he has uttered 855 on the campaign trail since January it may be hard to tell…) about how he came into possession of “binders of women.” Romney says he asked for ‘binders of women’ to be brought to him. The Group MassGAP [Massachusetts Government Appointments Project] went to both candidates and urged them to hire women giving both candidates binders of resumes of highly qualified women for all state offices.
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John Halperin’s dismissive ‘shut her down’ cynicism, Game Change author or not, was over the top. Steven Rattner tried to run to her defence but was shut down and Joe sat with his arms crossed looking down at her before calling it “an act of desperation” while these locker room frat boys did what they always do… they laughed at her. It went on for almost 18 full minutes when the producer finally whispered in their ears they were on very thin ice as e-mails and social media were running 10-1 FOR Mika’s point and livid at obvious bullying almost as damaging to women as would be if Mika was gay.
She held her ground and continued to argue the point and Joe and the crew just kept digging a deeper hole. Now, Mika is well paid to be there and with her talents could be hosting any show anywhere. And that’s not the point.
As a Republican/GOP apologist, Joe Scarborough has done this time and again. Every time Mika makes a point favourable to the left, he demonstrates all things bad about this GOP. The Morning Joe set is a frat house and Joe is John Belushi without the toga. This show is on when families are heading to school and while not as violent as some cartoon shows, what is the emotional impact on young women and girls to see a professional newswoman so belittled and attacked by supposed colleagues and not allowed to make a cogent and thoughtful point by a Neanderthal blowhard like Joe Scarborough?
Lying has been the centrepiece of the Mitt Romney campaign. His religion belittles, subverts and dominates women. He is a leader in that church and has displayed time and again a complete disregard for women as equals. Some call his debate performances masterful and CEO-like? They are the desperate acts of a bully used to getting his own way no matter what.
Bain Capital, the company this man built (and still profits from) is dismantling a Sensata sensor factory making key components for the auto industry and shipping it crate by crate to China for no reason other than to put more money in his own pocket. He says he is for the middle class but ask the people in the towns his outsourcing has destroyed how much he cares about their needs.
But it is the misogyny and treatment of women, their right to reproductive services, defence against violence act and equal pay that have been disgusting. So much so I have written a series of books all campaign long on the War on Women because I am the father of three daughters and this return to a 1920s style of their treatment is wholly unacceptable.
Joe Scarborough and that entire MSNBC crew should be suspended immediately and indefinitely without pay because what they did to Morning Mika is every bit as despicable as what racist Don Imus said.
As the pop star Cher Tweeted angrily: “These men did everything but pat her on the head and say ‘now Mika you be Quiet while the men talk politics!’”
It is despicable behaviour and endemic of what is wrong in America when a group of white men can attack the only woman in the room then turn their fire on a sitting black man President and say it is neither racist nor misogynistic.
I do not know this USA anymore, nor, frankly, do I want to.