Monday, December 10, 2007

Darker and Darker

There was once a show on MSNBC called Morning Joe, where a casually-dressed, funny and genial Joe Scarborough ruminated on the events of the day with John Ridley and Mika Brzezinski and Chris Licht.

Then the show moved to 30 Rock, John Ridley became an unperson, Chris Licht moved into the control room, and Joe started wearing suits and ties and sitting -- or is it floating? -- in front of a weird, moving background of coffee stains (you have to see it to know I'm not kidding)... and now he is more shrill and table-thumpingly wrongheaded than ever before.

Friday he went more than a little berserk. First he started screaming what he thought the White House should have said about the NIE scandal: that it was a strategy for peace all along. Which would be fine, except it's a lie. The White House can't claim to have a months-old strategy for peace that Bush says he only learned about last week.

Then he went off about how moved he and all Evangelicals were by Romney's speech. How real Americans are touched by such inspiring rhetoric, despite what New York cynics say. How Romney was truly Kennedy-esque.

But, Joe? Kennedy said the separation between church and state was absolute. Romney said those who say it's absolute are wrong. He said secularism was a religion... and apparently the only religion not allowed in America.

(Whenever Joe defends some nonsense by saying we city folk don't need to understand it because it was being said directly to Evangelicals, it makes those decent religious folks seem like a secret, racist cabal. They should ask Joe to stop "defending" them.)

Joe said all Romney was saying was that for our Founding Fathers faith and freedom were intertwined. David Shuster valiantly tried to point out that there is a difference between "intertwined" and "freedom requires religion".... that it was like saying it doesn't matter what football team you root for, but you better like football if you want to live in America.

Joe would have none of it.

When Shuster quoted the New York Times, Joe was scornful. Wasn't this the same New York Times that once said Bush would drag us back into the Dark Ages?

Joe said in the next segment he'd be defending waterboarding. Which seemed ironic to me, since waterboarding was big back in the Dark Ages. I don't think Joe meant it to be ironic. I deleted the show without finishing it, so I'll never know.

This morning Joe wasn't on, and Morning Joe was a pleasure once again. I won't be watching the show any more once Joe returns from sick leave.

MSNBC, can there please be such a thing as Morning Joe without Joe? Maybe a Decaf Morning Joe?


The Crutnacker said...

Does anyone watch it for Joe? Mika's the one I tune in for.

Michael Markowitz said...

Between Mika, Jackie, Erin and Courtney, it is the thinking man's babefest. There was a piece once on the Daily Show about the hotties of news, and they nailed it: those women on Fox look like the dirtiest whores on the docks... especially next to the Fabulous Women of MSNBC.

You're right, I may have to relax my ban... I need a dose of Vitamin Mika.

Anway, I finally realize what (specifically) is wrong with Joe. The other night Keith Olbermann showed the actual black-letter law against waterboarding. it was specific and indisputable. And he mentioned that Joe talked about waterboarding "like it was up for a vote."

And I realized, YES! That's what Joe does. If there were a Scarborough drinking game, it would be to take a shot every time he says, "You ask most people..."

You ask most people if we should get free ice cream every Tuesday or put the homeless on barges or set fire to our prisons and walk away, and most people'd say yes. Doesn't make them good ideas. Or right.

Michael Markowitz said...

Mika looked irrationally hot today. Distractingly beautiful.