“It is unbelievably alarming that this president is so easily played by a cable news host,” said Mika Brzezinski on Friday’s Morning Joe, the morning after Donald Trump’s offensive, weird tweets about MSNBC hosts Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. The tweets — which included references to “low I.Q. crazy Mika” and “Psycho Joe” — had dominated the news cycle on Thursday at a time when the president was in the midst of trying to pass a health care bill and meeting with the leader of South Korea. Speaking about Trump, Brzezinski said, “He appears to have a fragile, impetuous, childlike ego.” Said Scarborough: “We have friends in the White House, and they’re getting more concerned” about the president’s mental state. (The co-hosts wrote a piece for Friday’s Washington Post with the headline, “Donald Trump Is Not Well.”)
On Thursday’s Late Show, Stephen Colbert said, “Let’s stop pretending Trump is a symptom of something: He’s the disease.” When he showed Melania Trump’s tweet saying that her husband, when attacked, will “punch back 10 times harder,” Colbert said, “As the first lady says, ‘When they go low, we go 10 times lower.’”
I never have much use for Morning Joe, easily the most lightweight and squawky of MSNBC’s squawk shows, and it was a bit of a challenge sitting through the self-righteousness of Brzezinski and Scarborough plus a panel including Willie Geist, Katty Kay, and Donny Deutsch, who looked at the camera and said, “Donald, if you’re watching, I’ll meet ya in the schoolyard.” Big talk from a man who needs to wear extra-big horn-rims to play a smart guy on TV.
“We’re OK,” said Brzezinski, assuring their fans, “[but] the president is not.” You could reasonably say that the newly engaged co-hosts are playing this controversy for their own ratings and career gain. But no matter how cynical you are about them, you have to admit that the person in the White House who inspired their spasm of self-righteousness ought to be above this kind of insult-trading.
Morning Joe airs weekdays at 6 a.m. on MSNBC.
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