Joe Scarborough is my savior!Posted: July 14, 2008
Clearly, Scarborough, conservative apostate turned morning bore host, is the future of TV commentary.
Just look at his history!
Scarborough’s slippery partisan loyalty has proved useful to the network. Despite his criticisms of the Bush administration, he is often cited as MSNBC’s house Republican, his Morning Joe a counterpoint to Olbermann’s Countdown. And indeed, Scarborough’s nineties résumé is that of a true conservative.
He has said his “visceral dislike” of the newly elected Bill Clinton inspired him to run for the House of Representatives in 1994. At the time, he was living in Pensacola with his first wife and two sons, putting his law degree to use litigating local insurance cases. Despite having no political background, he launched a quixotic campaign and was elected as part of the class of freshman Republicans who swept Newt Gingrich to power. He supported impeaching Clinton, abolishing the Department of Education, and cutting off AIDS funding for the so-called Ryan White Act. (He lost all of those battles, the last by a vote of 402 to 4.)
But Scarborough bristles at being called one of Gingrich’s “lieutenants.” “We never really clicked,” he says now. Still, he concedes that the militancy-by-association “helped me get reelected in a district Jerry Falwell called one of the most conservative in America.” He was certainly one of the hardest-line freshmen when it came to government spending—part of the group who would come to be known as “the New Federalists”—and says he’s still “almost libertarian” on economic issues. “But I was always quirky on human rights, China, the environment,” he says. “I say ‘quirky’: Republicans couldn’t figure out which way I was going to break on votes. They finally just gave up whipping me.”
I know that I, as a liberal know that Joe Scarborough is the sort of person whose commentary really hits the spot with me. I just know he’s a good faith actor in this whole pundit business.
Hell, even Mark Halperin thinks this guy knows his shit!
“I was totally skeptical, and now I’m totally won over … I was a huge fan of Imus, but Joe has taken that real estate and turned it into something—and I say this without hyperbole—revolutionary. There’s no other show that does what they do. They’ve really found a new form.”
Really no other show does what Morning Joe does. I mean who doesn’t love the witty back and forth between Scarborough and his co-hosts. Where else can I get my daily dose of Pat Buchanan at six in the morning?
And his co-hosts provide him with the opportunity for banter and improvisation that was missing from Scarborough Country. Willie Geist (son of longtime CBS News correspondent Bill Geist) sits in front of an open laptop, of late the de rigueur prop for cable election coverage, and fills the Jimmy Olsen slot. Mika Brzezinski (daughter of former national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski) reads the news and acts as a gentle liberal foil to Scarborough. There’s a flirtatious, Sam-and-Diane sort of chemistry to their sparrings. The two first worked together when Brzezinski did news breaks from New Jersey during Scarborough Country. “Whenever she tossed it back to me, she’d always say, ‘Now back to Scarrrrborough Country,’ ” he remembers. “I started to think, Damn it, she’s making fun of me.”
Truly there is a great flirtatious quality to the banter; though these days it feels as if the writers are running out of ideas. I fear, sooner rather than later, they’ll get the two of them together and just the whole show won’t work anymore.
I think the key paragraph is this one:
All of the glowing post-Katrina Anderson Cooper profiles notwithstanding, Scarborough rather proudly insists that “Scarborough Country was the first show to go after Bush at the time. I thought I could do it especially because I was a Republican. And I just went after him with a vengeance. I think that was the first time people who’d seen my show once in 2003 and said ‘God, I hate him’ might have flipped the channel back.”
No, Joe. I haven’t turned the channel back. I remember your wonderful campaigning for Bush in 2003 and 2004. I’m glad Bush fucking up beyond anyone’s (even Michael Moore’s!) expectations caused you to rethink your support for the man. Because things weren’t fucking clear who much of a fuck-up Bush was circa November 2004.
Truly I am waiting for New York Magizine to do a profile explaining how Alan Colmes is on the cutting edge of liberal puditry.
[I think I’m in a bad mood today]