After Donald Trump's unhinged and decidedly silly speech in Ohio yesterday, my Crooks and Liars colleagues and I emailed each other. What happened? We know he doesn't drink, is he on some prescription? Is it cocaine? God forbid, is he about to have a heart attack?
Seriously, we don't wish any physical harm to the guy, but something is wrong.
Fast forward to Morning Joe and you would think Trump just delivered his own "I have a dream" speech at the National Mall. Check out the transcript (via Media Matters) and judge for yourself:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): I think vintage Trump is back. Has anyone noticed that?
MICHAEL STEELE: He's got his groove back.
BRZEZINSKI: He's got his groove back.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): I got to say, even Bill Kristol was saying afterwards, "That was something. That was something." That was amazing. He's like, "I'm not sure what I saw, but that was amazing."
BRZEZINSKI: No I'll tell you what you saw.
SCARBOROUGH: What did you see?
BRZEZINSKI: You saw him connecting with the crowd in a way that no other politician in the history of politics that we know ever could. You can't imagine a Republican candidate going up there and talking about his golf course in Turnberry without getting killed. Remember the car elevator and all sorts of things that plagued Mitt Romney? This guy talks about his Turnberry golf course and everybody in the audience is with him, about the construction project, and about his son and they actually feel they could own a golf course in Turnberry. He connects. He connects.
STEELE: He does. But I guess the question still begs itself. You've got these golden nuggets that are being handed to you.
STEELE: So, instead of riffing on Chuck Todd --
STEELE: -- riff on that. I mean, just talk --
BRZEZINSKI: Well Chuck Todd actually -- he had to come around a little bit on the show yesterday. But he was -- he nailed Hillary Clinton to the wall on this stuff during this speech.↓ Story continues below ↓
SCARBOROUGH: Well there's a tale, and so Mark Halperin you were there last night. And it's a tale of two speeches. It's the speeches that the audience sees and ever since yesterday we were very critical, but Mika was not, of not focusing enough on Hillary. And then later on we ran the part where he was going through the routine. How long can you really talk about grandchildren?
BRZEZINSKI: And he's fantastic.
SCARBOROUGH: And how long can you really talk about golf? OK, that's your two-and-a-half minutes. What else did they talk about for 25, 26, 27, 28 minutes? Now of course at this point everybody's going, "Oh, they're supporting Donald Trump." And everybody's freaking out. "They're racists, they're bigots. They hate Jews. They hate Hispanics."
BRZEZINSKI: No, we’re telling you he connected in this.
SCARBOROUGH: No, we're just talking about what we saw last night on television. We talked about, Mark Haleprin, a guy who looks reenergized.
SCARBOROUGH: I kept looking at him going is this guy really 70 years old? And the audience was eating it up.
BRZEZINSKI: With him.
SCARBOROUGH: This is a tale of two campaigns. Hillary, who's sort of slugging through a hard time right now, and Donald Trump, who seems to be having the time of his life, but then there's also the tale of two speeches. There's the speech the audience sees and you see and everybody loves, and then there's the speech the next morning where we pick out something he said last night. In this case it's the defending of that star. Repeatedly. And that's the narrative. While I think a lot of us miss what the audience and what voters saw last night.
So now I'm asking, what drugs are the folks at Morning Joe on?
Here's my hunch: MSNBC sees Hillary up by 14, 15 percent nationally, and the electoral college, which by the way no news organization will be discussing at all until the polls close in November, are absolutely dismal. People are wondering on Twitter how close to 400 electoral votes Hillary can get.
How can the third-ranked cable news outlet keep any ratings at all when the race is that lopsided? People are going to binge watch "Sleepy Hollow" rather than "follow" election news if the outcome isn't a toss-up!
So CNN hires Corey Lewandowski and Scottie Nell Hughes to bring pro-Trump propaganda on daily. Fox circles the wagons because of course they do. And MSNBC brings out Hugh Hewitt, Host of the Hillary Hate Radio Hour coming in January, after every HRC appearance.
And Mika says of Donald J. Trump (remember him?) ...
You saw him connecting with the crowd in a way that no other politician in the history of politics that we know ever could.
That is her "great news for John McCain" moment. And just to put a bow on it, Mark Halperin himself is there to assist:
"...the last two nights show a guy, as I said, who's engaged in this race, who is conveying to voters and to elites that he has a sense of what it's going to take to win, even though he's still a flawed candidate."
Cable news is cradle-carrying Donald Trump to the finish line of this election because dammit it's going to be a horse race if they have to kiss his boots all the way to November.
We've got five more months of this so-called journalism because the network suits upstairs have ordered it.
Looking forward to the post-election post-mortem, when Morning Joe's roundtable points out that Donald Trump wasn't a true conservative and we get a bunch of "No Labels" guests on to prop up the two-party system. Sad how predictable they have become.