August 20, 2016

Joe Scarborough is back on the Trump Train, making excuses for The Donald. Friday's show had Joe insisting that Donald Trump is just "playing a role" as a "loud, screaming, racially insensitive, at times race-baiting buffoon that gets behind microphones at political rallies" because that's not the "Donald that we've known for 20 years."

Humble brag there, you've known the "real Donald" for 20 years.

Transcript via Media Matters:

JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): Fake it 'til you make it. Fake it until you make it. And that is a question. I will say, though, one of the great ironies of this campaign, I've said it here on the show every day, is anybody -- and Donny certainly has known Donald for a long time -- anybody that knows Donald knows that that Donald last night was closer to the Donald Trump that we've all known for decades than the character he's playing. Because make no mistake of it, make no mistake of it, this loud, screaming, racially insensitive, at times race-baiting buffoon that gets behind microphones at political rallies, that's Donald Trump playing a role. I just think -- unless the Donald Trump that we've known for 20 years is not the Donald Trump. And so I'm saying --

KATTY KAY: It's also the Donald Trump that came up with the Muslim ban and the Mexicans being rapists and things that he's said about women. Those are his statements, he owns them.

SCARBOROUGH: Right, right, Katty. And that's exactly what I was saying about the guy that gets behind the microphone. I'm just saying, this is an interesting pivot because as he goes to teleprompter, he's actually becoming more of the Donald Trump that Donny and Mika and myself and everybody else has known for decades, which is really bizarre, that he's got to go to teleprompter to be more naturally himself. I'll ask you this question, again. Because the list of offenses are so long. The Mexicans, the Muslims, John McCain, Megyn Kelly, etc., etc. Have you in 20 years of knowing Donald Trump behind closed doors -- and I'm not asking for you to vouch for his character, I'm just trying to make this point -- have you ever heard him say the first thing in private that was close to being racially insensitive. Never, right? Never.

DONNY DEUTSCH: Let me describe -- never. Let me describe my relationship with Donald, what I know about Donald. And as I said, I did three episodes of The Apprentice where I've hosted, I interviewed him 10 times, our kids go to the same school, I lived in one of his buildings, I know his kids well. I've always found him to be charming, smart, generous of spirit if you ever called him up. Having said that, this man I've seen up on the stump is repulsive to me. And I can't separate and I can't go, OK, but that's the real Donald.

So why is Scarborough back to defending the worst candidate in the history of American politics? Several theories present themselves:

(a) The suits upstairs insist that this election be a horserace no matter what.

(b) All Manhattanites must lick the boots of anyone who might be a millionaire because the charity events and chardonnay parties that "this town" depends on need that veneer of "money."

(c) Scar has sucked up to Donald so many times he actually thinks they're friends.

(d) Republican brand loyalty.

Several times in the past year Donald Trump's behavior has been too much either for Scarborough or for the suits upstairs at MSNBC, and Joe always refers to those times (hanging up on Donald, screaming on air about his loutishness, etc) as proof positive that he's unbiased when it comes to the man who is now, let's not forget, the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

When Donald gets really bad, Joe goes on a long rant about how Trump is actually a Democrat. Which actually confirms (d) above, that the real problem for Scarborough is not whether Trump is loutish or not, but whether that behavior damages the Republican brand.

It destroys the Republican brand if I have anything to do with it, Joe. And many of us will be taking to social media constantly in the next two years to make certain the brown stain of Trump remains firmly exposed on the underpants of the Republican Party. Given that Reince Priebus is happy to attend Trump rallies and say everything's fine, we don't see a problem with that.

Those few times where Joe demurred from Trump butt-kissing are far outweighed by the number of times Joe has allowed Trump to phone in an interview, the Morning Joe crew has fawned that Donald "has his groove back" (last month!) and even those times when Scarborough has outright bragged about his insider advisor status with Trump. Most embarrassing is when this "relationship" is denounced by other networks, namely CNN. This from February, and yes, it's still pertinent.

...Stelter noted that Scarborough's show, Morning Joe, was often referred to as Morning Trump.

"This Donald Trump-Joe Scarborough relationship, what we see on air is a very cozy relationship between the two men," Stelter explained.

"Inappropriate," Zrawik said of the relationship. "And if I had any hair, it would be on fire as I said it. Even somebody like a morning show host plays a role -- at least a quasi-journalistic role -- plays a role in setting the parameters of the national conversation around these candidates."

"You shouldn't be so involved with them that you're going down and giving them [debate] tips," he added. "It shows how unashamed Scarborough is, how proud he is of the fact that he's in the tank for him."

"He doesn't even know how damning that is to the credibility of MSNBC that almost every morning this guy gets out and behaves that way. And what about the executives at MSNBC that don't call him in and say, 'Stop it!' What's going on with that? This is outrageous!"

I'm not sure Joe Scarborough actually has a "boss" at MSNBC so much as he allows them to air his self-importance because ratings. But that doesn't mean any of us in the reality-based community won't hold on to videos like these above to remind us all of the times Joe Scarborough stood in Trump's corner and cheered.

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