June 15, 2017

The Morning Joe crew talked about a New York Times editorial about the "heated rhetoric" in this political climate, and Joe Scarborough took the opportunity to pat himself on the back.

"We have been saying it on this show for a decade now. That's actually the purpose of this show, where we can actually debate other people and get along at the end," he said.

"There has been a disconnect in American society and American culture and American politics. as Mike Doyle said. Driven in part by social media, driven in part by heated cable news, driven in part by fake news on the internet, driven in part by hate mongers who actually make money and become fabulously wealthy creating conspiracy theories that paint the other side as evil.

"Now we have come together. We came together after 9/11. There was that beautiful moment when Republicans and Democrats took to the steps and, I believe, they sang 'God Bless America.' After Gabby Giffords, you had cable news presidents fire their more extreme voices. And I remember everybody over at Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left at the time, telling everybody 'You've got to calm down, this is for real, there are guard rails we need to know."

Aww. Isn't that nice.

After watching this morning's cable news, I despair of people like Joe Scarborough ever really getting it. For one thing, the violence is inherent in the policy. When Republicans come in and say they'll take away healthcare and slash the safety net, when the president tries to ethnically cleanse our population of Muslim immigrants, this isn't rhetoric. These are existential threats for many of us.

And when people like Scarborough put on cheerleader outfits and yell "Go, team, go," and giggle with their guests, well, he's assuming because he's not Alex Jones that he's not doing the same thing. He is. He treats politics like a team sport, and makes it very clear whose team he's on. (Hint: It's not ours.)

Cable news in general is very bad. They bring on guests that spout lies and nonsense, and thank them for coming, rarely if ever correcting the insidious misinformation. You know that's what we try to address here, but there aren't enough hours in the day to catch them all.

So if Joe Scarborough wants to stop political violence, here's some advice: Physician, heal thyself.

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