Reaction to Keith Olbermann’s special comment about Scott Brown calling him “homophobic” and “racist” on the basis of … well, nothing, brought a swift reaction from fellow MS-NBC host Joe Scarborough. Scarborough blasted Olbermann for his smear last night on Twitter, and then followed up this morning with a shot at him on Morning Joe. Mediaite’s Steve Krakauer has both videos:

This isn’t the first time Scarborough has essentially called out Olbermann, but on-air, it is never by name. His one reference on Morning Joe today to the Olbermann comment followed the same model. “A certain person on this network, whose name will not be mentioned, went on a tirade the likes of which are sad and pathetic,” he said.

But even on Twitter, the comment is out there, and the shot is direct. Is it MSNBC civil war? Not quite. But we’ll see if Olbermann has a response tonight – especially if the “bad joke” ends up winning.

As Steve mentions, Joe was more direct on Twitter:

Obermann calls Brown a “homophobic racist reactionary” who “supports violence against women.” How reckless and how sad.

It is no longer enough to simply disagree with someone. These days some feel the need to call opponents evil. It happens on both extremes.

Just as when Beck called the President racist, this sort of rhetorical extremism must be discouraged. It cheapens the debate.

What are the odds that Olby names himself the “Worst Person in the World” for his transgressions? I’d say a lot lower than “honoring” his fellow MS-NBC host. Kudos to Scarborough, though, for making the obvious plain on his network, which shows guts that others on that network apparently lack — including its management.