Amazing: MSNBC hosts suggest Rick Perry drug use, drinking
posted at 10:10 am on October 31, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
I love a good snarky rejoinder in political commentary as much as, if not more so, than most people. I engage in it all the time myself. But even I was set back on my heels this morning while watching Morning Joe on MSNBC. They started off by playing a rather choppily edited clip of presidential candidate Rick Perry speaking in New Hampshire. I’ll be the first to admit, it was a different look at Perry than we normally see. He was cracking jokes, doing imitations of the other candidates and having a bunch of laughs. (As was the audience.) But that’s when things took a turn for the bizarre.
Joe, Willie Geist and Mika were joined by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin, as well as a remote appearance by Robert Costa of National Review. Seemingly out of nowhere, Halperin brought up the issue that Perry “suffers from back pain” which immediately resulted in the crew breaking out in a series of jokes about people who dabble in pain medication mixed with alcohol. It’s frequently a running joke on the show that Mika has had some experience with taking vodka and painkillers, so they asked her to list some of her favorites. They continued to imply – without directly stating it – that this was what was going on with Rick Perry.
Unfortuantely that first portion is not showing up on the MSNBC web site, (I wonder why) but they did put up the clip of the exchange taking place during the next segment. It includes some additional inferences followed by Mika making a rather blunt supposition.
Transcribed portion begins at the 3 minute mark, but watch the whole thing.
Joe Scarborough: He had a good time. He had a good… time.
Mika Brzezinski: Exhausting, grueling work… campaigning.
Joe: To quote the Nora Ephron line…
Mika: … he’s very tired.
Joe: .. I will have what he’s having.
Mika: I have what he’s having.
Mark Halperin: What’s that cocktail again? What was that?
Mika: Adavan and… No, we joke, but I have to say, it comes to mind. That’s all. It just seems a little…
Halperin: What’s your favorite cocktail again, Mika? What’s the three?
Mika: Now stop it… what did I say?
Joe: I don’t know, but I’ll tell you what my cocktail was when I had severe back pain and couldn’t walk for four months. Valium, Vicodin, just a little bit of vodka just to wash it down until my doctor said ‘don’t do that.’
Robert Costa: I don’t think it’s right to hint that he’s using drugs. I think the guy was just having a little fun.
Joe: No, no, no, I’m not talking about … I’m not saying he was using drugs. I’m saying I was.
Mika: It just… makes you think. That’s all. I’m sorry…
Joe: It makes you think that he was having a good time.
Mika: Really loopy. Really loopy.
Joe: Come on now. There’s no law against having a good time.
Costa: None at all
Mika: There’s no law against thinking somebody was acting completely loopy and wondering if they were maybe… drunk.
The preceding segment, as I indicated, was even more blatant, but this one is shocking enough. I don’t know what Rick Perry had for dinner or beverages in New Hampshire prior to that, nor do I know anything about his current medical condition. But I would hazard a guess and say that none of the people on this panel did either. To come out and just begin inferring that a presidential candidate was drunk and/or using prescription pain medication based on one truncated video clip is pretty bad.
I would hope that MSNBC will either produce some proof of these allegations or have Brzezinski and friends pony up an apology.