Yesterday we looked at the Morning Joe music video story, wherein the MoJo crew basically ran a three minute and ten second advertisement for the DNC on a pro bono basis. Scarborough’s new single, Stand, was redone with an endless montage of scenes from the women’s march and various bits of liberal messaging, with the soundtrack remixed to include quotes from prominent Democrats and liberal speakers. The fact that it happened at all was strange enough, but a follow-up story at the Daily Beast has added a new twist to it.
The main focus of the article has to do with the recurring Saturday Night Live bit where Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon play Mika and Joe. I’ve caught a couple of them now and it’s one of their better segments, though not quite up to the level of Melissa McCarthy doing Sean Spicer. (Also of interest is the Daily Beast’s description of Scarborough as someone who has transitioned, “from conservative Republican congressman [to] the troubadour of the Resistance.”) For the record, Joe and Mika are “uncomfortable” with the SNL skits, but only because of the effect they may have on their children.
That wasn’t the interesting part for me, though. Toward the end, the article digs into the music video story and provides a couple more details which have supposedly been confirmed by MSNBC. The big one which sticks out like a sore thumb is that they’re claiming that Joe Scarborough didn’t even know that the video was going to be played, or apparently that it had even been created, until it started running on the show yesterday morning. (Emphasis added)
But he said he didn’t expect that “Stand” would be featured on today’s installment of Morning Joe.
“It was a surprise to me,” he said, when he realized, shortly after 7 a.m.—and then repeated after 8 a.m.—that his folk song would be used to accompany the sights and sounds of the anti-Trump marches in Washington, New York, and across the nation, along with snippets from Trump, Stephen Miller, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and even Whoopi Goldberg. “Mika called up [executive producer] Alex Korson sometime this weekend and thought, ‘See if this works.’ And he said, ‘It works great.’
“I had not seen it before this morning,” Scarborough continued. “I’m always very nervous when things like that go off.”
Not to keep beating a dead horse, but something doesn’t pass the smell test here. A professional musician (because Joe actually qualifies for that title now in addition to his other occupations) has a song of his lifted, recut, and layered over a provocative, political video diatribe and doesn’t say boo about it? Nobody even asked him in advance? I’m fairly sure that if I took one of his songs and simply crafted it into a new advertisement for some cause I’m concerned with, the folks at Salem would have a cease and desist letter on their desks the same day and I’d be getting a call from our lawyers.
But by the same token, why on Earth would someone lie about something like that if it’s not true? Clearly Scarborough doesn’t need to provide himself with any cover so he can distance himself from the content later by blaming Mika for it. There’s not much in there that hasn’t shown up in his various anti-Trump screeds for the better part of a year now. So maybe he really didn’t know? That’s equally jaw-dropping. Any artist will tell you how personal their creations are to them. That’s Joe’s original music. Are you telling me that Mika cooked this idea up with their producer and they launched into what was obviously an extensive editing project without once mentioning to Joe, “oh, by the way… I’m cutting up your new song to use on our show. Is that okay by you?”
If we have to find an answer to this mystery, perhaps it’s something as simple as the fact that Joe and Mika are no longer just co-hosts. It’s a subject which I’ve studiously avoided here because it’s not really newsworthy. What two consenting adults do on their own time, etc. etc. But the fact is that they’re engaged now and perhaps Mika actually can get away with a stunt like that an not draw any backlash from an offended artist. Happy wife, happy life, right? But I’m still having a hard time swallowing that.
It just makes no sense. Unless, of course, there actually is some content in that little art project which Joe might not want his name attached to later. Here’s one image from the video which pops up while Scarborough is crooning in the background. Take a close look at the number eight in 2018.
Is that a … pro-choice symbol I see? You can ask yourself if Joe has changed some of his previous conservative positions since joining The Resistance, but I somehow doubt he’s suddenly on board with abortion. Or if I’m wrong about that, there are probably a few hundred thousand voters in the greater Pensacola area who would like a word with him.