A classic, mainly for Mika Brzezinsky’s reaction. After his co-host read a news report about Judge Henry Hudson’s decision ruling the federal health-insurance mandate unconstitutional that emphasized Hudson’s appointment to the bench by George W. Bush, Joe Scarborough wondered aloud why the source of appointments only seem to matter for those picked by Republican presidents. Former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham supplied the correct answer while mostly stifling a laugh, but Brzezinsky fumes over the criticism (via the Daily Caller and The Right Scoop)
“I’m just curious, and it was our staff that did it this time – I’m always curious when there is a controversial issue, and [Jon] Meacham, you know this is true, that mainstream media doesn’t like – they always will say ‘a George W. Bush-appointee,’ ‘a Reagan appointee,’” Scarborough said. “It would be legitimate, and you Jon, you know this it to be true when a Democrat does something unpopular, they never say ‘a Clinton appointee.’ Never, never. Why is that, Jon?” …
Former longtime Newsweek editor Jon Meacham agreed with Scarborough’s assessment.
“I think that is shows a certain tendency to caricature the right,” Meacham replied.
The lone dissenting voice was “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, who said she thought it was important, even though there is evidence of a reluctance to associate disgraced Clinton-appointees with the “Clinton-appointee” label.
“I think at this point it just offers a little perspective to what that judge’s point of view might be,” Brzezinski said. “And I would like to know it.”
Ah, yes —perspective. That is, of course, another term for point of view, which is the definition of bias. If every court decision reported by the media included the appointment history of the judge, that would be at least consistent. However, the media generally doesn’t bother to do that with judges appointed by Democrats, at least not consistently, while every ruling from a Republican-appointed judge is presented through that prism … er, perspective.
Why did Brzezinsky bother to defend it at all? She just read the copy. Her defensive annoyance shows that the criticism cuts a little too close to home.
One Monday morning in November, according to the admittedly rough transcript provided by the Federal News Service, “Morning Joe” anchor Joe Scarborough spoke 3,213 words; his co-anchor Mika Brzezinski spoke just 644….
On one level, the disparity is not surprising. Scarborough is the show’s headliner; it makes sense that he would speak more than his co-host. The show is not called “Morning Mika.”…
But if Brzezinski is the true second pillar of the show, why is she so quiet? Maybe the better question is, why is Scarborough so loud? And why does MSNBC, supposedly leading the liberal charge against conservative cable news, stand for such a dispiriting and old-fashioned gender dynamic? Anyone for a little sexism with their morning joe?
Er, maybe because a study of one day isn’t exactly a trend? Or perhaps because Scarborough hosts a discussion each day between several people while headlining the show? As in any panel discussion on television (believe me, I know this from personal experience), you’ll only get microphone time if you’re assertive enough to take it.
Update: Oliver Willis points out that Fox did ID Judge Susan Bolton, who threw out Arizona’s immigration law, in the news report’s headline with “Clinton-appointed judge guts Ariz. Immigration Law“, although the rest of the examples are from political-opinion websites, not news reports. The Arizona Star mentioned her appointment in a background story, not in the report of the decision itself. Also, do note that I wrote “not consistently,” although Scarborough was less nuanced.