This week’s brawl between MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and the White House reached Smackdown status Friday when the former GOP congressman from Florida declared Steve Bannon the real President of the United States. Then Scarborough broke the world’s record for most ever uses of “President Bannon” between ad breaks.
“Time magazine was right: Steve Bannon is the president of the United States,” Scarborough said, diving right in, the morning after Donald Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord.
“Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about policy…doesn’t know anything about politics…doesn’t know anything about anything,” Scarborough said.
“You listen to him talk about any topic, and he wanders from sentence to sentence to sentence. So Steve Bannon is now the President of the United States, and that was more clear yesterday than ever before.”
The countdown clock started and Scarborough was off: “Look at the polls for this issue,” he said of the climate agreement. “President Bannon is on the wrong side of the majority, President Bannon may be right when President Bannon is looking at President Bannon’s primary base. But, when President Bannon is looking at the overall scope of American voters… you can talk about the past three decades…President Bannon’s not even reading the polls right for today,” – throwing in “a small subset of the population that President Bannon is obsessing on” for good measure.
Presumably that caught President Donald Trump’s attention. In which case Scarborough wanted to suggest to him that Bannon is the one leaking intel about son-in-law Jared Kushner and Russia. Scarborough said his White House informants report Bannon bragging about having damaging intel on Kushner, days before news reports the FBI is focused on that family member.
Scarborough’s shot at Trump vaguely resembled a nuts-to-you response to the RNC which had pronounced Morning Joe the “worst case of Trump Derangement Syndrome on record” just two days earlier.
“Once a respected forum for intelligent discourse, the program has turned into three hours of far-left hysteria, filled with more faux scandal and innuendo than a bad episode of Gossip Girl,” RNC Deputy Communications Director Michael Reed sniffed, in an email to media.
Trick question of course, because there are no bad episodes of Gossip Girl.
In fairness to the RNC, Scarborough’s show, in April, had devoted the better part of a segment to diagnosing Trump with a mental disorder.
Not coincidentally, Morning Joe hit an all-time high passing more than 1 million viewers for the first time ever in May. More accurately, the 6 AM talker clocked 1.1 million total viewers. In the news demo, the program snagged 254,000 viewers – its best ever delivery for a non-election month and its second best of any month behind only November 2012.