Despite widespread condemnation for that low-blow twitter assault on Morning Joe‘s Mika Brzezinski, President Donald Trump returned to that battle today with a transparently mixed message – an insult barely disguised as a peace offering.
“Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people,” the leader of the free world tweeted this morning, “but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”
Putting aside the firm-grasp-of-obvious aspects of the president’s statement – bosses do tend to dominate, don’t they? – Trump’s “not bad people” tweet slimed Scarborough’s mental health and Brzezinski’s intelligence. Notably, no mention was made of the Morning Joe co-hosts’ bombshell allegations that Trump aides (including, reports say, Jared Kushner) had dangled the possibility of having some National Enquirer scandal-mongering spiked in exchange for a kiss-up to Trump.
And MSNBC – home to Morning Joe – wasn’t the only news outlet on Trump’s Saturday-a.m. mind today. “I am extremely pleased to see that @CNN has finally been exposed as #FakeNews and garbage journalism. It’s about time!,” Trump tweeted two minutes after the latest Mika-bash.
Trump most likely was referencing either last week’s resignations of three CNN journalists following the retraction of a story about links between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and Russian investments.
Or maybe Trump was pleased with the Punk’d-level video in which conservative instigator James O’Keefe got CNN contributor Van Jones saying “the whole Russia thing is a big nothing burger” – a sentiment Jones had already expressed, in so many words, any number of times on-air.
And just before the latest installment in his Morning Joe feud, Trump bemoaned MSNBC’s firing of talk show host (and former Fox News staple) Greta Van Susteren. “Word is that @Greta Van Susteren was let go by her out of control bosses at @NBC & @Comcast because she refused to go along w/ ‘Trump hate!’,” Trump tweeted.
Trump didn’t elaborate on the apparently anonymous sources of the “word” about Van Susteren’s departure. Neither Van Susteren nor Scarborough immediately responded to Trump’s bait, though Scarborough had earlier tweeted about “bizarre tweets,” perhaps setting off the president’s radar.
Van Susteren herself has spent the last couple days tweet-chatting with followers – fans and foes alike – on her Twitter page, taking a magnanimous approach to her firing. “It was their right,” she says of her MSNBC bosses. “They didn’t like my show. I hope they take care of my staff.”
A bit more cryptically, she answered one well-wisher by noting, “All I can say is this..I do my best and don’t say things because people tell me to do it :).” And, “I confess, I do think less than 6 months is short. I would have liked longer to build an audience.” Ratings for her MSNBC show were lackluster.
As for her future, Van Susteren told her Twitter followers that she has no immediate TV plans, and that she’s working on an app, a book and raising funds via Go Fund Me to purchase CT scan equipment for Liberia.
With Fox and MSNBC in her past, is CNN in her future? Unlikely, she says:
Finally, CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter summed up the morning, noticing a certain continuity in the president’s Saturday tweet-storm: