Liberal Analysis On Liberal MSNBC, the Precise Liberal Equivalent to Fox News

I think comparing Scarborough to Ron Burgundy is a little charitable. I mean, I’d much rather watch 3 hours of jazz flute solos than Morning Joe.

59 comments on this post.
  1. Sly:

    Joe Scarborough is a man! A man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of iron and brawn! That’s what kind of man he is!

    Jonathan Chait is just a liberal with a small brain. A brain a third the size of us. It’s science.

  2. NonyNony:

    Childish insults and skewed graphs liberals make up on their mom’s PowerPoint does not change reality. Facts-and math-are stubborn things.

    Say what you want about the trolls that hang around here – few of them have posted anything as stupid as what Joe posts on his Twitter feed.

    I agree with Chait – I particularly like the contrast of calling out “childish insults” while subtly indicating that Chait still relies on his mother to support him.

    I think I might need to follow Scarborough’s Twitter feed just to see how many other nuggets of comedy the man provides.

  3. Carbon Man:

    Joe Scarborough is a Beltway moron, and a skunk of the highest order. How he got a morning show is beyond me. Nothing but Beltway claptrap and regurgitated conventional wisdom served up with a side of Starbucks.

    Fuck that noise. Nobody needs it.

  4. JKTHs:

    Ah yes, those exploding entitlements, aka the rents that the many health care-related industries extract because we don’t have single payer and have made our current government programs ineffective at bidding down prices.

  5. Stan Gable:

    Loud noises! Loud noises!

  6. Joshua:

    That might be the least self-aware tweet ever written.

    I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.

  7. Bruce Leroy:


  8. Sherm:

    He’s an ass — but like the old Imus Show — he gets decent guests who are actually allowed to speak from time to time and plays good music before and after the commercial breaks.

  9. UserGoogol:

    To be fair, Scarborough is somewhat of a token conservative in the MSNBC environment. But of course, on the other hand, even though Fox has had token liberals from time to time, Alan Colmes wasn’t given his own morning talk show.

  10. Uncle Kvetch:


  11. efgoldman:

    To be fair….


  12. Charlie Sweatpants:

    How did Barack Obama win? Nobody Joe knows voted for him.

  13. Uncle Ebeneezer:


  14. Reasonable 4ce:

    Yeah, but Fox & Friends still makes Morning Ho look like William F. Buckley’s Firing Line. Shit, Fox & Friends makes the Howard Stern Show look like Buckley’s Firing Line. Besides, isn’t Ron Burgundy more like Steve Doocey?

  15. commie atheist:

    How is he a token? He gets three hours a day. The token “liberals” – Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell, Sharpton – total four hours. Then you have a mainstream hack, Matthews, a mainstream “journalist,” Mitchell and a bunch of mainstream news shows.

  16. UserGoogol:

    For a variety of reasons, ranging from the pedantic nitpicky desire to waffle over the technicalities of Scarborough’s role at MSNBC, to the more idealistic attitude that intellectual fairness is a necessary part of liberalism and a just society. (Or really, it’s mostly the former, but since you explicitly questioned me on it, the latter is certainly coming to mind.)

    Although I guess calling Scarborough a token isn’t really quite right, since he’s been on MSNBC since before they really embraced their current position as a liberal-ish alternative to Fox. His role on MSNBC is kind of complicated, I suppose.

  17. spencer:

    I’ve never really bought the idea of MSNBC as a liberal-ish alternative to Fox for precisely this reason.

  18. Jim:


  19. UserGoogol:

    Well, the liberals get the sweet prime time block. Scarborough gets fifteen hours a week to play around with, but it’s not in a time of the day when people are just going to sit down and watch the whole block.

    I absolutely agree that MSNBC is not a liberal equivalent of Fox. But they are trying to certainly trying to project that image, giving their liberals their most high profile timeslots. (Of course, Chris Matthews shares the prime time timeslot block with the liberals, and I agree that Chris Matthews is a fucking hack, but at least he seems to be trying to fit in along them as being a liberal-leaning hack.) MSNBC absolutely isn’t all conservative all the time in the way that Fox is, but they’re accentuating their liberal side.

  20. UserGoogol:

    I think they’re liberal-ish, but the ish part is important.

  21. expatchad:

    You guys are dating, eh?

  22. expatchad:

    Whatever happened to the Imus?

  23. Uncle Ebeneezer:


  24. expatchad:

    Well since I moved to S E Asia I have not seen MSNBC. I miss them, but certainly not Joe. We don’t generally have American style circuses and clowns.

    In fairness, MSNBC is not often a circus, but Joe is always a clown.

  25. Megan McArdle:


  26. expatchad:

    That’s certainly a telling reflection on Joe. Is he a buddy of Rand Paul or Inhofe?

  27. commie atheist:

    What you’re leaving out is the fact that Fox just makes shit up half the time. If they were just reporting and opining with a conservative bias, the way that MSNBC reports and opines with a liberal bias (for at least part of the time), that would be one thing. MSNBC does not promote the views of the left-wing equivalents of Newsmax, World News Daily, Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh the way that Fox does.

  28. joe from Lowell:

    I can’t believe a conservative would use the word “skewed” after the recent unpleasantness with election polling.

  29. joe from Lowell:

    Actually valuing balance, intellectual rigor, and fairness are values that are innate to liberalism.

    In a sense, MSNBC including these things, while Fox does not, is part of what makes it a “liberal version.”

  30. joe from Lowell:

    I thought of two good things to say about Morning Joe:

    The still photography they use when they go to, and come back from, commercials is quality stuff.

    Joe and Mika have genuinely interesting on-air chemistry.

  31. Reilly:

    Whatever decent guests he might have on are offset by the D.C. human furniture with which he populates his set — Barnicle, Harold Ford, Brokaw, Halperin, etc. And playing snippets of classic rock songs in and out of break strikes me as a lame attempt at establishing coolness bona fides and pretense to an energy that doesn’t exist. Beyond that, the juvenile celebration of traditional gender roles that he and his studio wife Mika communicate is fucking wretched.

  32. sharculese:

    playing snippets of classic rock songs in and out of break strikes me as a lame attempt at establishing coolness bona fides and pretense to an energy that doesn’t exist

    the talk show host equivalent of name checking ac/dc and led zeppelin in your convention speech

  33. timb:

    That last part times a 100. Mika’s ability/willingness to play the dumb blonde is sickening

  34. Reilly:

    Bingo. I once saw William Bennett name-check his way through bands he was “into” in his youth. It was only remarkable for what I didn’t hear — any trace of authenticity.

  35. rea:

    So, you don’t believe the reports that he dated Janis Jopliin?

  36. rea:

    You may be the first evern to see the parallel between Scarborough and Pauline Kael

  37. Winchester:

    It’s Pancake Day!

    The day before Ash Wednesday is known as Mardi, but from now on, in honour of this blog, I shall call this last day of feasting Pancake Day!

  38. Winchester:

    Mardi Gras*

  39. wjts:

    OK, that’s pretty good, man. Full marks.

  40. Reilly:

    It was one blind date. I can’t use that as a positive reflection of his taste in music or as a negative reflection of her taste in men.

  41. howard:

    i know it was a joke, and i know it was “watch,” and presumably you even meant “unaccompanied jazz flute solos,” but i’m here to defend jazz flute!

    seriously, i have a jazz flute playlist (made it for a friend who was learning flute) that has north of 40 pieces (i’m not in front of the playlist right now) featuring flute solos, that runs more than 4 hours, and includes such masters as eric dolphy, sam rivers, james newton, henry threadgill, and rahsaan, and it’s excellent and quite listenable.

  42. sparks:

    Screw Lemieux, I’ll listen to Yusef Lateef anytime.

  43. Scott Lemieux:

    Yes, in all seriousness when not “lite” jazz, jazz flute can be outstanding. Especially Dolphy. (I haven’t heard much Threadgill.)

    BTW, speaking of Dolphy, have you heard that new Mingus European concerts set? That period of Mingus is incredible, but I’m not sure it can justift the expense.

  44. howard:

    Scott, it was my wife’s xmas present, it’s a killer, but i’m not sure it’s a must-own, given its cost, for anyone but mingus and dolphy fanatics.

    But if you are a mingus or dolphy fanatic, then yes (plus, of course, jaki byard!).

    The smaller mosaic threadgill box has lots of great stuff, including much of his excellent flute work.

  45. howard:

    Actually, memory failed: the threadgill is an 8-cd package, not smaller at all! Still, great stuff, including the classic by threadgill’s starter band, air, “air lore.”

  46. expatchad:

    Closer inspection will reveal that he built that tower out of painted balsa wood.

  47. expatchad:

    We don’t get him in my part of Asia…part of the natural charm of Phils.

  48. spencer:


  49. Colin Day:

    Isn’t being a Beltway moron and a skunk of the highest order prerequisites for getting a morning show?

  50. Colin Day:

    Isn’t he a hair stylist for Black women?

  51. Colin Day:

    Fat pancakes? Even better!

  52. howard:

    so now that i’m at a keyboard and not a phone, let me add that, after all, for the same money as the mosaic box set you could buy a cross-section of mingus from the ’40s through the ’70s, so you’d only drill down into mingus mid-’60s, as the box set does, after you’ve gotten the full range of his work (for example, the charles “baron” mingus collection of his ’40s work in la, “ah um,” “black saint and the sinner lady,” “mingus, mingus, mingus, mingus, mingus,” “pithecanthropus erectus,” “changes one,” “money jungle,” and “jazz at massey hall” for starters).

    for dolphy, the must-owns-first include “out to lunch” (which has some excellent flute work) and “at the five spot.”

  53. howard:

    lateef is part of the flute playlist i mentioned as well, and now that i’m in front of it, it consists of 45 tracks, 4.1 hours, and worth every second of your listening (i even have a herbie mann track that’s surprisingly good!).

  54. howard:

    and somehow i didn’t mention “blues and roots” for your basic mingus collection….

  55. Scott Lemieux:

    Already have some of those –Out To Lunch and Out There and Ah Um have all been longtime faves. I also got the Mingus/Dolphy Cornell 1964 set, which is terrific.

    I’d love to see that flute playlist sometime, although it’s hard to cut and paste!

  56. howard:

    well, look, the bottom line is that i love the work mosaic does and i have a large number of their sets, and you’re not spending your money poorly to buy almost anything that mosaic puts out, and certainly if you’re a mingus and dolphy fan, this is an essential collection.

    but in the scheme of things, without knowing the scale of your jazz collection in general, the odds are that your money is more wisely spent on breadth rather than depth of mingus/dolphy, but you have to decide how strongly you like ‘em.

    when i have a moment, i’ll figure out a way to email you the flute playlist.

  57. xenos:

    I have been out of the US for three years, myself. Does MSNBC still do 48 hours of prison documentaries every weekend.

    It would be great if they just did a documentary marathon covering a range of topics each weekend, but who the hell ever watched that?

  58. Kurzleg:

    Even more impressive!

  59. commie atheist:

    Yes. My favorite part of watching Rachel Maddow on Fridays is when she says at the end of the show, totally deadpan, “And now it’s time to go to prison.”

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