MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Mocks IRS Excuses: 'Who Are These Idiots?'

On Thursday's Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough had a little bit of fun with the IRS claiming to have thrown away Lois Lerner’s computer containing the e-mails at the center of the scandal surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative organizations.“Who are these idiots," Scarborough exclaimed at one point.

He mocked, “This is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth." The segment came at the top of the 6 a.m. hour of the broadcast. Mika Brzezinski was attempting to read through the headlines for the show when Scarborough, unable to contain himself, went off on the latest excuses from the IRS and Lois Lerner.

It seemed, for Scarborough, that the situation has gone so far that the only thing left to do is just laugh at the absurdity of the most recent claim from the IRS that since they couldn't find the e-mails they just threw away the whole computer! To add to the entertainment, the gang mocked the IRS use of the term “recycle” in their claim that they lost the emails and did away with the computers.

“I like how they use the word recycle. Instead of we trashed the evidence and tore it up and buried it, no. We were Earth friendly. What if a mobster went before a panel. Where is the body? We recycled it!”

At the end of the segment Scarborough did return to earth and address the seriousness of the topic by making the point that the IRS has found itself in the middle of their “biggest scandal” and has somehow decided to justify throwing away a computer. He argued the IRS should hold itself to the same standard it holds Americans to,

“How does the Internal Revenue Service go to a taxpayer and say you can't find the receipts? You either find the receipts and justify this or you're going to jail. Shouldn't somebody from the IRS go to jail if this is a standard they hold the rest of Americans to?”

Even though Brzezinski was visibly agitated at Scarborough’s antics, he managed to use humor to shed some light on the insanity of the most recent news surrounding the IRS scandal.

The relevant portion is transcribed below:
 

MSNBC
Morning Joe
June 18, 2014
6:00 a.m. Eastern

JOE SCARBOROUGH: We lost e-mails, we better throw away the computers! Just because we have never heard, I mean, I'm an idiot when it comes to this.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I'm never going to get to the story, am I?

SCARBOROUGH: Mike Barnicle, unbelievable. Even I know if you have a hard drive and can't find an e-mail, you can get a little nerd come in and find them for you.

MIKE BARNICLE: Not if you take the literal computer itself and throw it away.

SCARBOROUGH: He threw it away! The IRS threw it away! I can't wait to hear this story. I have no idea how it ends!

BRZEZINSKI: How will I get through this?

WILLIE GEIST: Strange tech support work to throw the computer away.

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, Bob, I lost my e-mails here! Do I call tech support or just throw it away? Toss it! Okay. Hold on. This is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth. Do I get tech support or throw it away?

BARNICLE: Take it south of Roanoke and throw it away!

SCARBOROUGH: My god!

GEIST: Good character work.

BRZEZINSKI: I'm going to try my best. Let's all keep a straight face while I read this news story.

SCARBOROUGH: So you understand when I say who are these men, who are these men? Who are these idiots?

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: I like how they use the word recycle. Instead of we trashed the evidence and tore it up and buried it, no. We were Earth friendly, Willie. Have you ever heard that? What if a mobster went before a panel. Where is the body? We recycled it!

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: How does the Internal Revenue Service in the middle of their biggest scandal, how does the Internal Revenue Service go to a taxpayer and say you can't find the receipts? You either find the receipts and justify this or you're going to jail. Shouldn't somebody from the IRS go to jail if this is a standard they hold the rest of Americans to?
 

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.