MSNBC Newsroom Booed Bush State of the Union

UPDATE: Joe and Mika discuss this NB item. Video (0:57): Real (1.55 MB) or Windows (1.78 MB), plus MP3 (435 kB).

Joe Scarborough has pulled back the curtain on the liberal bias at MSNBC, describing an incident in which people in its newsroom ceaselessly booed President Bush during a State of the Union address.

The revelation came on "Morning Joe" today at 6:02 A.M. EDT. Joe was discussing a recent episode at the Seattle Times in which reporters and editors cheered the news that Karl Rove had resigned. Scarborough applauded Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman for issuing a memorandum reproving his colleagues. For more, read NB items by Brent Baker and Ken Shepherd.

Joe went on to describe a similar incident at MSNBC.

VIEW VIDEO OF JOE'S ACCOUNT OF THE NEWSROOM INCIDENT HERE. Note: that's newsreader Mika Brzezinksi heard murmuring in assent, though one has to wonder just how thrilled she was by Joe's candor in outing her fellow MSNBC liberals.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: There was a story out of Seattle, and the reason I love it is that it's transparency in the news. You have an editor who was actually outing his own people. The Seattle Times newsroom broke into applause when Karl Rove resigned. And of course that's bad. What I like about it is that the editor actually wrote about it and went in and told the people in the newsroom that was unacceptable.

And I've got to say, my first night here at MSNBC was the President's State of the Union address in 2003, and I was shocked because there were actually people in the newsroom that were booing the president actually from the beginning to the end. And I actually talked to [NBC/MSNBC executive] Phil Griffin about it, and he said "how was it last night?" Because he was the one that called me out of the Ace Hardware store, got my vest on. He said "how was it last night?" I said "well, it's OK, I understand it's a little bit different up here than it is down in northwest Florida, but you had people in the newsroom actively booing the President of the United States. Phil turned red very quickly. That didn't happen again.

Great news: the MSNBC newsroom no longer blatantly boos the President! But did Griffin replace any of the offenders and bring in professionals, or is MSNBC still staffed by people who simply do their booing on the inside -- and in the news choices they make?

UPDATE, 8-16: At 6:48 A.M. EDT Joe and Mika discussed this item.

SCARBOROUGH: Chris [MJ producer Chris Licht] told me something in my ear during break, that we talked at 6:02 about the Seattle Times and back in 2003, back in 2003, the newsroom at MSNBC booing George Bush . . .

BRZEZINKSI: Some people, yeah [Mika wanting to make clear it wasn't unanimous.]

SCARBOROUGH: A lot of the people that were actually charged with the coverage.

BRZEZINKSI: Oh dear!

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, that's bad. And I talked about how Phil Griffin found out, got very angry,

BRZEZINKSI: Right, as he should.

SCARBOROUGH: And cleaned that up. That never happened again.

BRZEZINKSI: N-o-o-o.

SCARBOROUGH: And this whole place has changed an awful lot since then. But NewsBusters, already has a story at like 6:30.

BRZEZINKSI: Oh my God!

SCARBOROUGH: Ruthless efficiency!

BRZEZINKSI: I try not to look there. They don't like me.

SCARBOROUGH: They said I pulled back the curtain. You know what? Sunlight's the best disinfectant.

BRZEZINKSI: Darn right.

I don't dislike Mika. I just wish she would admit the obvious: that she is a liberal Democrat who occasionally lets her bias show, and stop hiding behind the flimsy cover, as proof of her objectivity, of having a Republican brother.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.