Geist: 'Never Underestimate the Stupidity of the American Public'

Unlike the sensitive folks over at Media Matters, we NewsBusters are a relatively thick-skinned lot. And no one's ever confused me with Gloria Steinem. So we're not going to overreact to Willie Geist's comment this morning and demand a Matthewsesque mea culpa.

However . . . Willie did manage to diss the intelligence of his compatriots on today's Morning Joe. A Friday show tradition is for Geist and MSNBC celebrity correspondent Courtney Hazlett [a personal fave in the genre for her intelligent perspective] to predict which movie will score best at the box office during the coming weekend. When Hazlett tapped Cloverfield, an action-horror flick in which things go horribly wrong for Manhattan, Geist reacted with, well, horror.

View video here.

COURTNEY HAZLETT: Finally, we have Cloverfield, this action-horror flick. It's set in Manhattan, and it's going to appeal to a very young audience. And this is actually my pick.

WILLIE GEIST: Really?!

HAZLETT: Even though 27 Dresses could be considered a horror film in its own right, depending on your bridal-party experiences, I'm going with Cloverfield.

GEIST: Really! That's a bold choice.

HAZLETT: It's a bold choice, but I'm feeling bold in 2008, Willie Geist.

GEIST: Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public. I think the one about the dresses will be #1.

HAZLETT: Alright; we'll duke it out on Monday.
Geist's jibe would have been more offensive had it come, say, in reaction to America's choice of a conservative at the polls. But even as a comment on the public's taste in movies, it reflects a disdain for his fellow Americans that is presumably so prevalent in MSM circles that Willie felt comfortable expressing it on the air.

H/t NB reader DH.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.