Scarborough Accuses Former Republican Congressman Chris Cox Of 'Lying' As NRA Spokesman—But Has Wrong Chris Cox

Oh irony, oh hypocrisy!  Joe Scarborough opened today's Morning Joe by singing the praises of NBC's Pete Williams for not jumping onto the story that other news outlets were reporting yesterday that an arrest had been made in the Boston Marathon bombing.  Scarborough condemned journalists "far more interested in getting it first than getting it right."

But mere minutes later, Scarborough rushed to accuse former Republican congressman Chris Cox of "lying" in his role as NRA spokesman, and said he was ashamed of him. If Scarborough had taken a moment to research the matter and get it right, he would have realized he had the wrong Chris Cox.  The NRA spokesman is not the former congressman. Scarborough grudgingly admitted his mistake about an hour later in the show.  View the video after the jump.

Here's the Wikipedia entry for the Chris Cox who is the actual NRA spokesman.  Scarborough could have Googled it in two seconds, as I did.  Instead, he wrongly condemned a former colleague as a liar. So who was "far more interested in getting it first than getting it right," Joe?

Note: when Scarborough came back almost an hour later, he mentioned that Mark Halperin told him in the previous hour that he had the wrong Chris Cox.  But rather than taking a moment off the air to confirm that, Scarborough only apologized "if" he made a mistake.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: A lot of conflicting media reports yesterday afternoon. Many of us began getting the bulletin there had been an arrest. That police identified the man that was responsible for the bombing and had taken him into custody and CNN, in fact, broke that and went with that story for some time. Then the Associated Press followed. And other news agencies followed as well. Mike Barnicle, it was Pete Williams who went against every instinct in this 24/7 news culture where people seem far more interested in getting it first than getting it right. It was Pete Williams who kept saying that the information is incorrect. And he acted like a news reporter is supposed to act. He actually waited until he got the information and passed it on to everyone else. Not an especially good day for journalism yesterday with news outlets messing up on an issue this important to the American people because they are just interested in speed instead of accuracy.

After Mika Brzezinski read a statement from "NRA spokesman Chris Cox" regarding the background check bill that was defeated yesterday, Scarborough weighed in.

SCARBOROUGH: Mika, there's so much to be said here. I think we have to start first let's start with the last thing you read. A statement by Chris Cox. A man I served with who I've always had great respect for. He's now the lobbyist for the NRA. At least when he was in Congress, he was considered a reasonable man. His statement was not reasonable. In fact, it wasn't even accurate. In fact, as Joe Manchin, the author of the bill, said yesterday, anybody that suggested that private gun sales, individual sales from one person to another, a family member or another, a friend to another, would be outlawed or would have to even go through this sort of check is lying. The NRA statement is a lie. And I am ashamed of Chris Cox this morning that he would, for whatever reason, I won't even--I won't even try to speculate as to why he felt it necessary to lie about what was in this bill. But he did.

Even almost an hour later, Scarborough wasn't willing to flatly admit he had made a ba

SCARBOROUGH: Mika, this NRA--first of all, Mark Halpern told me last hour he didn't believe this was the same Chris
cox I served with in the NRA so if that is it, apologies to Chris Cox from California. Regardless who made that statement for the NRA or Chris Cox who made the statement for the NRA, we will have it mentioned in a minute, just lied.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.