Morning Joe Cuts Pastor Jones Before He Has Chance to Respond to Panel

In what had to be the ultimate in condescension and elitism, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" brought Pastor Terry Jones on the show merely to lecture him on Christianity, cutting him off before he could even respond. Co-host Mika Brzezinski explained to him "we don't really need to hear anything else, so thanks." Newsbusters' Mark Finkelstein first briefly reported on this segment this morning.

Panel member Jon Meacham, the departing editor of Newsweek, briefly preached to Pastor Jones on Jesus' New Testament message of love and forgiveness and then appealed to him "as a fellow Christian" to not follow through with his threats to burn the Koran. Then, before Pastor Jones responded, his live feed was cut and co-host Mika Brzezinski continued with the show, saying that they did not need to listen to Pastor Jones.

"The central message of the New Testament is forgiveness, and to put oneself in the place of another," Meacham lectured Pastor Jones on planning to burn copies of the Koran. "And so I would simply appeal to you, as a fellow Christian, that the course you suggested is going to be incredibly dangerous, and would ask you to desist in the name of New Testament theology."

After Jones' feed was cut, Mika remarked "Well said, Jon Meacham. And Pastor Terry Jones, we appeal to you to listen to that. And we don't really need to hear anything else, so thanks."

The show featured a bizarre segment earlier on Pastor Jones' threat, which he retracted from Thursday and now is not sure whether he will follow through on his plan. Both conservative Pat Buchanan and liberal Donny Deutsch agreed with each other that President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, needs to step in and arrest the Pastor before reactions in the Middle East by militant Islamists result in the death of American troops.

Donny Deutsch was still fuming over an hour later, when the Pastor's feed was cut. Deutsch said he wanted to confront Jones as a "terrorist," calling him "scum" and saying that "seeing his face is disgusting enough."

"I don't think there should be a peaceful message," Deutsch said in dealing with the pastor. "Sometimes screaming is okay."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 10 at 7:30 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We've really been debating whether or not to do this. Joe says "no," he doesn't think it's a good idea at all. He might be right. The Florida pastor, threatening to burn copies of the Koran tomorrow, is now saying his plans are "on hold," after a local Imam told him that the proposed New York Islamic center near Ground Zero would be moved. And joining us now from Gainesville, Florida, is pastor Terry Jones. And the reason we're doing this is my worry is that the pastor's going to have blood on his hands if he goes forward with this plan. So Jon Meacham just has a quick message for you, sir. Jon?

JON MEACHAM, Editor, Newsweek: Pastor, I just wanted to – this is Jon Meachem. I just wanted to suggest that Jesus said the night before he was handed over to suffering and death that he ordered his disciples to love one another as he had loved them. That was his central commandment, and as he died, he said that "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." The central message of the New Testament is forgiveness, and to put oneself in the place of another. And so I would simply appeal to you, as a fellow Christian, that the course you suggested is going to be incredibly dangerous, and would ask you to desist in the name of New Testament theology.

(Cut Live Feed)

BRZEZINSKI: Alright, well said Jon Meachem, and Pastor Terry Jones we appeal to you to listen to that. And we don't really need to hear anything else, so thanks. Alright, moving on. Donnie, you disagreed. You wanted to talk to him.

DONNY DEUTSCH, Chairman, Deutsch, Inc.: Yeah, I think, and I understand why you guys don't want to give him a platform. I mean, seeing his face is disgusting enough. But a lot – this kind of reach out, that we've come to a country where sometimes action needs to be taken. We're at war, to – in the previous segment, this is obviously a bigger issue of, you know, Islamic hate running amuk. And we need to make a stand. And this guy, he's scum, he is not a man of God –

BRZEZINSKI: Now what productive nature would saying that to him have?

(Crosstalk)

DEUTSCH: Yes, everybody's pussyfooting around with this guy!

BRZEZINSKI: I'm not. We're giving him a very peaceful message that (unintelligible)

DEUTSCH: I don't think there should be a peaceful message. This is a terrorist of a different form. He is no different than terrorists that are holding this country hostage.

DAN SENOR, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations: You confronting him the way you want to confront him will build him up, get him even more ___ than he already is? Or is it actually going to make him less relevant? I think you will make him more relevant.

DEUTSCH: He's relevant! He's relevant there, and I think 99 percent of this country feels the way I do and wants some action, and I just – I really believe that. And he's already –

SENOR: What you want to do is not action!

DEUTSCH: The toothpaste – the toothpaste is out of the bottle. No, I want our President, our Commander-in-Chief to act like a Commander-in-Chief and say "This is putting our country in harm's way right now." We have the General of our troops over there saying that. Act like a Commander-in-Chief and stop this from happening. Somehow, someway. That's all I'm asking.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay. You know what? Screaming at him –

DEUTSCH: Sometimes screaming is okay. Yeah. Sometimes screaming is okay.

SENOR: Donnie, can I – the principle of the President stepping in is a principle you would be committed to if this were President Bush in a time of war saying "I need to take action against say the Imam, Imam Rauf. The mosque he's building is going to inflame people, it's going to be viewed as a monument of military victory, and we need to shut that down. Would you be comfortable with that?

DEUTSCH: The video of burning the Koran around the world –

SENOR: That's not for you to decide. The question is are you for the principle of the President on these grounds to step in?

BRZEZINSKI: Pat, before we go to a break, your thoughts?

PAT BUCHANAN: Mika, the mosque is a matter of the culture war. This thing down in Florida is a matter of the real war. And let me say that if Gen. Petraeus, as he has done, tells his commander-in-chief "My men are in danger, they will die if this thing goes forward, and you as Commander-in-Chief do not act, and then men die as a consequence of that, men are lynched in the Middle East, Americans are killed, you are not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief in my judgment if you cannot act to save the boys you sent into battle.

BRZEZINSKI: Meachem?

MEACHAM: There's got to be a way through this that is not going to violate the Constitution, and can preserve some sense of our culture of liberty, which is the message we have to send around the world. This is what we're fighting for, this is what the country is about. And it's repulsive what's going on in Florida, but we unfortunately – repulsive things happen here. And we just can't –

BRZEZINSKI: And around this table, by the way, we all love each other very much, and a lot of us disagree. But we do, as you say Jon, have to find our way through it.
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014