Liberals can rest easier knowing that despite her outspoken views on newsworthiness and ethics, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski can still be counted on to go to bat for the Democrats. The reporter and "Morning Joe" regular showed off her famous sense of journalistic integrity while filling in for host Joe Scarborough on Monday morning. In the first half hour, Brzezinski played a video of a journalist trying desperately to get an interview with Antonio Villaraigosa, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles. Villaraigosa has been surrounded by controversy since revelations that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with Spanish language reporter Mirthala Salinas.
The video clip showed one female reporter and at least two cameramen chasing the embattled mayor hoping for an interview. Before she could reach the mayor however, one of Villaraigosa’s hired thugs intercepted the reporter, sending the much smaller woman barreling into what appears to be a dumpster.
Commenting on this deplorable video, Brzezinski came to the Democrat’s defense. Speaking of the checked reported and Mayor Villaraigosa’s philandering, Brzezinski said, "That’s an aggressive reporter. Yeah, you know, the problem I have with this is that, eh, it’s just the whole topic is probably not that pressing in terms of the state of our society but let’s role it again, why not?"
Brzezinski’s downplaying of the Villaraigosa affair is surprising when considering that she endured hours of conversation (without objection) about disgraced Republican Senator David Vitter. While "Morning Joe" guest and Hollywood screenwriter John Ridley made the most outspoken attacks against Vitter back in July, Brzezinski had no reservations about occasionally joining the fray. Here is a partial transcript from the July 11th show.
John Ridley: "Why is it with the far right, who’s always, they’re always proselyting and shaking their fingers at people and telling other people how to live? Why is it they always check with God after they make these mistakes? They’re always tight with God..."
Mika Brzezinski: "Very good point."
Ridley: "...but they never think about dialing God up prior to making mistakes or understanding that other people – God can forgive everybody."
Joe Scarborough: "God can."
Ridley: "So why is it that they’ve got some ownership on forgiveness from God..."
Brzezinski, who often criticizes headlines she is asked to read for not being "newsworthy" and achieved YouTube celebrity for tearing up and subsequently trying to burn a story on Paris Hilton, revealed her own double standard for the personal lives of politicians. Why is David Vitter’s sex life worthy of endless conversation while Villaraigosa’s affair is "not that pressing?" Is Vitter’s alleged hypocrisy more newsworthy than years of the Democratic mayor denying allegations of marital unfaithfulness? The video tape played on today’s "Morning Joe" should also concern Mika Brzezinski as a journalist. One would think that a high-minded reporter like Brzezinski would be enraged when a colleague is denied (in this case through brute force) from speaking to elected officials. Or how about the fact that Villaraigosa’s journalist mistress not only reported on the mayor but was given exclusive interviews? Isn’t that a pressing enough story, Ms. Brzezinski? Clearly one Republican’s hypocrisy is more "newsworthy" than a Democrat’s unfaithfulness and a reporter’s complete lack of ethics.