Donny Deutsch said something on MSNBC's Morning Joe that was worth listening to.
I'll give you a moment to scrape your jaw off the floor.
Donny Deutsch, in addition to being a former CNBC host, is also a former advertising executive. So when the following exchange takes place, you know he's actually speaking from some experience:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Donny Deutsch, when I was running for office, in Congress, as a challenger I prayed every day the person that was thirty points ahead of me in the polls would bring up my name. When I became the incumbent, my challenger could have burned down my house - and I mean it - I would have never mentioned his name.
DONNY DEUTSCH: Marketing 101.
SCARBOROUGH: Why are they doing this?
DEUTSCH: I am shocked. Here you have, it's the analogy of - you have Morning Joe, it's a big, serious show. And let's say there was a little public access guy in, somewhere in Des Moines calling you out, and you calling him back. They are elevating Fox. Think about this. It's the President of the United States, the commander of the free world, versus a television network with a couple million viewers. It's a ratings bonanza. It's insane - they should just be dismissive and laugh at them.
First of all, there is the obvious irony of Donny Deutsch being dismissive of Fox, the network that he describes in this interview as a "ratings juggernaut." Remember, Deutsch is the guy whose show was canceled from CNBC for – just not officially, that is – low ratings. What’s more, the bar for business news-centered CNBC's ratings, if you didn't know, is extremely low – lower, in most cases, than CNN or MSNBC. But I digress.
Putting aside that painful irony, Deutsch is actually making an excellent point.
SCARBOROUGH: It's Barack Obama against - let's just say it, Glenn Beck.
If the discussion is automatically geared toward a narrative of "The White House vs. Popular Television Host," your marketing gurus will say:
DEUTSCH: You're putting them in the same sentence. They win! Fox wins with that. That's what I'm saying.
Finally, for the piece de resistance, Deutsch praises the Bush administration:
DEUTSCH: I don't think there is a strategic play there. I think that they get at the end of the day, and they see the press conferences -
SCARBOROUGH: You think they - Rahm gets angry and they strike out?
DEUTSCH: Yeah, I think it's just, 'guys, we're not taking this anymore, we're going to fight back.' They're human beings. You know, you forget that, sometimes, these people are human, and you get kicked and you get kicked and you get kicked. And it's hard to have the discipline that you described in the Bush White House.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second. George Bush got kicked around more than anybody else.
DEUTSCH: Yeah, you're right. He did it right. That's one of the few things he did right. I agree with you. That's the right playbook.
It's backhanded praise, but praise nonetheless. From outspoken liberal Donny Deutsch, that's as good as it gets.