How much do the gang at MSNBC's Morning Joe despise Newt Gingrich and want to derail his run for president?
Near the end of a Monday segment in which she read - with a smile on her face, mind you - numerous columns quite hostile to the former Speaker of the House, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, "How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: But we conservatives believe that Freddie and Fannie started a fire that almost took down our entire economy. We conservatives believe that. Whether liberals...
STEVEN RATTNER: I don't disagree with that by the way.
SCARBOROUGH: Okay, well, we can conservatives believe it. But Newt doesn't. And why doesn't Newt? Because he was getting paid $1.6 million. And there are just all of these – he calls other people socialist. He calls the CBO for instance a socialistic institution, and yet he supported a $7 trillion Medicare Part D benefit which was the most socialistic biggest spending program on the books since LBJ. These are the inconsistencies that drive me crazy about Newt Gingrich.
RATTNER: It's all true, but also remember that Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman have their own set of flaws. They are flawed candidates in their own ways. They're not necessarily great alternatives to Romney.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Alright. It's, we've got to somehow turn the Newt, how do we do this? How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?
SCARBOROUGH: Well no, I, again, I think Newt's going to take up a lot of space. I think though as you said Mark Halperin, he may have a historic impact because he may be the guy that destabilizes Mitt Romney and either drags this out so long that we have a brokered convention, or he helps nominate a third person.
Readers are advised that this segment began with video clips of Republican Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn saying why he wouldn't support Gingrich on Fox News Sunday, followed by Brzezinski reading from recent anti-Gingrich columns written by New York Times Obama-lovers Frank Bruni and Maureen Dowd, with George Will's Saturday piece thrown in for good measure.
The smile on Brzezinski's face as she read these was much like a kid's on Christmas morning.
When she wasn't having fun trashing the former Speaker with other people's words, her co-host - who has made his distaste for Gingrich well-known - ran with the anti-Newt ball.
And this is what viewers should expect from Morning Joe as long as Gingrich remains in the race.
Of course, at that point they'll just go after whoever the GOP frontrunner is much as they've done since this campaign began.
Readers are reminded that in his interview with NewsBusters last month, Scarborough likened himself to a referee who's on the set to keep everyone else honest.
Maybe he should penalize himself fifteen yards for piling on.