Joe Scarborough Takes on MSNBC? Attacks Reporters Who Mock Tea Parties

Has "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough had enough of MSNBC's mocking, sexually-laced taunts about "teabagging?" Several anchors on the liberal cable network, including David Shuster and Rachel Maddow, have used crude references and language to deride the tax day protests that occurred on Wednesday. On Thursday, Scarborough complained, "You look at these huge rallies, and I'm not going to mention names of people on networks that made sexual jokes, childish sexual jokes, about tens of thousands of Americans who went out and wanted to get involved in their government."

The MSNBC host continued, "I mean, it was really middle school jokes being made. I didn't hear those jokes being made when people on the left protested over the past eight years." Earlier in the 6am hour, he offered criticism that, one might assume, would have to be directed at his own network: "But, if a media outlet wants to expose its bias, they can mock tea parties, if they like."

Continuing the unnamed critique, Scarborough asserted that he would expect such juvenile actions from liberal bloggers, however, "I would expect more...from news outlets. And it happened on several networks yesterday." (The last part is certainly true. CNN has also engaged in such talk.)

As a reminder of the crudity, on the April 13 "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," guest host David Shuster mocked, "But in our fourth story tonight: It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals."

A transcript of the conversation, which started at 6:01am, follows:

[Brief clips of tea parties.]

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: All right. Well, that's nice. It was a tea party.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, it was. Very exciting. They had a big day.

BRZEZINSKI: It's always good to have a tea party. Non-violent.

SCARBOROUGH: A lot of- A lot of news outlets mocked these protesters.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: While they allowed people on the left to put on the most outrageous protests over the past eight years. Taking it very seriously. But, if a media outlet wants to expose its bias, they can mock tea parties, if they like.

BRZEZINSKI: They can do that.

SCARBOROUGH: That's their business. They're free corporations. Do whatever they want to do.

BRZEZINSKI: Good morning, everyone.

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, how's everybody doing? There's extremism out there, though.

BRZEZINSKI: There is. On both sides.

6:12

SCARBOROUGH: You look at these huge rallies, and I'm not going to mention names of people on networks that made sexual jokes, childish sexual jokes, about tens of thousands of Americans who went out and wanted to get involved in their government. I mean, it was really middle school jokes being made. I didn't hear those jokes being made when people on the left protested over the past eight years. And I would- I would expect that from bloggers on the left. I would expect more of that, more of that- than that, from news outlets. And it happened on several networks yesterday.

BRZEZINSKI: I would rather see this than apathy this and people who are just disconnected from what's going on.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org