Tina Brown Slams Dick Cheney's 'Crazy Jihad,' 'Hate-fest'

Former New Yorker editor Tina Brown appeared on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" to rail against the "crazy jihad" and "one-man...hate-fest" of Dick Cheney. Brown, who is now the editor of the Daily Beast website, trashed the former Vice President for constantly appearing on cable news programs to attack the current administration and for claiming that Barack Obama is making America less safe. [Audio available here]

After asserting that Cheney is about as popular as Pakistan's President, Brown sneered, "In some ways, I kind of admire this kind of crazy jihad, this one man, kind of, hate-fest that he runs on cable shows. I mean, I guess he feels he has to defend what he did." Remarking on the Vice President's claim during Sunday's "Face the Nation" that he prefers Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell, the liberal journalist mocked, "'Cause when he said on that show that Rush Limbaugh, rather than Colin Powell, was the face of the party, it was like once again, that huge, fat crazy frame fills the screen and becomes the face of the party."

Co-host Mika Brzezinski offered Brown a word of caution, noting, "But, you know how these things change. I mean, if he [Cheney] is proved right and if it [a terrorist attack] happens fairly soon, in some way, believe me, things turn around in politics and the world of policy in a heartbeat." She also admired the "special confidence and strength" that the ex-VP exudes, a point that even Brown agreed with.

The former mainstream media editor hasn't always been so nasty. On August 9, 1999, she appeared on "Good Morning America" to laud the relationship between Bill and Hillary Clinton, embarrassingly stating, "What you feel is this is a couple who share the passion for the world, for doing good for politics, for making life better for other people. This is their great bond, and it really has brought them together with almost a sort of spiritual intensity."

[Hat tip to MRC intern Mike Sargent.]

A transcript of the May 12 exchange, which aired at 6:36am, follows:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And I wonder, Tina, if the White House doesn't want to hear from him, so this is his only avenue to express himself.

TINA BROWN: I'm sure the White House doesn't really want to hear from him. I have to ask myself at a certain point, you know, is Dick Cheney running for president? I mean, you know, there's a vacuum out there and maybe he thinks he's the guy to fill it. I mean, the fact that he has a 19 percent approval rate, you know, he could run with Zardari, who has the same approval rate in Pakistan. In some ways, I kind of admire this, kind of, crazy jihad, this one man, kind of, hate-fest that he runs on cable shows. I mean, I guess he feels he has to defend what he did. At least he's not chicken to do that.

MIKE BARNICLE: Well- Do you think it's a hate-fest? I think he is so obsessed with his role in history and he's smart enough to know that nearly everything he said during our involvement, during the buildup to war in Iraq and during the first two years in Iraq he was wrong on, he was categorically wrong.

BROWN: He doesn't see that way, and he believes that he will be justified in history and he is going to continue to fight that corner, you know, until he the day he goes out. I mean, in that sense, you have to admire the fact he's not run away to hide with an enormous book advance, which, you know, everybody else does. But, you know, he's so damaging to the Republican Party every time he comes out.

BARNICLE: Yes, he is.

BROWN: 'Cause when he said on that show that Rush Limbaugh rather than Colin Powell was the face of the party, it was like once again, that huge, fat crazy frame fills the screen and becomes the face of the party.

BRZEZINSKI: But, you know how these things change. I mean, if he is proved right and if it happens fairly soon in some way, believe me, things turn around in politics and the world of policy in a heartbeat.

BARNICLE: Don't- Don't we all think though- well, I don't know what we all think- I think that it's an admirable trait that he has that he clearly does not care what we say or what anyone says.

BROWN: Doesn't care, no.

BRZEZINSKI: There's a special confidence and strength.

BROWN: He doesn't care. But, after all, his hold stand is, he's based his entire bet on the fact there's going to be this incredible national disaster. You know, he's going to pedal along until the meteor hits. You know?

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