On Thursday, the cast of MSNBC’s Morning Joe was "shocked" and "horrified" about Rush Limbaugh’s lack of "compassion" on Wednesday for suggesting Obama would exploit the disaster in Haiti to shore up his black base. White House reporter Chuck Todd, the mildest critic, complained: "You would assume he’d have a little more compassion about all of this...You know what? Not everything is about politics. You know? Everything is about politics!" This came just hours after MSNBC’s own Keith Olbermann exploited the earthquake as an occasion to sell ObamaCare. Mika Brzezinski was "horrified." Pat Buchanan even said they were "deeply insensitive." Joe Scarborough launched an all-out attack on Rush. "The insensitivity is, is stunning. The words are deplorable...And that approach, as possibly hundreds of thousands of Haitians are dead or dying, is indefensible." He told Todd "you go on Twitter feeds, sadly for some idiots – and they are idiots – everything is about politics."What if the "idiots" work at MSNBC? Here’s the larger transcript:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I want to bring in another facet of the conversation pertaining to Haiti, and that is Rush Limbaugh’s comments.CHUCK TODD: Yeah.BRZEZINSKI: I’m going to play them for you now, I have few words for this. Take a listen.RUSH LIMBAUGH: The words of Rahm Emanuel, we have another crisis simply too good to waste. This will play right into Obama’s hands, humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, uh, shall we say ‘credibility’ with the black community – both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them, that’s why they couldn’t wait to get out there. Could not wait to get out there.BRZEZINSKI: Has the White House heard this? Do they have any response, Chuck?TODD: I have not heard any response from them on this, I doubt they would respond to something like this. I have to say, I’m just surprised – Rush Limbaugh I think lives in south Florida, lives in Palm Beach County. Uh, very large Haitian community in south Florida, you would assume he’d have a little more compassion about all of this. When you come from this area, know what a great community Haitians have built in south Florida, it’s kind of shocking that he would put it in those terms.BRZEZINSKI: Yeah. I, I don’t know what’s going on there. [to Joe] You want to try?JOE SCARBOROUGH: The insensitivity is, is stunning. The words are deplorable.BRZEZINSKI: Deplorable.SCARBOROUGH: And that approach, as possibly hundreds of thousands of Haitians are dead or dying, is indefensible. TODD: You know what? Not everything is about politics. You know? Everything is about politics!SCARBOROUGH: Sadly – I gotta tell you, sadly – Chuck, yesterday, you go on Twitter feeds, sadly for some idiots – and they are idiots – everything is about politics. BRZEZINSKI: I am horrified by those statements.SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, you’ve known Rush for a long time, and laughed with him, liked him, but uh – those comments are indefensible, aren’t they?PAT BUCHANAN: They are deeply insensitive, there’s no doubt about it. I think the President of the United States speaks for the country when he stands up there and says we’re going to go in there. And I think it’s a good thing he brought back Hillary Clinton and the Secretary of Defense. You want your whole nation – I think it’s very positive, and I think Rush’s comments were very cynical.
The horrifying loss of human life in Haiti certainly offers a chance to forego politics and just follow the mind-numbing human interest story. But TV pundits should probably not get caught attacking everyone else in the media for cynicism and politicking without noticing the same pattern is unfolding in their own media outlet. Perhaps liberal media employees should consider blaming their own still-ongoing political smear about the federal response to Hurricane Katrina for spurring cynicism about disaster relief in the Obama era. [Transcript by MRC's Mike Sargent.]