Morning Joe

By Mark Finkelstein | January 16, 2015 | 9:32 AM EST

Interesting: Cuba's Bureau of Tourism sponsored a three-minute promo on today's Morning Joe. Oh, wait, no.  That was NBC itself, in the person of Kate Snow, with a smiley, unrelentingly upbeat segment promoting the glories of tourism in Cuba that will now be possible for Americans under President Obama's executive order relaxing former restrictions.

Snow's segment—entitled 'Bienvenidos a Cuba' just like a travelogue—had it all: beaches, dancing in the streets, cigars, rum, beer and all those nifty vintage cars potentially available to collectors. So, you ask, what did Snow have to say about the repressive Communist regime that continues to rule Cuba?  Nada, naturally.  Don't harsh the Cohiba mellow, compadre!

By Mark Finkelstein | January 15, 2015 | 10:10 AM EST

Europe has been the target of numerous acts of Muslim terrorism, while its economies suffer and unemployment is rampant.  The United States is still recovering from 9-11 and has been the object of a number of terrorist attacks/attempts since then.  Yet in neither country is there a voice in mainstream television saying that right-wing parties might have a point when they advocate limits on immigration.

That was Joe Scarborough's point on today's Morning Joe: "I have yet to hear one person on American television or European television, mainstream, say these people [right-wingers favoring immigration restrictions] may have a point."

By Mark Finkelstein | January 12, 2015 | 8:08 AM EST

It's not enough to read the transcript.  You really need to view the video to appreciate the depths of Christopher Dickey's world-weary, dismissive, preening political correctness. Asked on today's Morning Joe to comment on Muslim preachers inciting violence from their pulpits, Dickey of The Daily Beast sniffed that the problem is "exaggerated," claimed that the number of violent Muslims is "infinitesimally small" [down even from the "minuscule" number he cited last week], and engaged in the most fraudulent form of moral equivalency, saying that there are also crazy Christian, Jewish and Hindu preachers who incite their congregations.

By Mark Finkelstein | January 9, 2015 | 8:27 AM EST

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the man who advised President Obama to shoot down Israeli planes, now argues for the appeasement of radical Islam.

Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser criticized some of the satire directed at Islam as "unnecessarily nasty" and "extraordinarily provocative."  He said that it was very important "to avoid becoming the number one enemy of the fanatics." Brzezinski argued that we must not be engaged "in anything that appears to be a struggle against Islam," and he criticized President George W. Bush for speaking of a war against "jihadist terror." According to Brzezinksi, "jihadist terror to Islam, to Muslims, means just war." 

By Kyle Drennen | January 8, 2015 | 3:29 PM EST

Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, David Rothkopf, CEO and editor of The FP Group, which publishes Foreign Policy magazine, warned against European authorities being too aggressive in fighting Islamic terrorism following the brutal attack in Paris: "I think we have to be just as worried about the reaction to the attack from nationalists, from right-wingers, from people who have sought to drive this wedge...between the Islamic communities and the mainstream communities in Europe....it's very important that we recognize the value of restraint in response to these things."

By Mark Finkelstein | January 8, 2015 | 9:47 AM EST

If 16% of American conservatives supported suicide bombings and other violence against civilian targets, do you think the MSM would characterize that proportion as "minuscule" and fret that other conservatives were being "stained" as a result?

Yet on today's Morning Joe, there was Christopher Dickey, the Daily Beast's foreign editor, describing as "minuscule" the proportion of Muslims in France who support yesterday's kind of violence. Dickey worried that other Muslims in France will suffer a resultant "stain." But is the proportion truly "minuscule?"  A Pew poll from 2007 found that 16% of Muslims in France support suicide attacks and other violence against civilian targets at least sometimes, including 6% supporting such attacks "often."  With about six million Muslims in France, that potentially represents hundreds of thousands of people.

By Mark Finkelstein | January 7, 2015 | 8:25 AM EST

Howard Dean—that celebrated scholar of Islam—has weighed in on today's murderous rampage in Paris, declaring that he refuses to call the shooters in this and similar cases "Muslim terrorists."

According to Dean, the disregard for the lives of others that these terrorists display "is not what the Koran says." Dean's denial of the obvious puts him in the company of many liberals, most notably including President Obama, who after the beheading of James Foley declared that ISIS "speaks for no religion."  

By Mark Finkelstein | December 18, 2014 | 8:52 AM EST

It's good that we live in a country where citizens feel free to criticize elected officials to their face.  Just wondering, though: when was the last time that freedom was exercised on MSNBC to tell a Dem official that something he said was "inane?"

On today's Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch angrily asked Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami "why do you say an inane thing like that?" Deutsch's diss came in the context of a heated exchange in which Diaz-Balart told Donny that his notion that the Cuba deal was "liberating" for the Cuban people was "naive" and that Deutsch was living "in la-la land."  Deutsch later retaliated, calling Diaz-Balart naive.

By Mark Finkelstein | December 17, 2014 | 9:18 AM EST

Joe Scarborough has a warning for conservatives: going after Jeb Bush will make him more likely to run for president.

According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning JoeJeb is "his mother's son," "kind of "cranky" and "rough around the edges." If conservatives think they will drive Jeb out of the race by attacking him, "they've got him played exactly backwards." To the contrary, conservative attacks will make Jeb more likely to run "to prove them wrong."

By Kyle Drennen | December 11, 2014 | 12:14 PM EST

In a Tuesday interview with Texas governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Rick Perry aired on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, political reporter Kasie Hunt questioned the Republican's intelligence: "Are you smart enough to be President of the United States?"

By Mark Finkelstein | December 11, 2014 | 8:30 AM EST

Guess when you're as brilliant as Mike Barnicle, it's OK to ridicule others for their supposed lack of smarts.

Today's Morning Joe was teasing an upcoming segment about a tough question that reporter Kasie Hunt [who has earned a rep for not being afraid in interviews to "go there'] had posed to Rick Perry.  Mockingly trying to imagine the question, Barnicle offered "she asked him what day it was."

By Mark Finkelstein | December 10, 2014 | 8:23 AM EST

Who were those guys on Morning Joe today—two Feinstein staffers? Nope, they were Mark Halperin and Jeremy Peters, making like Dem aides in defending the report on the CIA that Dem Senator Diane Feinstein released yesterday.

Halperin, head of Bloomberg Politics, had the chutzpah to claim that the report was not "political."  Peters of the New York Times then chimed in to say that in releasing the report, the Senate conducted itself in a "very sober" way.