MSNBC's Brzezinski Sympathizes With Somali Pirates

Well, Bubbles has blown it again.

Joe Scarborough noted near the beginning of this morning’s “Morning Joe” that Mika Brzezinski had, on the “Joe Scarborough” radio program, expressed sympathy for the now gloriously deceased Somali pirates. The in-office NewsBusters reaction was not much different than that of Willie Geist:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I want to ask a question. Mika, on our radio show on Friday, said she felt sorry for the pirates. Do you really feel –

WILLIE GEIST: [incredulous] You did not say that?

SCARBOROUGH: [gleefully] Yes, she did.

GEIST: [despairing] You did not say that!
First, the good news: Willie Geist was not entirely wrong. Brzezinski did not say that – on Friday. The bad news? Scarborough was actually referring to an exchange from his Thursday April 9 radio program, incorrectly attributing it to Friday. This exchange is transcribed below, and can be heard here:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Can you imagine those three pirates that – they're going to be like all their buddies, take over ships, tankers, and now they're floating alone, two hundred miles off shore. It's –

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, it's kind of sad, too.

SCARBOROUGH: Uh...

BRZEZINSKI: I'm sorry...

SCARBOROUGH: Wait. Hold on a second. Please do not tell me that you feel sympathy for these thugs, for these terrorists?!

BRZEZINSKI: They are terrorists.

SCARBOROUGH: Who are kidnappers, also.

BRZEZINSKI: They are kidnappers.

SCARBOROUGH: They are – why are you laughing? They have an American, they have a gun to his head right now! Why do you feel sorry for terrorists?

BRZEZINSKI: I do not.

SCARBOROUGH: You just said you felt sorry for them.

BRZEZINSKI: I said if you're going to tell me there are three men out at sea in the middle of nowhere, alone, for all humanity – and do they have an American with them?

SCARBOROUGH: Yes, they've got the captain! They've kidnapped the captain! This is like you feeling sorry for the person that mugged you in Washington, D.C.
Back in the MSNBC studio this morning, however, Brzezinski attempted to give an explanation for her viewpoint – and was ridiculed by each and every person present on the set. At one point, she even makes a vaguely sexist comment – but that barely registers in this onslaught of liberal moral equivalency:
BRZEZINSKI: First of all it's holy week. So I was trying to think of things in a different way.

GEIST: What? [laughing]

MARK HALPERIN: You are to be commended for thinking that way. Congratulations.

SCARBOROUGH: [laughing] What does that mean?

BRZEZINSKI: Are you – bunch of male idiots going to let me finish my statement.

SCARBOROUGH: They are terrorists.

BRZEZINSKI: They are terrorists and I think they should have been killed, especially in light of trying to rescue our captain, but I also on a human level think it's all very sad. There is nothing wrong with saying that. Willie, take us to a sound bite.

SCARBOROUGH: Okay.

GEIST: Okay.

JACOBS: No --

SCARBOROUGH: Speechless, aren't you, Willie?
What you can’t read in the transcript was Pat Buchanan’s gales of laughter. However, Brzezinski still wasn’t finished:
BRZEZINSKI: It's like in your -- Joe and Pat, it's either enemy or non-enemy and enemy must die. The thinking is so absolutely singular. You guys have to put some more dimension to your thinking.

Your humble NewsBusters contributor would not presume to speak for Pat Buchanan or Joe Scarborough, yet there is another dimension to this thinking that wasn’t addressed in this barn-burning nuttiness: The pirates could have surrendered. In fact, one already had – and he’s still alive today.

Mika, these men chose to be pirates. They chose to inflict harm on others. They chose to kidnap a selfless American who sacrificed his own safety for the sake of others. And finally, they chose not to surrender in the face of superior firepower. There was a choice, a way of escape at each of these points of decision. And in every case, these men made the choice that would ultimately lead them to an untimely demise. I hate to burst your bubble, Mika, but this is all too typical of the liberal media – blaming America for the mistakes of other people.

The uncut TV transcript is below, followed by the radio transcript.

Morning Joe
04/13/2009
6:11:24 AM

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: This is the big story of the morning, front pages of all the papers, this incredible, jubilant picture as they free the skipper, Navy snipers kill the pirates. Let's go to Jack Jacobs now, retired Army colonel and he's also an MSNBC military analyst. First of all, the rescue, perfection or not so much?

JACK JACOBS: Well –

BRZEZINSKI: From what we know?

JACOBS: The bad guys presented an opportunity that captain of the Bainbridge couldn't turn down. The ship was drifting closer to Somalia and of course, if they got Captain Phillips into Somalia, would have been almost impossible to extract him without some unpleasantness. As a result, they were towing the life boat farther out to sea. The options were few for both us and the pirates. The options for us if the boat remained at sea and this opportunity didn't present itself, was to conduct a raid using SEALS and that undoubtedly would have put captain phillips at great peril. The three -- the three pirates stuck their heads out of the hatches and gave the captain of the Bainbridge – I mean this is just absolutely –

WILLIE GEIST: Is it true that they were wearing signs that said "shoot me?”

JACOBS: I believe they had targets –

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, let's not now. Come on. Pat Buchanan, do you have a question for Jack?

PAT BUCHANAN: Sure. I sure do. Jack, how did the Bainbridge get a tow-line on to that life boat when it was about 500, 1,000 yards away and they were towing it out to sea and apparently one of these pirates was aboard the Bainbridge and had surrendered. We haven't gotten the, frankly, the story of how all this happened they would get a tow-line into that boat.

JACOBS: Well, the Bainbridge had been sending what are called RIBs, rigid inflatable boats as a ferry from the Bainbridge to the life boat, bringing provisions and communicating back and forth between the life boat. The pirates on the life boat and Bainbridge and so there was a RIB nearby – and it was making a regular ferry move. The seas were extremely rough at this point and so the sailors aboard the RIB convinced the pirates to permit the Bainbridge to steam closer and then bring a tow line to the life boat and tow the life boat farther out to sea in order to prevent it from getting swamped by the waves. And that's how the Bainbridge wound up really close.

GEIST: We did our best.

BUCHANAN: Why did they allow them to tow it out to sea, the pirates, if they were heading for the coast.

JACOBS: Well, dumb – I mean, just dumb guys, they're extremely – and now they're dead dumb guys.

BRZEZINSKI: Now, gentlemen, come on. Willie Geist, please.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I want to ask a question. Mika, on our radio show on Friday, said she felt sorry for the pirates. Do you really feel –

GEIST: [incredulous] You did not say that?

SCARBOROUGH: [gleefully] Yes, she did.

GEIST: [despairing] You did not say that!

SCARBOROUGH: Do you think people at WABC and KABC, and WMAL heads didn't explode? They called for two hours because Mika is saying she's feeling sorry for these pirates.

BRZEZINSKI: First of all it's holy week. So I was trying to think of things in a different way.

GEIST: What? [laughing]

MARK HALPERIN: You are to be commended for thinking that way. Congratulations.

SCARBOROUGH: [laughing] What does that mean?

BRZEZINSKI: Are you – bunch of male idiots going to let me finish my statement.

SCARBOROUGH: They are terrorists.

BRZEZINSKI: They are terrorists and I think they should have been killed, especially in light of trying to rescue our captain, but I also on a human level think it's all very sad. There is nothing wrong with saying that. Willie, take us to a sound bite.

SCARBOROUGH: Okay.

GEIST: Okay.

JACOBS: No --

SCARBOROUGH: Speechless, aren't you, Willie?

JACOBS: We're going to see lots more of this stuff and what we need to do, quite frankly, is to recognize that this area of the world is rife with this kind of stuff and that we need to do something and if we wait to try to get an operating government in Somalia before we act, we're going to be very unhappy and so is the rest of the maritime world. I'll tell you exactly what's required here and what we can get done, we have to have exclusion zones along all shipping lanes, have major shipping countries, maritime countries agree on a compact such that any boat that has not filed the maritime equivalent of a flight plan inside these lanes, will be sunk. We're not going to ask any questions. We just sink you.

BRZEZINSKI: We're going to show more elements coming up. Joe, again, you must clarify my statements because it's very sad when a human life is taken, no matter what.

GEIST You were rooting for the pirates.

BRZEZINSKI: You're an idiot. What's wrong with you?

GEIST: Pretty simple.

BUCHANAN: They're in a better place, Mika.

SCARBOROUGH: They're in a better place.

HALPERIN: Happy for them.

BRZEZINSKI: It's like in your -- Joe and Pat, it's either enemy or nonenemy and enemy must die. The thinking is so absolutely singular. You guys have to put some more dimension to your thinking.

HALPERIN: Moral clarity.

SCARBOROUGH: I must say, that is my problem, I don't get in touch with my subtle feelings about terrorists, criminals, people that hijack ships and try to kill captains. I'm just, I guess, a black and white meat and potatoes kind of guy. I'm glad they're dead. Chuck Todd is going to be with us. And I don't feel sorry for them. Chuck Todd is with us from the White House. D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty. And of course, when the mayor was here Mika was talking about how she was feeling sorry for her mugger. Walter Isaccson. I'm sorry, Mika.

BRZEZINSKI: You should be.

SCARBOROUGH: Still feel sorry for your mugger?

BRZEZINSKI: I do. I do. He's lost in life.

RADIO TRANSCRIPT:

The Joe Scarborough Show
04/09/2009
10:38:23 AM

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Now yesterday, we've got this thing going – and I feel like crap, by the way – yesterday, before we came on the air, WMAL in Washington D.C., I was on with Andy & Grandy (sic), right before, and they did a tease to go over into my show, and they asked me what I'd do with the pirates. And I said, I'd kill 'em. I said, what we'd want to do is we'd want to, maybe tell them we're going to give them money, and then the pirates get off the ship and then we blow them up, kill them.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Oh, my goodness!

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, exactly, isn't that a great idea? Why didn't we think about – but these pirates made a terrible mistake, did they not? These pirates actually decided to screw with an American ship.

BRZEZINSKI: It's a problem.

SCARBOROUGH: You just don't do that. You don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit in the wind; you don't pull the mask off of the old Lone Ranger; and you don't mess with an American ship. So apparently we've got three pirates that are floating around two hundred miles off the shores of Somalia, and – because things went really badly, the U.S. crew kicked their ass off the ship.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, yes.

SCARBOROUGH: And now after they do that, now they're floating around in this little lifeboat, the three of them with the U.S. captain, and usually in such a situation, I would guess a U.S. captain would be very, very nervous. I think in this case though, if I were the U.S. captain, I would be saying to the three Somali pirates, uh, by the way guys, um, a U.S. Navy destroyer is coming. And there are going to be some really, really angry Marines on that ship. Um, if you guys would like to shoot me right now, that's fine. I just hope you have wills back in the desert huts where you live, because it'll be the last thing you do. Can you imagine those three pirates that – they're going to be like all their buddies, take over ships, tankers, and now they're floating alone, two hundred miles off shore. It's –

BRZEZINSKI: Well, it's kind of sad, too.

SCARBOROUGH: Uh...

BRZEZINSKI: I'm sorry...

SCARBOROUGH: Wait. Hold on a second. Please do not tell me that you feel sympathy for these thugs, for these terrorists?!

BRZEZINSKI: They are terrorists.

SCARBOROUGH: Who are kidnappers, also.

BRZEZINSKI: They are kidnappers.

SCARBOROUGH: They are – why are you laughing? They have an American, they have a gun to his head right now! Why do you feel sorry for terrorists?

BRZEZINSKI: I do not.

SCARBOROUGH: You just said you felt sorry for them.

BRZEZINSKI: I said if you're going to tell me there are three men out at sea in the middle of nowhere, alone, for all humanity – and do they have an American with them?

SCARBOROUGH: Yes, they've got the captain! They've kidnapped the captain! This is like you feeling sorry for the person that mugged you in Washington, D.C.

BRZEZINSKI: No, I don't.

SCARBOROUGH: In the nation's capital.

BRZEZINSKI: No, no I don't, okay?

SCARBOROUGH: You said you felt guilty.

BRZEZINSKI: Well I did.

SCARBOROUGH: You said you felt guilty because, that man that mugged you, it was your own fault. It was society's fault that you were mugged.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay, here's how I view this –

SCARBOROUGH: You know what I'd do to a guy who tried to mug me? I'd punch him in the face, just like I'd punch Chris Brown in the face. (goes on a diatribe about Chris Brown hitting Rhianna)

BRZEZINSKI: Let me tell you something, though, just because you characterize my position so inaccurately sometimes.

SCARBOROUGH: You mean feeling sorry for kidnappers?

BRZEZINSKI: I feel –

SCARBOROUGH: Terrorists?

BRZEZINSKI: – sorry for anybody who finds themselves on the wrong side of the law, or on the wrong side of any moral code –

SCARBOROUGH: Waitwaitwaitwaitwait. You say anybody that finds themselves on the wrong side of the law.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh dear.

SCARBOROUGH: [shouting] They put themselves there!