This week's news quiz is a toughie. If you blame Sarah Palin for the GOP's failure to take the Senate, have 'always loved NPR,' oppose Arizona's immigration law as "unacceptable and un-American' and called Republican candidate Sharron Angle a 'mental patient,' then you must be:
A) Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, B) Lefty loon and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington, C) An MSNBC host or D) An elitist who 'will help headline the launch next month of a new national group dedicated to restoring civility in politics.'
If you answered both C and D, then you should go back to drinking your Joe instead of watching it each morning, because you consume too much of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' with former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Hypocrite).
Each day Scarborough tries to skewer as much as he can of the right and still pretend to be conservative. Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman, has become a vocal voice for what he calls 'Switzerland' in the cable world - somehow a neutral outlet to both sides. He's delusional. Scarborough has more RINO (Republican In Name Only) in him than the National Zoo. (Conservatives should also recall during the Cold War that the real Switzerland was no more friendly to the U.S. than Scarborough is to the right.)
According to a new report from the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman, Scarborough plans to take his hatred of Palin to new levels of … civility. In a story humorously headlined as 'Scarborough Attacks Palin, Agrees To Help Launch Centrist Civility Group,' the MSNBC host is linked to 'other self-described centrists,' many of whom are thankfully out of jobs - including former politicos Sen. Evan Bayh, Rep. Tom Davis, Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert. Throw in Los Angeles's scandal-ridden Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and you have the recipe for disaster.
Civility? Scarborough doesn't even know how to spell it. He goes hunting for Palin and other conservatives the way Palin hunts moose, stalking the right each day ready to open fire. Back in August, he bashed the GOP for wanting to rein in illegal immigration. His response was to moan: 'My party. What happened to my party?' He concluded his view by claiming: 'We are going to ban Santa Claus next.' This after previously calling Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law 'unacceptable and un-American.'
His July attack on Republican Senate candidate Sharon Angle called her 'a jackass,' which must mean he's using a standard MSNBC definition of 'civility' in this new group.
But he has particular venom reserved for the former governor of Alaska. He recently told his audience that Palin's 'not going to run. It's The Art of War. The reason she's saying this is cause she knows she can't win.' Then why is she making noises about 2012? 'I hate to say it - it's about money,' he claimed. 'Hate to say it?' No he doesn't. He despises her and loves to say it.
He also claimed his is the standard conservative view of Palin. Pundits and talk show hosts, he asserted, 'they all say it, all say it, all say it off set.' But 'they refuse to say it on the record.' It hasn't occurred to Scarborough that they might just be humoring him since his opposition to Palin is so well known. Palin's resume and her actions of the past two years 'makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill's,' he's said.
Even the friendly Fineman story makes Scarborough look foolish. 'TV's Joe Scarborough, who today dismissed Sarah Palin as a symbol of 'anti-intellectualism' with a 'dopey dream' of being president, will help headline the launch next month of a new national group dedicated to restoring civility in politics.'
It's that kind of 'civility' we can look for as part of what is being called 'No Labels.' The operation seems designed to boost the presidential candidacy of unpopular liberal New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a favorite of media types of think he would provide a third way for politics. Even back in 2007, OpinionJournal.com's James Taranto said Bloomberg was the preferred presidential 'candidate of the media.' That also means he'll be the eco-friendly, Big Government, tax-and-spend candidate journalists just adore.
Take a quick behind the scenes at those behind this group and you find the kind of names that are anathema to conservatives. 'Nancy Jacobson, a leading Democratic fundraiser and wife of Clinton-era pollster Mark Penn, launched 'No Labels' last year with major advice coming from Mark McKinnon, who was media advisor to George W. Bush in 2000 and Sen. John McCain in 2008.' Not exactly a list of stellar conservatives. Throw in a few out of work congressmen and this operation has all the earmarks of media invention.
Were it on any other network, MSNBC hosts would be screaming 'Astroturf.' Of course, that wouldn't be civil.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.