Joe Scarborough Rants Against Conservatives 'In Their Own Little Media World'

On Tuesday's MSNBC Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough blamed conservative media outlets for recent Republican electoral defeats: "...for conservatives that think they have to stay in their own little media world, since Rush Limbaugh went on the air and became a national figure, Republicans have lost five out of the last six presidential elections in the popular vote. Since Fox News went on the air in 1996, Republicans have lost four out of five." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Mika Brzezinski snidely chimed in: "Please keep doing what you're doing." Scarborough continued his rant: "So when Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon had to go up against a media culture that absolutely hated them, that despised them, that mocked them, that ran them into the ground every night, and there was no conservative outlet, they won 49 states....But for people that think...they have to stay in this little box, I've got bad news for you. It's not working."

Later in the day, Scarborough elaborated on his remarks in an opinion piece for Politico entitled: "Tearing down the conservative echo chamber."  

After denouncing Limbaugh, Scarborough turned to left-wing Harball host Chris Matthews for comment, who proclaimed:

[Limbaugh] basically plays to a very narrow cast of Republicans, usually men, middle aged white men....that's never going to be 51% of the country. He basically knows who his market is, guys driving around, basically traveling salesmen who have a lot of time in the car and they need company. And he's their support group and he tells them they're the greatest guys in the world because they're carrying the load in this country and those damn feminazis out there and all those affirmative action types are all living off these guys. He plays to them, he panders to them. And it's brilliant. But it's not 51% of the country and that's why it dis-serves the Republican Party to listen to this guy for their guiding light.

Scarborough portrayed himself as a selfless martyr:

Now, I guarantee you, because I know how this works, I have just stated some facts on the air here....there's certain websites that are going to go crazy and they're going to attack me and they're going to go crazy....They're going to do everything, they're going to do everything but reflect on the fact that since this media culture has been created that was supposed to give us a great balance to the liberal news media, we've lost five out of six elections in the popular vote.

NBC political director Chuck Todd jumped in and fretted: "We didn't even discuss two words, Herman Cain and Roger Ailes....it's like stunning, does Roger Ailes, is that good for the Republican Party?...if you reward people with the big – like Herman Cain's now got a bigger, was that – is that going to encourage, what kind of presidential primary is that going to encourage?"

At the mere mention of former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain joining Fox News as a contributor, Brzezinski uttered a disgusted: "Oh, good God."

This comes from the network that just hired Obama flacks Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod as analysts.


Here is a transcript of the February 19 Morning Joe exchange:

8:33AM ET

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I hate to give facts that offend a lot of people, but think about this, and I'm not blaming it on him, but just for conservatives that think they have to stay in their own little media world, since Rush Limbaugh went on the air and became a national figure, Republicans have lost five out of the last six presidential elections in the popular vote. Since Fox News went on the air in 1996, Republicans have lost four out of five.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Please keep doing what you're doing.

SCARBOROUGH: Of the last-

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, you know why.

SCARBOROUGH: But let me finish. So when Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon had to go up against a media culture that absolutely hated them, that despised them, that mocked them, that ran them into the ground every night, and there was no conservative outlet, they won 49 states. Now listen, I'm a conservative, I like conservative outlets to go to when I get frustrated looking at the mainstream media. But for people that think, Chris, they have to stay in this little box, I've got bad news for you. It's not working. You've got to go out and preach the gospel.

BRZEZINSKI: Or it is.

MATTHEWS: Well, Rush Limbaugh's a good example – Rush Limbaugh's a great example, guys, because he's enormously successful. He makes a lot of money and he deserves it because he's a great showman. But he basically plays to a very narrow cast of Republicans, usually men, middle aged white men. I'm not knocking anything about it, that's what he's doing. but that's never going to be 51% of the country. He basically knows who his market is, guys driving around, basically traveling salesmen who have a lot of time in the car and they need company. And he's their support group and he tells them they're the greatest guys in the world because they're carrying the load in this country and those damn feminazis out there and all those affirmative action types are all living off these guys. He plays to them, he panders to them. And it's brilliant. But it's not 51% of the country and that's why it dis-serves the Republican Party to listen to this guy for their guiding light. That's what I think.

SCARBOROUGH: And that's why I always talk about the I-4 corridor, that's why I talk about the suburbs of Philadelphia, yes, these people help energize the Republican base, and you need that. But it's not enough to get you the 50% plus one that you need to win presidential elections. And at some point, the Republican Party needs to start focusing on winning presidential elections. Now, I guarantee you, because I know how this works, I have just stated some facts on the air here.

CHUCK TODD: It's going to be interesting at 12:01 today.

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. And there's certain – there's certain websites that are going to go crazy and they're going to attack me and they're going to go crazy saying-
 
BRZEZINSKI: Perhaps a talk radio show or two.

MARK HALPERIN: 12:06.

SCARBOROUGH: No, no, but listen here. Here's the point. They're going to do everything, they're going to do everything but reflect on the fact that since this media culture has been created that was supposed to give us a great balance to the liberal news media, we've lost five out of six elections in the popular vote. Republicans need to start focusing on winning. And I don't begrudge anybody that goes out and makes $30 million a year. I would love to make $30 million a year, I would. But I want to start winning. I want, as a Republican, to start winning elections again. And we need to start focusing on things.

BRZEZINSKI: Maybe candidates ought not be so afraid of them when they see the impact, Republican candidates. Chuck Todd, thank you.

TODD: We didn't even discuss two words, Herman Cain and Roger Ailes.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, good God.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, that's-

TODD: But we'll just let that go. But it's like stunning, does Roger Ailes, is that good for the Republican Party?

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, you know what? We will blow out what we need to blow out for Madeline Albright, we're going to finish this conversation. You know, Roger Ailes figured it out, and by the way, he figured it out before everybody else figured it out, and that's why he was going to Chris Christie, trying to ask him to run for president, because Roger Ailes always figured – he figured out that some people had jumped the shark after the Gabby Giffords shooting, he said so. He tried to get Chris Christie-

TODD: But if you reward people – if you reward people with the big – like Herman Cain's now got a bigger, was that – is that going to encourage, what kind of presidential primary is that going to encourage?

SCARBOROUGH: It's a cottage industry, they're making lots of money.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC