On Tuesday, the Robert Mueller devotees on MSNBC’s Morning Joe broke out the pom-poms for their champion, gleefully speculating about the various ways in which the Special Counsel could ruin ex-Trump campaign operative Sam Nunberg.
It’s no secret that the media are among President Trump’s harshest critics; their hysterical coverage of him began almost immediately after he announced his candidacy in 2015, and it has not let up one iota since then. This wall-to-wall coverage has caused many in the media to be stricken with acute cases of Trump derangement syndrome. For these individuals, the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller signified the coming of a hero who might deliver them from the horror of the Trump administration.
Thus when Sam Nunberg deigned to defy a subpoena from Mueller's investigative team, the media were understandably outraged. Morning Joe ran several segments on Tuesday covering a bizarre series television appearances by Nunberg the day before, and each time host Joe Scarborough could not help but extol the awesome power of Mueller.
“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit in the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,” Scarborough intoned ominously. “And you don’t defy a subpoena by Robert Mueller The Third.”
Later, he added, “If Ken Starr sent Susan Mcdougal to prison for a year and a half, Bob Mueller would bury Nunberg underneath a federal penitentiary somewhere.” The panel shared Scarborough’s indignation that Nunberg had been so insolent as to dismiss the Mueller subpoena.
Over the course of the first hour, the image of Mueller was gradually distorted from one of a particularly savvy prosecutor into the likeness of a vengeful super hero. “I’ve likened him to shark,” author David Ignatius remarked thoughtfully. “You only see him when the fin breaks the surface, just before the strike.” Several grandiose epithets later, he dropped the following line:
He knows exactly what you’re lying about and what you’re telling the truth on, and then he strikes. And I can imagine if you’re Sam Nunberg, suddenly you’re face to face with the toughest prosecutor of our generation.
Hours later, Scarborough echoed Ignatius’s sentiment: “We may find out that Robert Mueller is one of the most effective prosecutors of our generation.” The pair eagerly heaped praise on the Special Counsel for the remainder of the show, reflecting that he “has so much more” information than anyone had previously suspected, and celebrating how “brilliantly” he had managed his office.
In the show’s third hour, Scarborough raised the bar for lofty metaphors with this gem:
Robert Mueller’s investigation is like death and taxes. It’s coming at you – and I’m not saying this to be glib. It’s coming at you. It cannot be avoided. And if you try to be cute, you will learn what Mr. Gates learned last week: that Bob Mueller knows when you’re lying to him.
David Ignatius would not be outdone. Before signing off, he evoked the image of "a cyclone swirling around the calmest man on the planet: Robert Mueller."