After President Trump announced that he tested positive for COVID-19, the leftist media have turned most of their attention to not only his positive test, but to mean-spirited contact tracing. On Monday, in what felt like a strange combination of ESPN and murder-mystery, Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski constructed an in-depth play-by-play of events at the nomination ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House, the “super-spreader” event that many in the media consider to be ground zero for many positive cases, including that of the President.
Some liberal activists, including Scarborough and Brzezinski, even dared seem to hope that the consequences of the event will seal Barrett’s fate, preventing her confirmation to the Supreme Court.
At one point, Scarborough spewed, “This is a tragic, tragic conclusion to a year of a White House and a political party and an entire movement, political movement, that gambled with their lives and the lives of their loved ones by the entire party embracing the ignorance of one man, and obliterating 300 years of science, of medicine, of learning.”
The obsessive coverage of the event at the White House featured repeated footage and still shots of the event, labeled by The New York Times with the names of the most important attendees, and denoted which among them have tested positive for the virus since the event. Brzezinski began her commentary on the event by naming all of those who have tested positive and reminding viewers of their respective significance to the President. With photos of various scenes at the event on screen, she explained the choreography and actions of the participants:
MIKA: Six people who later tested positive, including First Lady Melania Trump, sat in the first rows during the Rose Garden ceremony. As you can see, few people wore masks and practiced social distancing at the outdoor event with close conversations and photo-ops, even hugs, happening. The indoor event, at the White House diplomatic room, was even more striking for the lack of masks and social distancing. Photos from The New York Times show Republican senator Thom Tillis, who as we said, later tested positive standing near Barrett, the First Lady and President Trump, both also tested positive, not wearing masks here.
In this photo, the President and several White House officials all lined up before one of Barrett's daughters; again no masks. Attorney General William Barr and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, also without masks before Judge Barrett. GOP Senator Thom Tillis sat elbow to elbow with Barrett’s young son, both without masks. And Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, up close with judge Barrett. Again, he tested positive.
While Brzezinski showed enthusiasm for recounting the positioning and individual encounters between ceremony attendees, Scarborough couldn’t hide his grief, as he once again began lamenting (he had just finished a similar diatribe earlier in the show) the downfall of society due to Trump’s leading “one hundred million Americans” to reject “300 years of science.” Realizing that Scarborough had had just about enough of this conversation, Brzezinski added, “I have a friend in that audience who came to that event and is already very ill,” and the co-hosts gave their guests a chance to reflect on the situation.
Later in the show, however, Scarborough’s spirits may have been lifted when Business Insider politics reporter Grace Panetta came on to share some insight that the Morning Joe crew had perhaps not yet thought of: "That event with Amy Coney Barrett at the White House was meant to change the discourse away from coronavirus. And instead it massively backfired in the most incredible way.” Panetta recently worked as an intern for liberal Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Sounding hopeful, she added:
PANETTA: There are a lot of Democrats who raised incredible amounts of money, ActBlue reported raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in the wake of [RBG's] death. So there was already evidence that this was not going to be a huge political winner for the president. And even then with the event in the Rose Garden it just completely, completely backfired. Firstly because it changed the conversation back to coronavirus, and on a logistical level, it’s impeded the ability of the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold these hearings.
Now there’s something for Scarborough and the journalists at MSNBC can embrace. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse underlined the point: "We do know the Republican senators have not been very good at following the protocols. We have three of the five eldest senators in the senate in the room and we have a rule that you can't vote yes on a nomination or a matter and be the dispositive vote remotely. You have to be in the room. So it's really going to put them to the test."