Joe Scarborough began with a telling admission: that if he were running the Republican party, he wouldn't let MSNBC host a GOP debate.
But the Morning Joe host went on to make an interesting point today: that if an MSM network had hit Donald Trump with the same sort of gotcha questions that Fox News did during this past Thursday night's debate, the reaction from conservatives would be "volcanic" and that they'd be "trashing" the network for months to come.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Reince Priebus had decided to ban networks--this one, and I would have if were Reince Priebus too, so I'm not knocking him--I would never give MSNBC a Republican debate right now. Pretty soon I would--things are changing really quickly at this network. But a year ago? Never. I undersand that.
But the idea was to get news outlets, Mark, that would ask legitimate questions about policy instead of gotcha questions. There wasn't a single question asked of the Republican front runner that dealt with jobs, that dealt with Iran, that dealt with ISIS, that dealt with the economy writ large, that dealt with foreign policy writ large. You had three questions. The first one was -- I was stunned. I guess you told me Rush Limbaugh talked about this for a long time.
The first question was on Donald Trump's insult of Rosie O'Donnell and his insults of reality show contestants. Were they crude and crass? Yes. Would I ever say it? No. Would any Republican candidate say it? No! But that's your first question and then the next question was asking this billionaire about four deals that failed and then the third was really a political speech that was veiled as a question with a zinger at the end going, so tell me, when did you become a Republican? It was, so I'm sitting there thinking, I thought this is what we as Republicans were trying to avoid. People that used front runners as theater and it was political theater on Thursday night, starting with the first question.
. . .
This was the sort of thing and the questions that the moderators asked were questions that if asked by a broadcast network or any other network other than Fox News, the reaction would have been so volcanic --
MIKA: Think if it happened here --
JOE: -- that conservatives would all together be trashing those networks and the mainstream media for months to come.