Chalk up another item for NewsBusters' "Sudden Respect" rubric, reserved for normally-disdained conservatives suddenly praised by the liberal media because they have criticized other conservatives or conservative principles.
Today's Morning Joe offered a good example of the phenomenon. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski drooled over, and quoted at great length, CNN weekend host S.E. Cupp's New York Daily News column, "The President Is Not Well," the gist of which is that President Trump is mentally "very sick," and should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment if only that were politically possible. Calling Trump variations on crazy is, of course, a stock-in-trade for Morning Joe.
Here's some of the fawning:
6:05 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I saw the New York Daily News, conservativ S.E. Cupp wrote that the president is not well. Reading from her piece, she said: "if this were your child, you’d intervene as quickly as you could. And you would. Getting them the help they clearly needed. Likewise, if your friend were acting this way, you might suggest they go see a therapist to work through some of their anger issues.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: If this were your coworker, you’d probably I think — I think that’s actually gracious, you would alert someone in human resources. And what if this were the President of the United States acting this erratically? Not only are these behaviors the norm for President Trump, but they seem to have worsened at the most precarious and critical time that our country’s faced since World War II . . . The past few days have seen Donald Trump spiral out of control.
SCARBOROUGH: He's spread unfounded conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus. About former President Barack Obama. And about an MSNBC cable-news host. How much lower can you go than that, if you’re worried about me? What else has he done? What else has he done? S.E. Cupp says he’s made statements that can only be described as delusional.
. . .
S.E. Cupp concludes by saying it’s frightening commentary on the slow normalization of this completely abnormal behavior that we can greet the undeniable deterioration of the President of the United States with mere shrugs, and the only concerns from his inner circles seem not to be about mental instability itself, but the political ramifications of it being exposed in daily press briefings. S.E. Cupp, New York Daily News.
BRZEZINSKI: She really did a good job with that, really crystallizing why this normalization of the president’s behavior is now making people unsafe. Really well done.
. . .
SCARBOROUGH: Willie, a lot to digest from from S.E. Cupp and also that ad, fact-checked true, everything that I saw there. But, the president is getting — we’ve been saying it for three years now. The president is getting worse!
Given her unorthodox views, some could reasonably contend that Cupp isn't a conservative to begin with. But she has authored books like Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity (2010) and Why You're Wrong about the Right (2008). So let's classify her as conservative for present purposes. She's certainly someone who hasn't been lauded at length like this previously by Morning Joe.
Perhaps Scarborough was particularly attracted to the Cupp column because it alluded to President Trump's tweet about Joe himself. That gave Scarborough the chance to indulge in some false modesty, saying, "how much lower can you go than that, if you’re worried about me?
Mika, of course, is famous to the point of having been parodied by SNL for her emotional interjections. But even by those standards, Brzezinski was unusually emotive this morning, peppering the conversation with a variety of "oofs!," "wows!," etc.
Note: yesterday, Morning Joe played no fewer than three times the attack ad against President Trump put out by the Lincoln Project, a group of Never Trumpers led by George Conway. But three times was apparently not enough, as Morning Joe ran the ad yet again today during the Cupp segment.