So much for keep calm and carry on, what Joe Scarborough proclaims to be his motto.
It was the weirdest one-on-one back and forth with a high profile talking head imaginable. It makes high school look mature. It began with a Joe Scarborough blast of venom and didn’t let up until he’d finished unloading.
Just because two people follow each other on Twitter doesn’t give anyone special privileges to assume something that hasn’t been mutually agreed upon. If you want to be off the record, make sure that’s been established.
Not satisfied with President Obama’s new religious accommodation, Republicans will move forward with legislation by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that permits any employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday. – McConnell: GOP Will Fight To Let ANY Employer Deny Birth Control Coverage
Pres. Obama’s contraceptive mandate has made Republicans lose their minds. They’re in full panic over the prospect of Obama and the Democrats handing women their own Social Security. The demographics of it have them reeling.
Criticizing the elite media is tricky business in Washington, D.C. But media is one of the things I cover. This isn’t a secret. The Hillary Effect, my recently published book, lays out the media’s role during the 2008 election season, as well as recounts Hillary’s 20-year rise.
When you have a conversation with someone in my business it’s on the record unless specified otherwise. I don’t know how anyone could think otherwise. DMs or Direct Messages on Twitter are simply between two individuals following each other; they’re also in writing and a record of the conversation. I talked to no one who disagreed on these facts.
This all began when I cited Joe Scarborough from his show on February 9, in context and accurately, after he made an outrageous comparison on Pres. Obama’s contraception mandate. You can see the discussion starting at around 6:50 in the video above.
“… I think women should be deacons as well as men. But if the federal government, if the Justice Department offers a mandate ordering Southern Baptists to make women deacons, I would be the first to say get the hell out of our business.” – Joe Scarborough (9 February)
While Mr. Scarborough is talking you can see Mika Brzezinski start to question in her own mind what he’s saying, then after he finishes she blanches and replies:
“…This is not a parallel.” – Mika Brzezinski
Joe shot back, “It is a parallel, too.”
Obviously, it’s not. In fact, it’s not even close to a parallel, because the only thing the Obama administration made very clear from the start is that all churches were exempt from his new policy. I’ll let you attorneys argue over why Scarborough decided to bring up a federal female deacon mandate, because it makes absolutely no sense.
After citing Scarborough’s quote in my column, I analyzed the situation like this:
That quote tells you all you need to know about this debate.
Scarborough’s quote above is a good example of the disingenuous nature of the argument being made by religious conservatives. It is one of the most preposterous falsehoods said yet. That Joe Scarborough chose to say it and then defend it reveals how low Republicans will go to make a religious point even if it’s false.
Calling him out on his quote and my analysis of it precipitated 23, 140 character DM exchanges over the weekend, initiated by Joe Scarborough. Oh, and the conversation was ended by Scarborough, too. But only after he was done venting in his final DM outburst. He then un-followed me, take that!
I’m crushed. Really.
Below are the first 2 DMs from Scarborough, no hello, just an attack out of the gate:
Here’s my first response:
Invoking Glenn Beck, we both sound like idiots.
Another one from Scarborough:
Later I even played my Harry card.
I thought it was humorous and Lord knows this travesty needed it.
Everybody makes mistakes and there’s no crime in it. Admit it, correct the record, move on. What you don’t do is dig in. I also don’t understand why in the world Joe Scarborough found this so important that he had to go off over the weekend in a string of insulting DMs.
It’s just too weird for words.
Ms. Brzezinski had challenged him, but the difference with me was that in a one-on-one* conversation I wouldn’t yield the point, because whoever Joe Scarborough thinks he is he is not beyond criticism when he’s wrong.
There was enough misinformation flying over the contraceptive mandate, with the Obama administration not helping at all the way they rolled it out.
I stand by what I sent in my tweet on this column that also included the link to it:
Pres. Obama Knew Firestorm Was Coming on Contraception Mandate. A stunningly dishonest quote from @morning_joe
My last DM to Scarborough, once again bringing it back to the issue, which he wouldn’t addrress.
Mika blanched too when u said it bcuz it was wrong. I called u on it & u won’t admit you were wrong. 1stAmend goes BOTH WAYS, to workers too
Don’t know why u name-call, digg in, epithets instead of admitting what u said was wrong. Ego a dangerous master. Honesty requires humility
He didn’t like that anymore than he liked my Harry Truman witticism.
So now Joe and I both have one less Twitter follower and I won’t be bothered with rude DM rants on my weekend from him, including one coming in at around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.
“Morning Joe” is one of the few shows that acquitted themselves well during the ’08 primary fight, which I cover in my book The Hillary Effect. It’s how I became a regular viewer to the show.
Joe Scarborough plays a nice guy on “Morning Joe” pretty well.
When he’s in alone and you’ve called him out on something he said and he won’t admit he’s wrong, he goes into the old Lee Atwater – Newt Gingrich-style right wing attack playbook. Never admit you’re wrong, because the other person always is, ignore the facts and just keep attacking.
From Scarborough’s “Glenn Beck-like extremism” invective to “those right wing freaks who tried to trample on Muslims’ rights this summer at Ground Zero,” I was the villain. I’m not even sure what the hell he’s talking about on that last Ground Zero Muslim thing and I’m not sure he does either. It makes as much sense as his fantasy federal mandate for female deacons analogy.
Joe Scarborough can be one person on “Morning Joe” and another person when dealing one-on-one with someone in new media, that’s his prerogative.
But he really should change his graphic “Keep Calm and Carry On,” unless he’s trying to be ironic.
TM NOTE: The conversation was one-on-one not “private.” There was no agreement by anyone to keep it off the record or otherwise. Someone high profile doesn’t get to abuse the privilege of simply being followed on Twitter by launching into an insulting tirade with the expectation of “privacy” without first having the grace and respect to say he or she wants the conversation to be off the record. I have no special relationship with JS. We followed each other on Twitter. This is also not the first DM rant I’ve exchanged with Scarborough. I sought advice on the subject and I stand firm that my decision was correct and stand by it unflinchingly.