FOR POLITICAL ANALYSIS that uses lies instead of facts or truth in order to push your own agenda, the Joe Scarborough Award goes to the insider of Beltway insiders, Mark Halperin.
Scarborough has since responded to critics without apologizing by saying that people “missed my larger point.”
What got Joe Scarborough the dubious distinction in an award around here was saying the health care mandate was like the federal government forcing the Southern Baptist church to appoint female deacons. The rest is history, played out by Scarborough’s weird DM tantrum with me.
Why Mark Halperin? During “Morning Joe” on Wednesday, Halperin said he was sure Mitt Romney wasn’t using “foreign” for “nefarious” purposes.
Then why use it? It doesn’t neatly fit into a political narrative usually seen in presidential elections. It appears out of nowhere, with no precedence prior to Pres. Obama for using it.
Evidently Halperin missed John Sununu saying (and apologizing): [Pres. Obama] “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia…”
This preceded Mitt Romney’s use of the word “foreign” in stump speeches (see video below).
Then in an interview with Lawrence Kudlow, the Romney strategy was revealed, as seen through Sununu.
ROMNEY: This is an ideology which says hey, we’re all the same here, we ought to take from all and give to one another and that achievement, individual initiative and risk-taking and success are not to be rewarded as they have in the past. It’s a very strange and in some respects foreign to the American experience type of philosophy. [...] So his whole philosophy is an upside-down philosophy that does not comport with the American experience.
What “does not comport with the American experience” mean if not something parallel to “foreign”? And again, why say it?
Joe Scarborough and his award recipients should be forced to watch HBO’s “The Newsroom,” and Mark Halperin needs to watch “Romney fails moral test, aims ‘foreign’ label at Obama,” starting at around 10 minutes in the video below. But specifically, Mr. Halperin needs to listen to what Mitt Romney says at around 12 min., “his course is extraordinarily foreign,” followed by “the course we’re on right now is foreign to us, it changes America.” Then “is something so foreign to us, we simply can’t understand it.”
Mark Halperin’s answer to all of this was to deflect the use of “foreign” as nothing “nefarious.” This is access journalism in action, disguised as “balance.” But it also gives cover to a strategy using tactics that has the Republican nominee implying our President is un-American, a favorite tactic of the hard right, as well as the birthers.
The media elite, of which Mark Halperin is a charter member, has a duty to the public. However, what distinguishes Halperin, like Joe Scarborough, and much of our media, is that they’ve forgotten this fact.
For all of these reasons, Mark Halperin has earned the Joe Scarborough Award.