All posts by cjjohns08

Criminologist, writer, actor, storyteller, painter and a lover of all things feline.

Media: Poor Mika

morning joe in pajamas

Once again, Mika Brzezinski is hiding behind a jeremiad about sexism to excuse her dismal performance as a journalist.

When I turned on Morning Joe yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dreadful Joe Scarborough had the day off.  This usually means that we can have three hours of relatively interesting discussion free from the self-congratulatory bombast meted out every morning by the primary host.  But, what ensued was three hours of Mika Brzezinski demonstrating that she desperately needs Joe Scarborough in more ways than I can count.

Brzezinski rarely contributes anything meaningful to the daily discussion.  She looks on lovingly as Joe rants, and does what I think of as “editorial face making.”  Rather than do the research that would make her comments meaningful, she hides behind being bullied by Scarborough.  This woman who prides herself on being a role model for young women, engages in the worst type of female stereotypical behavior.  She sits meekly by and makes faces while Joe rants.  She does not engage him in debate, nor does she confront him or contradict him.  She, like the rest of the panel, allows herself to be bullied every morning.

But what yesterday demonstrated so well is the fact that she is, evidently, incapable of doing anything else.  This morning Scarborough went through a little rant about how Mika was being unfairly accused of being “emotional” for her embarrassing performance the day before.  The point (which both of them rarely get) is not that she was overly emotional, but that she was nothing else.  I do not turn into a morning news discussion program to see someone emote.  I turn in for rational discussion and some evidence of intelligent thinking.  Wringing of hands and staring soulfully into the camera is not intelligent discussion.

What she and Joe don’t get is that nobody cares about their personal feelings.  Remember this is the program where the two hosts appeared in front of a fire in their pajamas to do the news during the holidays.  Pajamas?  Really?  Do they really think they are so cute that we give a damn about seeing them cozy up to each other in their pajamas?  Are they mad?  They talk about Mika’s chickens for God’s sake.  Message to Morning Joe:  WE DON’T CARE.

But, as usual, this morning, they are talking about…wait for it…themselves.


Peaceful Protest

Mother Jones

Republicans All Over the Country Are Pushing These Anti-Protest Bills to Silence Peaceful Dissent

The proposals could criminalize the non-violent demonstrations that have grown since Trump was elected.

Just a Reminder

Betsy DeVos (estimated family net worth: 5.6 billion)
Steve Mnuchin (500 million)
RexTillerson (325 million)
“Trump has also scoured the executive ranks of the banking giant Goldman Sachs for many of his senior advisers, includingGary Cohn as his top economic adviser and Dina Powell as a special adviser on economic initiatives.”

Source: The Nation Magazine March 13, 2017trump-cabinet

The Trump Misogeny Machine, The Clinton Entitlement Machine,Melania Trump, Ann Coulter, Chris Matthews and MSNBC

I’m sorry, I know that we are expected to fall all over ourselves praising Melania Trump because she managed to utter a few public words, but a chill went up my spine when she said: “As you may know by now, when you attack him [Trump] he will punch back 10 times harder.”  Is it me or is there something deeply creepy about that choice of words given Trump’s history with women?  Maybe it’s just having lived through the O.J. Simpson trial, but I felt a definite shudder when those words came out of Melania Trump’s mouth.

And, it hasn’t escaped my attention that there seems to be no personal relationship between the two of them.  They are completely uncomfortable together and as physically awkward around each other as two feral cats needing a nap.  They act like they’ve never been in the same room with each other, much less the same bed.

But, be that as it may…MSNBC anchor Tom Brokaw is predicting the demise of the Trump campaign tonight.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

The polls will be closing in Wisconsin in about an hour.

Stories that are attracting my attention:

  • The Panama Papers. The Prime Minister of Iceland has stepped down after massive protests of citizens that he do so.  This resignation makes the Prime Minister the first casualty in what promises to be a series of revelations about those named in documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm which handled offshore shell companies and tax shelters.  Last night Rachel Maddow said that individuals in the U.S. hadn’t been named simply because reporters hadn’t had time to get through the enormous amount of information to get to them.
  • The Trump Misogyny Machine. Ann Coulter, a Trump supporter, tonight said in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC: “Women can be very suggestible.”  She was talking about women who found Trump’s misogyny insulting.  According to Coulter, silly women are letting the media tell them to be insulted by Trump’s unending sexist narrative.  But, nobody respects women more than Trump.  Just ask him.  Just a note: Why would any professional journalist have Ann Coulter on their program?  Oh, I forgot, it’s Chris Matthews.
  • The Clinton Entitlement Machine. I have listened to two interviews in the past few days, one with Barney Frank and the other with James Carville that really got up my nose.  Both men were nasty, emotional and extremely indignant that Bernie Sanders was running against Hillary Clinton and that stupid people were voting for him.  James Carville said that the administration of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama had been successful and popular and so just what the hell did people think they were doing voting for Bernie Sanders?  How dare they?  Frank blamed voter discontent on the fact that democratic voters hadn’t come out to vote in off year elections.  Had they come out and voted, Frank reasoned, Democrats would have been elected and voters’ concerns would have been spoken to.  Frank, then, essentially blamed the voters for their own discontent.  They brought this on themselves, said Frank in a contemptuous and offensive tone.  Carville kept repeating: I just don’t understand it, talking about the stupidity of people voting for Sanders. Well, I just don’t understand the attitude of the Clinton campaign.  This is still a quasi-democratic country.  People are allowed to run against Hillary Clinton and question her record, even if they are on the Democratic side.  The only way I can explain the attitude is that the Clinton people think that she is entitled to this nomination.  The attitude and what underlies it will deeply offend and alienate Sanders’ supporters who the Democratic Party needs to get elected.  It’s like pitching a temper tantrum because you’re not getting what you feel you are entitled to.  Well, nobody is entitled to the nomination and if the Clinton people keep whining because Sanders is raising tough and legitimate questions about her record I can’t imagine how they are going to respond when confronted with a Republican nominee.  The Clinton campaign is just reminding people why they hate career politicians so much.
  • Finally, what the hell does MSNBC think they are doing filming some of their news programs with anchors sitting in front of rooms full drinking, eating, chattering people? It’s distracting, juvenile and unnecessary.  We are not frat boys sitting in a bar.  Oh, yes, I forgot, it’s Chris Matthews.

Joe Scarborough’s Incessant Self-Congratulatory Riffs

We were treated, yet again this morning, to another of Joe Scarborough’s  self-congratulatory rants.  According to Joe, he has been saying for decades things that other people have just now picked up on.  This is an almost daily theme with Joe.  It’s hilarious.

We are all just so stupid that we haven’t realized that Joe is the smartest person in the world.  How could we have missed it?

Why are we subjected to three hours of this every weekday morning?  I have to agree with something I read recently saying that MSNBC is just flat out of ideas.


After MSNBC fired Keith Olberman, I stopped watching the news for a few years.  I was just so disgusted.  Olberman was brilliant and I don’t care how difficult he was to work with, he was a brilliant mind, a great artistic talent and a dynamite political commentator.  I am sure that people like Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough are also a pain in the ass to get along with and they don’t have a hundredth of the talent of a Keith Olberman.  In fact, a few years ago when I was watching hours of news every night, I couldn’t figure out why MSNBC didn’t get rid of Chris Matthews.

This year’s election has drawn me back into the news junkie world and I am even more astounded that people like Chris Matthws, Scarborough and Mika are still around, taking up valuable ideological real estate.

MSNBC announced last year, I think, that they were moving away from their supposed left wing format.  This has included getting rid of Ed Schultz in the nightly lineup, but the terrible three are still there.

Tonight is just one example of why I detest Chris Matthews.  He found it necessary, after inviting Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, on his program, to take the opportunity to be outrageously rude to him.  In a really offensive little rant, Matthews acted condescending and dismissive of Weaver’s point that Sanders had been involved in the struggle for racial justice.   Obviously I have not heard everything Chris Matthews has ever said but I have watched a lot of hours of Hardball and I don’t remember him ever talking this disrespectfully to a representative of one of the other campaigns.  A fawning sycophant, Matthews has never challenged Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton (or anyone else for that matter)  in such a nasty way.  “You’ve been great to come on the show a number of times.”  He started out with Weaver and then, Matthews became extremely agitated for some reason, and started attacking Weaver for saying that Sanders was in the front lines of the fight for economic justice.  Weaver had said that some of the policies of the Clinton administration worked against the interests of African Americans.

“In political terms, you’ve said that the president and his wife “trimmed” – (said Matthews)  “…they were really not helping black people, but pretending to.  That’s pretty strong charge against the guy.”    “Where was Bernie Sanders?  He wasn’t on the front lines?  What do you mean the front lines?  Bernie Sanders is probably a very good guy….but he wasn’t on the front lines.  Look him up on the…(and then facetiously) O.K. he was on the front lines.”

Matthews then cut to Rep. James Clyburn (who has just endorsed Clinton) and fed him the Clinton attack line: “Was Bernie Sanders on the front lines of issues involving race in this country?”  He asked Rep. Clyburn, clearly trying to provide him with one of the playbook Clinton attack narratives.

Matthews is clearly dismissive of Sanders.  He previously lectured some guest, saying with contempt that a Revolution just wasn’t going to happen.

I suppose nobody can afford to take Matthews on and tell him to fuck himself.  I wish somebody would.  These are the times when I would love to see Christopher Hichens back on television.

Why doesn’t MSNBC fire Chris Matthews?  What has he added to the political debate in ten years?

He invites guests on and then can barely stop talking long enough for them to comment.  He bullies young women, as he did when he had on a reporter from the National Review.  He’s a bully and a narcissist and has nothing new or interesting to say.   Why not fire him?