MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” tried to fool viewers into thinking Friday’s pre-taped show was live and host Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski even discussed their Thanksgiving meals – even though the holiday hadn’t occurred yet when they taped the show.
Brzezinski opened the show by saying, “Day after Thanksgiving… I’m stuffed,” while Scarborough nervously laughed as if he knew the engaged-to-be-married co-hosts were being dishonest. The opening to the show is still available on MSNBC’s website.
The move, which TV insiders consider disrespectful to viewers, specifically because the network tried to create a deceit that high-paid morning show stars would come to work in the early morning hours following a national holiday. The Washington Post reported that the show was taped on Wednesday.
An MSNBC spokesperson declined comment when reached by Fox News.
The second segment of Friday’s “Morning Joe” brought the fraudulence to another level, when Brzezinski joked that she forgot to remove the guts from the turkey before cooking it and that it was still a little frozen when she served it.
“Joe didn’t notice. He ate the bag,” Willie Geist said.
Scarborough, still giggling, fired back, “It was good… the game last night made up for it.”
The show did not feature a disclaimer that it was pre-taped and the only noticeable difference to a normal, live version of the show is the disappearance of a subtle “live” graphic that is typically present. The scam continued throughout the remainder of the show when the hosts asked guests, such as MSNBC contributor Rick Tyler, about their Thanksgiving holidays.
The Washington Post noticed the deception when a regular “Morning Joe” viewer contacted the paper, reportedly asking if MSNBC was airing “fake news.” The Post said the viewer was shocked to see Scarborough and Brzezinski appearing in studio on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
“I was quite flabbergasted by the way they were so deceptive about this . . . especially when they are always so quick to castigate lying [or] deception they attribute to others,” the tipster told the Post.
The show obviously failed to mention any news that occurred after it taped on Wednesday, such as the deadly terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt that killed more than 300 people. However, the network’s chyron and news ticker were updated with events that were actually occurring in real time.
An anonymous MSNBC executive talked to the Post about the situation, but essentially brushed it off.
“Would it have helped if there was a disclaimer? Maybe. But that’s not typically done,” the executive said. “There was no intention to trick viewers.”
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” has had a bizarre relationship with President Trump for years. Trump used to be friendly with Scarborough and Brzezinski and the show took him serious when the rest of the media thought he was a political afterthought early in his campaign.
The co-hosts were even accused of lobbing softball questions during an MSNBC town hall event. However, Scarborough and Brzezinski eventually turned on Trump and have been openly critical of the president on a daily basis – which has resulted in heated Twitter exchanges between the former friends. Many insiders believe Scarborough turned on Trump because of personal reasons or simply to lift the show’s ratings.
This isn’t the first time a mainstream media program has been caught deceiving viewers. Back in 1994, ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts was reprimanded by the network for faking a shot and NBC’s Michelle Kosinkski tried to fool viewers by reporting from a flood zone via canoe – but her cover was blown when pedestrians walked through the live shot and revealed the water was only inches high.