Published September 29, 2012
Working for MSNBC has gone to Joe Scarborough’s head, or at least his ears. The Joe of “Morning Joe, broadcast on the “Lean Forward” network, was caught in the latest TV video scandal because he won’t listen.
During his Wednesday broadcast, Scarborough again mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, this time for how he handled an Ohio appearance with vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan. The show played a clip of Romney taking the mike and saying Ryan is “quite a guy.” The crowd was then shown chanting as the words “Ryan!” popped up on the screen to indicate that’s what they were saying.
Romney then instructed the crowd to chant “Romney/Ryan.” The camera flashed back to the “Morning Joe” set where Scarborough put head in hands and said "Oh, sweet Jesus.” That reaction made the front page of Huffington Post and, as things do when spurred on by HuffPo, it went viral.
Only that isn’t what happened at all – shocking, I know. Rather than have an incident that made Romney look bad, this one made him look good. In the process, it was the latest black mark on the far-left network and another example of how out of touch MSNBC’s token “conservative” host truly is.
Buzzfeed described it by saying “the subtitle in the clip misrepresented what actually took place.” The original New York Times report said the same: “As the crowd began chanting ‘Romney! Romney!’ he cut them off. ‘Wait a second,’ Mr. Romney said, instructing the audience to cheer for ‘Romney-Ryan! Romney-Ryan!’ They did.” Buzzfeed gave credit to The Blaze and Breitbart News for noting the discrepancies.
Several different Internet sites have called Scarborough on the bogus criticism. Even HuffPo has said the initial report is wrong. “UPDATE: A reporter who attended the event contacted The Huffington Post to say that the crowd was chanting Romney's name, not Ryan's, and that Romney added his running mate's name to the chant, not the other way around,” the story now begins.
When MSNBC loses respect from Huffington Post, that’s the greatest fail imaginable. It’s like Castro’s Cuba being chastised by the old Soviet Union.
Conservative sites from Twitchy.com to Newsbusters were having a field day with Scarborough. The “Morning Joe” host is already viewed by many on the right as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) in the mold of "conservative" newspaper columnists Kathleen Parker and David Brooks, who make their career bashing conservatives. Conservatives again had good reason to mock him.
Twitchy was one of those leading the charge, saying that “MSNBC ran a clip that tried to paint a false narrative.” But Scarborough wouldn’t give up. On Twitter he made a series of statements standing by his original comments. Because, of course, Joe is never wrong.
“The fake controversy over the Ryan chants is a joke. Romney said ‘What a guy!"’ The crowd chanted ‘Ryan!’ and then Mitt jokes ‘Romney/Ryan!’” he wrote, in the face of all evidence.
Scarborough vowed to “have the tape linked this weekend” and told viewers “you watch and be the judge.” As of this writing it was not featured prominently on either the MSNBC site or his own personal site. “We will also play the CSPAN tape on Monday. Going to be fun,” he promised.
This is far from the first time MSNBC has been caught playing games with video. Back in June, Andrea Mitchell ran a piece of Romney speaking about shopping at Wawa which was edited to make him look foolish. In another incident, MSNBC misrepresented a Herman Cain video where he quoted Ben Franklin. Again the goal was to make him look foolish.
MSNBC comes by its bogus video skills like a misbehaving child of a bad parent. Parent NBC, in this case, famously doctored Trayvon Martin 911 call audio to falsely depict George Zimmerman as racist. They later apologized and staffers were fired, but long after the damage had been done.
Perhaps “Morning Joe” needs a bigger jolt of caffeine in the morning before it does its obligatory attack on conservatives, Republicans and anyone else Joe’s lefty paymasters oppose.
Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.