Scarborough on "perfecting Jews" controversy: "I think Jesus had a different take than Ann Coulter"

››› ››› NIKI JAGPAL

On the October 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough responded to right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's comment on the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea that Christians "just want Jews to be perfected, as they say," as documented by Media Matters for America. Scarborough said, "I really don't think Ann had it right when she said that Christianity was about perfecting Jews. If you read the New Testament, actually, Christianity is about serving others." After playing a video clip of the exchange between Coulter and Deutsch, Scarborough said:

Well, you know, I think Jesus had a different take than Ann Coulter, which he quite clearly says, time and again, that Christianity is about helping -- feeding the poor, visiting those who are sick in hospitals, visiting those in prisons, giving hope to the hopeless, doing all the things that have nothing to do with condemning other people like Ann Coulter just did.

Scarborough later described Coulter as "a marketing machine," adding that Coulter "puts out a book, and attacks 9-11 widows, she talks about the need for Jews to be 'perfected,' she makes statements like these, and it fuels her book sales." As noted by Media Matters, in her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, 2006), Coulter described the 9-11 widows as "... millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." Contributor Willie Geist and co-anchor Mika Brzezinski agreed with Scarborough that Coulter makes shocking statements to boost her book sales.

From the October 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

SCARBOROUGH: Also -- you know what? I -- jeez, I hate to do this. Let's run this clip. That's right, here's Ann Coulter on Donny Deutsch's show.

[begin video clip]

COULTER: No, we think -- we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?

COULTER: Yeah -- no, that's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners --

DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued -- when you say something absurd like that, there's no --

COULTER: What's absurd?

DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I'm going to go off and try to perfect myself --

COULTER: Well, that's what the New Testament says.

DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally.

[end video clip]

SCARBOROUGH: All right, so there you go, offended by that. Willie?

BRZEZINSKI: You know, it's enough, it's enough.

GEIST: We were talking before the show, Joe. At some point, if you shock and shock and shock, it ceases to be shocking. It's like there's nothing less shocking than a shock jock on morning radio, you know what I mean?

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah.

GEIST: All right, she did it again, she's getting attention, she's gonna sell a book.

SCARBOROUGH: I really don't think Ann had it right when she said that Christianity was about perfecting Jews. If you read the New Testament, actually, Christianity is about serving others.

GEIST: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: It's not about debating religion, it's about feeding the poor, it's about visiting the sick, helping those that need help, giving hope to the hopeless. It is not about going around telling people that they need to be "perfected." You look at yourself, and you say, "I'm the one that needs to be perfected."

GEIST: I think she missed that day at Sunday school, Joe. She must have been sick that day.

SCARBORUGH: Maybe so.

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, and you saw the smackdown last night with Ann Coulter and Donny Deutsch. Kind of kicked her off the set, didn't he?

GEIST: Yeah, it was pretty ugly --

SCARBOROUGH: He stopped this interview very quickly when Ann Coulter said this.

[begin video clip]

COULTER: No, we think -- we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?

COULTER: Yeah -- no, that's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners --

DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued -- when you say something absurd like that, there's no --

COULTER: What's absurd?

DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I'm going to go off and try to perfect myself --

COULTER: Well, that's what the New Testament says.

DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally.

[end video clip]

SCARBOROUGH: Wow, what about that? Kinda tough --

GEIST: I don't know what to say. I mean, we said it last hour: This is what she does, she shocks, and it's hard to be shocked anymore.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah. And of course, she talks about Christianity being about "perfecting Jews." I -- I never really read that in the New Testament.

GEIST: You had a different take on that --

BRZEZINSKI: Well, all these shocking --

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, I think Jesus had a different take than Ann Coulter, which he quite clearly says, time and again, that Christianity is about helping -- feeding the poor, visiting those who are sick in hospitals, visiting those in prisons, giving hope to the hopeless, doing all the things that have nothing to do with condemning other people like Ann Coulter just did.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, and in this case, it's really shocking statements in order to sell books.

GEIST: Of course, and we've said this before, Joe, Ann Coulter is a smart person and a good writer, and when she says things like this, it's hard to hear anything else she says, which is unfortunate.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, it is unfortunate, because you know, when we had here a couple of weeks ago -- of course, we got nasty emails -- but I thought it was a good conversation, there was no hyperbole, and she is -- she really is a very, very intelligent person. But she is a marketing machine, and you know what? I think she gets, like, $3 million advances for every book, and the reason why is she puts out a book, and attacks 9-11 widows, she talks about the need for Jews to be "perfected," she makes statements like these, and it fuels her book sales.

GEIST: And it works every time.

SCARBOROUGH: And it works every time.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Joe Scarborough, Ann Coulter
Show/Publication
Morning Joe
Stories/Interests
Religion
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