On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough repeated the falsehood that Sen. John McCain called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, saying, "I think he [McCain] was saying that Rumsfeld should be fired." Although MSNBC previously corrected this falsehood, and a McCain spokesman reportedly acknowledged that McCain "did not call for his resignation," MSNBC hosts have repeatedly failed to correct guests' assertions that he did so.
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough mocked Sen. Barack Obama's work as a community organizer, saying, "Most people are like, 'what's a -- what's a -- get a job -- what's a community organizer?' " and later asked The New York Times' John Harwood, "What did you do when you were a young man, John Harwood? Were you a community organizer?" Rather than note that two days earlier, his own newspaper had published a front-page article providing details that answered Scarborough's question about what Obama did as a community organizer, Hardwood responded that he "played Little League baseball" and "saw a Beatles concert."
Recalling previous media attention given to Sen. Hillary Clinton's laugh, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said to Air America Radio's Rachel Maddow: "[Y]ou might support Obama, but you've got the Clinton cackle down, Rachel. I'm proud of you."
MSNBC's Morning Joe aired an excerpt from Al Gore's endorsement speech of Sen. Barack Obama, in which Gore said, "After the last eight years, even our dogs and cats have learned that elections matter." Joe Scarborough then stated: "[H]e lost me with the dogs and cat thing." But MSNBC edited out the part of Gore's comments that provided the context for his "dogs and cats" remark.
On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough insisted in eight different segments of the program that Sen. Barack Obama's campaign had a strategy to highlight Sen. John McCain's age, failing to note the denials of Obama campaign surrogates Susan Rice and Sen. John Kerry that their description of McCain as "confuse[d]" referred not to McCain's age but, rather, to numerous misstatements that McCain has made. Scarborough also asserted that Obama's claim that McCain had "los[t] his bearings" was evidence of a strategy to "mak[e] him out to be a doddering old fool" while failing to provide the context of Obama's comment -- a response to a smear by McCain in which he accused McCain of violating his pledge to avoid negative campaigning.
Discussing in February a New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyists, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle, and Pat Buchanan criticized the Times for its use of anonymous sources. However, Scarborough, Barnicle, and Buchanan offered no such criticism in their discussions of a Vanity Fair article that also relied on anonymous sourcing in purporting to report on "post-presidential sexual indiscretions" by former President Bill Clinton.
During a May 29 campaign appearance, Sen. John McCain falsely stated that U.S. troops in Iraq "have [been] drawn down to pre-surge levels." As the Associated Press reported, "[T]here are 17 brigades in Iraq" right now, as opposed to the 15 brigades in place before the increase. In 2003, then-Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean was criticized in the media for his response to a question about the number of active-duty soldiers, with Tim Russert and others questioning his fitness to be commander in chief. In light of McCain's troop-surge falsehood and numerous national security gaffes, will the media similarly question his suitability to be commander in chief?
On MSNBC Live, magician Penn Jillette told a version of a joke about Sen. Hillary Clinton: " '[Sen. Barack] Obama did great in February, and that's because that was Black History Month. And now Hillary's doing much better 'cause it's White Bitch Month,' right?" After Jillette told the joke, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "I knew I -- you know, I knew I should have warned you before you started it." Co-host Mika Brzezinski added: "I don't like that." But MSNBC had plenty of notice that Jillette likes to tell the joke, which he is seen telling in a Web video, clips of which aired while Scarborough and Brzezinski introduced him.
Despite the availability of expenditure reports showing that Sen. John McCain's campaign used a corporate jet owned by his wife's company over a seven-month period beginning in the summer of 2007, several members of the media asserted earlier this year that McCain flew coach when the campaign was low on funds.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama said of Americans with religious beliefs: "Your faith, the faith of your fathers, the faith of your grandfathers, the faith of your grandmothers -- it's just a crutch. It's just a crutch. You only believe that because you're bitter, because you're poor, because you didn't go to college, because you're working class." In fact, Obama said that "in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania," people are "beaten down" and "feel ... betrayed by government," and "it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion."
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough defended Sen. John McCain's apparent conflation of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, saying: "The thing is, everybody is obsessing over the fact that he keeps confusing Sunni and Shia. The fact is, I -- you know what? I could start peppering people with questions about Sunnis and Shia and Kurds, and the relationships there, and 99 percent of Americans wouldn't know; 99 percent of Americans wouldn't give a damn."
Loading the player reg...
Responding to an ad by John McCain's campaign, which asserts that in response to "home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering," "[Hillary] Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes -- more money out of your pocket," Joe Scarborough said the ad would "probably work." But Scarborough didn't note that the ad's central claim is false: Neither Clinton nor Obama has asserted that she or he would respond to "home foreclosures rising" by raising taxes.
On Morning Joe, Time's Rick Stengel claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "has to say it's a new paradigm of patriotism, it's a kind of post-identity politics patriotism, where, 'I wouldn't have had the opportunities I've had anywhere else in the world. .... And the qualities that make America what America is, what makes America great, is the reason that I've been able to be so successful.' " But Obama has said precisely that.
On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough advanced the myth that Sen. John McCain hasn't flip-flopped on his position on immigration reform by asserting: "[T]here are a lot of issues that Republicans have despised John McCain for taking positions on. He stayed with those positions, and it makes him much stronger in the fall campaign because of it, and I speak mainly of illegal immigration." In response, co-host Mika Brzezinski said, "Absolutely." Indeed, conservatives have praised McCain's rightward shift on the issue.