On Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski and Carly Fiorina, an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, suggested that McCain acknowledged his weakness on economic issues only once. But the Boston Globe has reported that "on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, McCain has volunteered that he is unsatisfied with his lack of knowledge about aspects of economics."
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.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough discussed "[a] trip made by three U.S. lawmakers to Iraq before the war [that] was secretly financed by -- Saddam Hussein." Brzezinski stated, "The dates of the tour match one taken by Democratic representatives Jim McDermott, David Bonior, and Mike Thompson." But neither Brzezinski nor Scarborough mentioned that, as reported on the Morning Joe on-screen news ticker, "The Justice Department [told] NBC News it is satisfied the lawmakers believed in good faith the trip was funded by a legitimate charity."
On MSNBC Live, Mika Brzezinski stated that Sen. Barack Obama "claimed" that Sen. John McCain "had initially opposed the tax cuts and was flip-flopping, just to get elected," and aired a clip of McCain saying, "Senator Obama has stated very clearly his desire to increase Americans' taxes." But Brzezinski did not acknowledge that Obama's "claim" that McCain reversed his position on the Bush tax cuts is in fact true, or that, contrary to McCain's assertion, Obama has proposed tax cuts for the poor and the middle class.
While discussing Sen. Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan said, "Remember that thing Mrs. Clinton said where she was asked, 'Do you think he's a Christian?' And she said one of those formulations like 'Oh, as far as I know, look into it.' " MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski replied, "Wink-wink, yeah." In fact, during an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, Clinton was not asked, "Do you think he's a Christian?" -- when asked, "You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?" she immediately responded, "Of course not." Moreover, she compared "ridiculous rumors" circulating about her to rumors about Obama, making clear that the Obama rumors are false.
Citing a Pew Research poll, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski asserted that "John McCain's crossover appeal is apparently even greater than Barack Obama's." However, polling has differed on the question of whether McCain or Obama would have greater "crossover appeal" -- appeal to members of the opposite party -- and two polls more recent than the Pew poll Brzezinski cited found that Obama received greater "crossover" support.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough again defended Chris Matthews' controversial comments about Sen. Hillary Clinton, saying, "[W]hat Chris Matthews said is the same thing Maureen Dowd has been saying since 1998. ... Maybe he said it more bluntly, but to say, that's sexism?" Additionally, co-host Mika Brzezinski called criticism of MSNBC as sexist "unfair."
Referring to comments he had made about Sen. Hillary Clinton's voice, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said on the February 27 edition of Morning Joe, "Look, the famous Dr. Johnson, and I hate to repeat it, said, you know, 'To see a woman speaking is to watch a dog walking on its hind legs ... Sure, he said you're surprised not to see it done -- not that it's not done well, but to see it done at all."
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski asked presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin: "[A]t this moment in history, isn't John McCain the perfect candidate to deal with what challenges we face as a country, and given the presidency that is just coming to a close right now?" At no point during the segment, however, did Brzezinski disclose that her brother is a McCain adviser.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski said of Sen. John McCain, "[F]or the most part, he really does stick to his views even if they're unpopular," adding that McCain's "views on immigration were unpopular, and he stood by them even at the peril of his campaign." In fact, McCain once called for comprehensive reform that addressed the creation of a guest-worker program, a path to citizenship, and border security, but now says he supports addressing border security first.
Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for "push[ing] the wrong button" when casting votes as an Illinois state senator. But they failed to make clear that, according to the Los Angeles Times article they were referencing (which addressed only five of the six alleged mistaken votes), Obama stated that he had voted the wrong way and asked that the record reflect that fact for each of those five votes when he actually cast them in the Illinois state Senate.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described John Gibson's statement in response to the firestorm over remarks he made concerning the death of actor Heath Ledger as "an awful, awful joke of an apology," and later asserted that it was "not an apology." After airing Gibson's statement, Joe Scarborough said, "What he said was, 'I'm sorry if you were offended. ... I'm sorry if you were offended that I mocked the death of a young man.' " Scarborough also asserted that Gibson "got caught in an anti-gay tirade."
On January 18, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said it was "outrageous that Chris Matthews ha[d] to apologize" following his January 9 comment, documented by Media Matters, in which he said that "the reason" Hillary Clinton is "a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around." By "apologize," Scarborough was referring to a statement Matthews made at the start of his January 17 show addressing the firestorm sparked by his earlier comments.