When my wife, Jackie, and I are getting ready for work in the mornings, we watch–actually, we’re overhearing more than viewing–“Morning Joe” on MSNBC television. It’s ostensibly a news, politics, popular culture and current affairs program, from 6 to 9 AM weekdays, EDT, on NBC’s politically left-leaning cable channel.
The format is something of a round-table discussion–dominated, as it usually is, by host, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from the Florida panhandle’s “Redneck Riviera.” Having turned television personality and political pundit, there’s not much about which the verbose Scarborough doesn’t have an opinion, however sufficiently informed or otherwise he may be.
As in, for instance, a 2008 “Morning Joe” appearance by co-host Mika Brzezinski’s father, Zbigniew, former National Security Advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Perhaps because of the filial connection, Dr. Brzezinski is a frequent guest on the program and no less revealing of his irritation toward Mr. Scarborough on his daughter’s behalf. For if Ms. Brzezinski can hardly “get a word in edgewise” with the overbearing Scarborough, that he was originally–before she protested to NBC management–being paid 14 times more than his co-host: this was exposed in Mika’s 2011 book, Knowing Your Value. Her confessing how she has too often, like too many women, under-sold her worth in the marketplace of talent selling and buying.
In that 2008 so-called “discussion” of the 2000 Camp David Summit regarding Middle East peace negotiations, as Joe Scarborough was typically holding forth on the matter, the elder Brzezinski, in his charmingly sarcastic way, characterized Scarborough’s assessment of the situation as “stunningly superficial.” Just as I’m sure there are those who would likely caricature “Morning Joe” similarly.
I say “ostensibly,” in referring to the program as a collage of news, politics, popular culture and current affairs, because, more often than not, I realize I’m watching “Morning Joe” from a marriage and family counselor’s perspective.