In Defense of Mika Brzezinski
This morning, President Trump issued a series of tweets attacking Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, cohosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe. The tweets, which were so inherently vicious that fellow news anchors reporting on the situation had to forewarn their respective audiences before repeating them on air, assailed Scarborough as a “psycho” and demeaned Brzezinski of being “crazy” as well as having a “low IQ.” Trump also implied that the duo approached him about an interview — which he supposedly turned down — while attending a party at his Mar-a-Lago estate around New Year’s Eve and stated that the highly respected female news anchor was “bleeding badly from a face lift.”
This rampant rhetoric is like a never ending game of limbo. How low can Trump go? Let’s unpack for this a minute. Thanks to the President's well-documented inability to be truthful, fact checking has become this country’s new favorite pastime (sorry baseball!). Aside from falsely accusing journalists (or anyone he disagrees agree with) of mental illness, he’s also set himself up for another reverse gotcha. That meeting he supposedly turned down? Yeah, he took it. And photos of Brzezinski at his Mar-a-Lago compound prove that there was nary a scratch or bandage to be seen on her beautiful face, much less anything that implied a surgery as complicated as a facelift. And also, what if she did get a facelift? Is he telling us that that’s a bad thing?
Point number two: Trump attacked these hosts admittedly without even knowing why he was insulting them. “I heard that poorly rated Morning Joe speaks badly of me,” he typed before adding in parenthesis, “(don’t watch anymore).” Okay, so he’s continuing his trend of insulting people without first confirming what actually happened. Nice work.
To her credit, Brzezinski is taking the high road and saving her rebuttal for tomorrow’s show (we’ll be watching!). And, thankfully, the public reaction to this head-slapper of a situation has been overwhelming in support of Brzezinski and critical of Trump, even among the President’s diminishing inner circle. MSNBC fired back that "It's a sad day for America." Senator Lindsey Graham, a man who has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, took an elevated stance by tweeting about how the comments were "beneath the office" of the White House. House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Trump’s tweets too, “Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment,” he said. (This is not the first time he has labeled the President’s diatribe as “not appropriate,” see also demanding loyalty from former FBI Director James Comey.) Female leaders such as Senator Susan Collins called for "respect and civility," Representative Lynn Jenkins openly confessed that "as a female in politics, I am often criticized for my looks." Adding that "we should be working to empower women."
Of course this won’t be the end of Trump’s B.S. sexist, misogynistic ranting. That is a sad (!) truth. Fortunately while we band together not only for Brzezinski, but for women everywhere, we can take comfort in the fact that even his right wing wonks are distancing themselves from his erratic behavior and vitriolic statements.
How wrong he’s played his (tiny) hand(s).