After Ignoring Levin's Red-Hot Book, Media Pump Joe Scarborough's
By Attacking Former Friends, Can Host Fuel Book Sales?
Just last week, this site explored the state-controlled media's lack of interest in Mark Levin's best-selling conservative call to arms. Despite their silent treatment, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto is poised to sell a million copies, if not more.
Hoping to ride the wave of mega-book sales is another "conservative", MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough, but the reaction from our mainstream media friends is quite different this time: the notorious, shifty-eyed squish is enjoying generous helpings of press attention for The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise.
The New York Times, for example, couldn't wait to feature Joe in their Sunday magazine. And even liberal "alternative" weekly tabloids are getting into the act. Though criticism still exists from the left, it is outnumbered as the consensus emerges that Scarborough is a "reasonable conservative" (read: moderate or center-left).
But that's not the only weapon in "Morning Joe's" arsenal: by attacking onetime allies, Scarborough is hoping to shift attention away from his own lack of base-building core principles. An added benefit to the rampant back-stabbing is further laudatory media coverage, especially when it is seen as damaging key conservative leaders.
At the same time, Scarborough nominally pretends to remain a conservative and Republican, while utilizing rhetoric commonly associated with liberals and Democrats. Joe believes he's the smartest guy in the room and has therefore fooled us all.
But can Rush-bashing from the "right" actually sell books? Scarborough seems to believe so. Just take a look at his interview with the New York Post, which ran in Sunday's edition:
What do you make of the party's response to Sonia Sotomayor?
It's absolute insanity. Most Americans saw a picture of an African-American president and a Hispanic-American as his nominee and were cheered by that. It doesn't help the party to have some of its thought leaders going out there calling her a racist. Right now, there is a cultural problem with a party whose faces have been Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, George Bush and Rush Limbaugh.
Who is the party's thought leader?
I don't know. I would say the one conservative voice is Charles Krauthammer.
What do think is animating Dick Cheney's sudden visibility?
I think he was extremely frustrated serving eight years under a president who could not express himself articulately. But the party won't regenerate itself if it looks backward. It can't be run by those who dismantled Reagan's conservative coalition.
In a Newsweek interview published last week, he went further into anti-Rush territory, comparing the talk titan to cable bottom-feeder Jon Stewart:
Rush Limbaugh—entertainer or a serious voice of American conservatism? And "both" is an unacceptable answer.
I consider him to be a lot like Jon Stewart. He has a show and gets paid well to do that show. They're both entertainers who get paid to comment on political happenings in a way that reinforces the views of their audiences in an entertaining way. That being said, in 1994 when I ran for Congress, Rush Limbaugh had a very significant impact on a lot of congressional elections like mine. I think he's become more of an entertainer since then.
To those who find Joe's answers inconsistent and baffling (see the Cheney question above), it may be that the real Joe Scarborough just isn't terribly bright.
But he is smart enough to see Rush Limbaugh's on-air success, as well as Levin's in the publishing arena and want his own piece of the action. Within the broadcast industry, it is widely believed that Scarborough's latest foray into talk radio was entirely motivated by news of Limbaugh's mega-contract renewal deal signed last year.
Since he shares the medium (and even the station, WABC in New York) with Limbaugh, what does that make him? Another mere "entertainer"?
Whether actual conservatives will be gullible enough to purchase Scarborough's book is anyone's guess. Between cable television, radio and publishing, however, Morning Joe had better quickly find success somewhere, or his career will have all of the potential of that dead intern once found in his office.
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