The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

21 August 2006

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC, Bush


Is This The Price Of Keeping A Low-Rated Show?

For Tucker Carlson, the answer is Dancing With The Stars.

And for fellow cable talker Joe Scarborough, it's grade- skool level Bush- bashing.

Which brings us, Jeopardy- style, to the big question: to keep a low- rated MSNBC program on the air, which pathetic stunts are the most useful?

As former US Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL) moves further to the left, for whatever reason, he continues to make a bigger fool out of himself than ever before. Given his history, that's not an easy feat (and click here to learn how Joe's former law partner is a key player at Air America Radio).

Now, using his space at the Huffington Post, Joe continues his recent "Is Bush Stupid?" world tour with a piece so sloppy, he can't seem to tell the difference between one's intellect and the ability to effectively communicate:

For the past six years George W. Bush has been the target of ridicule from liberal circles. But now, instead of laughing at Democrats’ ill-directed arrogance, Republicans are quietly joining the left in questioning the President’s intellectual prowess.

The biggest knock on Bush’s brain is his lack of intellectual curiosity. Former administration officials still close to the White House will tell you Mr. Bush detests dissent, embraces a narrow world view and is intellectually incurious.

Worse for this White House is the fact that George W. Bush has daily smackdowns with the English language and the English language usually wins.

His gaffes are funnier than most SNL skits. But more disturbing are his rambling, disjointed press conferences like the one he held earlier this week.

Friends and foes alike agree that George W. Bush is one political figure who gets worse with age. Look back at his performance as Texas governor and you will see a funny, self-assured public figure who inspires confidence. But these days, the mere opening of Mr. Bush’s mouth makes many GOP loyalists shake in their tasseled loafers.

So does it matter in the end whether our president is articulate and intelligent?

You bet your life, it does. I’m not saying we need to elect a dork like Michael Dukakis, who famously spent vacations at the beach reading books on Swedish land use or was so overwhelmed with the details of the old SALT treaties that he would sulk off to bed depressed.

But when America is fighting a global war on terror where the battle is for hearts and minds instead of beachheads and landing strips, we need a leader who can explain to friend and foe alike why America is in Iraq, why we keep sending arms to Israel and why liberal democracy really is preferable to Islamic fascism.

Right now, George W. Bush is not that leader.

Newsbusters, Tim Graham believes Joe's strategy is to kiss up to the mainstream media in exchange for free publicity. From his piece:

...what one might call the Scarborough Syndrome: being a conservative host inside a liberal network -- not to mention a liberal network that has a history of changing prime-time hosts like socks -- might compel you to being more critical of Bush and conservatives.

In the study of MSNBC segments -- well, just this one -- Baker (author of WaPo story featuring Joe) also ignores that Scarborough, now anointing himself the avatar of intellectual curiosity, has often buried his viewers in tabloid piffle like the unending JonBenet Ramsey case, which isn't exactly honoring the intellect of your viewers.

Graham's point about survival at MSNBC is even more on target when considering Scarborough's weak ratings. From TVNewser, here's a recent look at them.

Before Joe's sorry show is finally cancelled, how much extra time has this cheap, anti- Bush stunt bought him? We'll soon find out.

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  • Sorry, but the truth hurts.

    While I expect Scarborough to be cancelled soon, he has left the world a video that should be placed in the archives of history as testament to George Bush's position as worst president in American history.

    By Blogger none, at 21 August, 2006 22:32  

  • I'm not sure I can find anything inaccurate or misleading about his statement either.

    I'd question his motives if it actually did matter anymore.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 22 August, 2006 00:13  

  • Joe Scarborough has always been interested in one thing - Joe Scarborough. He's tried the Bill O'Reilly lite act, but that got him nowhere, so now it's time to start blasting the president on whether or not he's stoopid. Perhaps he's looking for a guest stint on Olby-wan's Daily One Hour Hate Fest.

    One question for Ordinary Joe, tho - what does that achieve? Come November, Bush-43's truly lame duck, with no Veep successor to defend. There is nothing that can be done to or for 43 that is going to affect his, or this nation's, life one jot or tittle. IIRC, the last time a re-elected president left office without a Veep to promote was Truman back in 1952, when Alben Barkley chose not to run because of his age.

    Besides - all these people calling for Bush to resign or just go away will leave us with President Richard Cheney. While I personally relish that prospect, I hardly think that is the goal of the Bush bashers hereabouts. Or perhaps they haven't thought their motives out to the logical end game.

    Elmonica - on what basis would you rate Bush-43 as "worst president in American history?" Economics? Then compare his record with Carter or Ford and get back to us. Geopolitics? Then take a peek at what BillyJeff did to this nation (USS Cole, two embassies destroyed, Somalia, etc. etc.) or the multiple failures of Reagan (Iran-Contra, Beirut Marines), LBJ (Vietnam and its sequelae), or Carter again with personally allowing the dynamite stick of Islamofascism to be lit.

    Or is it because you (and evidently others) just don't like him?

    Dont be dumb on purpose, son...

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 22 August, 2006 00:17  

  • Did Gregg Cockrell get fired as Scarborough's producer?

    Joe has no credibility with such changes.

    For the record, I have had dealings with Cockrell in the past, and that goes back to when Cockrell was Tom Leykis' producer at KFI am radio in Los Angeles.

    By Blogger PCD, at 22 August, 2006 08:36  

  • There's a segment on Scarbourough Country called "The Real Deal." If you ask me his turn to the left is a RAW Deal.

    And yes his show will be cancelled soon along with "mumbled pruneface" Imus.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 24 August, 2006 08:13  

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