Mika does it again: In our view, Morning Joe continues to be one of the strangest discussion shows in all of cable news history.
In the sixteen months since Trump declared, a lot of the strangeness has come from Joe. But yesterday morning, Mika Brzezinski hauled off and did it again.
Mika belongs on a cable news program in much the way we belong in the director's chair at the Bolshoi Ballet. Frequently, it seems she simply isn't comfortable stating and arguing points of view.
Despite her discomfort, she plows ahead. Yesterday morning, she authored one of her strangest performances ever.
You have to remember—on Morning Joe, Mika is cast as the liberal Clinton supporter. Joe is the former Republican congressman who likes to talk about his old campaigns. Mika is there to give the impression of a vague balance between the left and the right.
Is Mika planning to vote for Clinton? Frankly, we can't tell. There's nothing "wrong" with that, of course, except she keeps saying she plans to.
Yesterday morning, Mika really jumped the shark in her backhanded support for Clinton. The candidate had been seeming confident out on the trail since her first debate with Trump, and especially since that news report about Trump maybe not paying taxes.
Yesterday, Mika complained about that. Please try to follow the logic:
BRZEZINSKI (10/4/16): So I've just noticed a confidence here that I don't think should be there among the [Clinton] campaign, I'm sorry. But I mean, you think about this tax thing, unless—You can watch the whole discussion here, all thanks to Media Matters.
Were laws broken? Did The New York Times find that any laws were broken?
BRZEZINSKI: Were any laws broken?
HASKELL-GEIST JR.: No.
BRZEZINSKI: OK, so [Trump] talks about brilliantly using this system? Right! Hillary Clinton could have had that same reaction to her speech money. That she says she's going to change Wall Street, "But you know what, I used the system to make millions of dollars."
But instead she hides it. Donald Trump just doesn't hide it. He's very comfortable with the fact that he followed the law and made a lot of money. She also followed the law and made a lot of money and for some reason it's OK to look at that speech money and somehow we just let it go because she's—her campaign keeps it kind of under—
It's the same thing! And that's what people see! People see somebody being honest about it, and someone kind of like, not mentioning it but still doing it. What's the difference? Does anybody want to explain to me, because I think voters like what they saw from Donald Trump and I'm very worried about that.
In case you're wondering, yes! In that passage, Mika was saying that Trump has been open and "honest" about his taxes, while Clinton has been "hiding" her speaking fees. She said that in spite of the fact that Trump won't release his tax returns, while Clinton's speaking fees were always public information.
Mika didn't entirely seem to be making perfect sense at this point. By the time she angrily asked if Trump had broken any laws, the boys already seemed to be scared, as you can tell by their meek recitations of "No" in response to her query.
Mika actually seemed upset. The boys seemed to be a bit scared.
It's true that Trump isn't known to have broken any laws in this matter. And it isn't clear to what extent voters will care about this. But especially from a Clinton supporter, Mika's insistence that Donald was honest, while Clinton was hiding, really did seem a bit odd.
Sure enough! In case anyone thought she must mean something else, she hauled off again moments later:
BRZEZINSKI: I think the reaction to this New York Times story on Donald Trump's part was brilliant. And the thing is he didn't even think twice about it, he just went there, while she has been hiding this speech money, hiding this foundation stuff, hiding this email stuff, and trying to get around it, "Mistakes were made." And I'm telling you, people don't, they are not feeling a complete connection with her, and this didn't help to get all high and mighty. Get off your high horse about this tax thing. Unless laws were broken, it's not an issue. You guys cancel each other out.Mika agrees with Christie and Rudy and with Trump's kids. Trump's reaction to the Times story really has been "brilliant," she now declared. And now, the self-professed Clinton supporter expanded her brief about Clinton's secrecy.
Clinton's been hiding the speaking fees and the "foundation stuff," Mika said. But the speaking fees were public info, and so was the gigantic bulk of the "foundation stuff." Just for the record, Clinton has also released tens of thousands of emails.
By way of contrast, Trump has been open and honest about his tax returns, which he won't release.
After telling Clinton to get off her high horse, Mika remembered that she's been cast as Morning Joe's Clinton supporter. Clinton and Trump "cancel each other out," the fiery Clintonista now said.
Morning Joe is constantly like this. In our view, it's one of the strangest discussion shows in the history of "cable news."