Morning Joe Isn’t a Real News Show

If you think of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program as a hard-hitting news show then you’ll probably throw up in your mouth a little watching White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett go around the table this morning prior to her interview kissing and hugging the assembled reporters.

Jarrett’s first step is toward the BBC’s Katty Kay. “Hi, there,” Jarrett’s heard whispering as she leans in for a hug and kiss. Kay is “Anchor for BBC World News America in Washington.”

Then the senior White House adviser just as warmly greets Cokie Roberts, a National Public Radio contirbutor.

As the segment heads toward a commercial break, host Joe Scarborough can be heard saying, “Valerie, come give me a hug.”

You can’t blame Valerie Jarrett here. She’s working the refs. It’s her job. Consigliere’s are known for much tougher jobs than buttering up news reporters. I’d be more concerned if Jarrett was handing out checks.

But this doesn’t make Katty Kay, Cokie Roberts or Joe Scarborough look good for the obvious reason that people have a reasonable doubt that a reporter will ask tough questions immediately after being warmly embraced by the subject of their interview.

As one of the hosts of the program, Joe Scarborough is particularly dumb for going so far as to solicit affection that wasn’t immediately forthcoming. He might as well bend his knee to King Obama.

It’s rare that I agree with the Weekly Standard but they’re right to highlight this episode. If I differ at all, it’s just that this is Morning Joe and what the hell did you expect? It’s like the Today show for nerds.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.