Ethical double standards when it comes to Tea Party Republican Joe Scarborough is one of the reasons MSNBC is losing its audience. Ratings have been falling steadily since Keith Olberman’s departure as a result of an ethical double standard applied to him but not to Scarborough. It doesn’t help when Scarborough calls MSNBC audience members who use the twitter hashtag UniteBlue, hatemongers and extremists.
Keith Olberman’s personal donations to Democratic Candidates led to his immediate and indefinite suspension, and played a role in his eventual departure from MSNBC. Compare that to allowing Scarborough to be the keynote speaker at a Republican Party fundraiser while denying a similar privilege to Ed Schultz.
On Friday, Scarborough declared anyone who uses the #UniteBlue hashtag is a “freak”, “hatemonger” and on the “fringe.” Scarborough made his declaration during a discussion about Ron Johnson’s reaction to Jay Rockefellar’s observation that Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act could be connected to their dislike for the president because maybe he’s the wrong color.
I could just take people who use hashtag Unite Blue and make a sweeping condemnation about America’s labor movement if I wanted to, but I don’t because I know that these people are on the fringes; they’re freaks; they’re hate ‘mongerers’ [sic]; that there are a lot of people who are in America’s union movements that are good, decent, hardworking people who actually would agree with me on a lot of issues. I mean we could all pick and choose, but should Jay Rockefeller say that with Ron Johnson in the room and then not bend over backwards to say: ‘I’m talking about people on the margins.’ I don’t think that’s constructive at all.
Most of the people who use the #UniteBlue hashtag are liberals, just as most of the people who use #tcot are conservatives and most who use the #TGDN hashtag use the Scarborough logic that people who share their ideology are good, and anyone who doesn’t must be demonized and silenced.
This post is not about defending Unite Blue as an organization. It is about Scarborough’s characterization of anyone who uses the twitter hashtage #Uniteblue as a hatemonger, freak and extremist.
Scarborough made a point of recognizing that the labor movement is not monolithic, but failed to apply the same courtesy to people who use the #UniteBlue hashtag.
Scarborough may disagree with predominantly liberal tweeters who use the hashtag to advance social and economic justice issues like increasing the minimum wage and eliminate gender based pay discrimination. They may tweet to condemn racist comments by hatemongering Republicans like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy under that hashtag. However, disagreement with Scarborough does not make someone a freak a hatemonger or an extremist. Nor does agreeing with him make someone good and decent.
Like other Republicans, Joe Scarborough equates being “good” and decent” with being a Republican. These days being a Republican means conforming to its hateful ideology. It means supporting school lunches for rural white kids but starving Urban children. In Republican speak, urban is code for black. There is absolutely nothing hateful about a policy intended to starve children based on their race or where they live, *facepalm*
There is absolutely nothing extreme about denying women access to reproductive health or giving their abusers access to fire arms. *facepalm* Opposing a minimum wage increase that the majority of Americans support isn’t the tiniest bit on the fringe. *facepalm*
To be one of those good people by virtue of agreeing with Joe Scarborough means denying the existence of climate change, science in general and anything resembling a fact. It means taking a nuanced argument and distorting it in the name of reducing the argument to Tea Party level simplicity.
Odds are MSNBC’s audience members who are also members of the Twitter community are much more likely to tweet using the #UniteBlue hashtag than those favored by Scarborough’s side of the political divide. As such, Scarborough is biting the proverbial hand that feeds MSNBC’s dwindling ratings. If MSNBC can justify showing Martin Bashir the door because he hurt Sarah Palin’s feelings; it’s time to apply a little equal justice to Joe Scarborough. Even if MSNBC doesn’t believe in equal justice, can it really afford to alienate even more of its viewers?