Rob Reiner triggered a Morning Joe meltdown by going on the MSNBC program and calling out Scarborough, Brzezinski, and the rest of the media for treating Trump like a celebrity while chasing corporate profits.
Video of Rob Reiner on Morning Joe:
After saying that a lot of the reporters have done a great job covering Trump, Rob Reiner went off on the media.
He said, “We know that since the late sixties when 60 Minutes became a hit. All the sudden networks realized that there was a profit center in news. We all know that, and slowly, slowly, slowly, this is a talk show and we are all having conversation. It’s not hard news. It doesn’t claim to be hard news….The show part of it is getting bigger and bigger, where the show part of it, show business and news have blurred….Chris Matthews held Trump accountable on his position on abortion. He didn’t let him up. He kept going at it, and it was the most revealing thing of this entire campaign season.
Reiner was just getting warmed up. He called out the media for treating Trump like a celebrity, “The words that are being flung out from his mouth are insane. If he was not a celebrity, if Trump was not a celebrity, the words that come out of his mouth. You’d see a guy in a park. A lunatic in a park on a soapbox, and you’d walk right by him. But the fact that he’s a celebrity. All the sudden, we’re all interested.”
Reiner made his point, “What we have to care about is what does this man say.”
Joe Scarborough said, “We do.”
Reiner continued, “He’s not pinned down. I want to hear how he’s going to deport 12 million people.”
Scarborough said that they have tried to nail Trump down, but he talks in circles.
Reiner tried to show Joe and Mika what they should be doing, but the Morning Joe hosts had a meltdown and got defensive about how difficult it is to interview Trump.
The best part of the entire disaster for the Trump supporting Morning Joe came when Willie Geist asked Reiner to explain the millions of people who like what they hear from Trump. Reiner answered, “There are a lot of people in this country who are racists.” Scarborough said, “Oh, my God, did you just say that?” Then asked if he thought all Trump voters were racists. Reiner continued, “No. I said there are a lot of people who are. There’s racism in this country that has been submerged for a long long time.”
Scarborough tried to use the standard Trump defense of appealing to working class whites, but Reiner shot that down too, “Let me say this to that. There are those who are following Bernie Sanders that feel the same way….Do you see any racist people at the Bernie rallies? Do you see any skinheads?”
The most devastating critique of the media’s love affair with Trump didn’t come from the political pundit class. It came from the guy who directed The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally.
Nobody believes for one second that Scarborough and Brzezinski have been tough on Trump. Their friendship with the Republican frontrunner is well documented. It is true that Trump talks in circles and tries to filibuster his way through interviews, but whether or not a journalist can pin Trump down is a matter of desire. Chris Wallace and Chris Matthews have both done interviews where they pinned Trump down. CNN’s Chris Cuomo recently pinned Trump down by repeating his question until Trump answered.
It isn’t impossible to pin Trump down. It is easy if the interviewer is willing to be persistent, and hold Trump to a higher standard than that of being a celebrity.
Morning Joe is chasing the ratings. They have no interest in seriously holding Trump accountable for his statements. Everyone in the media who enables Trump by going soft on him is helping him promote his bigotry and hate speech.
Reiner was right, and Morning Joe was left without an excuse for their Trump support disguised as journalism.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association