On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist, and NBC News' Savannah Guthrie did not challenge senior McCain adviser Steve Schmidt's false assertion that "[w]ith regard to the economy," Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are "talking about raising taxes across the board." In fact, Obama and Clinton have proposed tax cuts -- not tax increases -- for the poor and the middle class.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough discussed "[a] trip made by three U.S. lawmakers to Iraq before the war [that] was secretly financed by -- Saddam Hussein." Brzezinski stated, "The dates of the tour match one taken by Democratic representatives Jim McDermott, David Bonior, and Mike Thompson." But neither Brzezinski nor Scarborough mentioned that, as reported on the Morning Joe on-screen news ticker, "The Justice Department [told] NBC News it is satisfied the lawmakers believed in good faith the trip was funded by a legitimate charity."
After Chuck Todd acknowledged a media double standard in coverage of Sen. John McCain's Al Qaeda-Iran gaffe, CNBC's John Harwood asserted on Morning Joe: "I think that at the end of the day, John McCain has got sufficient credibility on that issue that people are not going to look at that and say, 'Oh, John McCain is confused' or 'John McCain's too old' or 'John McCain doesn't get it.' ... But he obviously can't do that too many times or he's got a problem." Harwood was not alone in misrepresenting or excusing McCain's false claim on MSNBC; several MSNBC reporters and anchors have ignored or excused McCain's false claim.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed that when Hillary Clinton said, "[N]o matter where you were born, or how much money you are born into, no matter where you worship, or the color of your skin, it is a bedrock American principle that we are all equal in the voting booth," she was using "code language." Scarborough made the "code" claim two more times on Morning Joe.
Responding to Barack Obama's comment, made in his March 18 speech addressing controversial statements by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that his white grandmother had "uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes," Joe Scarborough said: "I really wonder why anybody, why any man, would throw his grandmother under the bus during a political speech regardless of the point he was trying to make." But last week, Scarborough said that "we all have people that we love dearly who are crazy," adding, "Do not hold me accountable for things that my father has said in the past ... or for e-mails ... that my mother sends me. ... And again, Mom and Dad, I love you. I'm just making a bigger point."
Joe Scarborough asserted on MSNBC's Morning Joe: "John McCain has never attached himself to these people on the far right that say if you're gay, you're going to hell, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." In fact, McCain has "attached himself to" some notable religious figures who have made controversial statements, among them John Hagee and Rod Parsley.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough again defended Chris Matthews' controversial comments about Sen. Hillary Clinton, saying, "[W]hat Chris Matthews said is the same thing Maureen Dowd has been saying since 1998. ... Maybe he said it more bluntly, but to say, that's sexism?" Additionally, co-host Mika Brzezinski called criticism of MSNBC as sexist "unfair."
On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough said to Chris Matthews: "Bill Clinton says, though, Chris, that we're naïve for believing that politicians can work together, that we're naïve for believing that Barack Obama." Scarborough added: "But it seems to me it's cynicism versus hope." Matthews said: "Any politician who runs in America on the campaign message of 'don't get your hopes up' deserves to be doomed. What an amazing -- that is so un-American, because Americans believe that the way things are is not the way they have to be."
In again refusing to acknowledge that former White House senior political adviser Karl Rove was involved in leaking the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame to conservative columnist Robert D. Novak, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that Rove was not a source for Novak.
On Morning Joe and MSNBC Live, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski referred to Rudy Giuliani as "America's Mayor," in the context of Giuliani's departure from the presidential race and reported endorsement of Sen. John McCain. Media figures have repeatedly touted Giuliani's reputation as "America's Mayor" since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, despite criticism over his actions before and after the attacks.
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asserted that Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford is "the only human being on the face of the Earth, other than Bill Clinton, that doesn't think Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark was inappropriate." He also said Crawford is "the only guy who has defended ... Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark." But Jackson has reportedly said that he does not "read anything negative into Clinton's observation."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign: "They are at war against African-Americans and now they are at war against the Democratic Party." As evidence, Scarborough and Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson falsely claimed that the Clinton campaign "sued the Democratic Party" about caucus sites in Nevada. In fact, the Clinton campaign was not a party to the lawsuit.
Despite the fact that MSNBC had earlier aired Hillary Clinton saying, "I want to congratulate Senator [Barack] Obama tonight and I want to also thank the people of South Carolina for welcoming us into their homes, and their communities," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed that when Clinton "congratulated Senator Obama, she did it by a paper statement." Further, before Clinton's speech, Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson claimed that the "Clintons don't play by the normal rules," adding: "Where is the grace that we all expect out of losers in campaigns, which is you congratulate in words, not in just a statement, your opponent?" In fact, the statement issued by the Clinton campaign noted that Clinton had "called Senator Obama to congratulate him and wish him well."
Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist ridiculed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for "push[ing] the wrong button" when casting votes as an Illinois state senator. But they failed to make clear that, according to the Los Angeles Times article they were referencing (which addressed only five of the six alleged mistaken votes), Obama stated that he had voted the wrong way and asked that the record reflect that fact for each of those five votes when he actually cast them in the Illinois state Senate.