Morning Joe's Pro-Koch Coverage Pays Off With "Exclusive, First-Ever Joint Interview"
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski's tireless efforts to defend industrialists Charles and David Koch have paid off: the Koch brothers have granted them "an exclusive, first-ever joint interview" on MSNBC. The Morning Joe crew has called David Koch "a godsend," portrayed the billionaires as similar to "most Americans" in their political views, and dismissed attacks over their dark money spending as "stupid" and "embarrassing."
Koch Brothers Grant Morning Joe "Exclusive, First-Ever Joint Interview"
MSNBC: Morning Joe "Will Have An Exclusive, First-Ever Joint Interview With Charles And David Koch." MSNBC wrote on October 27 that the show will interview the Kochs at their childhood home in Wichita, Kansas:
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will have an exclusive, first-ever joint interview with Charles and David Koch. The interviews will take place in the Koch's childhood home in Wichita, KS.
In one sitdown with Charles Koch, Joe and Mika will discuss with him his new bestselling book "Good Profit". Then, David will join Charles for a conversation about their unique backgrounds and lives, and their thoughts on politics.
"Morning Joe" (weekdays, 6-9 AM ET) will air the interviews in a special live broadcast from Wichita State University on Tuesday, November 3, one year out from Election Day 2016. [MSNBC.com, 10/27/15]
Morning Joe On The Kochs: "Awesome," "Godsend," People Should "Thank" Them And Stop "Pick[ing]" On Them
Scarborough Lionizes The Kochs: "They Believe In The Freedom Agenda ... They're Like, I Think, Most Americans." During a January program, as Think Progress noted, Scarborough showered the Kochs with praise:
Scarborough noted that he had spoken at length with Charles Koch and found him to be a "true believer," who is "obsessed" with "income disparity and, mainly, crony capitalism." The former Republican Congressman from Florida added that Charles Koch "has no use for Republicans that support corporate welfare and no use for Democrats," and "anyone who thinks that they are loyal, faithful Republicans have never talked to them for more than three minutes." He also claimed that the anti-government activist Kochs are really mainstream social moderates with little patience for those who want "huge bloody battles on social issues":
SCARBOROUGH: They believe in the freedom agenda, they believe in low taxes, they believe in low regulations. They are libertarians. They don't want the federal government in your pocketbook, but they also don't want them in your bedroom. They're like, I think, most Americans. [Think Progress, 1/26/15, emphasis in original]
Brzezinski: Koch Event Was "Awesome," "They're Definitely Not What You Think." After she attended an "awesome" Koch-sponsored event in January, Brzezinski said the Koch brothers were "definitely not what you think." She also praised their philanthropic efforts. [Think Progress, 1/26/15; Talking Points Memo, 1/28/15]
Scarborough: In Manhattan, "People Thank God For David Koch." Scarborough expressed disbelief that people would attack the Koch brothers since attacking them "doesn't even work in Manhattan where people thank God for David Koch ... If you have cancer, you'll be thanking David Koch. If you love the arts, you will thank David Koch. I mean, you will thank the Koch brothers." [The New Republic, 9/29/14]
Scarborough On Reid's Koch Attacks: "Embarrassing," "Lying," "Pure McCarthyism." Scarborough criticized Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) for attacking the Koch brothers, calling it "beneath the dignity of the office he's holding," "lying," and "embarrassing." Koch Industries highlighted Scarborough's defense on their website. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 4/4/14; KochFacts.com, 4/4/14]
Scarborough And Brzezinski Mock Concerns Over Koch Spending. The Morning Joe hosts commented on a Washington Post article reporting that five out of the top seven most-attacked candidates in the 2014 cycle were Republicans. Scarborough used the article to dismiss concerns about Koch-spending, saying sarcastically: "I'm confused ... Why are the Koch brothers doing this? I don't understand." Brzezinski wondered if critics of the Kochs are staying at a Koch-funded hospital. Despite the show's sarcasm, the Washington Post article noted its chart "doesn't paint the whole picture" and Americans for Prosperity -- which is heavily backed by the Koch brothers -- "is expected to spend more than $125 million this election cycle, but the group will only report a tiny fraction of that spending to the Federal Election Commission. If you factored in all of that money, the above chart probably wouldn't be so GOP-heavy." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 10/23/14 The Washington Post, 10/22/14; Politico, 5/9/14]
Scarborough: "Many Liberal New Yorkers See David Koch As A Godsend To Their City." Scarborough criticized attacks against the Kochs in an opinion column, writing:
Harry Reid's preposterous attacks are made all the more preposterous by the fact that many liberal New Yorkers see David Koch as a godsend to their city for his multimillion-dollar contributions to cancer research and the arts. Those Manhattan liberals also know that the positive influence of his philantrophy dwarfs the impact of any contributions he ever gave to conservative politicians. [Pensacola News Journal, 4/5/14]
Scarborough On Attacks On Kochs Over Dark Money: "Nobody Cared." On Meet the Press, Scarborough said: "I just wanted to say you talk about Harry Reid as the tactician, the politician, the fundraiser. His legacy in his last election is going to be disastrous. He decided to nationalize the election around a guy named Charles Koch. Nobody knew, nobody cared. He wasted so much money for the Democrats." [NBC, Meet the Press , 3/29/15]
Scarborough On Koch Attacks: "It Was Stupid." Scarborough mocked Democrats for "pick[ing] on" the Kochs, remarking: "Did we not say from the very beginning what a stupid idea -- We could have saved Harry Reid hundreds of millions of dollars if they would have ran on real issues instead going, 'oh, we're going to pick on these two guys.'" He later added: "It was stupid." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 11/10/14]
Scarborough: Charles Koch Isn't A "Right-Wing, Rabid Nut," He's "Very Nuanced." [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 10/27/15]
Scarborough And Brzezinski Have Been Koch Event Guests
Scarborough And Brzezinski Will Interview Charles Koch For A November 2 Wichita Metro Chamber Of Commerce Event, Which Is Sponsored By Koch Industries. A press release stated that Scarborough and Brzezinski will interview Charles Koch at the Wichita convention center:
The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and Wichita Educational Foundation announced earlier this month that Wichita native Charles Koch is the featured guest speaker at the Chamber Annual Meeting on Monday, November 2, 2015. Koch is the Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc., a position he has held since 1967.
The Chamber has also secured Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski from MSNBC's Morning Joe program to interview Koch on stage as part of the program. An added feature of the event includes the broadcast of the Morning Joe program live from Wichita the following day. [WichitaChamber.org, 9/17/15]
Koch Industries is a silver sponsor and corporate table sponsor of the Chamber Annual Meeting, according to its website. [WichitaChamber.org, 10/28/15]
Scarborough And Brzezinski Were Part Of 2015 Koch Summit. The Koch-backed Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce organized a three-day conference in California which, Politico noted, featured "a luncheon discussion featuring MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, according to an attendee." The Morning Joe hosts discussed the event on MSNBC. [Politico, 1/28/15; Talking Points Memo, 1/28/15]
For more on how the Koch brothers are shaping elections through dark money, and how their political influence benefits the fossil fuel industry and their own bottom line, go here.