Is Joe Scarborough The Next Keith Olbermann?

Joe Scarborough is rapidly becoming this generation’s Keith Olberman. And that’s bad news for Joe Scarborough. Olbermann already played out this attack-dog role on MSNBC during the Bush years and Scarborough should recall that with caution. Look what it did for Olbermann. Fired by his network, he now peddles his unique blend of conspiracy theories and invective on a YouTube channel.

Remember how Olbermann would dub various Bush Administration officials as “the worst person in the world” on a near nightly basis? Scarborough changed the script a bit, but the plot is still the same: Republican presidents are bad. In the parlance of the modern left, they are “transgressive”―the ultimate epithet in the politically correct lexicon.

This week’s casus belli is, of course, the firing of FBI Director James Comey. On Thursday’s edition of Countdown With Keith Olbermann Morning Joe, Scarborough began with an 8 minute rant trying to make the case that Comey was fired because he wanted to expand the FBI’s investigation into Russian espionage during last year’s election based on an anonymous allegation in a New York Times story.

He frames the allegation this way:

Rod Rosenstein, this sainted figure according to Trump hacks gets this information, passes it along to Jeff Sessions, who passes it along to Donald Trump―we are almost certain―and then what happens? Donald Trump suddenly decides that Comey must be fired at once…

He only fired him in rapid succession with these letters―the request, the letter, and the firing―because he knew that because he knew that Comey was about to kick this investigation into overdrive.

The only problem with Scarborough’s analysis is that it isn’t true.The Times story was debunked on the record by the Justice Department a day before his rant. DOJ Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores stated flatly: “the idea that he asked for more funding” for the Russia inquiry was “totally false.”

How did Scarborough miss that? Did the DOJ statement come out much later than The Times story with the anonymous allegation? Was it an honest mistake? Hard to believe since the denial is in the very same story 5 paragraphs below the anonymous allegations.

But he continued, arguing that if the Senate doesn’t “grill McCabe” and give the FBI every penny that Comey allegedly requested “that this is a constitutional crisis.” By my reckoning that will be Scarborough’s third constitutional crisis this year. He declared the country in crisis at the beginning of March after the president tweeted that Obama was surveilling Trump Tower and then keenly spotted more “constitutional crises” in the making on March 21st after Trump criticized the mainstream media. If he’s right, then apparently constitutional crises have gotten an unjustifiably bad reputation. I never dreamed that they would be accompanied by a stock market boom and the lowest unemployment rate in a decade.

Intoxicated as he was with self-righteous indignation made more potent by the whiff of scandal, Scarborough may have forgotten that spending bills originate in the House of Representatives where he once served. So demanding that the Senate provide additional funds amounts to barking up the wrong tree. More significantly, grilling McCabe is unnecessary. He’s already on the record denying that Comey ever made the funding request that so exorcised Scarborough.

align=”left” Will Scarborough recant? Will he admit his error? Unlikely. And why should he? What price is he likely to pay for reporting such fake news? Will advertisers refuse to sponsor his show as they have done with conservative outlets like Breitbart?

He tried to demonstrate a causal relationship between Comey’s request for funds to expand the scope of the Russian hacking investigation and his dismissal. The only problem is that everyone with any potential knowledge of such a request has denied it including acting Director Andrew McCabe―a Democrat with close ties to the Clinton machine―who added, “I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.”

Will Scarborough recant? Will he admit his error? Unlikely. And why should he? What price is he likely to pay for reporting such fake news? Will advertisers refuse to sponsor his show as they have done with conservative outlets like Breitbart? Will Google or Facebook suppress the Morning Joe website in search results as they have been accused of doing to conservatives?

No. Rather, he is incentivized to become more outrageous. Instead of getting pushback from other journalists for his agitprop he gets cheered. But at some point serious reporters, even those on the political Left, must become concerned about their own reputations and steer clear of Scarborough’s travelling circus.

align=”right” His daily tantrums are catnip for the permanent political class still seething from Trump’s election and looking for payback. But they can’t last forever.

While he is lauded by others in the D.C. media echo chamber where his show is considered “must see TV”, Morning Joe’s ratings aren’t very good nationally when compared to other morning shows. His daily tantrums are catnip for the permanent political class still seething from Trump’s election and looking for payback. But they can’t last forever. They say a lie is half way around the world before the truth puts on its shoes. But it’s also true that while the truth may be a slow starter it’s a merciless closer.

The truth won’t be kind to Joe. He’s too overwrought, too sold on the anti-Trump fever swamp narrative, too quick to uncritically repeat the most outlandish accusations made against the president. And he gets caught. It can’t last.

The rise and fall of Keith Olbermann should serve as a cautionary tale for Scarborough and the people around him.

There is no denying the almost fraternal resemblance between the two, no denying that they both play the same part in MSNBC’s lineup. And if Joe continues down this path he’ll suffer the same fate. The world will move on and MSNBC will find someone else to fill the role.

Lawrence O’Donnell call your office.

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About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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134 responses to “Is Joe Scarborough The Next Keith Olbermann?

  • I hope the author gets something extra in his compensation package for having to watch and listen to Joe Scarborough who, as Mark Levin has pointed out, seems to be the now grown up banjo player from “Deliverance”.

    • Surely you don’t listen to Levin — he drives me crazy just like Madcow does. I watch neither.

      • You know I have a hard time listening to Levine too, his voice is shrill like fingernails on a chalkboard some days. But I have to say why I do listen to him, he’s a Constitutional genius which is NOT something one can say about the Madcow.

  • The show went off the rails a long time ago. I first noticed it after Sandy Hook. They went on an anti-gun tirade every single day for 6 months. I guess if you don’t worry about ratings though, that doesn’t matter.

  • Joe & Mika engaged – I wonder if Joe will take her last name?

    What a wuss!

    MAGA President Trump.

    • I agree with earlier post …please God don’t let Joe and Mika procreate.

  • “Intoxicated as he was with self-righteous indignation made more potent by the whiff of scandal, Scarborough may have forgotten that spending bills originate in the House of Representatives where he once served.”

    No, Article I Section 7 Clause 1 is what you are thinking of, but it only limits “raising revenues” i..e taxes. The Senate can originate a bill appropriating more dough to this investigation if it wishes. A small point, I admit, but better for you to fix than not, I think.

    • Does it really matter? Either way, I seriously doubt the FBI has to push legislation through Congress every time they want to start a new investigation or expand an existing one. I don’t think James Comey felt he needed anybody’s permission to do his job.

  • Yea, what in hell happened to Joe….I just roll right past that channel. People’s personal lives are their own, but it’s a tad creepy for him and his co-host to essentially pretend they are offering different viewpoints when they’re eating out of the same bowl.

  • turn off ALL media , tv , radio, news weather and sports and get some fresh air
    its all entertainment, think otherwise and it might be mental illness
    too many people who get upset with the media do everything they can to stuff money in the medias pockets

    • The Force is only effective when the target mind is weak. Joe rolls over and begs for a belly rub. What’s that tell you about his mind?

  • Well…I guess Morning Joe’s anti-Trump screeching will do one thing, at least. Safer oral sex from Mika.

  • MSNBC has a name for fact-deficient anti-conservative, anti Trump deranged rants: Resume enhancement.

  • Joe’s trying to please Mika now. Hoping his hard left (pajama boy) turn will result in more nookie BUT, he’ll soon find out he’s just a beta-male and Mika is secretly longing for a bad-boy. That’s where his anti-Trump feels are harbored & he’s clueless.

  • Next Morning Joe will be calling on the spy agencies of the world to take down Trump.

  • Joe is just one more example of the state of dead journalism in this country. So long as the media-driven left has a broadcast platform that pays their bills, we will continue to see them twist and gasp and use words like “scandal” and “controversial” and “unprecedented” and “chaotic” and “impulsive” to drive fear and loathing into the hearts of their viewers on topics having anything to do with the current president or his administration.

    To watch the so called “news”, nothing else is happening in the world, except what is wrong with Donald J. Trump. It is sad, pathetic and more than a bit scary that so many people buy into this stuff. If there is no story, they create one — “anonymous allegation”? Allegation. Not tip, or source. Like “the sky is falling” – and in that example, we know it comes from Chicken Little, a naive and confused fowl, who instill fear in his neighbors – but in this case, Chicken Little is a trouble-maker, a knowing and complicit instigator bent on getting others to buy into the narrative. We all must agree the sky is falling… its settled science, so facts be darned.

    How are so many people not just plain sick of this seditious unsubstantiated ranting?

    • The way the MSM are acting towards President Trump and his administration is particularly troubling considering the obsequious, fawning attitude they had towards Obama and his administration. Remember when Ben Rhodes boasted that the press would not question anything the told them. It’s frankly disgusting to see how hyper-partisan most the MSM are. They’re not better than the old USSR journalist who wrote for “Pravada” and “Izvestia.” At least they were upfront that they did what the Communist Party told them to do.

    • Like any good organ grinder’s monkey, Joe dances for whoever puts money in his hat.

  • No one should be forced to watch Morning Joe! Please, Chris, stop torturing yourself. There is no balance to that show.

  • Joe’s definitely lost in the weeds, but he’d have to work himself up to pure hatred to become the next Olbermann.

    If I saw a conservative pundit shrieking the way Olbermann does, I would recoil and be concerned about how damaging it would be to the Right.

    Joe would never miss a chance to suck up to the lowliest progressive in the room in order to be liked by them, but he won’t let himself be consumed with rage to make it to that level.

  • Let us know who sponsors his show. Want to make sure I don’t spend a dollar there.

  • Are you kidding me? Joe is another Trump mouthpiece. Remember 16 weeks ago Trump was asking for Joe’s advice? Just last week 45 said he would officiate Joe and Mika’s wedding. Joe is a snake. Keith is not. Keith shoves it in our face and Joe just makes empty comments. Keith needs back on TV where thextruth is needes. I dont know one elected official or newsperson that has the balls to stand up to Trump or his clowns besides Mr Keith Olbermann!

    I wander if Joe started this thread!!??

  • Scarborough probably believed that he was firm in his personal beliefs. Years within the liberal cocoon, under constant peer pressure, have warped him into a go-along guy. Today, he sounds like he was always one of them.

  • And he has a little puppy dog wagging her tail at his side. Is this what we call a cute couple? I certainly hope they live happily ever after, use birth control and do not reproduce, and get off TV.

  • Poor Joe, just another ex-politician bragging about how he did it back in the day, while having a sexual relationship with a co-worker, just like back in the day….

  • He’s got to say this kind of stuff now or there’ll be trouble at home with Mika.

  • Joe has decided the money is bigger and greener in the in crowd. He panicked when the in crowd thought he was pro Trump. He felt the pressure to conform. To the point where he is actually engaged to a resident of the ivory tower of smugness and righteousness.

  • My liberal friend tells me that Joe is a conservative voice on MSNBC. I don’t see it.

  • He seems a changed man since he came out of the closet on the fact he is banging Mika, and abandoned his wife of many years.

    • Will Mika be his third wife like Trump’s? You voted for a guy that said he just “grabs” for it when he wants to. Class Act, indeed.

      • I voted for a president, not a saint. As for Joe, he’s just a hysterical liar.

      • Oh Jenny….get over it! Especially if you voted for sleazy Bill and his corrupt wife!

      • I have a better solution. Just block this lefticle POS. Acknowledging her very existence validates the cancer she is on our society.

      • Every single man and most women have said something as bad or worse than Trump’s 10 year old comments. Your hypocrisy is showing. Ridiculous!

      • As opposed to Hillary’s husband – the proven adulterer and accused rapist?

  • This is what happens when you propose to a c*ck holster like Mika whose Daddy is one of the leaders of the New World Order…

  • Mika: Joe if you don’t get your head right with Trump ASAP then you won’t be getting right with me, anytime soon. Do you read me Buster?

    Joe: Yes dear.

    • Shame there are so sound effects available for posting, as the one appropriate to your comment seems to be the sound of a whiplash.

  • Joe S. is a prostitute, a mouth for hire, a measly insignificant little s#$* of a human on TV as a liberal’s conservative.

    • And his partner Mika is even more clueless than her dad who as National Security Advisor under Carter gifted us the Ayotollahs.

  • No, he not the next Olbermann. Actually the former Congressman is an alpha-hector in a class by himself.

  • These guys just pump out fake news about Trump on a daily basis.
    That’s why no one believes the main-stream media anymore.
    That’s why Trump won the White House.

  • Wonderful article. Both Keith and Joe like sports. While Keith graduated from Cornell’s School of Agriculture; Joe graduated from Alabama. A couple of farm boys.

  • Just another example of why the Democrats have landed here:

    “The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble: In state government things are worse, if anything. The GOP now controls historical record number of governors’ mansions, including a majority of New England governorships. Tuesday’s election swapped around a few state legislative houses but left Democrats controlling a distinct minority. The same story applies further down ballot, where most elected attorneys general, insurance commissioners, secretaries of state, and so forth are Republicans.” http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/10/13576488/democratic-party-smoking-pile-rubble

  • Joe, I hope hat you read and take this seriously. I too made you my first view of the day, but no more. The conversation on your show is silly, sad ,stupid. If a line of reason hits a dead end, you people make up a ‘what if’, make it a new fact, and go forward until it plays out. And then go again. All day long, your network and others are displaying HATE. Please understand that ignoring HRC’s self imposed problems and blaming phony reasons for the loss is not a good idea. But you guys know best, right?

  • Probably. At this point, a Carville/Matalin pairing seems unlikely.

  • I worked my first election as the local chair of “Young republicans for Nixon” in ’72 at 16 years old. I have been a Town Rep. Chairman, Zoning board and Planning board member, been to a National Convention in ’92. 45 years in the trenches. Trump is a train wreck that never expected to win and now is in so far over his head you couldn’t dig him out with 20 excavators. He is about as Republican as Harry Reid. The only reason he won was that the Dems ran the most corrupt and self absorbed candidate they could find, and 40% of Trump voters said that they voted for him because he was the lessor of two evils. He is a joke and will not survive until Labor Day. Get ready to greet the next President of the United States, Mike Pence. Kasich in 2020!!!!!

  • I used to enjoy Morning Joe when they at least gave Candidate Trump as fair hearing, but Joe & Mika took a big turn against President-elect Trump when the story surfaced over the holidays that they were in bed with the campaign and while trying to close a deal with Mr. Trump at that party, he blew them off and did not come on the show. I believe they both got pissed off, because the MSM and liberals were critical of them, so they decided to go nuclear against The President. It has only gotten worse.

  • I swear Joe is half drunk some days he shows up for work because he stays up all night partying.

    One of the tells is his face is redder than usual, he’s angrier for no apparent reason and he cuts people off more quickly.

    Now that he and Mika are engaged I think the show has “Jumped the Shark.”

    It’s only a matter of time before he an Mika completely deconstruct.

  • What we see in Joe is a gradual brain grey matter deterioration. Once that starts, it is unstoppable.
    He cannot do anything about it from now hence. He will end up another Olbermann.
    Sad, Joe was once good guy. That female he just hooked up did him in.

  • Thanks for focusing on the unbearable Squint, and leaving the embarassingly untalented Meeeka completely out of this piece. Thier “show” is unwatchable. I never knew my eyes could vomit.

  • “The truth may be a slow starter but it’s a merciless closer” Outstanding phrase. But please don’t warn Scarborough…let him ease into irrelevance.

  • Maybe “Morning Joe” needs to switch to “decaf” . . .

  • Mika nauseates me. I listen to their show on XM–just checking in on the enemies–and its irritating to hear her harrumphs, gasps, etc.

  • For many years Morning Joe was my political show of choice other than C-Span, right from the first year. But, he is now one more MSNBC anti-Trump propagandist and I just can’t watch anymore after a few minutes (though I try occasionally). And I say that without being a Trump supporter or a Republican or conservative.

  • so spot on. i remember a time when joe was the reasonable voice in msnbc’s ridiculous lineup of proggy loons. now, he’s jumped the shark, maybe two sharks. his cohort mika b is as partisan and self-impressed as ever, but scarborough, who used to balance out the equation, is now at least her equal. buh bye, ratings….

  • bravo

    sleep with mika

    see how you talk the next day

    slobbering fools

  • I use to love watching JS when he still had a brain but stopped watching years ago, when he became an unthinking lefty Blue Dog masquerading as a conservative which he is not.The viewer can’t believe a word he says. They should just post the 5 talking points on a screen pattern and save the broadcasting cost.Every single word, position and thought is so ( censored) predictable that it is excruciatingly pathetic. If you turn off the sound on these broadcasts, you will see by their facial expressions( usually smirks, smiles and frowns) that they don’t even believe their own journalism, they know it is propoganda – period. The face does not lie, the tongue does.

  • IN the interest of brevity: He’s an idiot in a long line of idiots – would have done just fine

  • I think this can be attributed, in part, to his sucking up to his radical-liberal, skinny, new Mrs.

  • Interesting. I know 4 other people, including myself who’ve all made the same Scarborough/Olbermann comparison in the past week, so there must be something to it.

  • Morning Joe has put together some of the dumbest people on TV. Donny Deustch? Where did they find that idiot? Mike Barnicle, Mika, Willie Geist, John Heileman. This is a who’s who of morons. They have moved to the front of the pack of fake news shows. And now they want to ban speech? Just Wow!

  • Chris, you nailed it. Scarborough used to occasionally make sense, but he has been re wired living in Manhattan.

  • Scarborough is in love and trying to impress his far left nutty fiance Mika. He can’t think straight. However the case that he’s trying to morph into Olbermann makes a lot of sense, I’m sure MSNBC officials promote hatred of republican Presidents — however, they almost disappeared because of their hatred of Bush — Scarborough should learn something from that experience.

  • The far left liberal media never learns. It is always dangerous to make outrageous accusations in the age of video. Nine times out of ten, there’s video to prove the liberal wrong. Look at all the speeches made by Democrats only a few weeks ago telling everyone within earshot that Comey was bad and needed to either resign or be fired. Now those same Democrats are out there defending Comey juxtaposed beside their recent rants against Comey. Makes for dramatic TV.

  • Joe Scarborough is already the next Keith Olbermann. Mika sees to that and it will only get worse after they are married.

  • •••They say a lie is half way around the world before the truth puts on its shoes. But it’s also true that while the truth may be a slow starter it’s a merciless closer.•••

    Oh I am so stealing this…

  • Joe Scarborough makes his money pretending to be an honest critic of conservatives because he is allegedly a conservative. The problem is he is neither an honest critic nor a conservative anymore if he ever was one. He is just an actor cast as the conservative jester and court buffoon on MSNBC which is a job that has completely robbed him of his self respect. He has done this so much that now he identifies with his captors. I pity Joe because he has Stockholm Syndrome. And 9 to 5 is not enough. Now he wants to take his work home with him. This guy is in dire need of an intervention if only he had any friends left to help him.

  • I don’t know…idiot is one thing flaming a$$hole is another. Olberman is one of the nastiest people on the planet.

  • Morning Joe is disgusting. Joe desperately needs to be loved by the NYC liberals, Washington Elite and the rest of his MSM cronies. He is a dancing monkey in a carnival now. Sad part is he thinks he is relevant! Can’t wait for the crash and burn. There is no Capt Sully on board their floundering craft and Trump will eventually make fools of all of them. Wonder what they will say when the collusion to Russia story is finally proved false? They will just quietly move on to another fake news story. They are all chasing ratings!

  • Joe scar. is full of himself. he and Mika should move to siberia and live happily in the freeze.

  • I thought Joe was supposedly in the tank for Trump back during the campaign? He gave him free platform to get out his message. When did it all turn south? Turning into Olbermann would be a fate worse than dropping ratings. It’s time to get out of the fever swamp Joey if you want to survive.

  • Is Joe the next Keith? Gee, I hope so. Then we can lop off both of their heads with one strike…. metaphorically speaking of course!

  • Morning Joe is spending too much time with wacko Mica.
    Apparently he will now say whatever she wants in order to continue their affair.

  • It was fun to watch the exploding heads on Morning Joe during the campaign. But now the bile, hate and delusion is over the top and makes it unwatchable.

  • Good article but MSNBC audience doesn’t recognize lies. Joe has fallen to his liberal counterpart Mika.

  • “Is Joe Scarborough The Next Keith Olbermann?”

    Who cares, literally, who cares … there’s a near-endless supply of buffoons on the left and Keith Olbermann was preceded by a different Keith Olbermann and will be followed by another Keith Olbermann.

  • Thankfully, one columnist actually gets it. The Marxist Mika and Pal Joey show are thought to be the tip of the spear in the Beltway/Media attack on the president and everyone around him. They need some push back.

  • Back in the 90’s Joe was my Congressmsn in NW Florida and a good conservative. Now he’s been totally compromised by the Beltway/MSM/Mika influence. Sad.

  • Scarborough is engaged to that dimwit Mika, so, like Crazy Keith, you know he’s 5-6 innings short of a complete game.

  • If I even hear Scarborough’s name I feel the need to take a shower.

    H/T Conway….

  • Scarborough used to be watchable, but no more. Let’s all push for E-verify to solve our illegal immigration problems as promised in the Republicans’ program platform for 2016. Nation savers can find more info on that website.

  • “the funding request that so exorcised Scarborough”

    I wish someone WOULD exorcise him!

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