The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, who have often been critical of President Trump, called out their media colleagues for playing the role of activist instead of reporter in their coverage of attacks against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“There has been a series of stories about the Supreme Court appointment that have appeared on television and in newspapers that have caused I think a lot of Americans and has polarized political atmosphere of ours, to stop, pause, say, hey, this is a bit too much,” said Mike Barnicle, a regular Morning Joe panelist.
“Well, you have that and… breathless stories about Kavanaugh throwing ice cubes when he was 17 or 18-years-old, anonymous stories coming out, with absolutely no sourcing,” Joe Scarborough said. “Stories about gang rape factories coming out, absolutely no sourcing. Many in the media have forgotten that it’s their job to report that facts, not to act like this is “their war”.
MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski, a vocal critic of Trump, agreed about the media overplaying its hand.
“It’s not supposed to be how reporters feel and media analysts feel at this point in a case like this,” Brzezinski said. “It’s not even a case yet, although the FBI is looking into it. It’s a hearing, it’s a job interview and what we saw and I think what is playing into this blowback you are talking about is a lot of members of the media reacting emotionally.”
Scarborough pointed out the electoral impact that the media could have on galvanizing the conservative base because of their treatment of Kavanaugh.
“The media is overreaching here, just as they did in the lead up to President Trump’s historic electoral victory,” Scarborough said. “A lot of them seeing them as overreaching. They talked about the media bias. They did see too many people see happening and said that there could be an impact politically and we are actually seeing that right now, polls that actually broke a couple hours after the show yesterday …The signs are clear, the smears against Judge Kavanaugh have fired up conservatives. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in politics to understand what the last couple weeks have done to energize the Republican base and the conservative base.”