LA Times Laugher: MSNBC’s Morning Joe ‘Largely Manages to Stay in a Neutral Zone’

Los Angeles Times television writer Stephen Battaglio profiled the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning JoeJoe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Willie Geist. This show will be extended to 4 hours. The writer discovered a West Coast angle. An extra hour on the West Coast would allow more people to catch it. Morning JoeLive in the morning.

The headline is certainly West Coast-snooty: “MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ tries to keep cable news smart while expanding to four hours.” The story’s premise – thatMorning Joe It was just funny to play it in the middle.

(This profile appears in LA Times In April earlier than usual and in Orlando SentinelApril 10.

The three hosts had a friendly chat via Zoom and Battaglio answered questions about their shows. Yet Battaglio evaded discussing the program’s liberal slant, posing the show’s constant stream of anti-Republican and anti-Trump tirades as “thoughtful discussions.”

The expansion will maintain the defining characteristics of “Morning Joe” — lively, thoughtful discussions about the political topics of the day often with heavyweight Washington guests — while steering clear of what Brzezinski, 54, calls the “shock opera” style that cable news opinion hosts have adhered to in prime time.

Battaglio even spun the show’s third-place showing in its time slot among 25-54 year-olds, behind Fox News’ morning offering Fox & Friends and even CNN’s Neue Day. It’s quality, not quantity (but will that  appease ad-buyers?).

….But Scarborough, Brzezinski and Geist know from texts and phone calls they receive after every show that influential people, especially in Washington, watch regularly. The program shows up on screens at the congressional gym and on government jets….

The LA Times writer pluggedMorning Joe as both more financially successful and more diverse than its time-slot competition:

Nielsen data shows the “Morning Joe” audience is more upscale than the competition as 30% of the homes watching earn more than $125,000 a year, compared with 29% for CNN’s “New Day” and 27% for “Fox & Friends.” “Morning Joe” also has the most Black viewers of any cable program in its time period.

That was the joke line.

“Morning Joe” largely manages to stay in a neutral zone. Scarborough says he doesn’t even know how Geist has voted in presidential elections since they have worked together….

Really? NewsBusters has documented on a near-daily basis the show’s hostility toward Republicans and fawning support of Joe Biden, never mind Afghanistan, inflation, Covid, and Hunter’s laptop.

Joe Scarborough denied that Battaglio was anti-GOP and pro-Biden.

Scarborough’s own political leanings were known to the audience as he came to MSNBC after a career in Congress, where he was elected as part of the Republican Revolution in 1994. He joined MSNBC in 2003 after he left the House of Representatives. For four years, MSNBC served up outrage at conservatives in prime time before moving to morning.

Long-time supporters often tell Scarborough that he’s no longer conservative, perhaps as a result the progressive outlook of MSNBC. “It’s not me, it’s you,” he says he often tells them and cites Trump as the reason. In 2017, he left Republican party to become an independent.

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