For the past year, President Donald Trump has railed against what he calls “fake news.” And he has made no secret of who these fake news sources are: The New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC. Whether or not his claims have been valid has been a topic of debate. But what they just did at MSNBC removes all doubt. MSNBC just committed fake news in as clear – and hilarious – a way imaginable.
It seems the folks over at “Morning Joe” thought it would be good to be the only major television news outlet to broadcast a live show with their normal anchors – the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a holiday. Viewership is always down. So while other networks ran out their “B” teams – consisting of lesser known anchors – viewers who tuned into “Morning Joe” were surprisingly treated to their top anchors: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Mika led with “Day after Thanksgiving! Hoo! I’m stuffed. I always cook the turkey with the guts in it!”
Co-host Willie Geist chimed in, “Joe didn’t notice. He ate the bag.” [Joe is married to Mika, which explains Willie’s comment.]
For his part, Joe even commented on how he enjoyed the Thanksgiving football games. Turning to guest Rick Tyler, he asked, “So how was your Thanksgiving?”
“Very successful,” said Tyler.
There was just one problem. The entire show was taped earlier in the week. MSNBC would have successfully carried off the charade – if not for a viewer. (Yes, they still have a viewer.)
An anonymous viewer noticed that this “live” show on Friday had no news coverage of any events of the past two days – most notably the terrorist attack on the Egyptian mosque. The viewer contacted the Washington Post, who reluctantly admitted the scheme by their related network.
An MSNBC executive confirmed the show wasn’t live. But, he said, “There was no intention to trick viewers. Would it have helped if there was a disclaimer? Maybe. But that’s not typically done.”
Actually, what’s not typically done is for an organization masquerading as a news network to openly and intentionally deceive its viewers into believing a recorded news program is actually live.
To quote columnist Timothy Meads, “You have to wonder, if MSNBC is willing to be dishonest about something as trivial as a post-Thanksgiving morning show, what else are they hiding?”