‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough brews up Jon Stewart feud over Starbucks

by June 10, 20090 comments

Former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, may be the electronic media’s most tolerable conservative Republican. He may even have a new book, out just yesterday, urging his party back from radical recklessness to a more moderate temperment (The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise).

None of this, however, means that Joe Scarborough can gracefully handle a little pointed ribbing.

You may recall that an extremely prickly Scarborough came to the defense of fellow NBC Universal host Jim Cramer back in March, after Jon Stewart flayed Cramer alive in his Daily Show thunderdome.

Watching the clip above, Scarborough’s main beef seems to be that the Daily Show has the nerve to go back and research what people have said in the past, unfairly confronting them with their own words. He claims that the tables could just as easily be turned on Jon Stewart, if only Stewart’s words were preserved somewhere.

Fast-forward to last Wednesday (June 3). That’s when Jon Stewart poked a little fun at the MSNBC show’s new “Morning Joe brewed by Starbucks” sponsorship — complete with product placement and a flattering interview of Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

It’s a short and funny bit. Morning Joe‘s whorishness has been appropriately mocked. Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will blush and shrug and humbly laugh it off as part of show business, right?

Nope. Instead, Scarborough takes offense and embarrassingly tries to pass off his promotional participation as “sarcasm” and “a joke” — thus inspiring Monday’s hilarious Daily Show takedown. It’s an instant classic, exactly the stuff that the Daily Show wins Emmy Awards for year after year.

Surely, having been nailed twice in a week, Scarborough will now brush himself off and retreat to the comfort of his Reagan fantasies and his book promotion, hoping that Stewart’s “douche” tag doesn’t appear under his face every time he guests on TV from now on, right?

Guess again. Today, Scarborough drags an uncomfortable Willie Geist, like a hostage, into his neurotic last stand. Relishing the tension, the 6-foot-4 Scarborough reclines, grins, and sucks a lozenge while suggesting that Jon Stewart has “a Napoleonic complex.” Then, calling him “a very, very angry guy,” he actually equates Stewart with Bill O’Reilly and advises both of them to relax and smile. “It’s sad,” laments Jokin’ Joe. (Thanks to Media Matters for posting the clip.)

Uh huh. Did I mention that Scarborough has a new book out as of yesterday?

You have to wonder whether The Last Best Hope “inspires conservatives to reclaim their heritage” because its author intends to catapult himself back into politics via this “conservative manifesto that brings American conservatism into the twenty-first century” by way of 1980s Ronald Reagan.

Scarborough, one apparently cannot stress enough, is a conservative. And what better publicity and positioning could he possibly generate among his leaderless fellow conservatives than a ballsy fight in the media against beloved liberal god Jon Stewart?

Never mind that the whole fight is over Starbucks coffee. What’s important is: It’s on, Stewart!

Joe Scarborough may not have any discernible sense of humor, but he’s got the promotional sense of a carnival boss. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to watch in amazement. I’m sensing that this daring Human Cannonball plans to blast himself back into the political arena. He just seems poised to run for something.

Update, Wednesday, June 10:

On Wednesday night, The Daily Show revealed the pathetic extent of 5-foot-7 Jon Stewart’s Napoleonic complex — complete with his trusty pony steed.

Update, Thursday, June 11:

Joe Scarborough guested on ABC’s The View this morning. There was no mention of Jon Stewart.

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