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What Is In The Water At MSNBC?

You would think the people at MSNBC could find someone better than Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson to represent the conservative/Republican point of view on their network. For that matter, they could do a lot better on the liberal/Democrat side of the aisle than the always exasperated motor mouth Chris Matthews and conspiracy theory thumper, Keith Olbermann. Here is the latest from Scarborough:

For 10 minutes, the talk show host grilled his guests about whether "George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad." For 10 minutes, the caption across the bottom of the television screen read, "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"

But the host was no liberal media elitist. It was Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman turned MSNBC political pundit. And his answer to the captioned question was hardly "no." While other presidents have been called stupid, Scarborough said: "I think George Bush is in a league by himself. I don't think he has the intellectual depth as these other people."
...
Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard and a reliable Bush supporter, said the disillusionment is not surprising. "People get weary, especially when they expected a war to be over very quickly," he said in an interview. "Supporters fall off over time. I've been disappointed by some of the people who have fallen off, like George Will, but that's what happens."

Few have struck a nerve more than Scarborough, who questioned the president's intelligence on his show, "Scarborough Country." He showed a montage of clips of Bush's famously inarticulate verbal miscues and then explored with guests John Fund and Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. whether Bush is smart enough to be president.

While the country does not want a leader wallowing in the weeds, Scarborough concluded on the segment, "we do need a president who, I think, is intellectually curious."

"And that is a big question," Scarborough said, "whether George W. Bush has the intellectual curiousness -- if that's a word -- to continue leading this country over the next couple of years."

In a later telephone interview, Scarborough said he aired the segment because he kept hearing even fellow Republicans questioning Bush's capacity and leadership, particularly in Iraq. Like others, he said, he supported the war but now thinks it is time to find a way to get out. "A lot of conservatives are saying, 'Enough's enough,' " he said. Asked about the reaction to his program, he said, "The White House is not happy about it."

It is one thing to question some of the decisions made in Iraq, it is quite another to start spouting the Democrats' silly "intellectual curiousness" line, especially with people like Lawrence O'Donnell who went on an infamous screaming tirade on Scarborough Country a couple of years ago. Leaving that aside, though, is running the caption "Is Bush An Idiot?" really the best way to make an appeal for more intellectualism in politics? Such judgment leads me to wonder, "Is Scarborough an idiot?"

Update: Carol Platt Liebau makes some excellent points about this Washington Post article and the Joe Scarborough segment. One of the things Carol points out is how well respected "Republican pundits" become when they openly disagree with other Republicans. It's kinda funny how that works, isn't it?


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Comments (30)

There's an old saying. "If ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

There's an old saying. "If the shoe fits, wear it." I am a proud left of center democrat. I don't think Biuh is an idiot. I just think he's a really lousy president who lacks judgement and curiosity and acts on impulse.

I don't "hate" him either for you wingnuts ready to toss that banal and trite phrase around. But the long dark days are coming to an end and I can see glimmers of the sunlight ahead. I did hear though, that his "library" is going to be a bookmobile.

The question isn't whether ... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

The question isn't whether Bush has the intelligence to be President. The question should be do journalists have the intelligence to be journalists. If you can read a teleprompter then anybody can be a journalist, and spew speculation that conflicts and divides the country.

Lori: If it wasn't for blo... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Lori: If it wasn't for blogs like this, no one would know what goes on at MSNBC. Their ratings are lower than snail droppings. George Bush is "smart enough to be President" because HE WON TWO ELECTIONS TO THE JOB! That's the only "smart" criteria in the Constitution. Frankly, I don't care if Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have higher IQs than W; I'm still glad they are ex-Presidents and no longer in charge of anything official. Bush has smart people around him (e.g., Rove, Condi, et al.), which is probably more important to getting the job done than his own "intellectual curiosity."

See, to these people "Intel... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

See, to these people "Intellectual CUriosity" is a codeword for "Believes in teh liberal Mantras". If someone doesn't do this, they are "INtellectually not curious". Its not possibly anyone intellectual could EVER reject a left wing idea, thought or meme, why how could they? Leftists are all geniuses and their ideas are brilliant! I mean. .look at the csuccesses of their icons in the feilds of economics(Soviet union), Politics(Soviet UNion), Human rights(Soviet union, China, name a long list of other countries)

Scarborough lost me as an o... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Scarborough lost me as an occasional viewer during Hurricane Katrina. His comments about the federal response were outrageous--He kept slowly whining with a disgusting tone, "How..can..THIS...happen...in America?"

I wrote him a disapproving e-mail for his attitude & "false" coverage (i.e.--rapes at Dome) and vowed never to watch his show again--and I haven't.

When did Scarborough become... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

When did Scarborough become the denominator for intellect in the country? I never found him to be terribly clever, intelligent, or insightful.
-=Mike

I'm also amazed that we hav... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I'm also amazed that we have never --- not one single time --- had a dumb Democrat as President, while all Republicans seem to have issues with tying their shoes and not chewing on the laces, apparently.

A party that actually LISTENS to Carter on any issue outside of carpentry is in a position to call somebody else dumb?
-=Mike

The President is a man of g... (Below threshold)
Hornet:

The President is a man of great intelligence and is shrewd enough to let people believe that he is dumber than his critics.

Think about it - how many times do we hear the "Bush is an idiot" from people who have been outmanuevered by the White House? Then the creidt goes to Rove, not Bush. If the Democrats don't get what they want - it's Rove holding them back. If the Democrats get what they want and it blows up in their face - it's part of Rove's plan. If the Democrats get what they want and it doesn't blow up in their faces, then it's still part of Rove's plan.

The more the critics lower the President's IQ (in their opinion), then the higher they raise Rove's IQ (inn their opinion) to explain their defeats.

Presidents Carter and Clinton were very intellectual and brilliant presidents but did that mental ability help or hurt their administrations?

Both men enjoyed being the smartest man in the room. President Carter enjoyed being a micromanager to the extent that the POTUS was in charge of assigning times for the use of the White House tennis courts. Perhaps that is why President Clinton isolated himself in the White House after the Tehran embassy take-over. It meant he could stay in his office and micrmanage more of the government.

President Clinton was also a brilliant man but was one who had a low threshold for boredom. He sought spice in his life by constantly creating challenges for himself. Finding ways to misbehave, concealing is misbehavior, defending his misbehavior, defeding his family from his misbehavior, and then seeking forgiveness and redemption for his misbehavior.

In 1980s, if a television series had been made about a President Clinton's personal life, it would have been on daytime television because it would have been too unbelievable for prime time.

Everytime I hear the "Bush is an idiot" meme from a member of the press or a pundit, I believe that the speaker is really saying to himself that he is so much smarter than Bush, that Bush only got the job because of his name and that is why (I)(we) support Hilary for President!

You might recall it came ou... (Below threshold)
MitchellI:

You might recall it came out in the elections that Bush had a better academic record than Gore. I believe he also had a better one than Kerry, but I can't recall. What does that say about the Dem leaders--worse grades than the "idiot," huh?

I think that if you work at a liberal media company, you might be influenced to go wobbly like this. Alan Colmes is probably a bit more circumspect about his wide-eyed brethen becasue he works at Fox. I don't think this gives Joe a pass, however.

Mr. Bush got elected President of the United States twice. And Karl Rove wasn't the one giving the speaches and collaborating with heads of state and the rest.

I bet Mr. Kerry wishes he could be that stupid.

"Is Scarborough an idiot?"<... (Below threshold)
Soupy:

"Is Scarborough an idiot?"

YES

There you go again!<p... (Below threshold)
groucho:

There you go again!

Demeaning past presidents doesn't speak to the question at hand, Bush's lack of intellectual curiosity. This is a fair criticism. I'm sqarely against most of what Bushco had done to this country but I'd feel a little better and safer if it wasn't clear that his emotional and intellectual development arrested somewhere around the adolescent frat boy level.

He proudly admits he doesn't read. He is clearly lost without prepared material when he talks. He insulates himself within a small tight circle of handlers and seems to have little patience for opinions other than those that support and reinforce him. He failed miserably in many business ventures, saved only by his family's power, wealth and connections. It's not surprising that a lot of people in this country, NOT just a small radical lunatic fringe, would like to fire him from his current job.

Support his policies or not, but anyone with eyes, ears, and a dab of common sense can see that Bush is clearly an intellectual dim bulb, out of his depth in his current job as the most powerful, and probably hated, man in the world. It's impossible to misunderestimate him.

And by the way I don't hate him.

If something is repeated (B... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

If something is repeated (Bush is an idiot) often enough and long enough people who are willing to let somebody else tell them how to think will believe it.
Clinton and Carter may have been labeled intelligent and brilliant via thier test scores, but this attribute is belied by their actions and the results of those actions.

"He proudly admits he doesn... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

"He proudly admits he doesn't read."

Actually, your are leaving out a very improtant fact. He said he doesn't read NEWSPAPERS (i.e. the NY Times, The Washington Post). He does read books - lots of them as he's said quite often.

I can see why you said that though because in your liberal mind, if he's not reading liberal propaganda then he's just not reading, period.

As far as Scarbourough goes, he's always been an O'Reilt wannabe. I suspect he has finally figured out that conservatives don't watch his show anymore and he might as well appeal tothe moonbats out there.

As other people have posted, Bush has been elected twice and has out-smarted the liberals again and again. So if he's an idiot what does that make them?

BTW, I found this little nugget of an article from 2001:

But the May 31 "working dinner" at the White House was vastly different from protocol. In what Jewish leaders called a "magical" and "extraordinary" event, President Bush, along with many senior officials, engaged American Jewish leaders and Israeli President Moshe Katsav in an intimate conversation about the fate of the state of Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians.

(and in case the moonbats make the argument that it was the Bush ADVISORS who spoke for him, there's this):

Bush's personal interest and knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict surprised several American Jewish leaders.

"He LED the conversation," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "He had a very hands-on knowledge of the area, its problems and challenges."

http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/16257/edition_id/318/format/html/displaystory.html

Bush ain't the idiot folks. It's you moonbats who are duped into believing everything you hear.

Imagine yourself observing ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Imagine yourself observing a high-level meeting involving all the heads of state of the industrial superpowers. Just as this extremely important meeting is getting underway you observe the President of the United States walk behind the seated German Head-of-State and attempt to give her an unrequested and unwanted backrub.

Would not

1) George W. Bush has just embarrassed the U.S. in front of the world,

and

2) George W. Bush is an uncomprehending IDIOT,

be the only conclusions you would draw???

Now before you Bush Toadies rush in to defend your beloved president, ask yourself if Bush's behavior would have been, in your mind, diplomatically acceptable had Germany's leader been a man. And if your answer is a resounding "No!" (which, given your homophobia, it would be), then (at least for the sake of fairness) you have to agree that women should not be subjected to such unwelcome advances, right???

Damn!!!

Well, Scarborough's question, "Is George W. Bush an idiot?" clearly establishes him as a thinking conservative -- a bit slow, but with some capacity to catch on. He's asking this question in 2006. Liberals have known the answer for several years now.

Alright, Hermie, you've had... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Alright, Hermie, you've had your multiple posts. Go back to your little hole and continue your rant where someone gives a damn.

If you don't like his Texas accent, or think reading Camus is not good enough, well, screw you. We don't need to hear this tripe because it doesn't relate to reality, although it is sad that you make it your "reality."

I can't believe it took any... (Below threshold)
John Pope:

I can't believe it took anyone six years to recognize the obvious. Look at GWB's history! He was (and is) a serial failure, elavated by incredible sums of money, for reasons no one but the RNC understands, to the highest post in the land. It astonishes me that half of the people in this country voted for him - twice!

My mistake, we do have a re... (Below threshold)
groucho:

My mistake, we do have a record of him reading My Pet Goat! The idea that "the president is a man of great intelligence and is shrewd enough to let people believe he is dumber than his critics" is both laughable and pathetic. What's the point? If he is a man of great intelligence, wouldn't it be more to his advantage to be perceived openly as such? Sorry folks, but the facts suggest otherwise.

Bush was elected twice, but outsmarting the liberals is quite another thing. He is the uncurious president, locked in a bubble, running off to clear brush whenever pressing world events intrude upon his insulated existence.

And try to get through a post or a thread without using the word moonbat. It's really a pretty meaningless term that cheapens a discussion, much like kool aid drinking neocon apologist morons.

Groucho reminds us perhaps ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Groucho reminds us perhaps the most telling example of Bush's level of senility.

Sept. 11.

Our country's civilians are under the worst attack since World War II, planes have been hijacked, and a shoot-down order may well have to be given.

And where is Bush?

Well, he can't be torn away from the Pet Goat story. Nope, in Bush's mind, one learns more on how to deal with the attack you're under from reading about pet goats than from talking to aides or simply turning on the radio.

George W. Bush: King of the Morons Who Elected Him

Bush isn’t an idiot,... (Below threshold)
rabblerowzer:


Bush isn’t an idiot, he’s a sociopath.

Many mistake him for an idiot because he’s oblivious to the commonplace ways of thinking, talking and acting that normal people take for granted. Sociopaths don’t have a conscience or scruples to guide them and behave in ways that disgust normal people, but they do attract other sociopaths like flies.

George W. Bush is the Lord of the Flies.

The Republican party is a coalition of crooks, morons and religious fanatics. Pretty much all sociopaths.

Wow, the crackpots really c... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Wow, the crackpots really came out in droves on this one; Bush Derangement Syndrome is still a diagnoseable disease for now.

It would be futile to try to discuss facts with this crowd. It's pathetic you have to reference "My Pet Goat" in this discussion.

It's clear to the commonsensical among us that we made the correct choice when we see the types of folks like you who voted for the other schmuck.

MBA.... (Below threshold)
Dave:

MBA.

Kinda like Republicans all ... (Below threshold)
Bill k:

Kinda like Republicans all of a sudden love Democratic Senators that lose in primaries?

You're only figuring out no... (Below threshold)
jpe:

You're only figuring out now that Scar is an idiot? That makes me wonder about you as much as Scar.

*yawn* This again?... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

*yawn* This again?

Imagine yourself observing a high-level meeting involving all the heads of state of the industrial superpowers. Just as this extremely important meeting is getting underway you observe the President of the United States walk behind the seated German Head-of-State and attempt to give her an unrequested and unwanted backrub.

Would not

1) George W. Bush has just embarrassed the U.S. in front of the world,

and

2) George W. Bush is an uncomprehending IDIOT,

be the only conclusions you would draw???

Imagine a President was at Monticello.

Imagine he pointed to a bust of Thomas Jefferson and asked "Who's that?"

Seems to fit #2 clearly.

We all know which President did that.

Now before you Bush Toadies rush in to defend your beloved president, ask yourself if Bush's behavior would have been, in your mind, diplomatically acceptable had Germany's leader been a man. And if your answer is a resounding "No!" (which, given your homophobia, it would be), then (at least for the sake of fairness) you have to agree that women should not be subjected to such unwelcome advances, right???

Am I actually seeing a Democrat decrying a Republican for giving "unwelcome advances" to a woman?

BWA HA HA HA!

Whew, that's a HOOT!

It astonishes me that half of the people in this country voted for him - twice!

And the last Democrat to have that happen to them was --- Franklin Roosevelt.

There's a reason for that.

What's the point? If he is a man of great intelligence, wouldn't it be more to his advantage to be perceived openly as such?

Faux intellectualism didn't do much for Gore or Kerry --- and Bush is clearly smarter than both of them.

He is the uncurious president, locked in a bubble, running off to clear brush whenever pressing world events intrude upon his insulated existence.

And this based on what, outside of your insepid assumptions?

Well, he can't be torn away from the Pet Goat story.

Yes, because hauling ass out of there in front of the kids would not have caused problems.

For an example, let's look at what his opponent in 2004 did.

Nothing. For hours. Just sat in his office and stared.

Source: John Kerry

Nope, in Bush's mind, one learns more on how to deal with the attack you're under from reading about pet goats than from talking to aides or simply turning on the radio.

Yes, because those first 5 minutes of reports were so LADEN with info.

The Republican party is a coalition of crooks, morons and religious fanatics. Pretty much all sociopaths.

Hmm, I remember one side of the aisle fervently and proudly standing behind a man credibly accused of rape.

That side was not the right side.

Kinda like Republicans all of a sudden love Democratic Senators that lose in primaries?

Who "loves" Joe? We think it's sad that the DNC has gone over the edge, but I don't honestly care if the Dems throw Joe to the curb. Just shows how really inclusive the party is.
-=Mike

Just out of curiosity, do t... (Below threshold)
B:

Just out of curiosity, do they hand out M.B.A's from Harvard or do the graduate students have to earn them???? Just wonderin' from the hills of TN.

Hey everybody here is the s... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey everybody here is the score--BUSH TWO, everybody else "o". Nuff said.

I think part of it is that ... (Below threshold)
eddiebear:

I think part of it is that excluding the 5 people who actually watch MSNBC, two things may be in play regarding Scarborough and Carlson:

1)They seem too intent on joining George Will, Robert Novak, Cal Thomas, Michelle Malkin and other DC-Based conservatives who want Bush gone so that they can put an insider into the fray.

2) They want to become items in the DC Cocktail Party circuit as the "conservatives who hate Bush" crowd and therefore still get invites from Sally Quinn.

You Bush appologists are am... (Below threshold)
George BUsh:

You Bush appologists are amusing. The guy is an idiot plain and simple. Get over it. You backed a loser and your inherent conservative denial won't let you see the forest through the trees. Get a life.

Update George, Kerry is NOT... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Update George, Kerry is NOT, I repeat, NOT the president.

Bush is a perfect example o... (Below threshold)
zorro:

Bush is a perfect example of what happens
when cousins marry.




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