After Alex Pareene’s Monday takedown story in Salon, which essentially laid all of “what’s wrong” with MSNBC at “Morning Joe’s” feet, Joe Scarborough is biting back.
Was he feeling touchy or just being proactive?
It seems like Pareene may have struck a nerve when he wrote that Scarborough’s show “is representative of everything wrong with contemporary political elite thinking.” He then swiped at the show’s April viewership, calling it “the lowest rated of the big three cable news morning shows.”
“Congratulations to the ‘Morning Joe’ team!” Scarborough tweeted Tuesday evening. “More people watched ‘Morning Joe’ in May than CNN, Headline News, CNBC and Fox Business. Way to go!!” What followed was a self pat on the back in the form of retweets that was so hard, it’s a wonder Scarborough can still stand up straight.
A sampling of Scarborough’s sticky-sweet RTs:
- “Best morning show ever!”
- “Great cast, solid reporting and realistic insight. Congrats!”
- “This is a total given, considering Morning Joe is the best morning show on tv in my opinion and has the best anchor team.”
This continued on for an additional 22 tweets.
And it didn’t stop on Twitter… Scarborough’s bright and cheery good news on the show carried over to Politico Playbook, authored by “Morning Joe” regular Mike Allen.
“MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ defied ratings gravity last month, despite CNN and HLN’s big gains following the Boston bombing and the Jodi Arias trial finale,” Allen wrote Wednesday. “According to Nielsen, more people watched ‘Morning Joe’ in May than CNN, Headline News or CNBC. ‘Morning Joe’ has had more total viewers than CNN or HLN in 37 of the last 38 months.”
Scarborough picked that bit up and posted it on his personal blog. He was complimented on it on his show Wednesday.
What’s true and what isn’t? It is true that “Morning Joe’s” total viewers were higher in May than CNN’s, HLN’s, CNBC’s and Fox Business Network’s in May (though, it sometimes came in lower than the competition in the key 25-54 demographic). But Pareene’s article, which noted that April was pretty bad month, rating-wise, was also right on viewership. So, why the over-the-top promotion from Scarborough?
Pareene’s story was picked up by HuffPost, Rare and was linked as part of a larger post by FishbowlDC. It was also tweeted by Keith Olbermann and CNN’s Howard Kurtz. Other than that, it seemed to go fairly unnoticed in the grand scheme.
“I thought I just read the opposite on Salon…?” one follower tweeted at Scarborough, following the self-congratulatory tweet. Scarborough replied, “Don’t always believe what you read. “The official numbers are in. More people watched MJ than CNN, HLN, CNBC & Fox Business.”