Once A “Poor Man’s Bill O’Reilly,” Scarborough Now A “Must-Have Fix”

By Chris Ariens 

TVGuide gives “Cheers” to MSNBC’s Morning Joe (who apparently likes his Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte served Venti). They say the show is a “must-have fix for political junkies.”

Joe Scarborough seemed like a poor man’s Bill O’Reilly on his old prime-time MSNBC show, Scarborough Country. When the cable net moved him to the morning shift, it seemed like a desperate stopgap in the wake of Don Imus‘ sudden ouster. Then a funny thing happened: Scarborough lightened up. He traded his suits and ties for fleece pullovers and surrounded himself with appealing sidekicks like Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist.”

And speaking of O’Reilly, he made a mention of MSNBC’s morning show last night on The Factor. In his Pinheads and Patriots segment, O’Reilly referenced this Media Matters story titled “Fox News is in for a very rough 2008.”

O’Reilly said, “Media Matters is run by liars and defamers, they are far worse than pinheads.” He went on to talk about MSNBC’s ratings: “Its morning program down by 30% while ‘Fox & Friends’ continues to soar.” And while that’s true (Morning Joe is down 33% in the A25-54 demo and 25% in Total Viewers), it comes as a year-to-year comparison. And in January 2007, Don Imus was drawing some of his highest numbers ever on MSNBC.