Putting the ‘Bully’ in ‘Bully Pulpit’

We’ve become largely immune to thinking “this is it” when it comes to the president; the last straw, the breaking point, the final act that Trump supporters will finally find unsupportable. The president of the United States spent his Thursday morning lashing out at two cable news anchors, one a woman who Trump once again decided to imagine bleeding. But we know better. The shoot-someone-and-not-lose-a-vote crowd will dismiss it, minimize it, ignore it, or blame Mika. It’s just another day.

Should we first look at the accuracy of Trump’s tweets attacking MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski?


First, “Morning Joe” is not “poorly rated.” Not even close. According to Time magazine and NBC, the show reached an average of 997,000 total viewers in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot in the second quarter of this year, marking its ninth straight quarter of growth. The show’s viewer average set a quarterly record for MSNBC in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Specifically among viewers aged 25 to 54, “Morning Joe” had “MSNBC’s highest rating ever” in that time slot.


Did Mika and Joe try to meet with Trump around New Years? Was Mika “bleeding badly” from her face due to a face lift? According to a piece the couple wrote Friday morning in the Washington Post, those are lies.

The real question we need to ask is, how did we get here? How is it the president of the United States is so thin-skinned, so childish, so trite, so pathological that he feels the need to lash out at two cable TV hosts? Worse, how is it that no one in that White House can tell this nut to put the damned phone and STOP

And how is it that after 25 years as a journalist, communications director, radio host and political communications consultant, I just called the president of the United States “a nut?” Will the Secret Service be calling me?

Yet, this will be just another story. Place it in the same category as disparaging John McCain, mocking a handicapped reporter, remarking casually that, as a star, he can grab a woman by the genitals. I don’t understand it. I never will. I know intelligent, educated people who can and will look past this.

Sure, Republicans are denouncing Trump’s latest nonsense. But it won’t last. It will be another one and done.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s tweet.


The problem for Sanders is that what Brzezinski said about him was not personal. It was factual. She was pointing out the latest lies the president spewed.

There is more fallout. Friday morning as Scarborough and Brzezinski delayed their holiday vacation to address the issue on their show, Scarborough said, in essence, the president tried to use his relationship with the tabloid National Enquirer to threaten the couple.

Trump denied it, calling the allegation…wait for it…FAKE NEWS.

Brzezinski got it right. This incident is childish and inconsequential on its face. However, it speaks volumes about the president.

Oh, by the way, Trump will meet with Putin next week.