12:24 pm, April 4th, 2011
On Monday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski’s reaction to a David Letterman bit satirizing Dick Cheney drew a bemused reaction from host Joe Scarborough, and angry emails from viewers. The bit featured various clips of Cheney, including an open heart surgery, set to the Mary Tyler Moore theme, and finished with Cheney taking the famous MTM kitten’s place on the iconic vanity card. Brzezinski laughed uproariously, to Scarborough’s disapproval, for almost two minutes, over the course of two segments.
Scarborough asked Brzezinski “What’s wrong with you?” as she was bent over with laughter at the Cheney bit that Scarborough said was “mean-spirited.” She carried on laughing for a full 63 seconds during that segment (at least, according to Newsbusters, who timed Mika’s laughing jag), and started up again later in the show.
About 20 minutes after her first outburst, as they returned from a commercial break, Brzezinski was doubled over again, as the show’s producer informed Scarborough that the show was receiving angry emails on the subject. Mika appeared to want to offer an explanation, beginning, “It’s just funny TV,” but Scarborough decided to move on.
Was the bit really that funny, or that offensive? You be the judge. Here are the two clips, from MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
The bit was really just a rehash of Cheney jokes that have been kicked around more than a rented soccer ball, but there’s no accounting for taste. Brzezinski’s reaction was definitely over the top, but not worthy of angry emails, and certainly not worthy of this ultra-dramatic reaction from Newsbusters‘ Mark Finkelstein: