Morning Joe Misreads Ballot, Paints Republicans As Professional-Putin Stooges

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On Monday’s Morning Joe, pleasure was within the air because the panel spent a lot of the broadcast speculating about after which reporting on the Mueller workforce’s indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Nevertheless, earlier than the specifics of the fees grew to become public, the liberal pundits took the chance to go over a current ballot by Axios and SurveyMonkey that evaluated what People imagine about Russian interference within the 2016 presidential election. Despite some pushback, Joe Scarborough insisted on decoding Republicans’ lack of concern about purported Russian advertisements on Fb and Twitter as proof that “75 % of Republicans” “don’t care that the Kremlin tried to rig America’s presidential election.”

The phase started innocently sufficient as Scarborough began summarizing the outcomes of the ballot, however the host shortly went off observe:

Nicely, this is not an actual shock, however there is a new ballot out that claims People have little or no religion within the federal authorities and tech firms like Fb, Google, and Twitter to cease international governments from utilizing social platforms to rig our elections. In line with newest Axios/SurveyMonkey ballot, 43% of People do not belief the tech firms or the federal authorities to cease international affect on social websites. The quantity will increase virtually half of Republicans and 51% of Republicans and Independents, 49 % [sic]. Now this comes as People are break up on whether or not they discover allegations that Russia focused advertisers as a severe situation. Within the ballot, 54% of People say the allegations of Russia utilizing focused advertisements is severe; 42% say it is extra of a distraction. When it comes all the way down to a breakdown of occasion, no huge shock right here, 83% of Democrats and 50% of Independents suppose it’s a severe situation. Solely 25% of Republicans suppose that it is a severe situation that Russia tried to rig America’s election. I’m gonna say that once more. Three out of 4 Republicans surveyed do not care that Russia tried to rig America’s election.

Okay, already we’ve got an actual drawback. The ballot query displayed on display as Joe spoke learn as follows: “Do you suppose the allegations that Russia used social platforms to ship focused promoting represents a severe situation?” In actual fact, in line with the SurveyMonkey spreadsheet of the total outcomes and questions, the precise query was a bit longer: “A number of U.S. expertise firms, together with Fb, Google, and Twitter have proof that Russia used their platforms to ship focused promoting to American voters. Do you suppose these allegations signify a severe situation that ought to be a part of an investigation, or are they extra of a distraction?”

This query suffers from being fairly confusingly worded. At first, it seems to imagine that Fb, Google, and Twitter do certainly have concrete info to help the notion that Russia focused American voters with social media advertisements throughout the 2016 election. Nevertheless, within the subsequent sentence, Axios and SurveyMonkey describe the Russian social media ad-targeting as “allegations,” which conversely means that Russia’s alleged “interference” has not really been correctly evidenced.

What exactly would it not imply then for somebody to reply with “no” to this query? An trustworthy journalist may provide you with plenty of completely different potentialities:

1) The allegations are false/unproven, so that they’re not a severe situation, not to mention worthy of investigation.

2) The Russians did goal American voters, however a number of social media advertisements from one nation can’t have had a severe affect on the election outcomes.

three) The Russians did goal American voters, however Russians are allowed to speak to People about politics; that’s not unlawful interference.

And so forth. The quantity of interpretations is doubtlessly fairly diverse and relies upon closely on how one reads into the completely different parts of the query.

So what did Scarborough take from the ballot outcomes? Nicely, as the remainder of the panel intermittently chuckled and laughed, he went straight to demonizing Republicans as being pro-Russian turncoats:

Stated one other means, one in 4 Republicans do care that Russia and Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin tried to rig our presidential election. Maybe we may have a look at it this fashion: 75% of Republicans — let me say that once more, I’ll underline it, let it sink in right here, maintain on a second, let it breathe, let it breathe, let it breathe — 75% of Republicans on this ballot say they don’t care that the Kremlin tried to rig America’s presidential election. [long dramatic pause]

I type of surprise what we fought for. […] we Republicans — after we have been preventing for my complete life, you recognize, the Chilly Warfare, telling some Democrats that thought that Ronald Reagan was, you recognize, he was a warmonger, and the entire fights within the 1980s, all of the debates about getting, you recognize, standing as much as Gorbachev and deploying the cruise missiles into Western Germany, and all of Western Germany and all of Europe exploding. Exploding! However Reagan did that. […] What was all of that for? So Republicans now, 75% of Republicans now may say: oh, it is okay if Russia tries to rig our elections. […] I wish to say that once more — 75% of Republicans suppose it is cool that the Kremlin tried to rig America’s elections.

No Joe. That’s not what they suppose. Except…

Wait, is Joe Scarborough a mind-reader? That will surely make clear his in any other case inexplicable overconfidence in his interpretation.

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Fortunately, Katty Kay, the Washington anchor for BBC World Information America, apparently assumed that Joe is a mere mortal and stepped in to attempt to right Scarborough, however the host was under no circumstances receptive to such criticism:

KAY: Okay. The query was not precisely phrased like that. To not type of pull [starts laughing].

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] You, okay, you, okay, and, let, let, let me say this additionally. So that you, you get in together with your legalistic — however, look-

KAY: However [garbled]. Okay.

SCARBOROUGH: -I can discover you extra polls that say a variety of Russians’ [note: he means Americans’] approval of Vladimir Putin have skyrocketed of late.

KAY: Yeah. Like,-

SCARBOROUGH: So go forward.

KAY: Okay, so you possibly can ask — so the query was actually about how severe did they suppose it was that they used focused advertisements on social media. If you happen to had stated “how severe do you suppose it’s that Vladimir Putin tried to rig the American election,” I think you might have obtained a barely larger quantity than 24%. No? I imply, come on.

SCARBOROUGH: No. No.

KAY: Give your former colleagues

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, do me a favor,-

KAY: –some advantage of the doubt.

SCARBOROUGH: -do me a favor, let’s get Vladimir Putin’s approval scores, Alex.

KAY: One thing like, I believe the [sic] 80%, 83%?

SCARBOROUGH: Get any person to seek out it in the USA, amongst Republicans, and the way a lot Putin’s approval scores have skyrocketed, by what share, since Donald Trump grew to become President of the USA. After which we’ll see how a lot folks actually care about what’s in one of the best curiosity of the USA of America and what’s in one of the best curiosity of their political clan.

So as a substitute of taking heed of Kay making the eminently affordable suggestion that maybe Republicans merely don’t suppose that Fb and Twitter advertisements may have swayed the presidential election, Scarborough most popular to interrupt Kay and solid Republicans as partisan and unpatriotic.

Morning Joe then shifted gears barely and started to collectively hyperventilate over Putin’s authorities being supposedly liable for each main political upheaval in Europe and America over the previous two to 3 years. In an odd bout of evidenceless conspiracy-theorizing, the panel ended up recognizing Russian tentacles in all places from the Brexit referendum to Catalonia’s present left-wing secessionist upheaval:

CLINT WATTS [FOREIGN POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, FELLOW]: Best victory in data warfare within the historical past of the world was what the Russian regime has achieved during the last two to 3 years, not simply in the USA: Brexit, France, Germany, Putin’s,-

KAY: [interjecting] Catalonia. Even [inaudible] in Catalonia.

WATTS: -yeah, Catalonia, Scotland is now up there. They’re doing it in the Center East as we’re shifting again from the world stage, the Russians are shifting in. They’re having their means with the world proper now.

KAY: [interjecting] Means cheaper than an arms race. Means cheaper.

WATTS: Yeah, Putin’s best victory is he has unified an viewers in Western democracies, Germany, France, Canada, the U.Okay., the USA, that not solely help his perception system, however help his international insurance policies.

SCARBOROUGH: Nicely, and this comes, in fact, this comes at Republicans immediately feeling heat and fuzzy about Vladimir Putin, Harold, after they invaded Crimea, after they invaded jap Ukraine, after they shot down, forces connected to them, shot down a passenger airliner.

(…)

FORD: I don’t suppose Democrat or Republican alike would say: oh sure, we wish the Russians being concerned in our election.

SCARBOROUGH: No, it’s [imitating what Republicans say]: we don’t — it is not an enormous deal.

(…)

KAY: However why [inaudible] is so polarized and why is it inconceivable ever to deliver [Republicans and Democrats] again collectively?

FORD: Yeah, however what’s — I do not perceive what has modified. To — you listed all this stuff, Joe, that Russia has achieved over the previous few years to upset the worldwide stability of their favor and in opposition to us. I do not care what your occasion background. It appears irrelevant. How may anybody not discover this — and possibly the query must be requested in a different way — however you see extra of this, not as many individuals as I believed within the Republican Celebration would discover this problematic as-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] As a result of the Republican Celebration has turned itself over to somebody who’s making a character cult. I imply, I used to be conservative means again when being conservative meant you have been conservative. Ha! That modified. I imply, now you’ve got radicals.

FORD: However I do not know of any Republican in Washington, in Congress, the Senate, any severe thinker on international coverage within the Republican Celebration, who agrees with the President. So you continue to have 75% of — one thing’s occurred. I simply do not know what it’s.

[murmurs of agreement]

FORD: I imply, I do not suppose any of us know, nevertheless it’s only a — it’s numbing to say the least.

What is actually numbing is Scarborough’s full lack of objectivity to the purpose that he refuses to provide fundamental charity to folks he disagrees with and prefers to take their phrases within the worst potential means so long as it lets him solid Trump or his supporters as evil.

By the best way, Joe did come again on within the subsequent phase with the numbers that he needed about what number of Republicans approve of Putin:

SCARBOROUGH: Russian President Vladimir Putin is having fun with recognition amongst Republicans in line with a brand new ballot by Pew Analysis. That is again in 2016. And his approval ranking, although most People view Russia regu-, uh, negatively, uh, is — it jumped up, it jumped up from 17% to 34% amongst Republicans. So, it is doubled.

KAY: In the course of the course of 2016, that is loads.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, throughout the course of 2016. That is, that’s one thing.

Viewing the glass half-full although, this additionally signifies that roughly two-thirds of Republicans don’t like or approve of Putin. Despite Scarborough’s makes an attempt to play this up as some vital piece of proof incriminating Republicans as some pro-Russian fifth column, it really means that not less than 40% of Republicans don’t like Putin however are additionally not having a conniption match over Fb/Twitter advertisements, thus belying the whole premise of Joe’s argument.

Scarborough actually must take heed to himself extra intently when he makes up speaking factors on the spot.

A full transcript of the phase plus a mini-transcript of the start of the next phase could be discovered beneath:

7:38 AM EST

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Nicely, this is not an actual shock, however there is a new ballot out that claims People have little or no religion within the federal authorities and tech firms like Fb, Google, and Twitter to cease international governments from utilizing social platforms to rig our elections. In line with newest Axios/SurveyMonkey ballot, 43% of People do not belief the tech firms or the federal authorities to cease international affect on social websites. The quantity will increase virtually half of Republicans and 51% of Republicans and Independents, 49 % [sic]. Now this comes as People are break up on whether or not they discover allegations that Russia focused advertisers as a severe situation. Within the ballot, 54% of People say the allegations of Russia utilizing focused advertisements is severe; 42% say it is extra of a distraction. When it comes all the way down to a breakdown of occasion, no huge shock right here, 83% of Democrats and 50% of Independents suppose it’s a severe situation. Solely 25% of Republicans suppose that it is a severe situation that Russia tried to rig America’s election. I’m gonna say that once more. Three out of 4 Republicans surveyed do not care that Russia tried to rig America’s election.

[repeated laughing/chuckling from panel as Joe continues to talk]

SCARBOROUGH: Stated one other means, one in 4 Republicans do care that Russia and Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin tried to rig our presidential election. Maybe we may have a look at it this fashion: 75% of Republicans — let me say that once more, I’ll underline it, let it sink in right here, maintain on a second, let it breathe, let it breathe, let it breathe — 75% of Republicans on this ballot say they don’t care that the Kremlin tried to rig America’s presidential election. [long dramatic pause] Okay. You understand, I simply — I type of surprise what we fought for. Like, wait, what we Republicans — after we have been preventing for my complete life, you recognize, the Chilly Warfare, telling some Democrats that thought that Ronald Reagan was, you recognize, he was a warmonger, and the entire fights within the 1980s, all of the debates about getting, you recognize, standing as much as Gorbachev and deploying the cruise missiles into Western Germany, and all of Western Germany and all of Europe exploding. Exploding! However Reagan did that. I imply, at Reykjavik, what Ronald Reagan did at Reykjavik, refusing to surrender SDI, and finally Gorbachev having to again down. What was all of that for? So Republicans now, 75% of Republicans now may say: oh, it is okay if Russia tries to rig our elections. Seven- — I wish to say that once more — 75% of Republicans suppose it is cool that the Kremlin tried to rig America’s elections.

KATTY KAY [BBC WORLD NEWS, ANCHOR]: Okay. The query was not precisely phrased like that. To not type of pull [starts laughing].

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] You, okay, you, okay, and, let, let, let me say this additionally. So that you, you get in together with your legalistic — however, look-

KAY: However [garbled]. Okay.

SCARBOROUGH: -I can discover you extra polls that say a variety of Russians’ approval of Vladimir Putin have skyrocketed of late.

KAY: Yeah. Like,-

SCARBOROUGH: So go forward.

KAY: Okay, so you possibly can ask — so the query was actually about how severe did they suppose it was that they used focused advertisements on social media. If you happen to had stated “how severe do you suppose it’s that Vladimir Putin tried to rig the American election,” I think you might have obtained a barely larger quantity than 24%. No? I imply, come on.

SCARBOROUGH: No. No.

KAY: Give your former colleagues-

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, do me a favor,-

KAY: -some advantage of the doubt.

SCARBOROUGH: -do me a favor, let’s get Vladimir Putin’s approval scores, Alex.

KAY: One thing like, I believe the [sic] 80%, 83%?

SCARBOROUGH: Get any person to seek out it in the USA, amongst Republicans, and the way a lot Putin’s approval scores have skyrocketed, by what share, since Donald Trump grew to become President of the USA. After which we’ll see how a lot folks actually care about what’s in one of the best curiosity of the USA of America and what’s in one of the best curiosity of their political clan.

CLINT WATTS [FOREIGN POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, FELLOW]: Best victory in data warfare within the historical past of the world was what the Russian regime has achieved during the last two to 3 years, not simply in the USA: Brexit, France, Germany, Putin’s,-

KAY: [interjecting] Catalonia. Even [inaudible] in Catalonia.

WATTS: -yeah, Catalonia, Scotland is now up there. They’re doing it within the Center East as we’re shifting again from the world stage, the Russians are shifting in. They’re having their means with the world proper now.

KAY: [interjecting] Means cheaper than an arms race. Means cheaper.

WATTS: Yeah, Putin’s best victory is he has unified an viewers in Western democracies, Germany, France, Canada, the U.Okay., the USA, that not solely help his perception system, however help his international insurance policies.

SCARBOROUGH: Nicely, and this comes, in fact, this comes at Republicans immediately feeling heat and fuzzy about Vladimir Putin, Harold, after they invaded Crimea, after they invaded jap Ukraine, after they shot down, forces connected to them, shot down a passenger airliner. I imply, it is not like, it is not like there have been optimistic developments up to now two or three years that make Republicans determine they’ve this heat and fuzzy feeling about Vladimir Putin immediately.

HAROLD FORD JR.: It reminds us why the President is so severe about riling up his base whenever you see numbers like this, regardless of the query could also be about. It is Russia, they might have been concerned, how do you’re feeling — if three quarters of Republicans say it was only a distraction, I believe that’s revealing on a stage. I doubt they thought it was cool, however on the similar time I do know where-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] No, they suppose it’s cool — they’re cool with it.

FORD: They’re cool with it as opposed to-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] They’re cool, they’re cool it ‘trigger they know that Russia purchased Fb advertisements and focused, they’re cool with it.

FORD: However what has modified? As a result of I’d think about that you’d discover Democrat and Republican alike ten years in the past, fifteen years in the past, would have discovered this objectionable on the very least. One thing has modified, and I don’t, I don’t know-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] It switches occasion to occasion.

FORD: Nicely, no, no, no, however, however,-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] I imply — it simply — I imply — it’s like-

FORD: -I do not suppose, I don’t suppose — I’m actual — I don’t suppose Democrat or Republican alike would say: oh sure, we wish the Russians being concerned in our election.

SCARBOROUGH: No, it’s: we don’t — it is not an enormous deal.

FORD: Proper, or it’s not an enormous deal.

[Joe and Harold talk over each other, Katty starts talking under them]

SCARBOROUGH: It’s a James Carville [inaudible]

FORD: What has modified?

KAY: However why [inaudible] is so polarized and why is it inconceivable ever to deliver them again collectively?

FORD: Yeah, however what’s — I do not perceive what has modified. To — you listed all this stuff, Joe, that Russia has achieved over the previous few years to upset the worldwide stability of their favor and in opposition to us. I do not care what your occasion background. It appears irrelevant. How may anybody not discover this — and possibly the query must be requested in a different way — however you see extra of this, not as many individuals as I believed within the Republican Celebration would discover this problematic as-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] As a result of the Republican Celebration has turned itself over to somebody who’s making a character cult. I imply, I used to be conservative means again when being conservative meant you have been conservative. Ha! That modified. I imply, now you’ve got radicals.

FORD: However I do not know of any Republican in Washington, in Congress, the Senate, any severe thinker on international coverage within the Republican Celebration, who agrees with the President. So you continue to have 75% of — one thing’s occurred. I simply do not know what it’s.

[murmurs of agreement]

FORD: I imply, I do not suppose any of us know, nevertheless it’s only a — it’s numbing to say the least.

SCARBOROUGH: One thing is occurring, however you do not know what it’s, do you, Mrs. Jones? Um, alright. Once we return, I’m gonna have the reply to that ballot, the rising recognition of Vladimir Putin amongst Republicans when Morning Joe comes again.

(…)

7:50 AM

SCARBOROUGH: Alright, so Katty, I obtained your reply right here.

KAY: Good.

SCARBOROUGH: So, so, um-

KAY: I have to know the query too although.

SCARBOROUGH: Oh my god. Severely? Severely? So, uh, that is simply — Russian President Vladimir Putin is having fun with recognition amongst Republicans in line with a brand new ballot by Pew Analysis. That is again in 2016. And his approval ranking, although most People view Russia regu-, uh, negatively, uh, is — it jumped up, it jumped up from 17% to 34% amongst Republicans. So, it is doubled.

KAY: In the course of the course of 2016, that is loads.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, throughout the course of 2016. That is, that’s one thing.

(…)   

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