‘This is not normal’: Trump attack tweets on Brzezinski, Scarborough spark cable news outrage

Christopher Wilson
·Senior Writer

President Trump’s Thursday-morning tweets insulting “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski elicited condemnation from across the cable news spectrum.

The responses came to Trump’s tweets that Brzezinski was “low I.Q.,” “crazy,” and had a “bleeding face-lift,” which was widely criticized as misogynistic. The hosts wrote Friday morning that top White House officials threatened them with blackmail, a claim Trump denied on Twitter.

Don Lemon opened his CNN show Thursday evening by discussing his disgust over the continuing need to point out what is and isn’t normal.

“I have heard and said the phrase ‘This is not normal’ so many times and I’m sick of hearing it and I’m sick of saying it,” said Lemon. “What the president did today was flat-out gross and disgusting. Saying it was juvenile would be insulting to children. If your children said or tweeted what he said, you would discipline them. Any employee would face some very serious consequences. And for anyone out there, any of you attempting to defend what he did, you’re an enabler.”

Lemon then cut to a clip of White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who spent most of Thursday’s briefing defending Trump’s right to attack the appearance of cable news hosts who criticize him.

CNN host and contributor W. Kamau Bell made an appeal to Trump’s eldest daughter in an interview with Lemon.

“As a dad — I have two daughters — so I immediately think if I want somebody to say something like that about my daughters, and I wouldn’t,” said Bell. “Then I think about Ivanka, and I’m like, … ‘Ivanka, I’m talking to you right now: You’re supposed to be the voice of reason, you’re a woman, I know you know it’s wrong, I can’t count on the Republicans to talk to your dad. But you, Ivanka, I’m talking to you, you know the difference, I know you know. Say something. Stop it. It’s on you, Ivanka. Democracy is depending on you.’”

Former CBS anchor Dan Rather said the tweets were “humiliating for all of us who are Americans” and expanded on the thoughts in a Facebook post.

“For years we heard sanctimonious and cynical attacks on President Obama by many in the GOP about how he was demeaning the office of the presidency,” wrote Rather. “Really? Check your twitter feeds folks, for I fear we have a demeanor in chief in the White House now. This is not about policy or even politics. This is about a common decency.”

Former CNBC host Donny Deutsch responded to Trump’s comments during a “Morning Joe” segment Friday with a rant, defending Brzezinski and calling the president a “vulgar pig.”

“Donald, if you’re watching,” Deutsch said a little later, “we’re from Queens. I’ll meet you in the schoolyard, brother.”

MSNBC host and former George W. Bush staffer Nicolle Wallace began her show Thursday afternoon by pleading with women working in the White House to call Trump out on his misogyny.

Trump supporter and CNN pundit Jeffrey Lord attempted to say the president’s attacks were not misogynistic but was rebutted by his fellow panelists on “Anderson Cooper 360.” Lord said that Trump had not been accused of rape like Bill Clinton and that Brzezinski should be able to handle attacks because “she’s a powerful player in television.” He eventually conceded that it would be difficult for children to look up to the president.

Fox News host Sean Hannity said on his radio show, “I don’t think the president should have tweeted it,” but stressed he was a big supporter of the president tweeting. He called the response from the media “selective moral outrage.”

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