Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Joe Scarborough lectures Donald Trump on a free press, but "Morning Joe" has supported thugs in Alabama who are almost as bad as Vladimir Putin
MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough made headlines the other day by pretending to stand up for a free press while taking offense at Donald Trump's positive statements about Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Did most viewers know that Scarborough was pulling a con during the interview, which can be seen in the video above? It seems unlikely, so we are here to help shine light on the subject.
Scarborough, a University of Alabama graduate, took exception during an interview to Trump's chummy assessment of Putin. Putting on his best schoolmarm face, Scarborough tried to set Trump straight about ugliness in Putin's past. "He kills journalists who don't agree with him," "Morning Joe" said.
But here's what Scarborough did not say: From 2002-10, he consistently trumpeted Alabama Republican Governor Bob Riley and his son, Birmingham lawyer Rob Riley. Scarborough and Rob Riley are BFFs from their days together on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. Never mind that during his father's tenure, Rob Riley essentially was to Alabama what Uday Hussein was to Iraq--except Uday probably had more respect for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
I'm not aware of "Riley Inc." killing any journalists in Alabama. But they've caused journalists "who don't agree" with them to be cheated out of their jobs--and they've even had journalists unlawfully arrested and incarcerated for up to five months. How do I know? I'm one of the journalists to incur their wrath--and I've lost my job (my wife also has lost her job), and I've been thrown in jail because of it.
Does Joe Scarborough care when journalists are treated this way in Alabama? Heck, no. When Bob Riley visited the Morning Joe show in early 2011, Scarborough openly touted him as a possible presidential candidate. (Gag . . . cough . . . gag . . . ) In fact, Scarborough gushed so much over the corrupt former governor--with Uday, I mean Rob, waiting in the wings--it almost seemed the host was going to perform a sex act on Bob Riley at any moment.
Should the public take it seriously when Joe Scarborough tries to portray himself as a champion of a free press? Absolutely not. His ties to the Riley family are proof that he has little or no respect for the First Amendment.
For his part, Donald Trump (never at a loss for words) fired back that there is no proof Putin has killed journalists. We have a feeling "the Donald" is a bit off track about that, but there definitely is proof that the Riley family has caused journalists to be imprisoned--and they did it contrary to 230 years of First Amendment law.
As for "Morning Joe," he probably would be wise to keep his mouth shut about those who might murder someone who causes them alarm. After all, many questions remain unanswered about the 2001 death of 28-year-old Lori Klausutis, who was an aide to Scarborough when he served as a U.S. Congressman from north Florida.
Klausutis' body was found in Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach Office, and the Congressman decided to scuttle his political career not long after her death. The autopsy and death investigation were filled with holes, and the death never has been adequately explained.
The whole disturbing story has been so cloaked that one seemingly cannot find a photo of Lori Klausutis on the Web.
The bottom line? Joe Scarborough has no business attempting to lecture Donald Trump, or anyone else, about a free press. And Scarborough's hypocrisy is grotesque when he points to Vladimir Putin as a powerful individual who has people killed.
Maybe if Scarborough held a press conference to answer any and all questions about the death of Lori Klausutis, he might regain some standing on such subjects. Maybe if Scarborough denounced the hideous actions of Bob and Rob Riley in Alabama, he would regain some stature regarding a free press.
For now, Scarborough should keep his yap shut on topics where his own hands appear to be anything but clean.