October 21, 2009

How Morning Joe Lost It's MoJo

It's a sad if frequent tale: show does well, audience swells, show sells out.

Morning Joe, the political talk show hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski made it's reputation on the backs (mouths?) of Pat Buchanan and Peggy Noonan. The energy and smart banter between the hosts and Buchanan and Noonan made it a must-watch for the Washington denizens.

But success corrupts and absolute success within Washington corrupts absolutely. Brzezinski already has a book coming out, a sure sign of shark jumpage. (I can imagine her advisers saying, "With your big audience you could write about squirrel hunting and it'd sell!").

Their success was the beginning of the end because suddenly all the hacks in D.C. began coming out of the woodwork asking for airtime, pushing Buchanan and Noonan off stage. It's become a cavalcade of used-up has-beens, never-weres and book shills. Barney Frank was on recently and was tossed softballs, but when Helen Thomas came on to plug a book I knew we'd seen the shark a jumpin' and we were heading towards infomercial territory. That's when I knew Morning Joe, that rare bright spot in political talk, had lost it's mojo.

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