Over at Politico.com, Joe Scarborough has given a lesson on all that is wrong with public discourse and at the same time gives yet another example of why Politico is forfeiting the crucial branding it worked so hard to achieve at launch. What had been begun as a rigorously fair and balanced Beltway news portal has become anti-conservative and anti-Republican in two short years. This is the deep current of the Manhattan-Beltway media elite at work, and it is a sad thing to see Politico swept away in it.
Scarborough is a well-meaning, typically upbeat, generally center-right talking head with a half-dozen years of Congress under his belt and a nice morning talk show that relatively few people watch. Joe isn’t ever going to be mistaken for Brit Hume, but on the few days I have watched him, he turns in a decent product.
His columns, not so much. Different skill set than Joe brings, but Politico has drafted him because Politico’s drift left has been accelerating, and throwing Joe up on the front page tells the world that the editors are trying to keep their center-right readers even as those same editors know that Joe S. cannot possibly bring a single conservative pair of eyes with his byline. The Post picks up Jennifer Rubin, and conservatives start visiting the Post much more often. Politico picks up Scarborough and nothing happens.
This particular column is the perfect example of why Scarborough isn’t a “conservative” columnist at all. Not only does it serve up the anti-conservative slant of the week just ending, it also contributes to the very media environment –poisoned and vitriolic– that it purports to condemn.
I’d say the key moment when the Politico decided to jettison a sense of centrist fairness might be found here.