On Friday, MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski apologized for calling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “butt boy,” but she seemed to focus her apology on everyone but Pompeo and President Donald Trump, who had criticized her for using the term.
“I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar. I knew it right away and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry,” Brzezinski began. “But please allow me to say this face to face.”
“The term is crass and offensive, and I apologize to everyone, especially the LGBTQ community and to my colleagues, for using it,” the co-host added. “It was a mistake. My father would have found it so unbecoming and disrespectful, and he would have told me.”
Brzezinski finished the apology without a single reference to the man she had attacked, Mike Pompeo. “But I just wanted to say, on camera, looking the viewers straight in the eye, I am really, really sorry,” she said.
The co-host had slammed Pompeo for his repeated defense of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the New York Post reported. The CIA concluded that the crown prince ordered the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who had criticized the Saudi regime.
“I understand that Donald Trump doesn’t care,” Brzezinski said. “But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care, right now? Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard, when he appeared on ‘Fox & Friends,’ is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy? I’m dead serious. I’m asking, Are these the words of a patriot?”
The co-host originally apologized after photographer G.E. Anderson attacked her use of the term “butt boy” as demeaning to the LGBT community. “I was with you, [Mika Brzezinski], right up to the ‘butt boy’ comment. Try ‘toadie’ or ‘lackey’ or ‘stool pigeon’ or ‘ass kisser,’ or ‘traitor,’ but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,” Anderson tweeted.
“Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words,” the co-host responded, retweeting the comment. “I should have said ‘water boy’ … like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to [Senator Durbin] too! SO SORRY!”
Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said “water boy”… like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY! https://t.co/zIqsGdK3Tk
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2018
President Trump himself jumped into the fray, tweeting, “If it was a Conservative that said what “crazed” Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television….” He predicted the co-host would be “given a pass.”
If it was a Conservative that said what “crazed” Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018
Throughout the apology, Brzezinski made clear that she had no issue with using a vulgar term to slam Mike Pompeo. She merely regretted angering the LGBT community, her co-workers, and her viewers.
This apology is remarkable for the non-apology aspect. Brzezinski seems utterly blind to the fact that her original offense was against Pompeo, not the LGBT community. She cared so much for the liberals she offended that she made no reference to the secretary of State.
Sure, the co-host said, “I apologize to everyone,” but when she went on to name “especially” the LGBT community, her colleagues, and the viewers, she made it clear she was not apologizing to Mike Pompeo.
Perhaps Pompeo deserves attacks for defending the Saudi crown prince. Carrying water for a murderous dictator is disgusting. But if the term “butt boy” is truly more offensive than other vulgar slurs, surely Pompeo is among those rightly offended by Brzezinski’s comments. Her refusal to even name him is quite telling.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.