“Morning Joe is in a Twitter feud with the Real Housewife of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
That’s how Bill Maher opened the latest edition of his HBO show Real Time on Friday night. The political satirist’s top-of-show monologue, as expected, focused on President Trump’s gross, misogynistic, and downright petty tweets directed at Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, who has—at least lately—been an outspoken critic of Trump.
Brzezinski—whose father Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s former national security advisor, passed away last month—was not “bleeding badly from a face-lift” of course, as photographic evidence has proven. Donald Trump has a long, awful history of attempting to degrade and devalue women through defining them by their physical attributes, and these stabs can take the form of a creepy compliment, like his recent Oval Office ogling of an Irish reporter, to outright debasement, e.g. his comments about Carly Fiorina’s face, Hillary Clinton’s bowel movements, Megyn Kelly’s menstruation, Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy body, you name it. People seem to forget that Donald Trump spent years judging beauty pageants where he implemented the so-called “Trump Rule,” a system of objectifying and belittling contestants that reduced many women to tears. Donald Trump has always viewed women as mere ornamentation to his tremendously fragile ego, and when women don’t fulfill that role, he endeavors to put them in their place.
And so, during his Real Time spiel, Maher opined, “Yes, once again Donald Trump has taught this nation a valuable lesson: you can never be too rich to be white trash. And you know, a little advice, Mr. President, a good rule to live by: if you’re going to go after a woman’s appearance, first make sure you’re not a fat old man with orange face paint pretending to be a blond at the age of 71. Who’s a blond at 71? Mika Brzezinski, you do crazy things to delay aging, says the man who glues dryer lint to his head.”
Later on in the program, Maher addressed how it seems that “White House aides are engaged in what looks like extortion on behalf of the president,” pointing to Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski’s claim on Friday that President Trump’s White House staff had threatened the real-life couple with a potential National Enquirer hit piece if they didn’t apologize publicly to him for their critical coverage. One of those staffers was none other than his son-in-law Jared Kushner, reported The Daily Beast. Brzezinski further alleges that the Enquirer had harassed her family—including her ex-husband and teenage kids—while the Trump administration was leveraging the Enquirer story against them.
In other words: two cable news hosts are claiming that the President of the United States threatened them with a supermarket tabloid exposé if they didn’t grant him more favorable coverage.
“Joe Scarborough said today, ‘The guy that’s in the White House is not the guy that we knew two years ago.’ What the fuck is he talking about?” Maher continued. “Two years ago was when the campaign started. It started with ‘Mexicans are rapists.’ I think this is the same guy.”
The only difference is Trump’s job title. But at 71, it’s not likely that a man who’s spent his entire adult life—and really, focused his brand on—objectifying and humiliating women is going to suddenly stop now.