Low intensity hostilities between MSNBC and CNN erupted Friday morning amid the larger shooting war pitting President Donald Trump and his White House communications shop against the FBI and the news media.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, cohost Mika Brzezinski, doing her best impression of Kate McKinnon, decided to lecture her cable news rivals about their frequent bookings of senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway.
“First of all, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee, Sean Spicer, Mike Pence—now all in the same category. In the Kellyanne category. Not credible, proved as a liar, made a fool,” Brzezinski began her broadside as her fiancé/cohost Joe Scarborough listened from a remote location miles away from the studio in 30 Rock.
“Also, note to CNN. Sorry, I love CNN, but you gotta stop putting Kellyanne on the air. It’s politics porn. You’re just getting your little ratings crack. Ok? But it’s disgusting.”
Brzezinski, who declared Conway persona non grata months ago after her many appearances on Morning Joe, continued her rant at CNN: “There’s nothing that she brings to the table that’s honest. Your hosts know it. Your hosts look pained when they interview her, because they know they’re just doing politics porn. They’re not doing news. We need to stick to the news.”
Taking the high road, at least for the moment, a CNN spokesperson responded: “At a time when the press is under constant assault by the administration, it’s disappointing that Mika would take a gratuitous shot at a fellow news organization.”
In recent days, as the controversy surrounding Trump’s sudden sacking of FBI Director James Comey escalated, Conway has appeared several times on CNN—including opposite an eye-rolling Anderson Cooper Tuesday night and a riveting debate with New Day host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday morning.
Yet, despite Brzezinski’s outrage at Conway’s cable television appearances, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders—an equally dubious Trump operative, according to her—was accorded generous airtime on Morning Joe as she tried, under grilling by the panelists, to spin the Comey termination in ways that were directly contradicted Thursday by the president himself in his explosive interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.
Conway, for her part, texted The Daily Beast: “I don’t watch.”