In a Washington Post op-ed, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski answered Trump's vicious tweet. According to Axios, Scarborough and someone named "Brzenzski" blasted Trump. Mediaite is even more creative, reporting that Scarborough and someone named "Brzezenski" wrote a scathing rebuke.
To repeat: Scarborough and Brzezinski simply answered Trump's tweet. I saw nothing blasting or scathing about it. What this confrontation does demonstrate with a certain ferocity, however, is that what this country needs is another president, as well as copy editors.
In Scarborough and Brzezinski/Brzenzski/Brzezenski's reply to toddler Trump, the cable network hosts employed a light touch. "America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president," they wrote. "We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show." They recommended that Trump "keep his 60-inch-plus flat-screen TV tuned to 'Fox & Friends.'"
With credible and easily verifiable recall, the hosts pointedly denied Trump's tweeted claims about their pathetic requests to attend him at Mar-a-Lago. They also denied Mika's face-lift bleeding; indeed they denied that Mika ever had a face lift, which she obviously did not. These are statements of fact, and I see nothing "scathing" about factual statements.
In what some might see as scathing but I see as fair playing, the MSNBC hosts did reveal that, aside from being an ignorant sociopath, the president of the United States is a bungling blackmailer. "This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked." They didn't beg, and Nixon, taking Kennedy's advice, rarely got mad — he generally got even. Trump isn't that functional.
Scarborough and Brzezinski conclude their answer to Trump with the roundly familiar: "We … have noticed a change in his behavior over the past few years…. The Donald Trump we knew before the campaign was a flawed character but one who still seemed capable of keeping his worst instincts in check."
In its familiarity, that passage is rather sedate. Other lay commentators have explicitly noted with ample psychiatric evidence that Trump's inability to keep his worst instincts in check is, manifestly, a thundering sign of madness. This, the network hosts did not write. Yet had they observed what others have symptomatically observed, it would not have been scathing. It would, rather, have been a matter of fact. Which is to say, characterizations of Trump as mad are no longer mere opinion. They are objectivity itself — and to label objectivity as scathing is to throw objectivity into the realm of mere opinion.
And that's a disservice to the nation. Trump's unfitness for office is straightforward and factual: The president of the United States is mad.