On Thursday’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski announced that on Friday’s show, Joe Scarborough would be reporting from Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Why you might ask, would MSNBC go to the trouble and expense of sending Joe Scarborough to Auschwitz? The answer likely lies in the fact that (as Newsbusters Executive Editor Tim Graham and I discussed on a recent NewsBusters podcast) Scarborough is enamored with accusing Donald Trump, ad nauseam, of fascism.
And Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp, can certainly be seen as an ultimate symbol of fascism. It won’t be surprising if tomorrow, we hear Scarborough suggesting, subtly or not, that Trump-style “fascism” was the road to something akin to Auschwitz.
Brzezinski and historian Jon Meacham – an occasional Biden speechwriter – proceeded to somehow tie Auschwitz to Trumpism, and also suggest that a failure to react early and strongly to that “threat” could lead to things akin to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. – and to the very failure of American democracy.
As ugly, thinly-veiled smears go, this one wasn’t so veiled. Mika went out of her way to point her finger at the American right, asking Meacham, with great emphasis, to discuss “the strength of our own democracy with, and let me be clear with my wording, fascist threats from within.”
In response, Meacham went on a rambling historical disquisition, suggesting that the current period could be akin to the 1920s and 1930s in the US, which he described as a time: “where you had battles at home over education, over what’s going to be taught, state legislatures trying to determine school curriculum, a rise of a second Klan, anti-immigrant sentiment.“
Twin swipes at Trump and Ron DeSantis, anyone? Meacham made clear that the purpose of Scarborough’s Auschwitz trip is to work on analogizing the current situation in the US to that of the proto-fascist 1920s and 30s.
Meacham ended the segment with this ominous warning:
“Things change rapidly, and so if you don’t stand against the threat that a democracy is a fragile, fallible thing, then, in fact, it does fail.”
Translation: extirpate the American right posthaste, or the end is nigh!
Morning Joe somehow tying Trumpism to Auschwitz and the assassinations of JFK and MLK was sponsored in part by GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Trelegy.
Here’s the transcript.
MSNBC’ s Morning Joe
6:13 am ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So this is probably a good time to talk about what Joe is doing right now. On tomorrow’s show, Joe will be reporting live from the auschwitz concentration camp in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Amid the new war in Europe, the Russian atrocities being perpetrated against the innocent civilians of Ukraine, and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe and the increase in anti-semitism around the world, there’s never been a more important time to “never forget,” to always remember. And as part of the coverage, he’ll have an exclusive interview from Poland with the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, who’s retracing his own family journey there.
And Jon Meacham, if you could, talk about the moment in history as Ukrainians really fight for the safety of the world, but also the strength of our own democracy with, and let me be clear with my wording, fascist threats from within.
JON MEACHAM: One of the great questions we face is, is the period we’re in now like the 1850s, where a dedicated minority of people who wanted power above all, in that case, a racial hierarchy, propertied racial hiearchy, and they were willing to sacrifice the union itself for that hierarchy. And they were willing to sacrifice the Union itself for that hierarchy. Is, is this that period?
Is it as you were just alluding to and what Joe’s working on, is it the 1920s and 30s? Which was a period of modernity, where you had battles at home over home over education, over what’s going to be taught, state legislatures trying to determine school curriculum, a rise of a second Klan, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti, you know, fears of socialism around the world. That socialism was going to come here. And fundamental economic transition.
The 1930s gave us the bloodiest century in world history. And what we have to do again, is learn from that. And what do we learn? Is that you have to stop these things early. And there’s almost nothing harder than stopping something early, because people can always say, oh, you’re overreacting, right? Oh, you know, you don’t understand, this is just a difference of opinion. Well, sometimes things are incredibly clear. and history does enable us to be able to identify threats and react to them.
MEACHAM: And anyone can say, at any point, oh, this doesn’t matter so much. You’re overreacting. In the way that, I sometimes think of it this way. If we had come, if the world had somehow had come to us with Lee Harvey Oswald November 21st, 1963, and said, this man’s going to change history. You would have said, no, one guy with a gun can’t do that, right? Or, you know, anything, James Earl Ray before April 3rd, 1968, with Dr. King.
Things change rapidly, and so if you don’t stand against the threat that a democracy is a fragile, fallible thing, then, in fact, it does fail.