Deeply Disturbed Scarborough Accuses New York Times Of Rigging Polls AGAINST Biden!

News & Politics

Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough MSNBC Morning Joe 5-15-24 As we’ve noted in the past, Mika Brzezinski has expressed concerns over the fragile psyche of her husband and co-host Joe Scarborough, at one point ordering him to take an extended break from the show. Mika might be inclined to give Joe another long time-out after his disturbed and disturbing performance on Wednesday’s Morning Joe. Scarborough absolutely freaked out [see screencap and Mika’s stone-faced reaction] over a New York Times/Siena poll showing Trump leading in five out of six swing states.

Note that the show never actually displayed the bad-for-Biden poll results in question on screen, no doubt not wanting to provide them any additional publicity.

Scarborough began by saying that he believed in conspiracy theories, and believed that the Times had entered into a conspiracy with psychiatrists in blue states to split the profits on psychiatric care in return for the Times using skewed methodology in Trump’s favor.

Joe was – at least we hope – kidding about that.

But Scarborough was dead serious when he accused the Times of rigging the polls against Biden in order to write clickbait stories about them:

Maybe they’re trying to make up for ’20, when they skewed in Biden’s direction by about four or five points? But every one of these New York Times/Siena polls have been wildly skewed when you compare them to other polls that come out at the same time. (…) And by the way, people are calling Mika, saying this is a just reaction to one poll. No. You can go back. You can look at the tape. We do this every time when the New York Times/Siena poll comes out. It’s always an outlier, and the New York Times always gets 15 or 16 articles out of them that everybody rushes to, because it says, Earth ends at 5:00. Hit link at New York Times, 15 times, and they keep writing articles about it. 

At one point, an incredulous John Heilemann put it to Scarborough: “You’re saying the New York Times is systematically putting these polls out in a way to try to amplify them to drive the news cycle?”

Responded Scarborough: “Yes. Yes, I am saying that.”

Scarborough rudely shouted down Heilemann, who had very politely and cautiously tried to differ ever so slightly in his take (Click “expand”):

HEILEMANN: I’m not saying it’s not close. I’m not going to carry water for the New York Times or the methodology of this poll. I would keep going back to the thing that I try to say every time we talk about these things. Which is, that I’m really interested in — and I know you know this. What are the polls showing us directionally about the race?

SCARBOROUGH: I understand. There’s a difference, though, with the New York Times/ Siena poll, and you know this. It’s given disproportionate impact. This year, this cycle, it is skewed wildly in Donald Trump’s direction. [Heilemann tries to speak.]

Hold on. And the New York Times feasts on it with clickbait stories, like, a dozen at a time.

HEILEMANN: And I, what I’m trying to focus on is what I think people should pay attention to [tries to continue]

SCARBOROUGH: — [Interrupting] But what I’m trying to focus on is, the New York Times right now is actively shaping the election cycles, where this poll comes out on a Sunday, and on Monday, people go, oh — and I heard it! And I’m sitting there going, don’t be so stupid.

That’s why we’re doing this. [Heilemann tries to respond. Scarborough shouts.] 

Hold on. No! No! Hold on a second. Hold on. No, no, no, no,. Hold on.

We recently noted evidence that wife and co-host Mika Brzezinski was getting fed up with Scarborough’s insolent, incessant interruptions of her. Combine that with Scarborough’s intemperate big-footing of Heilemann today, and his explicitly expressed belief that the New York Times—of all media outlets—was manipulating its polls against Biden, and serious questions arise about Scarborough’s mental state.

Note: Scarborough mentioned that when NPR looked into some of the people quoted in Times articles saying they voted for Biden in 2020 but are now switching to Trump, it was found that they had never voted before. Could be. But ask yourself: when asked by a reporter or pollster about their presidential preference, who was the average person less likely to admit they prefer? Good Ol’ Joe Biden, or Trump, whom the media consistently portrays as a monster who will end democracy forever?

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

MSNBC
Morning Joe
5/15/23
6:11 am EDT

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I have said for the past couple of days, as I’ve said for the past couple of months, that — and I believe now that there is a conspiracy. And I do believe in conspiracies. I think psychiatrists in blue states have conspired with the New York Times/Siena pollsters and said, listen: we’ll split the profits on psychiatric care if you guys will, will, will have the craziest methodology, which they always have.

Maybe they’re trying to make up for ’20, when they skewed in Biden’s direction by about four or five points? But every one of these New York Times/Siena polls have been wildly skewed when you compare them to other polls that come out at the same time.

. . . 

And by the way, people are calling Mika, saying this is a just reaction to one poll. No. You can go back. You can look at the tape. We do this every time when the New York Times/Siena poll comes out. It’s always an outlier, and the New York Times always gets 15 or 16 articles out of them that everybody rushes to, because it says, Earth ends at 5:00. Hit link at New York Times, 15 times, and they keep writing articles about it. 

There are, and NPR has found some of these voters that said, well you know, I voted for Biden before. And they said, but wait. This guy, we checked the voting rolls. He has never voted.

Other news organizations offer three, four more examples. Not just of people in the surveys but people the New York Times quoted in their article: “Well, here’s one of many people we interviewed who said he’s disillusioned and is going to vote for Trump.” No record of him voting.

JOHN HEILEMANN: Yeah.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Okay?

HEILEMANN: You know —

MIKA: Are you feeling something, John Heilemann, that you want to say?

HEILEMANN: I think sometimes as a general matter, there’s maybe an overreliance on voters telling the truth about things in general. Hate to say it. Reporters find this occasionally that reporters lie.

Here is what I say about this poll. If I were to ask you this question, Joe: do you know anybody on either side who doesn’t think that it’s the case that of the battleground states, that Joe Biden is stronger in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin than he is in Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia?

SCARBOROUGH: It sounds about right. I’ve seen some polls that show Georgia’s very close. Greg Bluestein actually had an article that says the CNN poll is wildly off.

HEILEMANN: I’m not saying it’s not close. I’m not going to carry water for the New York Times or the methodology of this poll. I would keep going back to the thing that I try to say every time we talk about these things. Which is, that I’m really interested in — and I know you know this. What are the polls showing us directionally about the race?

SCARBOROUGH: I understand. There’s a difference, though, with the New York Times/ Siena poll, and you know this. It’s given disproportionate impact. This year, this cycle, it is skewed wildly in Donald Trump’s direction. [Heilemann tries to speak.]

Hold on. And the New York Times feasts on it with clickbait stories, like, a dozen at a time.

HEILEMANN: And I, what I’m trying to focus on is what I think people should pay attention to [tries to continue]

SCARBOROUGH: — [Interrupting] But what I’m trying to focus on is, the New York Times right now is actively shaping the election cycles, where this poll comes out on a Sunday, and on Monday, people go, oh — and I heard it! And I’m sitting there going, don’t be so stupid.

That’s why we’re doing this. [Heilemann tries to respond. Scarborough shouts.] 

Hold on. No! No! Hold on a second. Hold on. No, no, no, no,. Hold on. What I hear is after these Siena polls come out, every time: oh, well, everything that Joe Biden’s done since the, since the State of the Union address, all these, all this money he has put out. All of the campaigning is for naught. 

No, it’s not! No, it’s not! There’s one poll that’s wildly skewed every time. And it does shape — if it’s a New York Times poll versus a Morning Consult poll and the New York Times then amplifies it 15, 16, 17, times, it, it, it warps reality and everybody responds to that in the media and in the political world.

HEILEMANN: So if you’re — all I’d say about this is that I agree with you. That the problem to me, unless you want to speculate, unless you want to suggest you think there is a conspiracy at the Times about this which you’re —

SCARBOROUGH: Their methodology is bizarre and Larry Sabato said this, Wall Street [Journal] said that.

HEILEMANN: Joe, you’re saying something more than that. You’re saying the New York Times is systematically putting these polls out in a way to try to amplify them to drive the news cycle.

SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Yes, I am saying that.

HEILEMANN: And I’m  saying, I’m not, I’d like to know,  I’m curious, as somebody who understands your level of sophistication about reading the media, why you think that’s true. What I’m trying to say is, I agree with you. The best bulwark against any polls, outliers or anything else, is for people who are actually consumers of this information, is to not let these — any given news outlet, or any given poll, shape your perception of the race unduly.

SCARBOROUGH: But John, that’s not realistic. And I’ll tell you why it’s not realistic. Because, and I’ll say to you, I know people come up to you after every New York Times/Siena poll comes out. It completely changes the political battlefield out there for about a week, week-and-a-half. It distorts the questions that are asked of the White House. It distorts the questions that are asked of Donald Trump. It distorts all of the opinion. It distorts everything. 

And that keeps happening every month when this comes out. And then finally, about two weeks later, after the residue of the New York Times/Siena poll leaves, people go, I think Joe Biden’s on a winning streak. And then two weeks later it comes out again, and it’s garbage. It’s an outlier.

And yes, the New York Times,  when they have all of these experts questioning the methodology. When they’re calling about 20% of the people likely voters who have never voted before, or didn’t vote in the last two primaries. When they’re even quoting people who say they’re switching their vote from Joe Biden, who have never voted before? I’m sorry! The New York Times has to know what they are doing!

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