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Joe Scarborough Admits MSNBC Hosts 'Gleefully' Attacking Christie

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough acknowledged how eager his colleagues at the left-wing network were to take down Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "I mean, listen, you can attack the network if you want to, there are a lot of people that go after him gleefully, that's not shocking." [Listen to the audio]

Scarborough was responding to criticism from Christie's administration over MSNBC hyping claims from Democratic Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that the Governor withheld Sandy relief funds for political reasons. Co-host Savannah Guthrie cited a Christie spokesperson "pushing back not just on the facts of the story, but on the network that broke the story....'MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him.'"

Before admitting a general anti-Christie bias on MSNBC, Scarborough quickly defended his own show: "They're obviously not talking about Morning Joe because John Heilemann calls our show 'Good Morning, Trenton,' because we love Chris Christie so much around here."

Scarborough continued: "...you can push back against whatever network you want to push back against....if Chris Christie is not telling the truth – are there fifteen people that are going to perjure themselves for Chris Christie....I mean, we've said it before, if Chris Christie's telling the truth, he'll be fine. And if he's not telling the truth, he won't survive."

He concluded: "...this weekend was just sort of one more story in this unfolding story that makes a lot of Republican donors – and this is the big political story here – nationwide starting to scratch their heads going, 'Is this guy really our best chance to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016?' I think more and more people are waking up to this news like this saying, 'No.'"

Here is a portion of Guthrie's January 20 exchange with Scarborough:   

7:15AM ET

(...)

GUTHRIE: Well, as he's in this survival mode, I think we saw a different tact from him and his administration. This weekend, aggressively pushing back against the Hoboken mayor's claim. Pushing back not just on the facts of the story, but on the network that broke the story, MSNBC. A Christie's spokesperson said, "MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him." I know Governor Christie's a frequent guest on your show. What do you make of that allegation?

SCARBOROUGH: They're obviously not talking about Morning Joe because John Heilemann calls our show "Good Morning, Trenton," because we love Chris Christie so much around here. But there are troubling questions. I mean, listen, you can attack the network if you want to, there are a lot of people that go after him gleefully, that's not shocking.

But here's the bottom line, you can push back against whatever network you want to push back against. The lieutenant governor needs to come out today and say that what was said about her in the parking lot is a lie. And if she can't do that, they've got a real problem. And I suspect if the U.S. Attorney's being talked to, she's going to have to say that under oath. This is Chris Christie's biggest problem. Are there – if Chris Christie is not telling the truth – are there fifteen people that are going to perjure themselves for Chris Christie, the lieutenant governor, close aides, the person that was going to run the New Jersey Republican Party that ran his campaign?

I mean, we've said it before, if Chris Christie's telling the truth, he'll be fine. And if he's not telling the truth, he won't survive. None of us know the answer to those questions. But certainly, this weekend was just sort of one more story in this unfolding story that makes a lot of Republican donors – and this is the big political story here –  nationwide starting to scratch their heads going, "Is this guy really our best chance to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016?" I think more and more people are waking up to this news like this saying, "No."

(...)

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.