Scarborough: I Don't Watch MSNBC After 9AM

Scarborough: I Don't Watch MSNBC After 9AM

Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show, MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough responded to criticism that he was overly harsh to conservatives for being hateful when his own network has liberal vitriol often throughout the day and certainly in primetime television. Scarborough said that he made a deal “a long time ago with Phil Griffin, the President of MSNBC” that he would only watch the network from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. every day. “It makes my life a lot easier, everybody else’s life at MSNBC a lot easier and it’s a formula that works well,’ Scarborough concluded. Transcript below:

HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HOST: “Okay, so you’re the only conservative anywhere within spittin’ distance of that network. and so, some of your late-afternoon colleuges have said about — I’ll just use the evidence about me — such horrible things that I think to myself ‘Really? This is where Joe has to do his cleanup duty on aisle 3 and it’s conservatives?’ What do you think about that?”

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: “Well, first of all, I don’t do cleanup duty on MSNBC. In fact, if you don’t mind me saying, I think it’s one of the great ironies. I’ve, as a conservative, somehow survived there longer than anybody but Chris Matthews. Our show, certainly, when it comes to news, when it comes to shaping the news of the day — at least on the East Coast — sort of the standard bearer. I mean, we start it out, Politico[.com] picks up what we say, they follow it. We have a big impact on the news cycle. I would say we do a lot more than cleaning up aisle 3.”

HEWITT: “…but for you to pick as a target — the conservatives’ problem is vitriol –“

SCARBOROUGH: “–Oh, no, listen. I know — hey. Okay, first of all, I have to be very careful about what I say here. Because you would have to be very careful about what you say about Salem radio … You know, listen, I watch — all I will say on that point is I, a long time ago, made a deal with Phil Griffin, that’s the President of MSNBC, and that was that I would watch MSNBC from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the morning and that was it. It makes my life a lot easier, everybody else’s life at MSNBC a lot easier and it’s a formula that works well. That said, Hugh, and this is something that is very important, I could talk about Bill Maher — and I do at times when liberals say, ‘Oh god, Joe, how could you be in a party where everybody’s so hateful?’ And I’ll say, ‘Well, you can talk about what Rush said, I don’t think what Rush said about Fluke was helpful. But I didn’t bring that up unless a liberal brought it up. And I said, ‘Oh, really? Tell me about Bill Maher who gave a million dollars to President Obama. Are you as concerned about that and what he called female Republicans, as you are on the other side?’

“But, Hugh, I’m concerned about both sides. I’ll be more critical, of course, on policy issues of Democrats, but I want Republicans to win elections. So if somebody goes out and says something that’s unhelpful to the cause, then I’m going to say something. In this campaign back, you know, I guess it was early September, I said somethings about how I was very concerned about the direction of the Romney campaign, because I had a lot of friends in the Romney campaign that were very concerned about the direction. I said a few things, I got absolutely hammered by conservatives. I was called I was called a RINO … I got absolutely hammered by the right-wing blogesphere … I wasn’t saying it because I wanted to criticize Mitt Romney, I said it because I wanted Mitt Romney, a guy I supported, to win!”