The always playfully catty hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe got into a legitimately testy confrontation today, after Mika Brzezinski called out Joe Scarborough for "being chauvinistic" during a discussion about Obama's overwhelmingly male second-term Cabinet nominees. Scarborough had been arguing — somewhat gleefully — that Obama's supporters were being too soft on the President for including more men than women in his inner circle. "I am afraid to use the word because it will not be good for you," Brzezinski begins. "Because you're being chauvinistic right now."
Brzezinski (who later issued an on-air apology for her remark) isn't the first to accuse Scarborough of demeaning women. In 2009 Jezebel called Scarborough's sexism "rampant", and more recently Alex Pareene at Salon argued that Scarborough's antics form a pillar of Morning Joe's entire appeal:
[Morning Joe is] cable TV’s most reliably sexist program, with Scarborough finding it endlessly amusing to interrupt and belittle his supposed co-host, Mika Brzezinski. As most successful sexists do, Scarborough dismisses criticisms of his constant unambiguously sexist remarks by saying that they’re just a joke that you’re too p.c. to get, like in this “hilarious” promo, in which Brzezinski is very professional, and Joe and the other guy do cool, edgy guy stuff like get drunk and do drugs and stuff.
Pareene also noted that for a period of time Brzezinski was paid significantly less than her MSNBC colleagues, a disparity so great that she apparently considered quitting Morning Joe.