Mika Brzezinski is right now looking good, even if she did not come out so well in a recent “Saturday Night Live” sketch that poked satirical fun at her as more a mindless toady than a journalist while portraying her partner, Joe Scarborough, as self-absorbed. The two host MSNBC’s commentary show “Morning Joe,” and part of the skit was about an interview with Michael Wolff.
He’s the author of “Fire and Fury,” a book that climbed to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list of nonfiction books even though it is fictional. Well, not wholly so, but blatantly inaccurate in spots and dubious beyond that, according to media inspectors. Nevertheless, in its uninhibited trouncing of President Donald Trump, the book made Trump haters swoon. The sketch showed Brzezinski praising its truthfulness even though the actor playing Wolff hinted at guesswork.
Well, we now get back to real life and here is the real Brzezinski interviewing the real Wolff, who a while back had been on another show, that of self-worshipping TV host Bill Maher. He’s a leftist specializing in malodorous putdowns, such as once calling a pope a Nazi. In this instance, he was after dirt on Trump and Wolff was saying he was “absolutely sure” Trump was having an affair and that readers could discover his likely lover by examining his book.
Sure enough, news outlets identified one passage saying U.S. Ambassador Nicki Haley “had become a particular focus of Trump’s attention, and he of hers.” Another passage said she thought she might be his successor after one term if she were submissive enough. Still another said Trump had been “spending a notable amount of time with Haley on Air Force One.” All of this is an insinuation verging on an accusation, at least when joined with what Wolff told Maher.
Haley wasn’t having any.
She said the Wolff assault was “highly offensive” and “disgusting.” She said she had only been on Air Force One once and had never been alone with Trump there or anyplace else.
And so, when Wolff reappeared on “Morning Joe,” Brzezinski took him on, reviewing this outrage as he insisted he had not done what he did. She then replied, “I’m going to go as far as to say that you might be having a fun time, playing a dancing game around this, but you’re slurring a woman. It’s disgraceful.” When he kept it up, she shut him down. The interview was done.
Dismayed and forlorn, if richer every minute, Wolff was soon saying that the president who Wolff has identified as one of the worst lying, abusive monsters ever to happen in the universe was right about at least one thing: He was right about insults hurled at Brzezinski.
Wolff claimed he was set up, that he was being asked to admit a falsehood and volunteered that, after a previous appearance on the show, Brzezinski and Scarborough had wanted to gossip with him about Trump’s sexual adventures. Interesting guy, huh? I am so glad he was taken down, especially on MSNBC, which often engages in Wolff-like, anti-Trump talk itself.
Of course, Brzezinski wasn’t defending Trump. She was rightly defending Haley, and it fit in with so many who are now so sick of mistreatment of women. Whether intended or not, however, she was also underlining how some seem to think Trump’s disregard of norms means everyone against him can also disregard them in their pursuit of his political end days.
This was a good moment for Brzezinski.
As for Wolff, he might want to take a look at a 1931 gangster movie in which a crook played by Edward G. Robinson issued a line that became famous: “You better quit this racket. You can dish it out, but you got so you can’t take it no more.”