As predicted, New York magazine's profile of Joe Scarborough was much like its predecessor in the Times, recounting the MSNBC personality's trip from a scripted right-wing blowhard to a charming, inventive morning show host who even sympathizes with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. But the endorsements! The MSNBC hosts' colleagues are positively effusive. And no doubt the most powerful quote is this one from former Meet The Press anchor Tim Russert, collected two weeks before his death:
"Andrea Mitchell, myself, all of us in the Washington bureau-Morning Joe has become a staple for us," Russert told me...
Russert had chuckled when I brought up the recent partisan critiques of NBC News. "That's nothing new," he said. Besides, with someone like Scarborough, "it's not as if people are trying to present him as a news anchor. He's not. But even though he's a conservative Republican, he's not afraid to criticize his own party. And I think people find that refreshing."
Then there's this from Time editor Mark Halperin:
"I was totally skeptical, and now I'm totally won over," says Time editor-at-large Mark Halperin, a political analyst at ABC News. "I was a huge fan of Imus, but Joe has taken that real estate and turned it into something-and I say this without hyperbole-revolutionary. There's no other show that does what they do. They've really found a new form."
And from former NBC evening news anchor Tom Brokaw:
Tom Brokaw summed up the consensus opinion when, a week or so later, he poked his head into Griffin's office and said, "Scarborough. Who knew?"
So there have been two basically glowing profiles for Scarborough in as many months. Perhaps his shot at helming Meet The Press is not as weak as it initially appeared, assuming he even wants the job.