Why Liberals Like Joe Scarborough

Conservative pundit takes relaxed, questioning attitude on new morning show
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2008 12:19 PM CDT
Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd, Joe Scarborough on the campaign trail.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Joe Scarborough was a conservative Republican congressman who gained office in the 1994 House sweep that launched Newt Gingrich. His MSNBC show Scarborough Country was initially devised as a like-minded answer to Bill O’Reilly. But, as Mark Binelli puts it in New York magazine, "Scarborough never quite mastered the voice of perpetual outrage." Which could be why his new show, Morning Joe, has a surprisingly liberal following.

The easygoing, chatty tone of Morning Joe, "more Katie Couric than Sean Hannity," reflects his personality better. “There are very few things in politics that make me feel like wagging my finger,” he says. "Even though he’s a conservative Republican," Tim Russert said of his colleague before his death, "he’s not afraid to criticize his own party. And I think people find that refreshing.” Scarborough says he hasn't gotten any more liberal since his days in the House. “The difference now is, I just never, ever believe that I’m necessarily right anymore, that I’m the only one with the answers.” (Read more Joe Scarborough stories.)