- The Washington Times
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

MSNBC, fresh off a red face from Rachel Maddow TV revelations that were tantamount to reporting, “hey, President Donald Trump paid his taxes,” apparently tried a bounce-back of sorts with another host, Joe Scarborough, who attempted to prove his mettle by taking on a Top Trump Dog, attorney Michael Cohen.

I believe, in the language of Twitterverse, where the battle took place, the proper response would be this: LOL.


The topic of warfare?

Trump’s tax returns — and who leaked ‘em to Maddow in the first place. Maddow, at some point during her widely reported 23-minute intro to her supposed big reveal — which was actually scooped by the White House, when Team Trump released its own version of the then-billionaire’s taxes from 2005 — told viewers she received the IRS filings from journalist David Cay Johnston. Johnston, meanwhile, said he received the forms in his mailbox, from an unknown source.

Either way, Maddow tried to cover her tracks by insisting she had the legal right to read from the tax forms on TV because of First Amendment protections. But you better believe Trump attorneys are looking into the matter.

Know what else they’re looking into?

The after-epic-Maddow-fail suggestions that Trump himself, by order to a minion, actually released the tax returns to Johnston.

For that, Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, went on the defense — or offense, depending on how you look at it.

Anyhow, MSNBC’s Scarborough kinda flew the first punch on that point.

In a Wednesday morning tweet, Scarborough wrote: “This one tax return is not bad for [Trump] because he cherry picked one return from over a decade ago and had it leaked to the press.”

The not-so-subtle message? Scarborough’s jumping right from theory to fact and outright claiming Trump’s own team was responsible for getting the tax form in the hands of MSNBC. The problem with making that leap, of course, is that it’s just not proven, anywhere, by anybody.

Cohen, about an hour later, shot back just that message at Scarborough on Twitter: “@JoeNBC As #potus @realDonaldTrump personal attorney, I know who has his taxes. You better have proof to back up your claim and big mouth!”

Scarborough, no doubt feeling the heat generated by Maddow’s foolishness of the night before, shot back a half hour later: “Sorry, Comrade.”

And scarcely was that mocking on its Twitter way when he deftly typed another: “And by the way ‘attorney’: 1. Read the First Amendment 2. Save your dumb thug routine for someone who gives a damn.”

Bam, take that Cohen.

Don’t mess with the Joe-ster.

But Scarborough wasn’t done.

He should’ve been, he really, really should’ve been. But he wasn’t.

“I don’t need proof for an opinion 1st graders would get,” he tweeted, again at Cohen. “But you do need proof that Obama tapped Trump’s phones. Where is it, Mr. Lawyer?”

Yeah, Mr. Lawyer Man. Where is it?  Oh, Joe. It’s like when actress Kathy Bates’ character, Annie Wilkes, pounded away at actor James Caan’s character, Paul Sheldon, in the movie “Misery” from 1990 — “I thought you were good, Paul. But you’re not. You’re just an old dirty birdy.”

You’re just an old dirty birdy, Mr. Cohen. That’s all you are. An old dirty birdy.

It’s all easy pickings from there. One of Cohen’s best responses?

A retweet from a follower who wrote: “Joe S has turned into a male version of Mika.”

No doubt, it’s not over. The Twitter war continues.

But thank you, MSNBC. Thank you for breaking in to this “all anti-Trump, all the time” media messaging of late to offer some solid comic relief.

It may not be news. It may be fake news. But it’s refreshing, just the same.


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