Entries from Dec 2020
Messages of support — and a few beers

Don’t miss this Morning Joe segment with Mika Brzezinski, Mike Barnicle and John “Chick” Donohue about Donohue’s new book “The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger Than War,” which tells remarkable stories from his 1967 journey from a New York City bar to Vietnam via a cargo ship to track down—in alphabetical order—his neighborhood pals serving in the war to deliver messages of support from back home and share a few beers.

The need for nostalgia

Watch this Morning Joe segment with Willie Geist, Mike Barnicle and Wright Thompson, author of the new book “Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last,” as they discuss how complicated conversations may not be spoken but are often understood over a drink. Part biography, autobiography, philosophy and history of the South, Thompson leans into nostalgia and comes up with an unexpected result.

Stimulus payments in limbo

“Listening to Senator McConnell over the past few days and reading about what he did…it really is tragic, it’s sad. It’s pathetic because here you have a man—Mitch McConnell of Kentucky—going out of his way to ensure his own personal political survival as Senate majority leader and leader of the Senate Republicans, his own survival, over the survival of millions of Americans and their families who are at the edge of their own financial survival: Some being evicted, some having already lost homes, some having lost jobs and some having no hope at the conclusion of this drastically, terrible year,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during this Morning Joe conversation with Kasie Hunt and Walter Isaacson Sen. McConnell (R-KY) having blocked an attempt by Democrats to hold an immediate vote on increasing stimulus checks for those suffering through the coronavirus pandemic to $2,000 from $600, leaving the fate of the measure unclear.

Salman Rushdie on his new MasterClass

ICYMI: Tune in for this conversation between Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie and Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle about Rushdie’s new MasterClass in which he teaches the art of storytelling and writing. “How do you plan to use MasterClass to develop and have people articulate and live with their imaginations? In some cases they’re filled with incredible stories, but you’ve got to draw them out. How do you do that?” asks Barnicle. Hear Rushdie’s response here.

Jim Gray talks about new book

Watch this Morning Joe conversation between Mike Barnicle and sportscaster Jim Gray about his golfing experiences with Donald Trump who wanted “the moniker of the best” and his opinion on whether baseball great Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Gray’s new memoir, “Talking To GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard” details his relationships with iconic sports figures Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps and others.

Report for America

Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle and long-time foreign correspondent Charlie Sennott discuss Sennott’s new organization Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. “You have 300 people—300 young people—out in the field in several different states doing God’s work, working at local newspapers. How did they find you? What do you pay them? And how do you get the money to pay them?” asks Barnicle. Hear Sennott’s response here and get more information on the organization at reportforamerica.org

The Plague Year

Watch this Morning Joe conversation among Jonathan Lemire, Mike Barnicle and The New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright about Wright’s “epic” article “The Plague Year,” which outlines the muzzling of the CDC and others by the Trump Administration, as well as the heroes, mistakes and struggles behind America’s coronavirus tragedy. Hear from Wright here and read his article: https://bit.ly/34LTp4z

Not a proud moment for Sen. Marco Rubio

Morning Joe’s Kasie Hunt and Mike Barnicle discuss the Twitter rant of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL-R), who falsely accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, of lying about coronavirus in general and masks in particular, despite the Florida senator having received the vaccine ahead of health care workers, while wearing a mask. “Marco Rubio is not alone—there’s a long list of cowards who wilted in the face of Twitter, being afraid of a tweet from the President of the United States. It’s not a very proud moment for the United States Senate—certainly not a very proud moment for Marco Rubio as an individual,” says Barnicle. Watch the conversation here.

The “cruelty” of the Trump Administration

“Since January 20th of 2017 when Donald Trump was inaugurated…there’s been a level of cruelty to him and to his Administration that has been consistent and continual throughout his administration: It’s always pick on the poor, pick on immigrants. And now in this final chapter of his presidency, it’s people who are literally—not just on the edge, they are—over the edge: People who have been living on practically nothing for five, six months, who have lost their jobs, many have lost their homes, a lot of them have lost hope, their children are home from school all day long….There’s multiple levels of corruption, confusion, chaos in this Administration but cruelty is the ultimate theme,” said Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle during this conversation with Kasie Hunt about the lengthy delay Trump caused before signing legislation for $900 billion in coronavirus economic aid and $1.4 trillion in government spending, providing some support for millions of Americans impacted by COVID-19 and averting a government shutdown.

POTUS continues to cause damage

Watch this Morning Joe conversation with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the Washington Post’s Anne Gearan and contributor Mike Barnicle as they discuss the Trump Administration’s potentially “destructive” maneuvers that are attempting to thwart the efforts of the Biden transition team at many levels of government prior to the transfer of power on January 20th. “The incoming Biden Administration feels incoming damage on a daily and hourly basis,” says Barnicle about the troubled transition. FInd out more here.

Barnicle: “I’m struck by the indifference”

“I’m struck by the indifference that we’ve witnessed over the last couple months—two or three months—in both the House and the Senate toward the plight of millions of Americans who are struggling with eviction, with joblessness, with hunger,” says Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle about the economic toll added to the death and illness of the coronavirus catastrophe that has plagued the country. “There seems to be just an indifference that really stunned me, and it’s certainly a contrast to…as recently as the early mid-90s. It seemed different then—it seemed Congress and the Senate was more in touch with the needs of people than we are in this age of instant communication. It’s incredible.” More of Morning Joe “final thoughts” here.

Barnicle speaks with Sen. Kaine

Watch this Morning Joe conversation between veteran columnist Mike Barnicle and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) about what priorities are at the forefront for the new Congress and the Biden Administration in 2021 as state and local governments and their constituents continue to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic hammering the country. You can see the segment here.

Help is on the way

Morning Joe’s Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle discuss the significance of bipartisan congressional leaders finally coming to an agreement on a roughly $900 billion economic relief package that will bring emergency aid to a weak economy and a country ravaged by surging coronavirus cases, ending a long period of “indifference” of leaders and perhaps signaling change that could lead to more cooperation in the House and Senate moving into the Biden Administration. Watch the conversation here.

Our damaged country

“When you stop and think about all the people that we have elected to office, all the people who have served this country over the generations, and you come to this point—where there’s one terribly damaged individual—he’s president of the United States—and I would submit that the damage that he has already done to this country and continues to do to this country on an hourly basis is now unfortunately, incalculable—incalculable,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during this Morning Joe conversation about President Donald Trump with Los Angeles Times columnist Virginia Heffernan.

POTUS: Agent of misdirection

“I was thinking when I saw that number flash up on the screen last night: 3,054. It’s a shocking number in a single day, and I was reverting in my mind back to September 11th. Now nearly 20 years ago, when well over 2,000 Americans were killed in an office building—a mass murder, people died for the crime of going to work that day. What happened then? America stood still. Americans were shocked, they were fearful, but, I think most importantly, they were listening. And they listened to President George W. Bush who stood on the rubble, gave the country some direction in the two to three weeks that followed September 11th. That’s the important thing: Gave us direction and we listened. What direction have we ever had from this president and this White House about a killer amongst us? We have had no direction. We have had misdirection. We have had instructions not to wear a mask. A mask. He turned it into something political—a life saving device. A simple mask….And people died as a result.” says Barnicle in this Morning Joe conversation with Willie Geist about President Donald J. Trump’s leadership amid the coronavirus outbreak within the country, the day after more than 3,000 Americans died of COVID-19 as cases continue to surge.

Where are the Republicans?

ICYMI: Watch this Morning Joe conversation between host Mika Brzezinski and contributor Mike Barnicle about Republican lawmakers who have not stood up to President Donald J. Trump after he escalated his baseless claims of voter fraud in a 46-minute video rant. “Where are the Republicans?….Where are the Barry Goldwaters and the Hugh Scotts from a long-gone era, who went to the White House to tell Richard Nixon that he had to go?….Where are these people? That’s the question of the day. That’s the question of our time,” says Barnicle about the GOP not condemning unsupported remarks from Trump as coronavirus continues to ravage the U.S. See the segment here.