MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” had its highest-rated show ever and the network’s highest-rated program ever in the time period when 1.7 million viewers tuned in on Friday, one day after President Trump personally attacked co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Twitter.
Trump’s tweets clearly brought attention to the MSNBC morning show, as it finished Friday as the No. 1 morning show in cable news in both total viewers and the key demo of adults age 25-54 with 408,000 viewers in the category. Scarborough and Brzezinski were scheduled to be on vacation but stopped by their show to discuss the situation.
During the second quarter of 2017, “Morning Joe” averaged 997,000 total viewers and Friday’s show gained 70 percent despite Q2 being the show’s best quarter ever — despite the president’s tweeted claims last week that the show is “poorly rated.”
Last Thursday, “Morning Joe” averaged 955,000 total viewers and 210,000 among the demo during the last episode before Trump’s personal attack.
Trump took his Twitter attacks to new heights on Thursday when he mocked “psycho” Scarborough and “low I.Q. crazy” Brzezinski, saying she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a visit to Mar-a-Lago.
“It’s a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job,” an MSNBC spokesperson told TheWrap shortly after the president sent the tweets.
“Morning Joe” has been on a roll with viewers tuning in to see the show’s regular attacks on the president. The show set MSNBC records for the time slot with its second quarter viewership.
On Friday, viewers saw guest Donny Deutsch defend Brzezinski, calling the president “physically disgusting to look at.”
“He picked the wrong schoolyard to come into,” Deutsch said. “I have to tell you this. I’m not an employee of NBC so I’m going to go thug here. I’m sorry. Because Mika is a friend of ours. She’s a good woman. She’s a great mom and he’s a pig. He’s a vulgar pig.”
Also on Friday, Scarborough and Brzezinski penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Friday titled, “Donald Trump is not well,” in response to the president’s Twitter attack on the pair.
The co-bylined piece started off, “Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, ‘Morning Joe.'”
Scarborough and Brzezinski wrote, “The president’s unhealthy obsession with ‘Morning Joe’ does not serve the best interests of either his mental state or the country he runs.”
The Washington Post story also claimed that the White House attempted to blackmail the morning show duo with a possible hit piece that involved going after Brzezinski’s children. Scarborough and Brzezinski, who are engaged to be married, discussed the alleged blackmail on Friday’s show. The National Enquirer has denied their version of events.
Check out Trump’s tweets: