The set of “Morning Joe” was unimpressed with Twitter chief Jack Dorsey’s interview on Wednesday with NBC’s Lester Holt. With co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski taking a day off Thursday, show regular John Heilemann, who was on set, said that Dorsey’s performance had been a disaster.
“Jack Dorsey call your media trainer,” Heilemann said. “Just a horrible performance… he just sounds so dopey in responding to this.”
Heilemann then said Dorsey was just the latest tech CEO to look bad on television, referencing Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates as examples.
In his interview with Holt, Dorsey defended his company’s actions against InfoWars boss Alex Jones, saying that a seven-day suspension or “timeout” could be enough to change Jones’s behavior — a claim met with wide skepticism from journalists.
“You think Alex Jones is going to change his behavior based on a timeout?” asked Holt with disbelief.
“I don’t know,” said Dorsey. “We have found that it does have the potential to change– impact and change behavior. So– whether it works within this case to– change some of those behaviors and change some of those actions, I don’t know. But this is consistent with how we enforce.”
Twitter has been under immense pressure to ban Jones and InfoWars outright after similar steps were taken last week by Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and others. Dorsey originally declined to take any action explaining to users that Jones had not violated any rules.
Also on the “Morning Joe” set was Commentary magazine’s Noah Rothman, who warned that kicking Jones offline may not be the best approach to handling him.
“My biggest fear that driving him underground doesn’t make him go away it creates a taboo around what he’s pushing which makes it a little more valuable for people and they go seek it out,” he said.
And people around this table think well the threat has been neutralized, it’s gone from our eyes so we don’t have to spend any more energy debunking it. And that’s not the appropriate way to deal with something like this.”