Joe Scarborough: MSNBC not as hostile toward GOP as ABC, NBC, CBS in the 1980s

On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Thursday night, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough came on to defend remarks he had made earlier in the week disparaging Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Scarborough insisted his criticisms were motivated by his desire to see conservatives win elections. He argued Cruz’s rhetoric and stance to block the congressional budgetary process in order to defund President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care reform law were going to damage the Republican Party’s ability to achieve that goal.

Hewitt, however, defended Cruz and even likened the junior Texas Republican to former President Ronald Reagan. Hewitt went on to say Scarborough’s network was taking some of Cruz’s remarks out of context in order to damage his brand.

That statement led to a back-and-forth between Scarborough and Hewitt on MSNBC in current form, which Scarborough argued was not as bad as the media Reagan had to face in the 1980s.

“You know Hugh, you keep talking about MSNBC,” Scarborough said. “The fact is, Ronald Reagan dealt with a hostile press. You know. You worked there. Was the press ever anymore hostile than ABC, NBC, CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post in the 1980s before Fox News?”

“There was a monopoly against Republicans, against conservatives,” he continued. “And yet [Reagan] figured out how to win. Who hated him?”

“On his worst day, Sam Donaldson would be the nicest guy except for you on your network,” Hewitt replied. “Your network is so anti-Republican. It’s an amusing source of material for me.”

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