The Mirror

Julia Ioffe Calls Ellison ‘Ellis,’ And He Corrects Her: ‘Ellison’

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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As MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” continues its awkward practice of allowing guests to formally question one another, a reporter completely butchered a congressman’s name. He wasn’t too happy about it.

A rare compliment for “Morning Joe”: the hosts despise talking points. They get hysterical any time a politician tries to spout them. This is a good thing — political talking points are a waste of time and a middle finger to everyone everywhere watching cable news.

But let’s get to The Atlantic writer Julia Ioffe‘s flub, which, while innocent enough, disrupted the show’s flow.

Reporters get lawmakers’ names wrong all the time. And not even just slightly. Sometimes they call them by the completely wrong name. There’s always the occasional horror when headline and caption writers confuse one black lawmaker for another.

At least Ioffe was in the neighborhood of DNC Deputy Chairman Rep. Keith Ellison‘s (D-Minn.) surname.

But she fell just short of getting it right. And Ellison wasn’t having it.

Ioffe appeared on the program because of her Russia expertise.

When her turn came to question Ellison, she stumbled, calling him “Ellisman” and then “Ellis.”

“It’s Ellison,” he said, correcting her.

She apologized and pronounced his name correctly.

But then BBC’s Katty Kay got under his skin by pushing him to bash Hillary Clinton.

Kay asked, “She had very harsh words for the DNC, what do you make of that?”

Ellison tried to sidestep the question with flowery thoughts about focusing on the future.

“Well, let me tell you, man, we’re moving forward,” he replied, saying the DNC deserved the criticism.

But soon the congressman fell into a TV death spiral when co-host Mika Brzezinski and Kay accused him of resorting to “platitudes.”

Brzezinski, along with Kay and Scarborough, grew irritable: “It’s a lot of platitudes. …I just don’t even know what you said.”

Ellison shut them all up long enough to make his point.

“No, seriously, let me finish my point,” he said.

But Ellison ultimately looked like a fool when Mika’s longtime boyfriend and new fiancé Joe Scarborough quickly dismissed him and ended his segment.

A call to Ellison’s Washington office was utterly fruitless.

The main number quickly went to voicemail.

I phoned Ellison’s Communications Director Brett Morrow at the number listed in his Twitter bio. A female computer voice came on to say, “You have reached a non-working number.”

I then emailed him. We’ll see how that goes.

What. The. Hell.