TV news’s most famous morning couple Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski tied the knot this weekend in a clandestine ceremony at the National Archives. But the question that people should be asking themselves is not were they unfaithful to their spouses during their courtship, but, rather, did their nuptials physically damage the Constitution?
It was a unique idea to host the wedding at the National Archives, a place where no one has ever gotten married before. Brzezinski — who is scrapping her name to know her value and call herself “Scarborough” — exclaimed to Vanity Fair‘s Emily Jane Fox that people will conclude that the venue hints that Joe is considering a presidential run in 2020.
Um, no. No one is thinking that.
What the media power couple may not realize is that the National Archives has strict rules on photography. The place is typically dimly lit for a reason — for the masses, all photography is strictly prohibited as light can damage documents like that unimportant one known as the Declaration of Independence. Joe and Mika had a wedding that was ultra well lit, as evidenced by pictures accompanying their stenographer’s story that was published in Vanity Fair and the ones that appeared on their show as released by their TV son Willie Geist. In several photographs, the couple is standing in the National Archives with the historical docs in plain sight.
Requests for comment on the matter went to Scarborough, the National Archives public affairs department and a MSNBC spokesperson. The Scarboroughs declined to comment. However, “a person familiar with the situation” said “photos were taken in the hallway. No photos were taken in the Rotunda and no flash was used.”
Hmmm…check out Daily Mail‘s extensive perfectly lit photo display here.
One caption reads: “National treasures: Geist was unable to attend the ceremony because of his job hosting the weekend edition of Today, but panelist Mike Barnacle was at the reception Saturday (in front of the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the National Archives)”
The pictures were described as being taken “in the middle of the main hall of the National Archives …with security guards looking on in the background.”
James Pritchett, a spokesman for the National Archives, sent me an email, which included a slightly different explanation than the one from “a person familiar with the situation.”
Pritchett wrote, “The official photographer never entered the Rotunda. All photography was conducted with a telephoto lens using a professional camera which has high dynamic range capabilities and adjusted for the low lighting situation. No flash was used. No additional lights were added/allowed. All standard/on-going conservation and preservation rules were followed as they are for all private events.”
Pritchett fails to explain that “standard rules” for anyone not named Joe and Mika Scarborough are that no photos are allowed.
A notice from the Archives reads as follows: “The National Archives must balance keeping documents available for visitors to view with our need to preserve them for future generations. …For this reason, photography is prohibited in all exhibition areas in the National Archives Museum, including the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.”
To be fair, planning a secret wedding can’t be easy.
As luck would have it, most people left town for the Thanksgiving holiday, including the couples’ archnemises President Trump, who fled to Mar-a-Lago with Melania. But getting someone to write a puff piece was a piece of that 20-layer crepe cake they served at their reception. Emily Jane Fox is not only a MSNBC contributor. But she has always insisted on covering the couple in a way that would make most journalists cringe with shame. (Let’s just say if Joe runs for president and wins, Emily could easily be Mika’s social secretary. And, no, she’s not really their stenographer, she just played one at their wedding.)
In August, 2016, Fox forced the nation to be introduced to “Evening Joe,” a budding “late-in-life” rock star underneath those slick morning suits. With slobbering sincerity, she laid the praise on thick and wrote that Joe has “arguably become the most influential Republican in America during this election season.”
The headline was a throbbing tease — “Joe Scarborough Has a Little Secret…” Most humans clearly thought the story was going reveal that the co-hosts were romantically involved.
At this point the couple hadn’t even come out of their ridiculous relationship closet, even though most people with eyes knew they had been dating for years. By March of 2012, the pair was spotted everywhere together. In March of that year, The Mirror witnessed the duo drinking wine from the same goblet during the movie premiere of Game Change at the Newseum. Do coworkers do that? Maybe, but doubtful. A 2016 Washington Post headline says, “Mika Brzezinski quietly divorces husband of 23 years.” A 2013 TMZ headline says, “Joe Scarborough QUIET DIVORCE … After 12-Year Marriage.”
It’s not a moral crime to experience the complexities of life, get a divorce or find a new love on the set of a talk show. Shit happens. But doing anything that could contribute to the destruction of the nation’s top docs is quite another matter.
In her suck-up 2016 story about Joe becoming a rockstar, Fox mentioned the Chanel bag Mika wore and described her presence at Joe’s rock concert like this: “She was, all at once, an inspiring combination of groupie, hostess, and dutiful colleague. And maybe a little rock star, too, in jeans and black sunglasses resting atop her white-blonde hair.”
Joe recognized his girlfriend by announcing to the crowd that there was a “star” in the room.
Fox wrote, “At that point, Brzezinski rose from her perch and waved regally. ‘Mika! Mika!,’ the crowd roared. ‘Mika!'”
Not even when Joe told Fox about the love song he wrote, “Let’s Fall in Love” did the writer question whether he was talking about Mika or address the enormous elephant in the barroom.
In May, 2017 — surprise! surprise! — Emily Jane Fox got the “exclusive” that Joe and Mika were getting hitched. Despite the fact that New York Post‘s Page Six declared their relationship “the worst kept secret in TV” a year earlier, in April of that year, the real story finally FINALLY emerged when Joe dished on their “crackling off-air chemistry.” (RELATED: Joe And Mika Finally Discusses Their Sex Life)
Still, I guess we can cut the newly married Scarboroughs some slack as far as the Constitution is concerned. Getting Fox to play stenographer at their wedding may have consumed them so profoundly that they may have unintentionally bruised the nation’s most important physical document.
Here’s a little history.
In January, 2010, the National Archives issued a press release stating that the famed institution would no longer allow flash photography.
“Filming, photographing, and videotaping by the public will be prohibited in all exhibition areas in the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, beginning February 25, 2010,” the statement announced.
The primary reason?
There was concern that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were “at risk from exposure from flash photography.”
I don’t mean to find a turd in the swimming pool, but there’s more.
The announcement wasn’t half-assed. It stemmed from a “lengthy period of internal analysis” and a 60-day period in which the public was permitted to bitch about the new regulation.
“In spite of a more than 30-year-old regulation explicitly stating that flash photography was prohibited, prominent signs stating the policy throughout the exhibition areas, and security guards reminding the public, Archives staff estimated that the documents were subjected to approximately 50,000 flashes a year,” the statement continued. “While enforcement of this policy has always been a National Archives priority, new cameras with automatic flash have made the policy almost impossible to enforce.”
I mean, why would Joe and Mika want to damage the Constitution?
After all, the original docs are “fragile” and “subject to fading from light.”
And if you didn’t think this couldn’t get even worse, you’d be wrong.
“Years of research and testing by top scientists have resulted in state-of-the-art encasements to protect the Charters of Freedom. Environmental recommendations and guidelines that include careful temperature and humidity controls, light levels below three foot candles, and light filters to remove ultraviolet radiation are closely adhered to in order to provide additional protection for our nation’s heritage.”
Preservation experts agreed that banning flash photography would protect these highly historical docs for generations to come.
So Joe and Mika may have SINGLEHANDEDLY harmed our nation’s heritage for a little marital bliss?
Cheers to the happy couple, who’ll be off this week for what their stenographer describes as a “mini-honeymoon.”