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Facing strong backlash despite an apology made on social media, Morning Joe co-anchor Mika Brzezinski attempted to diffuse a controversy she launched Wednesday morning by showing extreme contrition on Friday morning.
Brzezinski, who took a planned day off on Thursday, got into hot water for calling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy,” lambasting his support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud despite clear evidence that his government was responsible for the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
“I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar,” she said on Friday’s show. “I knew it right away and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry, but please allow me to say this face-to-face. The term is crass and offensive and I apologize to everyone, especially the LGBTQ community and to my colleagues for using it. It was a mistake. My father would have found it so unbecoming and disrespectful, and he would have told me.”
Brzezinski continued: “I will work hard to be better. But I just wanted to say on camera, looking the viewers straight in the eye, I am really, really sorry.”
After the initial backlash, Brzezinski had said on Twitter on Wednesday that she made a “SUPER BAD” choice of words. Perhaps not grasping the seriousness of the matter, she added, “I should have said ‘water boy’… like for football teams or something like that.”
President Donald Trump, a friendly associate-turned-harsh critic of the Morning Joe anchors, sought blood in claiming a double standard at play in a tweet on Thursday morning. “If it was a Conservative that said what ‘crazed’ Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television,” he wrote. “She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings.”
Brzezinski’s colleague, Joy Reid, was forced to apologize this spring after homophobic blog posts she wrote more than a decade ago were found.
Brzezinski apologized in December 2017 for dinging the women who accused his former colleague Mark Halperin of sexual misconduct for not taking up her offer to meet with him to try to make things right.
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