Morning Joe Chicanery

Morning Joe on MSNBC

Astute viewers of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have noticed for quite a while that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the now husband and wife co-hosts, appear to be broadcasting from outside of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios where the rest of the show originates from.

If you search on Twitter using the phrase “Morning Joe studio,” you will see a series of tweets dating back several months and years. The common theme among these tweets is that viewers notice a remarkable difference in the show’s chemistry with Scarborough and Brzezinski on remote while remaining co-hosts Willie Geist, Mike Barnicle and a rotation of guest panelists are together in studio.

I don’t have the opportunity to watch the show except for a few minutes each morning, so I can’t comment on whether the separation of hosts does indeed affect the show’s overall chemistry, but I would have to imagine it does. However, I have often wondered why Scarborough and Brzezinski are away from the studio so much and why MSNBC allows it.

Page Six first made mention of their arrangement back in 2017 when the two were broadcasting remote from a London studio. While the on air split screens suggested Scarborough and Brzezinski were both broadcasting on remote from separate locations, they were in fact only a few feet from each other. The arrangement was described as being a real hassle for show staffers to pull off.

The question as to why they continue to broadcast from a remote location was brought up this past week on Twitter by Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi. The reporter revealed that the two broadcast from a home in Florida and that they each broadcast in front of an individual Washington DC backdrop.

A couple of days later, Page Six revealed that Scarborough and Brzezinski are spending so much time in their Florida home because of the tax break advantages from doing so. The story reveals that by spending so many days there a year, they benefit from a huge tax break, and that MSNBC bosses have signed off on the arrangement as long as the show’s ratings do not suffer.

I’m sure the two also don’t mind the warmer Florida weather as opposed to the cold New York winter.

While I’m glad that someone in the media finally acknowledged why Scarborough and Brzezinski continually are absent from the New York studios, I’m frustrated it took this long for it to happen because I have been wondering about it for years. While the Farhi and Page Six revelations suggest this has been going on for the past several months, it’s actually been going on for several years now, though probably not to the extent that it is now. Scarborough has long been broadcasting remote while Brzezinski would be back in studio with the rest of the show. The two began broadcasting remote together shortly before their surprise wedding back in November.

While I have wondered why they were always broadcasting separate, it wasn’t because I was annoyed. As I mentioned above, I don’t have the opportunity to watch the show long enough each morning to be annoyed by it. My wandering mind has always just wanted to know why, first Joe, and now the two of them are never in studio.

Now that we now know why, I still wonder why the main studio set (in addition to their subsequent remote location backdrops) depict Washington DC when the show originates from New York.

I have since preferred their old New York style studio.

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