New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick and Joe Scarborough sparred this morning over the magazine’s endorsement of President Obama for a second term.
The endorsement, featured in the October 29 issue of the magazine by its editors, praised Obama for being “progressive, competent, rational, decent, and, at times, visionary” and for helping to correct “a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration.”
In its 2008 endorsement of Obama, the magazine referred to Bush’s presidency as “the worst since Reconstruction.”
Scarborough took umbrage with the “national shame” portion and let Remnick know it at the outset of the discussion on Morning Joe Wednesday.
“Who got paid the bonus for being able to squeeze in the shame of the Bush years?” Scarborough asked. “I was very critical of George W. Bush. What was the shame? Let’s talk about the shame of the Bush years, and then let’s talk about the shame of the Obama years. Go ahead.”
Remnick argued that the shame of the Bush administration had to do with everything from the Iraq War to torture.
“I think it has to do with a mission in Afghanistan that went awry because Iraq was ignored. It has to do with torture. It has to do with all kinds of policies that are exemplified by Dick Cheney,” Remnick continued.
Scarborough felt as though “progressives” are quick to condemn both former President Bush and his vice president while “turning a blind eye for the most part, to the shame of the Obama years for following through on most of Dick Cheney’s terror policies.”
“Not this magazine. Not at all,” Remnick returned. “The argument for Obama is vis-à-vis who he’s facing. Is he a stronger, more competent…than his opponent? That’s the choice Americans have.”
During Tuesday’s broadcast, Scarborough was heavily critical of the Obama administration’s drone program. Slate offers a detailed graph of the differences between the U.S. drone program under President Obama and President Bush.
The Week points out eight news media outlets that have endorsed the president for re-election in 2012.