comScore

Joe and Mika Interview Writer Who Said Women Should Be Hanged for Abortions, Forget to Ask Him About it

MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski helped promote a book by Kevin Williamson — who repeatedly said that women should be hanged for having an abortion — and never asked Williamson about those comments, or disclosed them to viewers.

In 2014, Williamson tweeted “I have hanging more in mind” when he was asked what penalty should apply to women who get an abortion. He then doubled down by saying, on his podcast, that ‘someone challenged me on my views on abortion, saying, ‘If you really thought it was a crime you would support things like life in prison, no parole, for treating it as a homicide.’ And I do support that, in fact, as I wrote, what I had in mind was hanging.”

He later added “My broader point here is, of course, that I am a — as you know I’m kind of squishy on capital punishment in general — but that I’m absolutely willing to see abortion treated like a regular homicide under the criminal code, sure.”

When those comments resurfaced and got him fired from The Atlantic, Williamson penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he claimed “I was alleged to have voiced an extremist view on the matter of criminalizing abortion — that it should be punished by hanging” — which is what he said with his own fingers and mouth — and added “That isn’t my view at all.”

It is, however, what he said at least twice. But viewers of a recent Morning Joe telecast would never know that from Williamson’s appearance on the show to promote a new book.

Instead, Brzezinski introduce Williamson by saying that he “was fired from his position at The Atlantic magazine after his hiring sparked liberal outrage online over a controversial stance on abortion that he shared in an exchange on Twitter and during a podcast back in 2014,” and claimed that “At the center was the debate over free speech.”

“Good to have you on,” Brzezinski said, and Scarborough gushed “Great to have you on, one of the best writers in America.”

Without ever explaining what Williamson’s comments were, the hosts discussed the reaction to them at length, as did Williamson himself.

Scarborough said that experiences like Williamson’s “helped lead to the election of Donald Trump,” to which Williamson replied “Yeah, I think if anything, what this episode taught me is that what the media loves most is a media story,” without identifying what “this episode” was about.

Scarborough later said that “there are some people on the left who have said some pretty outrageous things, some who now work at the New York Times, who get a free pass,” again without identifying what it was that Williamson had said.

“I think that you and others are a victim of the loudest, sometimes miscast as the leaders,” contributor Al Sharpton said, adding “and in many ways I think we’ve got to deal with how do we make institutions understand that what is deafening in terms of noise really doesn’t represent a real body of people, or a thought out policy.”

Williamson said he didn’t think of himself as a “victim of anything.”

At the conclusion of the ten-minute promotional interview, Brzezinski chirped “Great conversation, it’s available now, Kevin Williamson, thank you very much,” and Scarborough said “Congratulations. Thank you so much for being with us.”

At no time did any of the hosts, or Williamson, reveal what it was that he said to cause the sort of outrage that they spent ten minutes discussing. It was that he said women should be hanged for having an abortion.

As yet, MSNBC’s Morning Joe appears to be the only cable news show that has been willing to book Williamson on his current book tour.

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under:

Follow Mediaite: