WOW. Joe Scarborough delivered nothing short of a tour de force this morning on "Morning Joe" once the subject of Don Imus came up. Yes, that would be the very same Don Imus whose morning-show seat Scarborough's been warming for the past three-plus months since Imus infamous "nappy headed hos" remark in late April, followed by his ignominious ouster. Now Imus has settled his termination dispute with CBS for a reputed $20 million and is free to once again work the airwaves (depending on who will have him) — and Joe had some opinions, which took the form of a hilarious stream-of-consciousness monologue peppered with arch commentary from sidekick Mika Brzezinski, plus a producer nervously talking through Joe's earpiece telling him to wish Imus all the best. Joe wasn't having any of that. Slightly edited version below, with our favorite quotes to follow:
- On the indignities of the earpiece: "Shut up! They''re telling me in my ear that I'm supposed to say it's great for him. Like I've been on the Don Imus suck up train from the very beginning." Mika, ever the rebel: "Take the earpiece out."
- On Imus' previous warm words for Scarborough: "Don Imus always hated my guts... He called me 'Banjo Boy.'" Mika: "Aw - that's kind of cute, could be worse." Joe: "He said I looked like I was from The Deliverance (sic)" (laughter in studio) "...He suggested I was a product of incest."
- On Imus' former regulars: "I can name suck-ups who came on his show day in - and the second the parade stopped, they stabbed him in the back. He was Caesar! Et tu, Ana Marie?"
- On his industry colleagues: "It's kind of like — sharks don't eat you because they hate you, they eat you because they're sharks. People in TV - they're not mean - they're just sub-humans, they're animals. So Don Imus has all these people sucking up to him" (imitation of people sucking up to Don Imus) "and then they won't even come on his show, because their losers. They're losers."
- On whether his boss, NBC News president Steve Capus, is a loser: "If I'm running NBC News - and I'm not sucking up to Steve Capus because if I thought Steve Capus was a loser I'd say, "Steve Capus" is a loser - but I said this to Steve Capus - not 'you're a loser,' I'm in contract negotiations right now...."
Er, indeed. In other news, Joe is planning on getting Rutgers basketball player Kia Vaughn to call in and talk about her lawsuit against Imus, though with all of Scarborough's repeated mockery of Vaughn's case, it may not be that likely. Oh, also, Joe is JOKING when he tells Mika to get his coffee, people. Sheesh.