MSNBC's "Morning Joe" anchors made the day after Thanksgiving at kibbitzing on Friday morning, telling viewers about their turkey dinners and mentioning the big football game the night before.
One problem: None of these things really happened at the time when Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Co. started talking about them. The program that aired on Friday morning was recorded on Wednesday, but it was made to look and sound as if it were broadcast live.
"Morning Joe" is broadcast live on MSNBC five days a week. Present discussions on recent or very recent news.
Friday's show had all the characteristics of a typical "Morning Joe" and few viewers seemed to realize that it was not happening in real time. MSNBC did not offer any announcement or statement to viewers that it was a recorded program. The only indirect clue was at the bottom of the screen: the "Live" graphic that normally appears was deleted.
The rest was cooked to make it look like it was happening in real time.
Brezinski opened the program saying: "Day after Thanksgiving! Hoo! I'm full."
The second segment picked up after the holidays.
"I always cook the turkey with the entrails!" Brzezinski said.
"Joe did not notice, he ate the bag," joked co-host Willie Geist, pretending that Scarborough had consumed Brzezinski's theoretical turkey.
"It was fine!" Scarborough said. He added, "Well, you know, the game made up for it …"
Scarborough turned to Rick Tyler, an MSNBC contributor who was a spokesman for Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign. "How was your Thanksgiving?" He asked.
"Very successful," Tyler replied. "Although the conversations were interesting."
"I bet!" Said Brzezinski.
The panel went on to discuss the controversy surrounding Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
The illusion that the discussion was live was encouraged by the news crawl at the bottom of the screen, which was added over the recorded discussion, and a clock that shows the time in several time zones.
The hosts never talked about the biggest story on Friday morning, the deadly terrorist attacking a mosque in Egypt, because it had not yet happened when they recorded. The crawl mentioned it.
An MSNBC spokeswoman declined to comment. But one executive confirmed that the program was not live. "There was no intention of cheating onlookers," he said. "It would have been useful if there was a disclaimer, referring to a deferred retransmission, maybe, but that is not usually done."
As it is, he said, "They are having fun" on the pretext that it is live.
A veteran viewer of the show noted that the Friday edition had nothing of the usual discussion of breaking news and contacted The Washington Post to ask if "Morning Joe" presented "false news". He said he was surprised to see Scarborough and Brezinski appear in a New York studio Friday after Thanksgiving.
pretty stupefied by the way they were so deceptive about this … especially when they are always so quick to criticize the lie or deception they attribute to others, "said the viewer, who asked not to be identified.  Scarborough and Brzezinski have engaged in a long-running dispute with President Donald Trump over many issues, including the president's veracity, and hostilities appeared to grow in June when Trump attacked the couple in a morning tweet that he criticized. his appearance.