Most mornings, after making a cup of cold brew coffee (Chameleon is very good and reasonably priced—$8.99 for a bottle that will last me five days), I grab my laptop, plop my frail, aching body on the couch, and turn the television on. I tune the dial to MSNBC, not because I am a “wonk” or “politics nerd,” but rather because the shows I actually enjoy watching (i.e. Golden Girls, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, and House Hunters) steal too much of my attention while I scour the internet for newsworthy celebrity gossip.
Morning Joe is far from intellectually stimulating television—it’s essentially Good Morning Connecticut, filmed for a national audience by MSNBC—but acts as an effective white noise in my otherwise quiet apartment from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. most mornings. As I scroll through the hottest goss, I listen to Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch (worthless) and Willie Geist (my prince) and Eugene Robinson (too good for this but understandably thrilled to accept the check) and whoever else they’ve coerced into sitting beside them (often boring men with bad ties) as they groan about whatever Trump did this morning, promote some new worthless book they claim will change lives, or interrupt each other’s obvious points with more forcefully delivered obvious points—often while actually saying “to your point.” This squawking is book-ended by Mika saying something rude to or about Joe, who will in turn say something rude to or about Mika and then end the segment. Like most on-screen sexual tension, the knowledge that it actually culminated in a sexual relationship makes it considerably less sexy and more akin to the frustrating banter of an old married couple. (Think Niles and Daphne pre- and post-coupling.) Keep your flirty hatred for each other in the bedroom, you two!
Where am I going with this? Reader, I don’t even remember. Oh right, their desk. It’s gross! Coffee is an integral part of Morning Joe’s identity (the ‘o’ in the logo’s ‘Joe’ is a coffee stain. Clever!), but instead of giving everyone a nice official Morning Joe mug filled with java or whatever these people drink in the mornings—you know, keeping the desk uncluttered and on-brand—they fill the mugs with water (presumably) and also hand them a drink of their choosing. Most days this means the table is filled with a mug and giant Starbucks cup for each guest. Combine those vessels with more mugs containing pens and highlighters (which are almost never used, mind you), and the myriad stacks of paper (again, unused) assigned to each warm body and you have a table that looks—forgive me—like utter shit.
This is what the lower-third of any random Morning Joe screenshot usually looks like:
Trash! That’s a pile of trash. Joe and Mika are drinking a mug of water each, a Vita Coco, and two javas—one iced and one ???. Three of these drinks have plastic straws in them—and all of them have their ~let’s be sanitary~ tops still in place.
For a peek at what happens when those tops are removed, look at this screenshot from a different morning:
Can’t see them? Look closer:
Show some respect! Also, Mika, I can see your bag. Put it under something, it’s blocking the beautiful projection of a lawn. Also, it’s about to tip over.
If I walked by this desk, I would instinctively start grabbing things and muttering words like “filthy” under my breath.
I’d interrupt Mika and Joe during their latest spat, hold up the newspapers and loudly ask, “Is anyone reading these? No one? OK, well then they’re going in recycling. Jesus Christ.” And then I’d walk offstage with both hands full.
How am I supposed to take your political commentary seriously when you’re sucking water out of a mug through a Dunkin Donuts straw? Save the planet, Joe. Invest in some metal ones.
Even Dunkin with a Dunkin straw makes your show look like it cost 10 bucks and was filmed in the basement of your rich, eccentric hoarder friend who dabbles in TV production’s Boston mansion. Clean! It! Up!
Mika, how am I supposed to pay attention to Zaddy when your bag is flopping open behind him? Again, put it under something. You’re ruining the feng shui. Also, is that a box of Kleenex? Next to another mug? (Side note: Harmless Harvest is better than Vita Coco and you should make MSNBC upgrade you.)
These two know they’re sitting behind actual garbage. Also, why are half of these coffees half-empty and the other half untouched? (Note the topper in the one on the far right.)
No one should have houseguests if a table in their home looks like this. P.S. iced coffee that’s a murky brown due to the addition of some sort of non-milk like almond or soy does not photograph well. That cup looks like it contains sewage. Clear cups are for water, black coffee, or coffee with dairy milks only. These are just the rules!
Don’t even get me started on the Wu Tang case.
Even celebratory moments photograph poorly on this desk!
What I’m saying is that no one on Morning Joe should have more than two (2) drinks in front of them at any given moment, and all beverages should be poured in branded vessels for the sake of conservation and aesthetics. Additionally, ditch the papers and give everyone an iPad. It’s 2018 and all that paper doesn’t make you seem better informed or prepared.
Having said that, I’ll keep watching if you continue broadcasting from this dump because there’s never anything better on.