Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski stumbled on Wednesday when she used a casually homophobic expression to describe secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In discussing Pompeo's soft-pedaling towards the Saudi Crown Prince's role in the murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Brzezinski insinuated the nation's top diplomat was the bottom to the prince's top.
"I understand that Donald Trump doesn't care … But why doesn't Mike Pompeo care right now?" Brzezinski asked her co-host/partner Joe Scarborough. "Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on 'Fox & Friends,' is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator's butt boy? I'm dead serious. I'm asking, are these the words of a patriot?"
As The Hill points out, MSNBC tried to bleep out her verbiage but did not get it in time; "butt boy" is clearly audible.
Straight people denigrating others by insinuating they're gay is a common, though lazy and homophobic, practice. Twitter users explained to Brzezinski why her words were so offensive.
this just shows how ingrained in to everyday speech belittling and humiliating gay men is.
i'm so tired of it. they're just words, sure - just words. just words and phrases i've heard non stop for nearly 43 years. i suppose a tweeted, all caps apology will have to suffice. https://t.co/riMu5yGE7a
— David Russell (@17days) December 12, 2018
This is a lesson. Prejudice isn't always obvious or intentionally hateful. It can be an "ally's" throwaway comment. The emotion Mika formed into words is the ingrained, basic heteronormative belief that a weak thing is synonymous with a gay thing. #Mika #LGBTQtwitter #gaytwitter https://t.co/sC6E78TNCE
— Afeef Nessouli (@AfeefNess) December 12, 2018
Brzezinski apologized for her phrasing, including to a senator who appeared on Morning Joe during the "butt boy" comment.
Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said “water boy”... like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY! https://t.co/zIqsGdK3Tk
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2018