Comedian and actor Russell Brand made an appearance on MSNBC Monday to promote his upcoming comedy tour but ended up giving the "Morning Joe" hosts a verbal lashing after they patronized him, made jokes at his expense, and called him by the wrong name during the interview.
Brand gave co-host Mika Brzezinski and panelists Katty Kay and Brian Shactman a lesson in how journalists should conduct interviews after they openly mocked him and referred to him in the third person throughout the awkward segment.
"Thank you for your casual objectification… You shouldn’t say 'he' when a person is present. You should refer to the person by their name. That's basic good manners. Is this what you all do for a living? Okay, well let me help you. I'm here to promote a tour called 'Messiah Complex,'" Brand said. "These [MSNBC] people, I'm sure, are typically very, very good at their jobs. You're conveying news to the people of America. These are your trusted anchors."
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Brand then took over and delivered a news briefing on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in a much more professional manner than any of the MSNBC hosts.
Viewers were angered by the panel's treatment of Brand.
"They were completely ignoring him
and talking snidely about how they couldn't understand him, etc., while he was sitting right in front of them," one person commented on Gawker. "Incredibly passive-aggressive and rude."
"Russell Brand is one of the smartest comedians ever," another person posted. "They are clearly intimidated by his intelligence and presence. How embarrassing how they treat him as if he is not in the room and making inside jokes. He does not let them off the hook."
Brand appeared on the show to promote his upcoming comedy tour, the "Messiah Complex," which explores how figures like Malcolm X, Jesus Christ, and Gandhi are "significant culturally and how icons are appropriated and used to designate consciousness and meaning, particularly posthumously," he said.
MSNBC, which is unashamedly liberal, has seen its ratings sink to fourth place
behind Fox News Channel, CNN, and HLN. May 13-17 was the cable network's lowest-rated week since summer 2006.
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