During an interview with Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin Wednesday, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy.” The comment earned swift backlash for its homophobic undertones and prompted an apology from Brzezinski — though not to Pompeo.
Brzezinski made the slur while complaining about remarks Pompeo made on “Fox & Friends” about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
“Why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now?” Brzezinski asked. “Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on ‘Fox and Friends,’ is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator’s buttboy? I’m dead serious. I’m asking, are these the words of a patriot?”
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski calls Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a homophobic slur: "But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now? Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on Fox and Friends, is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy?" pic.twitter.com/1mSstloDqc
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 12, 2018
Following outrage that ensued online, Brzezinski apologized to Sen. Durbin, but not to the man she made the remark about.
“Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words,” Brzezinski tweeted. “I should have said ‘water boy’… like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY!”
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
Fox News’ Brian Flood reported that MSNBC has refused to respond to comment about whether the network plans to take any disciplinary action against Brzezinski.
Here are some notable reactions to Brzezinski’s remarks:
This is disgusting! How can @KevinHart4real essentially be forced to lose his Oscar’s gig for comments he made years ago as a comedian, but Mika can make a seriously homophobic slur on a major news station, have the network try to cover it up & its not an issue? Give me a break! https://t.co/dTaBMkJa7x
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 12, 2018
Mika Brzezinski (called Sec State "butt boy")
Alec Baldwin (called photographer "c***sucker")
Joy Reid (years of homophobic statements on her blog and Twitter)
— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) December 12, 2018
This "butt boy" comment could be problematic for Mika. Good news for her is that Colbert made similar comments some dubbed homophobic last year and no reprimand came. Smart money here is apology and no consequences. https://t.co/NSDGdkwnfW
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 12, 2018
Your Trump derangement syndrome has you defending Mika’s outrageous comment. Yikes. https://t.co/KXnS76Y0u9
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) December 12, 2018