MSNBC is once again dealing with a network host’s alleged homophobic comments after Morning Joe anchor Mika Brzezinski casually tossed off what can be a slur on live television Wednesday morning.
The Morning Joe host was talking about an interview on Fox & Friends earlier in the morning during which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was evasive when it came to answering questions about how the administration planned to deal with Saudi Arabia in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
‘I understand that Donald Trump doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now? Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on – is that a patriot speaking?’ asked Brzezinski.
‘Or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy?’
At that moment her audio was cut out by MSNBC, but not before she had already uttered what many believe to be a homophobic slur.
Homophobic slur accusation: Mika Brzezinski (above on Wednesday) referred to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a ‘wannabe dictator’s butt boy’ on Morning Joe
Sorry: ‘Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said “water boy,”‘ said Brzezisnki
What is a butt boy?
A ‘butt boy’ has long been defined as a ‘sycophant’, ‘brown-noser’ and ‘a person of unquestioning obedience’ and can have no sexual connotation.
A 2008 Vanity Fair article called Bill Clinton’s former aide Doug Band his ‘butt boy’
The slang term does not appear in the Merriam-Webster or Oxford dictionaries
However, the term has also become a homosexual slur. Urban Dictionary defines ‘butt boy’ as ‘a sexual boy toy who belongs to an older man’ and is the receiver in a physical relationship.
Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s handling of the killing of Khashoggi on Wednesday, stressing Saudi Arabia’s importance as an ally against Iran.
Pompeo repeated his assertion that there was no direct evidence linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the October 2 murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, despite a CIA assessment it was likely he ordered the killing.
CIA Director Gina Haspel was briefing leaders of the House of Representatives behind closed doors on Wednesday about the killing.
She has also briefed some US senators.
The term ‘butt boy’ has long meant a sycophant or brown noser who gives indiscriminate approval, but has also become a slur for the submissive partner in gay sex.
Brzezinski apologized on social media for her comment after being called out on Twitter.
Trump has yet to weigh in on the comment
‘I was with you, @morningmika, right up to the “butt boy” comment. Try “toadie” or “lackey” or “stool pigeon” or “ass kisser,” or “traitor,” but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,’ wrote G.E. Anderson.
‘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!’ responded Brzezinski.
A number of Trump supporters were also quick to attack to host, despite the president’s controversial record on LGBT rights.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: ‘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!’
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grannel wrote: ‘Outrageous. This is totally unacceptable & deeply disturbing. Sexualizing gay people this way is designed to control them & minimize our worth.’
And Larry O’Connor noted: ‘Mika Brzezinski (called Sec State “butt boy”) Alec Baldwin (called photographer “c***sucker”) Joy Reid (years of homophobic statements on her blog and Twitter) All employees in good standing at @MSNBC and @NBC.’
Pompeo: Brzezinski apologized for her comments after being called out for equating ‘homosexuality with Mike Pompeo (above on Fox & Friends) carrying water for the murderous regime’
Lashing out: A number of Trump supporters were also quick to attack to host, despite the president’s controversial record on LGBT rights
MSNBC did not respond to a request for comment on the matter, which comes one year after Joy Reid was found to have made a number of homophobic comments in old blog posts.
Reid’s troubles began last December, when social media posts and remarks on her blog which contained anti-gay remarks were uncovered online.
She spoke of how ‘heterosexual men’ found ‘homosexual sex’ to be ‘gross’ and claimed that the sight of two men kissing makes most ‘straight’ people ‘cringe.’
Reid released a statement that was more excuse than apology, saying her blog had been ‘breached’ and these were ‘fraudulent posts.’
She later said on her show that she could not prove the hacking, but did not go back on her claim that the FBI was conducting an investigation.
In a shocking twist, Reid had been a guest on Andrea Mitchell’s show just a few days prior to the scandal and was asked: ‘What do you have to do on social media to get fired from a top rated show on an American broadcast network?’
It is now unclear if Reid was ever telling the truth about the FBI, the hacking claims or her shock at seeing the posts.
MSNBC refused to comment at the time.
Around this same time, the network quietly let go of openly gay anchor Thomas Roberts.