MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski apologized on Twitter Wednesday after coming under fire for using a homophobic slur to insult Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on live television earlier in the day.
The off color remark was part of a string of insults criticizing Pompeo for what Brzezinski saw as an unsatisfactory response to Saudi Arabia’s responsibility in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi occasionally used his Washington Post column to criticize the country’s government.
“Why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now,” Brzezinski said. “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?”
MSNBC tried to censor the comment, but were just a second too late.
There was an immediate backlash to the comment on social media.
G.E. Anderson, a professional photographer, said the phrase was “as homophobic a term as I've heard on national morning television.” Anderson also noted that the comment was not transcribed in the the close captioning. Anderson also offered up a variety of other words she could have used to insult Pompeo, like “toadie,” “lackey” or “stool pigeon.”
“Maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,” Anderson wrote, mentioning Brzezinski in the tweet.
Brzezinski soon apologized, saying she should have used a word like “water boy.”
“Totally agree with you - SUPER BAD choice of words,” Brzezinski tweeted in response to Anderson. “SO SORRY!”