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Mika Brzezinski responds to Russell Brand interview brouhaha

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 21, 2013 at 12:15 PM  |  Updated June 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM   |   Comments

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June 21 (UPI) -- English Comedian Russell Brand paid a visit to MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he gave host Mika Brzezinski and panelists Katty Kay and Brian Shactman a taste of his comic style.

The reaction has been swift and harsh, with commenters ranging from the professional blogger to the Facebook fan bashing the "Morning Joe" team for being "stupid," "unimaginably rude"," "unprofessional" and more.

For her part, Brzezinski was shocked by the volume of anger aimed at her.

"People come in here one after the other. I didn’t know Russell” before the show, Brzezinski said. “I don’t think Russell liked that.”

“I have never gotten more vitriol and anger and hatred than I have over this," she said. "So I apologize for not knowing.”

Brzezinski out and out admitted she wasn't familiar with Brand's work, and Shactman missed the mark with a comment on Brand's accent. They talked about his clothing choices, and there was a strange moment when Kay inexplicably referred to Brand as "Willy."

But Brand's appearance was hardly an outraged reaction. He hijacked the segment, turning the panel's casual unpreparedness into a brutal excoriation of the standard milquetoast morning talkshow format.

In fact, his sharp mockery was perfectly in line with his standup style. The "Morning Joe" team was merely the closest target, and they left the door wide open for him.

Brzezinski, Kay and Shactman were hardly acting out of line with the expected morning televised gabfest, and Brand's devastating caricature was aimed at all morning talkshows, not just "Morning Joe."

In his fast-chatter style, Brand demonstrated how the a.m. airwaves might be put to better use, but when he put the Brzezinski, Kay and Shactman on the spot, they seemed too stunned to piece together a response.

"Look beyond the superficial," Brand said, when Shactman awkwardly attempted to compliment the comedian by suggesting he would try out Brand's fashion, rather than his words. "That's the problem with current affairs."

"You forget about what's important. You allow the agenda to be decided by superficial information," he chided. "What am I saying? What am I talking about? Don't think about what I'm wearing. These things are redundant, superficial."

"Morning Joe" didn't stand a chance.

The original segment:

And Friday's response:

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