MSNBC's Morning Joe has fallen into a bit of a sticky gray area after airing a pre-taped show on Friday that was designed to appear as though it were live.
The morning news talk show didn't break any rules on Friday -- they removed their usual "live" icon from the screen and never explicitly stated that they were live. However, the banter between hosts Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, and their guests, was clearly contrived to sound like they were in the studio on Friday morning.
"It's the day after Thanksgiving -- woo! -- I'm stuffed," Brzezinski said at the top of the broadcast. She later made a reference to her turkey as though she had already cooked and served it. Scarborough got in the joke as well.
“It was good… the game last night made up for it," he said, of a football game he had yet to see.
The Washington Post reported on the fake-out after an anonymous caller tipped them off. The caller was a fan of Morning Joe, and happened to notice the deception.
MSNBC spokespeople refused to comment on the situation, though one executive gave some anonymous comments. “There was no intention to trick viewers," they said.
Bzezinski and Scarborough are perhaps the most talked-about news personalities on air these days, as their personal lives are under constant scrutiny. The pair's on-air flirtation stirred up a storm of rumors that they were dating in secret in the early days of Morning Joe, though they both denied it.
Still, within a few years, both had left their previous marriages, and they're now engaged.
In addition, the couple has been accused of inadvertently boosting President Donald Trump through the election. He was a frequent guest of the show early on in his candidacy, and even had a friendly rapport with the hosts. After his election, the two quickly pivoted to a hyper-critical tone where the president is concerned, which led to an ugly exchange on Twitter earlier this year.