Scarborough Lectures Vietnamese Refugee on Saigon, NBCer Fires Back


MSNBC host Joe Scarborough made a fool out of himself on Sunday (he wasn’t even on his show) after tweeting an image of The New York Times Sunday Review front page comparing the fall of Kabul to the fall of Saigon. The self-righteous blowhard lectured the paper about how the obviously similar situations were nothing alike. The kicker? The author of the article was a Vietnamese-American who escaped Saigon as a refugee with his family.

And on Monday, NBC correspondent Vicky Nguyen fired back at Scarborough on Twitter as she teased her report on the comparison for NBC Nightly News.

“Please don’t embarrass yourself by comparing Afghanistan to Vietnam or the events of the past week to Saigon in 1975. Dear Lord,” Scarborough tweeted in disgust at the headline, “Our Saigon” and a picture of a jet taking off.

 

 

Later that evening, author Viet Thanh Nguyen responded to his critic. “I’m not embarrassed [Joe Scarborough], because what I say is that the situations are different, except for the moral urgency in helping civilians and refugees. Either you misread or didn’t read in your haste to score a point,” he wrote on Twitter.

 

 

From there, Scarborough pumped out three tweets apologizing to Nguyen but continued to suggest his point was correct. “My apologies. My words were not directed toward you or your moving, persuasive article,” he insisted. “It was directed at the NYTimes editors who chose to stamp the words ‘Our Saigon’ on the single image dominating the front of the Sunday Review. Your piece on page 4 is a must read[sic].”

He went on to whine about unnamed people who were trying to draw those comparisons and he was tired of it. Of course, he also had to virtue signal:

 

 

The callous and pompous antics of her MSNBC colleague didn’t seem to sit well with correspondent Nguyen. In a tweet promoting her Nightly News segment on the similar stories of Vietnamese and Afghan refugees, she also featured an image of The Times cover and chided the “pundits and media types” who “dispute the similarities.”

 

 

“Refugees risking it all. Afghanistan now and Vietnam 46 years ago. Crowded flights, desperate families, daunting uncertainty,” Nguyen said at the top of her report.

And the story was personal for her. “Minh-Thu Pham was just three when her family fled communist Vietnam and settled in Knoxville, Tennessee. My family did the same, beginning a new life in Eugene, Oregon, before my second birthday,” she told viewers. She also told the story of Joseph Azam, who’s “family escaped Afghanistan nearly 40 years ago. He says the support of the Vietnamese-American community comes at a pivotal moment.”

 

 

Nguyen hammered her point home by concluding with: “Refugees from Afghanistan and Vietnam bound by these defining moments and fighting for their future.”

Scarborough made no mention of his blunder or the Kabul/Saigon comparison during Monday’s Morning Joe.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC Nightly News
August 23, 2021
7:27: 05 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Finally, echos of a not-so-distant past. Evacuations and hope. Afghanistan now, Vietnam then. For some, the parallels are personal. Here’s Vicky Nguyen.

[Cuts to video]

VICKY NGUYEN: Refugees risking it all. Afghanistan now and Vietnam 46 years ago. Crowded flights, desperate families, daunting uncertainty.

MINH-THU PHAM: Vietnamese Americans all over the country are speaking up and trying to humanize this for others.

NGUYEN: Minh-Thu Pham was just three when her family fled communist Vietnam and settled in Knoxville, Tennessee. My family did the same, beginning a new life in Eugene, Oregon, before my second birthday.

Your family, like my family, didn’t leave Vietnam until years after ’75 and the fall of Saigon. What do you say to Afghans about the possibility that if they don’t get out in the first wave?

PHAM: Millions of us around the world are watching and our hearts go out to them. So many people are working behind the scenes to do as much as they can to get them out safely.

NGUYEN: She’s one of them, working with Pivot, a Vietnamese-American nonprofit calling on the U.S. and its allies to accept Afghan refugees.

PHAM: Let’s just remember that America is a nation of immigrants. Refugees, in the long run, have been able to support and contribute so much to this country. Google, Chobani, you know, PayPal. All of those are started by refugees and that created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

NGUYEN: Joseph Azam’s family escaped Afghanistan nearly 40 years ago. He says the support of the Vietnamese-American community comes at a pivotal moment.

JOSEPH AZAM: It’s heartening. It’s reassuring. It’s needed.

NGUYEN: He’s co-founder of the Afghan-American Foundation.

AZAM: Hope is what we run on for a really long time. And so I have no doubt that it will continue to fuel people.

NGUYEN: Refugees from Afghanistan and Vietnam bound by these defining moments and fighting for their future. Vicky Nguyen, NBC News.

[Cuts to video]

HOLT: Out of the chaos, their story now part of the American story.





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