Interview: Morning Joe’s Willie Geist–“The Oracle of MSNBC”–Speaks Again


“The NFL is this close to being the Taliban.”

A few weeks ago, Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Impressed by his sagacity–or at least his insights into Family Ties and José Canseco–we decided to ask him a few more. So below, more of Willie’s views on sports, television, and his co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

If you and Joe Scarborough had to share a bunk bed, who’d get the top and who’d get the bottom?

Before I answer, I want you to know I see right through your attempt to get me to describe my relationship with Joe in “Top/Bottom” terms. Having said that, Joe is totally a bottom, so I’d have to climb the ladder to the top of our NASCAR-themed bunk beds.

Which regular Morning Joe guest do you personally feel like you learn the most from?

Boy, that’s tough. I learn the most about political maneuvering from Joe. I learn the most about history from Pat Buchanan. I learn the most about the economy from the maniacal rants of my friend Dylan Ratigan of CNBC. And I learn the most about personal hygiene from Mike Barnicle, who apparently practices a fringe religion that forbids the use of soap. Axe Body Spray only hides so much.

Do you ever have to help Mika take her boots off?

No, Mika’s boots are off limits. They’re stored in climate-controlled humidors in a cellar beneath the skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza. Mika’s assistant Louis is the only person with retinal-scan access to the vault. Every day at dusk, Louis reads poetry to the boots and brushes them with King Cobra venom before taking them by horse-drawn carriage to visit the Thannhauser Collection at the Guggenheim.


If you could change one rule in major-league sports, what would it be?

I really, really hate the 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration in the NFL. Can we please stop pretending we’re teaching lessons with sports? I don’t want sportsmanship. I want Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson doing “The Riverdance” in the end zone after making a routine catch. It’s a game, for God’s sake. It’s entertainment. Did you know Santonio Holmes, the guy who made the amazing catch to win the Super Bowl for the Steelers this year, was later fined $10,000 for celebrating the touchdown?! He was punished for expressing joy at making an impossible play to win the biggest, most-watched event on the planet. Did you also know the league requires its players to pull up their socks so no skin is showing on their legs? The NFL is this close to being the Taliban.

As we all know, you’re a big fan of The Bachelor. If you were signed to do your own reality show called Willie Geist’s Rock of Love, what would your first challenge for the women be?

The Bachelor wound is obviously still very raw, so I’ll thank you not to dig too deep there. I’m busy convincing myself I’ll be able to love again after what happened on the show this week. Jason is not the man I thought he was.

As for the Rock of Love concept, I’m married with a 1-year-old daughter, so my contests would be slightly less sensual than those proposed by Bret Michaels. Instead of phone sex and lesbian make-out competitions, I’d be interested in seeing which girl could best change diapers in the dark, put clothes on a squirming baby, read the same Elmo book a thousand times, and maintain a measure of adult dignity when a toddler is throwing macaroni and cheese at her. God, that sounds like an awful show. OK, forget that. Let’s go with inverted pole dancing.

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