It started, as so many things do these days, with a tweet.
The New York Times political reporter Maggie Haberman, covering Donald Trump's New Year's Eve festivities, observed Saturday night that Joe Scarborough and his MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski were among the president-elect's Mar-a-Lago revelers.
Indeed, they were there. Haberman wasn't making a judgment, just reporting. The former CBS reporter Sopan Deb (soon to join the Times) took it further, describing them as "partying" with Trump.
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, wasn't having any of it. He shot back at Deb, charging "fake news."
Under Deb's questioning, Scarborough explained that his and Brzezinski's purpose was professional, not social. The morning-talk duo was just trying to line up an interview with Trump. They were not partying, and, Scarborough later stressed, they were "dramatically underdressed," and he was headed home soon to a quiet night with his kids.