The panel of MSNBC's Morning Joe mocked the IRS for losing Lois Lerner's emails and claiming they "recycled" her hard drive, descending into such hysteria that co-host Mika Brzezinski struggled to keep the group moving along on the topic.
"Thats the great thing, that e-mails are forever, at least in advanced civilizations. Because, you know, if you go to, like, places that look like the scene out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, where they're, like, beating sticks, maybe their e-mails get lost," Joe Scarborough joked, as Brzezinski attempted to begin reading the news story.
"I'm never going to get to the story, am I?" Brzezinski said.
"Even I know that if you have a hard drive and can't find an e-mail, you can get a little nerd to come in and they can find them for you," Scarborough declared.
"Not if you take the literal computer itself and throw that away," Mike Barnicle offered.
Scarborough burst into laughter and exclaimed, "They threw it away! The IRS threw it away!"
"Strange text support work to throw the computer away. ‘Can't figure this one out!'" said Willie Geist, mimicking a throwing motion.
Scarborough joined in the mimicry: "‘Hey, Bob, I lost my e-mails here! Do I call tech support or do I just throw it away? Just toss it? OK! Whoa but hold on, this is one of the most important people at the Internal Revenue Service so maybe these e-mails are of some worth. Do I get tech support or do I throw it away?'"
"I'm going to try my best," Brzezinski interjected wearily, "let's all keep a straight face while I read this news story."
"Who are these men, who are these men? Who are these idiots?" Scarborough demanded.
"I like how they use the word ‘recycled'," Scarborough said sarcastically, "instead of ‘we trashed the evidence and tore it up and buried it', no. We were earth friendly, Willie. Have you ever heard that? Like what if a mobster went before a panel. ‘Where is the body? We recycled it!'"
Scarborough insisted that IRS workers should be required to either find the evidence or go to jail, just as they demand evidence from taxpayers. "How does the Internal Revenue Service go to a taxpayer and say ‘oh you can't find the receipts? You either find the receipts and justify this or you're going to jail.'"
"It's funny you ask me that," Barnicle said, "because I'm going through a situation where I'm being asked to retrieve items from my tax returns, 2012, 2011."
"Well you don't need them, obviously, right?"
"No," Barnicle deadpanned, "I'm going to say I recycled them."