updated 11/21/2011 2:40:41 PM ET 2011-11-21T19:40:41

Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) is the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the show Time Magazine calls “revolutionary” and The New York Times ranked as the top news program of 2008. In April 2011, Scarborough was named to the prestigious “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people. In describing why he was selected, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “Joe speaks from his mind without fear of favor, before he puts his country before his party…That independence makes Joe Scarborough such a valuable voice in American politics. And it’s what makes Morning Joe such a successful show.”

Along with co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, Morning Joe features interviews with top newsmakers and in-depth analysis of the day’s biggest stories. The unique broadcast has been called “the thinking viewer’s choice” by USA Weekend and called “an important wake-up call for political and media leaders” by the Associated Press.

Previously, Joe hosted “Scarborough Country” on MSNBC, a primetime news show the San Francisco Chronicle called "must-see TV.”

In addition to his career in television Scarborough is also the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise,” a book that draws on the forgotten genius of conservatism to offer a road map for the movement and the country. Delivering a searing indictment of the political leaders who have led us astray, Scarborough inspires conservatives to reclaim their heritage by drawing upon the strength of the movement’s rich history. His 2004 book “Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day” predicted the collapse of the Republican majority and US economy due to his party's reckless spending.

Prior to his career in television, Joe was the publisher and editor of the award-winning newspaper The Florida Sun.

Joe served as a member of Congress from 1994-2001. While in office, he was a member of the Judiciary, Armed Services, Oversight and National Security committees. He was a part of a small group of you Republican congressmen who National Journal said possessed a surprising amount of power given their youth and lack of years in Congress.

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Video: Gulf ecosystem in distress

  1. Closed captioning of: Gulf ecosystem in distress

    >> here in the gulf coast is the equivalent of an " exxon valdez " spill.

    >> we're looking at all the different angles live from pensacola , the impact on small and big businesses, the impact on the environment and also the impact on the political landscape. we've got an incredible cast here for this block the top of the 8:00 hour on the east coast . we're joined by pensacola mayoral candidate ashton hayward and science and environmental expert for nbc news jeff corwin and marco rubio running against charlie crist running for the u.s. senate . he joins us via satellite. good to have you on board.

    >> marco, there are obviously a lot of concerns about what washington can and what washington cannot do. this has gone from a gulf crisis to an international incident , obviously, a lot of battles right nowritish pinch hitters actually and gulf coast residents and residents of the state of florida , mississippi, alabama, louisiana . what's your take on it? should the united states ' leaders, should the president continue to lean in hard on british petroleum ? into first, let me thank you. first of all, welcome home . i want to thank you guys for doing this program.

    >> it's really great to be here.

    >> thank you for doing the program from pensacola . the attention you're giving to thissing is an extraordinary i think boost to the spirits of the people in northwest florida and they can visit pensacola .com and get live pictures of what's happening there after you're off the air. as far as what this means, a couple things are going on. unfortunately this this spill has confirmed our worst fierce about government and its inability to deal with major crises such as this. we've never seen anything like what we're witnessing now, the frustration level grows every day as the federal government seems unable to deal with its obligations under this issue. as far as leaning on bp and all those kinds of things, look, it's important that the responsible party do everything it can. pay for the damage it's causing both ecollagecally and environmentally and economically. at the end of the day , the other thing the people want is this to be dealt with as quickly as possible. we don't want this to get worse than it is. we lost a lot of time early on and we're going to pay a big price for that.

    >> marco, we'll talk to you over the next couple segments and also, there are people, and i have ashton here and ann hayward on because friends of ours, but you guys have lived in new york. you've lived all over the place. but you decided to come back home to pensacola , florida . in part because of the environment here. this is just devastating for people in pensacola , isn't it? and across the gulf coast , the specter of this oil spill .

    >> definitely, know. it's a major challenge we have right now. you're definitely right. people live here for the quality of life , the environment we have here. we want to protect that. what's happened recently, we're climbing out of major recession, probably the worst since the great depression and it's been difficult. but hotelyers, businesses on the beach are suffering right now. we're trying to make the best we can of this. it's all about accountability from the federal, state and local level, we want to get our businesses open and we need to get back to profitability.

    >> and ann , you and i brought you up here because, my wife told me to bring you up here. that's one reason. you can live anywhere . obviously, like me, you're a model. i'm a hand model. you're a model and you fly all over the place.

    >> i do.

    >> but you all made a very conscious decision, we want to be here in pensacola , florida . there are a lot of people that could live anywhere but decide to live here in part because of the environment. yet, our environment is under attack this morning.

    >> i know. and you know, we love new york city and we were ready 0 come home and you know, live in pensacola , florida . ashton is from here is, third generation pen sa colian and we figure it had would be a nice place to raise a child. our son is now 6 years old. we're very concerned for his future and you know, playing on the beach is not an option.

    >> and ann and ashton and jeff, everyone we talked to when we got here last night, everybody is coming together and really trying to make the best of this and move forward. it's very difficult, the circumstances. but we've got small businesses that are teaming up with " morning joe " offering discounts, trying to get people here as people should come here because there is still many beautiful sights to see. the beach looks beautiful. jeff corwin , the sheen.

    >> let me ask jeff though, we're focusing on the beach, obviously. everybody loves going to the beach. as marco rubio and i know, as anybody knows that's represented florida , wetlands are critical to our entire ecosystem. and it's the wetlands like the beaches that are going to be ravaged. as you saw in louisiana with all of your reporting, it's going to be a lot easier cleaning up these beaches than cleaning up the devastation that have entire ecosystem.

    >> you look out and see this beautiful ivory powder beach. the truth is, that can be cleaned. but how do you take crude that snaked its way through the tendrils and through the roots of a fragile grassland ecosystem? i pray that what i have been seeing in louisiana does not find its way to the shores of florida . if it does, it will then become a part of what many believe is the most unprecedented environmental catastrophe in modern history . it is quite remarkable and profound. you get out in the water and as far as you can see, you can see this oil. and the creatures that are being salvaged from this experience really do get a fighting chance. that's a point that i want to make. a lot of people asked me, are we wasting our time trying to save these birds.

    >> some people are saying let's put down the birds. it would be more humane. i think i heard somebody ask you that question.

    >> it would be a terrible decision. the truth is we know if we get to these birds in time, we clean them, stabilize them, they can survive. the first pelican that was caught up in the spill has been released successfully. unfortunately not in its home. there's so many unknowns. when these first responders go to the front libs to rescue these animals, they're dealing with the toxicity of the oil. this oil contains more than 100 hydrocarbons including benzene causes cancer, mercury. so it's a deadly environment out there.

    >> it is a deadly environment. you know, mika, everything's interrelated. you know this growing up, obviously, i'm not an environmental scientist . i am a model but not an environmental scientist . people that grow up in florida around the water understand that everything's linked. everything's connected together. if you destroy an echo system, if you destroy wetlands , guess what happens there is a reason why nature has wetlands and barrier islands . it's all interconnected. these wetlands get destroyed, then what happens in those areas is what happens over in new orleans in the ninth ward. that should all be wetlands over there. when these wetlands are destroyed, people need to understand this. it's not just about the white beaches. you destroy wetlands , then suddenly a hurricane that's a category three has the same impact that a five used to have.

    >> the bear yes islands that hug this coastline basically are the last stop for hurricanes. they actually can break up the impact that have storm. the barrier islands along the louisiana coast have decreased since katrina by 50%. but the big story is these marshes, these swamps and bayous are the places where young animals come in to grow up to get the strength they need to survive. every bluefin tuna , every adult bluefin tuna from nova scotia to here all of them come together and spann spawn within miles of this spill.

    >> we're going to stay with


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  1. What was your favorite interview on Morning Joe?

    Joe Scarborough: We have had too many guests to pick a favorite, but a major highlight was when our executive producer surprised me by lining up a Landon Donovan interview right after the thrilling U.S. win in the World Cup. (Evelyn C. Savage /  Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Who’s been your favorite guest on Morning Joe?

    Mika Brzezinski: It’s too hard to choose one, we’ve had such a delightful mix! Willie Geist: For a one-shot deal, it was Bill Murray. For a regular guest, it has to be Mika's dad, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. (Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. What's your favorite song played on Morning Joe?

    Mika Brzezinski: “Badlands” by Bruce Springsteen Joe Scarborough: “Lisztomania” by Phoenix Morning Joe's Playlist (Evelyn C. Savage /  Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. What's the best part of your job?

    Mika Brzezinski: Being able to really talk. (Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. What's your morning drink order from Starbucks?

    Willie Geist: I don't drink coffee, so it's an Iced Skim Chai Latte – the biggest one they've got (I refuse on principle to use Starbucks' made-up terms for drink size). (Evelyn C. Savage /  Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. What’s your favorite place in New York City?

    Mika Brzezinski: The Meatpacking District (Evelyn C. Savage /  Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Who's your dream Morning Joe guest?

    Willie Geist: It's an obvious one: President Obama for the full three hours. I'd even take him for two hours and then have Jay-Z for the third hour. (Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. What’s your morning drink order from Starbucks?

    Mika Brzezinski: Red Eye Misto – extra hot, extra foam and I get mine first! (Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. What’s the best part of your job?

    Joe Scarborough: Working with friends three hours a day and getting to interview the people who run America. (Evelyn C. Savage /  Evelyn C. Savage) Back to slideshow navigation
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