Breakfast at Morning Joe’s

“People come on the show and then they just stay,” said Joe Scarborough. “This happened in Iowa, too, and New Hampshire. It has just sort of turned into the place to hang out.”

It was shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, and Mr. Scarborough had just finished co-anchoring five hours of Morning Joe for MSNBC live from Sam’s No. 3—a breakfast-burrito-serving bar and grill in downtown Denver.

“You look over this morning, and you have the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, having breakfast with Tom Brokaw, having breakfast with Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post, and on and on,” said Mr. Scarborough. “Pretty crazy stuff.”

“It’s been such a whirlwind,” said his co-anchor Mika Brzezinski.

A half hour earlier, the Media Mob had wandered into the restaurant-cum-TV-studio, elbowed our way to the back of the grill, and found a bunch of NBC folks eating breakfast together at a round table just off camera.

Newly minted NBC News Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker sat next to Tucker Carlson. A plate full of melon slices rested between them. Across the table, political strategist and pundit Mike Murphy sipped a cup of coffee.

Tom Brokaw, dressed casually in black parachute pants and a white T-shirt, wandered by holding a jumbo Starbucks cup. MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, darted here and there. The actor Tim Daly hovered nearby.

Amid several reports over the past 24 hours chronicling tension between MSNBC reporters, anchors and pundits, the mood at Sam’s on Thursday morning was civil and mellow.

Credit Day 4 exhaustion.

In the meantime, Mr. Scarborough was feeling in a grateful mood.

“You look at the trend lines—I’ve been in news for five years—and they told us time and time again, you need to shrink the news hole. You need more celebrity stuff, more crime shows,” said Mr. Scarborough. “We’re lucky that Imus set up a format where you could have extended interviews. What we’ve done is take what Imus started and—since we don’t have to do the radio shtick—we can go 100 percent politics. We’re lucky.”

Breakfast at Morning Joe’s