TONIGHT, ON SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY... Animal shelters are overwhelmed with too many puppies. Joe says kill the bastards!

Charles Joseph Scarborough, formerly a member of the House of Representatives, is now the host of a talk show on MSNBC, Scarborough Country, which airs on weeknights at 10 PM ET, and replays all weekend long. His show is obviously patterned after Bill O'Reilly's prime time tour de force, The O'Reilly Factor, and is marketed to appeal to the same conservative demographic, although its content is actually much more centrist than the ads would have you believe.

Let's step back for a moment, though. Joe was born in Atlanta, Georgia on April 9, 1963. He went to the University of Alabama for his BA, and then went to law school at the University of Florida (w00t), graduating in 1990.

In 1994, Joe ran for Congress in Florida's first district, a heavily conservative constituency thanks to being in the South and hosting several military bases. He won by a significant margin and became part of the Republican Party's "freshman class," the large group of new representatives who were elected with the help of Newt Gingrich's GOPAC organization. Scarborough, however, didn't follow the party line: as he often likes to relate, he voted for what he believed in, and told his supporters at home to kick him out of office if they didn't like it. Much to the contrary, he was re-elected four times, and his margin of victory kept increasing. In 1998, he carried an almost unbelievable 79% of the vote (and also divorced his first wife, Melanie).

Joe was a quirky politician, to put it mildly. He published a weekly newspaper in Pensacola called the Independent Florida Sun, full of Thompsonian gonzo journalism, much of which was written by him under various pseudonyms. He also played guitar under the name Regular Joe, and performed at the 2000 Republican National Convention.

On September 6, 2001, Joe resigned from Congress to spend more time with his two young sons, one of whom had recently been diagnosed with diabetes. He was soon nominated to the President's Council on the 21st Century Workforce by President George W. Bush, where he still serves today. However, his television career was already rising by the time he left office: while in Congress, he had guest hosted CNN's Crossfire and Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes. MSNBC, looking for a voice to balance Phil Donahue's, quickly hired Joe and brought him to the airwaves.

In addition to his media and political work, Joe also practices environmental law at Levin, Papantonio, a major firm in Pensacola, Florida.

Jet-Poop reminded me that I left out a pretty major part of the story, so here goes. Just before Scarborough resigned, one of his interns, Lori Klausutis, was found dead in his offices. The county medical examiner initially said that Klausutis had no marks on her body, but later changed his story and revealed that she had died from a blow to the head.

According to the final report, Joe's intern died from having a heart valve failure and keeling over, slamming her head on her desk. However, the initial veil of secrecy surrounding the whole investigation, as well as the reversal of the examiner's opinion, made many people suspicious that Scarborough had pulled a Gary Condit. (Interpret that as you wish.)

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