"We gotta get Jeremy in here," Joe Scarborough said shortly after the 7 a.m. hour. "Dr. Jeremy Peters."
He was looking for Jeremy Peters, the New York Times congressional reporter and "Morning Joe" regular.
Peters hardly said a peep during his time on the show's panel. After about an hour of silence, he decided to split, unbeknownst to Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski.
"Did he say anything?" Scarborough wondered. "Not the entire time."
Brzezinski recalled Peters saying "one thing."
"It was really good though," Scarborough said in jest. "No, it was really good though, wasn't it?"
"No," Brzezinski said, sounding uncertain.
Scarborough eventually remembered that Peters "talked about John Boehner."
It made for a pretty surreal moment in live television, but Peters told TPM later on Tuesday that he didn't "flee" the set.
"I didn't flee the set, I assure you," he said in an email. "I came on the show, as I usually do, to talk about what's happening in Congress. I did that around 6:45 a.m. And I left the Ferguson discussion today to the others on the panel like [Washington Post columnist] Gene Robinson, who was able to capably and intelligently discuss it far better than I would have. One thing I've learned from doing TV: I've never regretted not opening my mouth. It's always the times when you do -- and shouldn't have -- that get you in trouble."