It appears that some Democratic primary voters have noticed MSNBC’s increasingly hostile coverage of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—and not only do they not like it but, at least in one case, it is pushing them to cast a vote for Sanders.
Broadcasting live from a New Hampshire restaurant on Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC anchor Ari Melber went table-to-table asking voters who they supported in the state’s closely watched primary. At one point, he came across a woman who said she still considered herself an “undecided” voter after going through all the candidates, ultimately casting her ballot for Sanders.
“That’s sort of the paradox to decide and then feel undecided,” Melber noted. “You’re a complex person.”
“Yes, but I want to say the reason I went for Bernie is because of MSNBC,” the woman replied.
“Go on,” an intrigued Melber responded, staring directly into the camera, eliciting laughter.
“I think it is completely cynical to say that he’s lost 50 percent of his vote from the last time when there were two candidates,” the New Hampshire voter asserted. “Now there are multiple wonderful candidates that would be great presidents, people that I think we can unify and get behind, but the kind of stock Bernie cynicism that I heard from a number of people, I watch MSNBC constantly, so I heard that from a number of commentators, it made me angry enough, I said Bernie has my vote.”
Melber, meanwhile, coolly attempted to handle the woman’s criticism of his network.
“This is an interesting point,” he said. “What you’re saying is, and we take criticism, we’re journalists, we have to be open-minded, you’re saying that hearing from people—whether guests, contributors—the conversations you’ve heard that you felt were designed to tear down Senator Sanders or ‘stop him’ actually endeared him to you.”
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” she confirmed. “I could have chosen several candidates, but that’s what pushed me over the edge for Bernie.”
The claim the voter cited as “cynical” was made Monday evening by MSNBC hosts Lawrence O’Donnell and Joy Reid, who both suggested that Sanders’ level of support has been cut in half from his 2016 primary run.
“The problem for Sanders is that he has not shown proof of concept that he can create a revolution that grows this enormous base of young people,” Reid said, agreeing with O’Donnell that the “untold story” of Sanders’ 2020 campaign has “lost half of his support in polls nationwide.”
Several MSNBC pundits and hosts have also grown openly and increasingly concerned with the potential for the democratic socialist to win the nomination, grousing that they’re “scared to death” of Sanders being the nominee while conjuring fears of socialist-led public executions. Sanders supporters, meanwhile, have called for MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd’s firing after he cited a conservative column to liken Sanders’ “online mob” to a “digital brown-shirt brigade.”