‘Not Up to Us': New MSNBC Anchor Begs Colleagues Not to Whip Dem Votes

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During Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC, newly hired MSNBC anchor Joshua Johnson (formerly with NPR) had a candid moment when he admitted the media took part in helping the DNC whip votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and implored his colleagues not to lobby for certain candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Johnson’s truth bomb was dropped after moderator and NBC political director Chuck Todd lamented how each of the Democratic candidates had a “fatal flaw.” The first point Johnson sought to make was to recall how the Democratic National Committee threw their institutional bulk behind Clinton early in the process:

One of them is going to have to become the nominee. And I think one of the things that Democrats are going to remember from 2016 is this whole question of a narrative. I mean, that's exactly why a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters came out of 2016 ticked off, because they felt like the DNC told them, “No, no, no, you're kind of supporting the wrong person. You can vote for who you want, but shouldn't you be voting for--”

Going further, Johnson shifted to discussing what the media’s role was in 2016. “So, one of the things I'm interested in seeing in 2020 is, how much we will allow Democrats to make their own choice? The story of who the party is supposed to support is not up to us, it's up to Democrats.” In the midst of saying that, he gestured to the people sitting around the table.

Todd, who often fights the losing battle of claiming there’s no such thing as media bias in favor of Democrats, didn’t seem pleased. He gave an annoyed sounding “yeah” to Johnson’s comments and a quick glimpse of his face seemed to confirm the tone.

 

 

“The fact that this process is murky IS FINE,” Johnson exclaimed. “Let them vote. It's okay for voters to make this decision.

He then admitted there were those in the media who found that notion uncomfortable “It's not comfortable. It makes it hard for us to prognosticate,” he explained. “But if there's one thing, at least, the people I talked to came out of 2016 feeling it’s that they were told what the narrative was supposed to be and they felt like votes were kind of being whipped from the top down.”

“I don't know who Democrats are going to pick, but I would presume they'd like to pick for themselves,” he concluded with a bit of panache.

Seeing as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) appeared to do well in the Iowa caucus and was likely to win the New Hampshire primary, the idea of just letting Democratic voters nominate the socialist didn’t seem to sit well with NBC Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt. “So, I hear you on that, but -- and there's a lot of theories as to why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016,” she shot back.

“And it was very clear way before that process was over, that [Sanders] was not going to be the nominee, mostly because African-American voters in the south said, ‘we're not going to vote for you.’ And that was known. And he stayed in it anyway,” she whined.

Hunt made it clear that she was worried about Democratic voters failing to sort out who the nominee would be early, thus helping President Trump. “[A]re they going to feel that is an imperative or are we going to end up in the same place where all the millions of dollars, all the anger is playing out into July while Trump is doing a victory march?”

This instance really exposed how much contempt the elitist liberal media had for the average voter, even on their own side. It will be interesting to see how else Johnson will rattle his colleagues.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Meet the Press
February 9, 2020
11:08:26 a.m. Eastern

(…)

CHUCK TODD: You know, Joshua, I look at every resume. If you look at it from the electability lens, they all have a fatal flaw. And obviously somebody’s got to get the nomination. And I'm counting Michael Bloomberg. They all seem to have something, you're like, “Oof, I don't know if that's going to work.” But one of them is going to have to become the nominee.

JOSHUA JOHNSON: One of them is going to have to become the nominee. And I think one of the things that Democrats are going to remember from 2016 is this whole question of a narrative. I mean, that's exactly why a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters came out of 2016 ticked off, because they felt like the DNC told them, “No, no, no, you're kind of supporting the wrong person. You can vote for who you want, but shouldn't you be voting for--”

So, one of the things I'm interested in seeing in 2020 is, how much we will allow Democrats to make their own choice? The story of who the party is supposed to support is not up to us—

TODD: Yeah.

JOHNSON: -- it's up to Democrats. The fact that this process is murky IS FINE! Let them vote. It's okay for voters to make this decision.

It's not comfortable. It makes it hard for us to prognosticate. But if there's one thing, at least, the people I talked to came out of 2016 feeling it’s that they were told what the narrative was supposed to be and they felt like votes were kind of being whipped from the top down.

I don't know who Democrats are going to pick, but I would presume they'd like to pick for themselves.

KASIE HUNT: So, I hear you on that, but -- and there's a lot of theories as to why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.

JOHNSON: For sure.

HUNT: But I covered the entirety of the Bernie Sanders campaign. And it was very clear way before that process was over, that he was not going to be the nominee, mostly because African-American voters in the south said, “we're not going to vote for you.” And that was known. And he stayed in it anyway.

And some of the anger is on the Clinton side because they feel like he did damage to her in a nominating process that stretched out for months when it didn't have to.

So, I think my question for Democrats is, are they going to feel that is an imperative or are we going to end up in the same place where all the millions of dollars, all the anger is playing out into July while Trump is doing a victory march?

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television NBC Meet the Press Cable Television MSNBC Video Joshua Johnson Chuck Todd Kasie Hunt Bernie Sanders

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