As Democrats in South Carolina on Saturday go to the polls to pick a choice for 2020, MSNBC journalists and hosts are still dealing with outrage over the network’s very negative coverage of Bernie Sanders. Chris Matthews compared a win by the socialist to a Nazi victory in World War II. (He apologized.) The network suspended contributor Jason Johnson after he accused Sanders supporters of alienating minorities.
So how did MSNBC cover the South Carolina primary four years ago? On February 27, 2016, Andrea Mitchell knocked Sanders’s minority support as he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democraticc nomination. The MRC’s Curtis Houck explained:
Not long after the network officially projected Clinton’s landslide win, Mitchell observed that there was a “disparity” between “his African-American surrogates and hers” with Clinton having Congressman Jim Clyburn (S.C.) and John Lewis (Ga.) while Sanders has “Killer Mike appealing to young people, the rappers, but also, Cornel West, who disagrees strongly with Barack Obama.”
Many at liberal MSNBC seem to have pragmatic objections to Sanders. Not ideological. They view Sanders as a loser in November.
As the 2016 South Carolina results rolled in, Mitchell also found time to trash... Reagan Democrats, comparing them to supporters of the racist George Wallace:
I was talking to a former Democratic Governor of Michigan who said, remember those Reagan Democrats? And I said might they respond to Bernie Sanders in his blue-collar appeal, his working class appeal, income inequality, and they — he said, no, because you have to register to vote in Michigan, but on the day of the primary, you can choose your party and they are going to be Trump voters. He said, the Reagan Democrats, many of them were George Wallace Democrats, and that there is an undercurrent of race in a lot of what we have been hearing on the campaign, the protest vote and that could be part of it as well.
For more examples from our flashback series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.