As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) racked up primary victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, the mainstream media pivoted their narratives to match Sanders’ rising momentum heading into the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday primary elections. But Sanders’ campaign accused MSNBC of harboring bias against him in its coverage and political analyses, despite his campaign’s recent successes.
Over the weekend, MSNBC host Chris Matthews compared Sanders’ Nevada caucus victory to World War Two.
“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’”
Matthews has since apologized on-air.
“As I watched the one-sided results of Saturday’s Democratic caucus in Nevada, I reached for a historic analogy and used a bad one,” he said. “I was wrong to refer to an event from the last days, or actually the first days, of World War II.
“I’m sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electorate result in which you were the well-deserved winner.”
Sanders is Jewish and had relatives who died in the Holocaust.
Sanders allegedly confronted MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin, prior to the NBC-sponsored debate in Las Vegas about several comments that MSNBC and NBC anchors made about his campaign. MSNBC has not confirmed whether the interaction took place.
Though Sanders has not publicly criticized MSNBC or NBC for its coverage, his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said that MSNBC “is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign” and that the right-leaning Fox News was “more fair than MSNBC” in covering Sanders.
So far, MSNBC has not publicly apologized to Sanders’ campaign or Sanders himself outside of Chris Matthews.