In the wake of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang calling out MSNBC for their coverage of his campaign — which was followed by actor John Cusack expressing similar frustration for the coverage of Bernie Sanders — progressive commentator and The Hill's Rising co-host Krystal Ball unleashed a scathing attack on the network.
At one point during the attack, Ball, who used to work for MSNBC, said that the people working for the network created the "underlying conditions" that led to the election of Donald Trump. She continued to criticize MSNBC for devoting their network time to the "lionization" of Bush-era neoconservative Republicans.
"Meanwhile, the network is absolutely shameless in the way that it covers the three anti-establishment candidates: Bernie, Tulsi, and Yang."The network's treatment of Tulsi Gabbard was first on Ball's list. Ball noted that "every interview" with Gabbard includes the "obligatory Assad-apologist question," referring to questions about Gabbard's controversial meeting with Syria's Bashar al-Assad. The 38-year-old commentator also noted that the network's coverage included conspiracy theories that Gabbard is a Russian asset plotting a third-party run.
Ball referenced an In These Times report about the network's coverage of Sanders, which states that Sanders gets less coverage and the coverage he does get is negatively skewed.
"Over the two months, these six programs focused on Biden, often to the exclusion of Warren and Sanders. Sanders received not only the least total coverage (less than one-third of Biden's), but the most negative. As to the substance, MSNBC's reporting revolved around poll results and so-called electability."Ball ended with Yang, noting that the ideas of his campaign — which centers around universal basic income — don't fall into the "the spectrum of pre-approved, acceptable ideas." She also claims Yang's candidacy "challenges" those within the Democratic Party who want to "maintain control" over the "acceptable pathways and trajectories to power" — a reference to the Yang campaign's significant growth through internet-based channels, such as The Joe Rogan Experience.
In the conclusion of the segment, Ball suggested that the success of people such as Yang — who is currently ranked sixth in the polls and has bested senators, governors and congressmen throughout his run — expose the Democratic Party as an "impotent" and "hollowed out shell."
MSNBC's coverage of Yang has been a point of frustration for both him and his supporters throughout the political outsider's campaign. Following Wednesday's debate and Yang's callout, his supporters trended the "BoycottMSNBC" hashtag, which was subsequently used Sunday by Cusack to vent his frustration with the network's coverage of Sanders.