MSNBC has faced criticism on many occasions throughout the 2020 election cycle for its coverage of outsider candidates like Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard. Critics of the network, such as progressive commentator Krystal Ball, suggest that such purported bias is intended to focus coverage on centrists that don’t challenge the current power structures in the Democratic Party.
According to investigative reporter Lee Fang of The Intercept, MSNBC’s parent company, Comcast, has donated $105,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC), which he claims has “by far” received the most money from the telecommunications conglomerate this campaign cycle.
Fang also noted that MSNBC used its benefit from Donald Trump‘s tax cut to enrich the company further and purchase influence with the president’s administration.
“MSNBC’s parent company used Trump’s tax cut to spend $2.9 billion on stock buy-backs, redirecting its surplus cash to investors,” Fang tweeted. “The company also hired lobbyists to ask the Trump admin to repeal Obama net neutrality regs & limits on ISPs monetizing your browsing history for ads.”
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) previously reported that Comcast is considered a regional monopoly in the areas they operate, which means they do not face competition from other internet services providers. Some Democratic presidential candidates, like Yang — per his policy page — seek to break apart the monopolies held by the current ruling ISPs.
MSNBC's parent company has given $105k to the RNC, by far the biggest recipient of the company's donations this cycle. pic.twitter.com/LrBF0OhrkV— Lee Fang (@lhfang) February 11, 2020
FAIR also pointed out that MSNBC has exhibited a similar affinity for the right even before it was acquired by Comcast.
“It’s notable that even before its acquisition by Comcast, MSNBC had a history of tacking to the right and a distinct reluctance to challenge entrenched corporate interests,” the report reads.
Per The Washington Free Beacon, frequent MSNBC guest Donny Deutsch said last year that he would vote for Trump over a socialist in the Democratic Party.
Deutsch said that while he believes the president is a “reprehensible as a human being,” he also believes a socialist is “more dangerous” to the United States. In response, host Joe Scarborough scolded him and pressured him to walk back his comment.
“No, you won’t,” Scarborough said. “Stop yourself.”
Regardless, both MSNBC and Comcast have faced criticism for their ties to the right and reported bias against certain presidential candidates. In response to an outcry for the network’s repeated exclusion of Yang, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts released a statement on inclusion and diversity. The message was not well-received by the entrepreneur’s supporters, who noted that it did not include an apology.