Johnson — who has frequently been critical of Sanders on MSNBC — made the controversial comments during an appearance on SiriusXM’s The Karen Hunter Show. He began by claiming that “racist white liberals” support Sanders and accused the Vermont Sen. of having done “nothing for intersectionality.”
Johnson then attacked the African American women who work for Sanders’ campaign.
“I don’t care how many people from the island of misfit black girls you throw out there to defend you.”
Johnson’s comments — like many of his others in the past — drew criticism from many. Notably, Sanders’ national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray slammed the MSNBC pundit on Twitter and accused him of “open racism and sexism,” which she said was “disappointing” but “not surprising” to hear from him.
Johnson is regularly featured on the network’s high-profile programs like Morning Joe, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House, and The 11th Hour. He has notably provided commentary on the impeachment trial and the Democratic presidential debates. However, he notably did not appear on-air for the coverage of last week’s Nevada caucuses.
As reported by The Washington Post, Sanders and his allies have been critical of MSNBC’s coverage of his campaign, which In These Times reported is frequently negative. Recently, MSNBC host Chris Matthews compared Sanders’ Nevada win to Nazi Germany’s invasions of France in World War II, which sparked pushback from the Sanders’ campaign communications director, Mike Casca.
“Never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a Jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the Nazis to the Third Reich but here we are.”
“Elizabeth Warren has more individual donors than Bernie Sanders” is a blatant lie by @DrJasonJohnson.— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) February 6, 2020
I know we make fun of this guy a lot for his bird-brained takes but this is different.
It is an irrefutable lie. He is lying.
This is a lie. pic.twitter.com/OQfkrplSp0
Anand Giridharadas, a regular MSNBC pundit, was also critical of Matthews and suggested that Sanders’ revolution does not meet the “mental models” of such pundits.
Criticism of Matthews’ comment eventually pushed him to make an on-air apology on his show, Hardball.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, MSNBC’s coverage of anti-establishment candidates like Sanders, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard has come under criticism before. During an episode of The Hill’s Rising, co-host Krystal Ball, a former MSNBC contributor, noted the network’s bias of such candidates and also accused it of devoting its time to propping up Bush-era neoconservative Republicans.
Ball also pointed to the previously mentioned In These Times report that revealed that Sanders not only gets less coverage compared to other candidates, but his air-time is more negative coverage as well.