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Speaking to Vanity Fair, Faiz Shakir revealed that he had “approached” MSNBC president Phil Griffin, recalling from the exchange, “We watched a ton of terrible coverage occurring and we thought we’d at least try to address it.”
Supporters of the Sanders campaign have been quite vocal with their complaints towards MSNBC in recent weeks, with anchor Chuck Todd being repeatly named. Todd raised eyebrows for asking how Sanders is “considered a frontrunner” despite his victory in New Hampshire and his surge in the polls and was slammed for suggesting that Sanders supporters were a “digital brownshirt brigade,” which was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
“It’s been a struggle to change the tone and the tenor of the coverage that we receive,” Shakir told Vanity Fair. “They’ve been among the last to acknowledge that Bernie Sanders’s path to the nomination is real, and even when it’s become real, they frequently discount it.”
It’s not just the Sanders campaign that has had issues with MSNBC. A New Hampshire voter told the network directly that she voted for the Vermont senator because its coverage made her “angry.”
“You can feel the disdain they have for Bernie Sanders’s supporters,” Shakir explained. “It’s a condescending attitude: ‘Oh, they must not be that intelligent. They’re being deluded. They’re being conned. They’re all crazy Twitter bots.’ My view is that there’s a bit of detachment from MSNBC and the people who this campaign gets support from. It feels like they’re covering progressives from an elitist perspective.”
Shakir told Vanity Fair that Fox News has been “more fair than MSNBC.”
“That’s saying something,” he elaborated. “Fox is often yelling about Bernie Sanders’s socialism, but they’re still giving our campaign the opportunity to make our case in a fair manner, unlike MSNBC, which has credibility with the left and is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign.”
He also complimented CNN for its hiring of former Sanders 2016 aide Alexandra Rojas as a contributor.