Actor and left-wing activist John Cusack urged his more than 1.5 million Twitter followers on Saturday to boycott MSNBC over what he suggests is the network’s unfair coverage of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“To be clear MSNBC, you did this to yourself, no one made you parade neocons [and] neoliberal pundits to slander [and] smear a people’s movement that you KNOW is not radical but a return to FDR politics,” Cusack wrote on social media along with the hashtag #BoycottMSNBC.
Be clear MSNBC
You did this to yourself no one made you parade neocons & neoliberal pundits to slander & smear a people’s movement that you KNOW is not radical but a return to FDR politics @BobSmith4152: I'll just leave this here. #BoycottMSNBC pic.twitter.com/NsIdnbfthT”
— John Cusack (@johncusack) November 24, 2019
Cusack’s post included a video that featured a message reading “MSNBC Has a Problem With Bernie Sanders” and a montage of clips from prominent MSNBC news anchors, including Chris Matthews, Stephanie Ruhle, and Chuck Todd, mocking the Democratic socialist lawmaker and his bid for the presidency.
Interestingly, Cusack’s call for an MSNBC boycott comes the same day that Democratic presidential hopeful and entrepreneur Andrew Yang also called for a boycott over the network’s seemingly unfair treatment of his own candidacy.
“Was asked to appear on [MSNBC] this weekend — and told them that I’d be happy to after they apologize on-air, discuss and include our campaign consistent with our polling, and allow surrogates from our campaign as they do other candidates,” Yang wrote on Twitter. “They think we need them. We don’t.”
Yang doubled down on his demand for an apology days later and explained during an appearance on rival network CNN that MSNBC has treated him unfairly both during the Democratic National Committee’s presidential debates and in their continuous campaign coverage throughout the primary season.
“Americans tuned in the debate earlier this week and they saw I got called on less than any other candidate including candidates that I am polling higher than and the questions I did get had virtually nothing to do with the core ideas of my campaign,” Yang said. “And if this were an isolated incident that would be one thing, but if you go back over the last number of months, MSNBC has literally omitted me from over a dozen fundraising and polling graphics.”
While Sanders and his campaign have not specifically singled out MSNBC in the past, they have been critical of how the media as a whole has been treating his presidential run.
In August, the Bernie campaign railed against supposed media bias, contending that the corporate media is writing them off.
“The undiscriminating coverage of polls that fit existing narratives is certainly an issue that all of us need to be aware of,” Jeff Weaver, one of Sanders’s top aides, told reporters. “Headline after headline declaring that the Sanders campaign is over.”
Accordingly, Sanders created his campaign’s own in-house livestream show, aptly titled “The 99,” as an outlet to get his unfiltered message to supporters.
“We are doing these livestreams, we are talking to you directly,” Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said at the time. “One of the reasons is while we appreciate our friends in the elite media, they don’t often cover the issues that truly matter to working Americans.”