If anyone is more skeptical of the mainstream liberal media than conservatives, it’s supporters of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. They correctly perceive that the corporate media is lined up against Sanders and his populist movement, and they more or less correctly understand the reasons for it. It’s the same reason these networks and newspapers are aligned against Republicans: The establishment Democratic Party demands it. And since all of these corporate liberals work in concert with each other, the NBCs and Washington Posts of the world are (nearly) as happy trashing Sanders as they are trashing Donald Trump.
All that said, the media’s antipathy for Bernie doesn’t automatically mean that everything they say about the man is false. Indeed, it’s easy to see that, because the Democratic Party mainstream is not that far to the right of Bernie’s agenda in the first place, the media seldom goes after the Sanders ideology. How could they? Instead, they dwell on thinkpieces that speculate on Bernie’s electability, his sexism, and his grumpy approach to politics. This, the Sanders Army – the Bernie Bros, if you will – can take. Well, they at least accept that it’s the way things are.
But when someone in the liberal media actually acknowledges that this guy Sanders is a socialist whackadoo whose plans for the United States would lead to unmitigated disaster? Well, that’s where the Bernie Bros draw the line.
And so it was that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suddenly finds himself staring at the trending hashtag #FireChrisMatthews on Twitter: He went out there on television and told the truth about Sanders and his failed beliefs.
“The Democratic Party has to figure out its ideology,” Matthews said on his show Friday night. “A lot of this will be sorting this out if the Democratic Party runs a socialist candidate. That’s a change to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party’s been to the left of the Republican Party on the issue of mixed capitalism, more social programs. They push Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, enormously popular programs. I think ACA/Obamacare, I wish they’d follow through with it, make it work. I think most Americans would be happy with a public option.”
Despite loving the socialism-lite that Democrats have been pushing since before Obama, Matthews said he had a big problem with a guy pushing the ideology.
“I have my own views of the word socialist, and I’ll be glad to share them with you in private. They go back to the early 1950s, I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War,” he said. “I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe if Castro and the reds had won the Cold War, there would have been executions in Central Park, and I might have been one of the ones getting executed, and certain other people would have been there cheering.
“So I have a problem with people who took the other side,” he said. “I don’t know who Bernie supports over these years. I don’t know what he means by socialism.”
Later in the show, Matthews asked: “What does he think of Castro?”
Sanders superfans like Shaun King and Krystal Ball might be miffed that Matthews is asking these kinds of questions on air, but this is a rare example of the liberal media actually doing its job. You can draw all the distinctions you want between “democratic” socialism and its more sinister namesake, but where does Bernie himself draw the line?
His history of supporting the Soviet Union, Venezuela, and, yes, Communist Cuba does not exactly clarify the matter in his favor.