By Sam Dorman
Published November 26, 2019
"[T]he network is absolutely shameless in the way that it covers the 3 anti-establishment candidates, Bernie [Sanders], Tulsi [Gabbard], and [Andrew] Yang," she said, according to The Hill. She was referring to three of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for 2020.
"Every interview with Tulsi must include the obligatory 'Assad apologist' question and conspiracies about her running third party or being a Russian asset abound. In These Times [magazine] recently did an analysis of Bernie's primetime coverage on the network and found that he is mentioned one-third as often as Biden and far more negatively than any other candidate."
She also complained that outside of host Steve Kornacki, the network "never took" Sanders seriously "or covered him like a real challenge to Hillary" in 2016.
Her comments came after MSNBC faced broad criticism on Twitter over the way it treated Yang before this month's Democratic debate, complete with the trending hashtag #MSNBCFearsYang. Yang's camp claimed the network excluded Yang from multiple pre-debate graphics while the candidate himself complained about the amount of questions he received during the debate.
On Saturday, Yang tweeted that he wouldn't appear on MSNBC until the network apologized on-air.
"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’," he said. "They think we need them. We don’t."
According to Ball, the incident with Yang highlighted "a fissure that's been a long time coming. MSNBC has officially lost the left."
She added that NBC News President Andy Lack decided to "ditch the liberal lean of the network" in 2015 and add a slew of "Bush-era necons." She specifically mentioned MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, who previously served as Communications Director under former President George W. Bush.
"This lineup change positioned them perfectly for their current Trump era incarnation where they are essentially a mouthpiece of the national security state, purveyors of the elite-approved critique of Trump centering around his unseemly personality and disrespect for 'norms,' and a bastion of the discredited neoliberal establishment," she said.
Ball also took on personalities whom she said reflexively opposed Trump while supporting Republicans who opposed him.
"There is nothing intellectual or principled or progressive about simply reflexively opposing Trump and worshiping the Republicans who oppose him when they have never reckoned with their own role from deregulation to zombie Reaganism to the Iraq war that helped create this mess," she said.
"The one thing they all have in common, the neoliberals and wealthy executives and Bush neo-cons, is a vested interest in pretending that everything was fine before Trump and everything will be fine again after Trump."