The hashtag #FireChuckTodd was trending on Twitter overnight as the MSNBC anchor faced a social media backlash for quoting a column that described Bernie Sanders supporters as a “digital brownshirt brigade.”
During a Monday segment on the New Hampshire primary taking place today, Todd complained about being on the “receiving end of the Bernie online brigade” before quoting an article by Jonathan Last in The Bulwark that likened supporters of the Jewish candidate to Nazi paramilitaries.
His decision to quote the conservative outlet outraged supporters of the Vermont senator, who took up the #FireChuckTodd hashtag and described the segment as “indefensible.”
Hosting a panel discussion on MSNBC yesterday, Todd said: “I want to bring up something that Jonathan Last put in the Bulwark today, and it was about how—and Ruth we’ve all been on the receiving end of the Bernie online brigade.
“Here’s what he says: ‘No other candidate has anything like this sort of digital brownshirt brigade. I mean, except for Donald Trump. The question no one is asking is this: What if you can’t win the presidency without an online mob?’
“‘What if we now live in a world where having a bullying, agro social media army running around popping anyone who sticks their head up is either an important ingredient for, or a critical marker of, success?'”
After he finished quoting Last’s column for the Bulwark, his fellow MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell simply said “wow,” and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus later said the passage he read was “really depressing.”
“I know everybody’s freaking out about this, but you saw the MAGA rally that’s preparing around here,” Todd said. “There are people coming from three or four states on that. This is like Bernie.”
Responding to the clip of Todd quoting the Bulwark column on Monday evening, Sanders’ speechwriter David Sirota tweeted: “MSNBC seems very frightened that ordinary voters, many of whom use the Internet, may actually get to participate in deciding who wins the presidency.”
Senator Sanders’ national press secretary Briahna Gray also weighed in against Todd’s remarks, saying he had shown “contempt” for ordinary people.
She tweeted: “‘Digital brown shirt brigade.’ That’s how our Jewish candidate’s supporters are being described on the MSM. The contempt shown for ordinary people is really something.”
Using the #FireChuckTodd hashtag, Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman said Todd’s segment was “indefensible.”
“As a fellow Jew who’s aware half of Bernie’s family was murdered in the holocuast, he knows better,” Perelman tweeted. “We’re not Nazis. God, the MSM makes me sick & we’re just getting started.”
The Pushback podcast host Aaron Maté posted: “In addition to #FireChuckTodd — #WhyDidYouHireChuckTodd?”
Newsweek has contacted MSNBC for comment and will update this article with any response.
At the time of writing, the #FireChuckTodd hashtag is seventh in the U.S. Twitter trending charts with round 24,000 tweets using the phrase.
February 11, 2020 at 03:20PM