- The MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews compared Sanders’ victory in Nevada to the Nazi invasion of France.
- It sparked calls over the weekend for his resignation as the hashtag #FireChrisMatthews trended on Twitter.
- Matthews’ comments came less than two weeks after the MSNBC host Chuck Todd quoted a conservative column on the air that likened supporters to “brownshirts.”
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The MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews compared the victory of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France, triggering calls on social media over the weekend for his resignation.
The hashtag “#FireChrisMatthews” trended on Twitter after Matthews made the analogy on the air Saturday, saying it represented a disaster for the Democratic Party.
“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said on MSNBC. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says: ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’ So I had that suppressed feeling.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens Sanders victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany overrunning France in 1940: “It’s too late to stop him … it’s over” pic.twitter.com/6GJetLoDkq
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 22, 2020
The comparison to the Nazi victory over France sparked an onslaught of criticism on Twitter calling for the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” to be fired.
Several users noted that some relatives of Sanders, who is Jewish, were killed in the Holocaust:
This is where Heather Heyer was killed by an actual Nazi in 2017 in Charlottesville. There are real Nazis today. Bernie is Jewish and his family was also killed by actual Nazis. #FireChrisMathews, #FireChuckTodd and anyone one who can’t tell the difference. pic.twitter.com/8uep7qLi6g
— Michele Gray (@mgrayrose) February 23, 2020
Criticism also came from the Sanders campaign’s communications director, Mike Casca.
“Never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich,” Casca tweeted. “But here we are.”
never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich.
but here we are. https://t.co/2G1bqZ6bkI
— mike casca (@cascamike) February 22, 2020
Others like the MSNBC political analyst Anand Giridharadas called for the media to be more introspective and even-keeled in its analysis of politics and elections:
“Why is Chris Matthews on this air talking about the victory [of] Bernie Sanders, who had kin murdered in the Holocaust, and analogizing it to the Nazi conquest of France?” Giridharadas said. “The people who are stuck in an old way of thinking … are missing what is happening.”
The Sanders campaign and MSNBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The remarks from Matthews come only less than two weeks after the MSNBC host Chuck Todd cited a conservative column on air that likened Sanders’ online supporters to “brown shirts.” That also sparked calls for his resignation with the hashtag #FireChuckTodd, Newsweek reported.
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