What Establishment? MSNBC’s Katy Tur Offers Bizarrely Circular Analysis Of Expected Sanders Loss

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We have been discussing the openly hostile treatment of Bernie Sanders on MSNBC by hosts like Rachel Maddow. MSNBC has often been cited with CNN as one of the main voices of the Democratic establishment working against Sanders. On the eve of the all-important Michigan primary, MSNBC was true to form and script with a bizarre question by MSNBC Katy Tur: “Can he continue to blame the establishment if he loses in Michigan?” For those of us who are alarmed by the bias against Sanders by the media and political establishment, the question showed an utter lack of self-awareness. If Sanders loses today, it will come after a concerted effort of virtually every establishment candidate in the country. Why would a loss after such a crushing campaign by the establishment be proof that there was no campaign by the establishment? This does not mean that many voters honestly do not support Sanders’ radical agenda, but Tur’s comments reflects an effort to deny what has been obvious and open in the long-effort to derail Sanders.

I have written about about my unease with the media establishment in its coverage of Sanders, a view strengthened after I visited with Sanders supporters at their massive Ann Arbor rally (here, here, and here). While I disagree with Sanders, I admire the excitement that he had brought to millions, including a huge following of young voters.

Tur’s comments reflect the type scripted coverage that has become the norm for this echo-journalistic age.

“Can he continue to blame the establishment if he loses in Michigan? He said the establishment Democrats have — he said that they pressured Amy Klobuchar, they pressured Pete Buttigieg, although Buttigieg denied it, to drop out of the race and endorse Joe Biden. Can you continue to blame the Democratic establishment if you’re not winning the kind of voters that you said you were gonna win?”

The response from Politico reporter Tim Alberta was “You know, he can try but I think fewer and fewer people are going to buy it, quite frankly.”

For Sanders supporters that I spoke with, there is a feeling of propaganda in such comments. It is certainly detached from any logic. First, the fact that Klobuchar and Buttigieg denied knuckling under to the pressure of the party is obviously predictable and largely meaningless. The point is that there has been an obvious and overwhelming effort of the political and hmedia establishment to derail Sanders, including openly hostile treatment on MSNBC and CNN. A loss today would not be evidence that it did not exist. Rather, a loss would seem to show that the campaign has been successful.

Yet this type of denial has become a mantra on MSNBC, including the recently absurd comment from MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace that “The Democratic establishment did nothing for Joe Biden.” The political establishment is entirely lined up against Sanders and both MSNBC and CNN has been unrelentingly hostile to his campaign for months.

As reflected by Tur’s and Wallace’s comments, the Democratic establishment seems now to be moving to the second phase of this project: to convince voters that it played no role in the demise of Sanders. The muscle play against Sanders has left many of his supporters angry and isolated. The establishment now wants them to serve as foot soldiers for Biden. As I discussed, many are not buying the new spin that that the establishment really did not care if Biden won and did nothing to crush Sanders. It is hard to convince these voters that the bus that just hit them was entirely in their head.

31 thoughts on “What Establishment? MSNBC’s Katy Tur Offers Bizarrely Circular Analysis Of Expected Sanders Loss”

  1. Sanders, Like Trump, Blames Everyone But Himself

    Then on Sunday, Mr. Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” that Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Klobuchar were forced out of the race by party leaders intent on blocking his rise.

    “One of the things I was kind of not surprised by was the power of the establishment to force Amy Klobuchar, who had worked so hard, Pete Buttigieg, who had really worked extremely hard as well, out of the race,” he said, in a remark that managed to unite aides to Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Klobuchar, who spent months in deep political conflict with each other.

    “What was very clear from the media narrative and what the establishment wanted was to make sure that people coalesced around Biden and tried to defeat me,’’ he added. “So that’s not surprising.”

    By Monday in St. Louis, that sentiment was evident among Sanders supporters in the audience.

    “I’m frustrated that a lot of the candidates in the field endorsed Biden,” said Jen McCabe, an information technology saleswoman from Kirkwood, Mo. “I think they gave into D.N.C. and super PAC pressure. We need to get that money out of the primary.”

    Mr. Sanders made his final pitch to Michigan voters on Fox News Monday night, hardly the go-to news source for Democratic primary voters. During a town hall event in Dearborn, Mich., he blamed the news media in general for negative coverage and cited a New York Times article he didn’t like about a trip he made to the Soviet Union to launch a sister city program when he was mayor of Burlington, Vt. “What we need from the media is honesty and respect,” he said.

    Edited From: “The Media.  Young Voters.  Sanders Spreads Blame For His Decline 

    Today’s New York Times 

  2. “The point is that there has been an obvious and overwhelming effort of the political and hmedia establishment to derail Sanders, including openly hostile treatment on MSNBC and CNN. A loss today would not be evidence that it did not exist. Rather, a loss would seem to show that the campaign has been successful.”

    I don’t follow you’re reasoning and I’m loath to side with Katy Tur (Olbermann’s former pin cushion) but Bernie won the primary by 18,000 votes from Hillary in 2016 even with pressure against him from the DNC Establishment that Hillary literally owned. if he loses now, the same circumstances existed as existed in 2016 with the only variable being Joe Biden. To me that means, Biden beat him not that the DNC won.

  3. What’s truly bizarre is the liberals’ enthusiastic support of a decompensating candidate with advancing dementia.

    Yes, the emperor has no clothes!

    1. George, long time, no chat, how goes it? Anything new?

      Yours Truly,

      Dorothy 😉. Your favorite unicorn and fairy tale princess gal pal. 😆😁

        1. And that’s a serious, sincere, non-sarcastic…hope all is well. The rest of it is joking

          1. Write to me when you’ve fulfilled your duty to this nation; that would translate to at least, oh, say seven to ten live births. The American fertility rate is down to 1.6 and falling. The population is imported and America and Americans are vanishing. Women don’t NEEEEEED to vote. Women NEEEEEED to bear children…lots and lots of children. Oh, and properly nurture them for stability, balance, reverence and self-esteem.

  4. Whoever started that is a classic example of Dead Brain Talking. Or they were injected with Mad Dow.

  5. Let’s just state the facts: does ANYONE seriously listen to anything on BSNBC?OMG Nicole Wallace? There is something wrong with her. Seriously wrong. She is unwatchable and noone should listen to anything that comes out of her mouth.

    Same goes for Lawrence O’Donnell. Same goes for the Queen of Russiagater nutjobs, Rachel Madcow. All are unwatchable nut cases. MS LSD is an accurate name for that station.

  6. At least Bernie isn’t hiding from the media/press the way Joe Biden obviously is. Bernie went on Fox News and did a Townhall event yesterday where he took live questions from the audience. What was Joe doing? Joe Biden did a pre-recorded sit down interview with none other than BSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell (stop the hammering!). Anyone know what a nut case O’Donnell is?? Check his record sometime. He’s a nutjob Russiagater who has had to retract more than one looney false statement made on his show. THAT is who Joe Biden chose to do a serious sit down interview with?? Oh Joe, not good. Or as Joe would say, “come on, man!”

  7. Katy Tur was an unknown reporter living in Europe covering who-knows-what before NBC pulled her off that beat to come back to the US to go on the trail covering the Trump campaign which gave her a lot of air time. After the election MSNBC gave Tur her own show. Not bad gig for a know-nothing reporter like Katy Tur. There are other solid reporters and journalists who have commented on how little Katy Tur actually knows, as evidenced by her dumb questions and comments, especially given her position as host of a politics show. Not at all surprising for BSNBC to put someone like her in that position.

  8. This one has always baffled me: who actually is the establishment? Not that I’m saying it doesn’t exist. Some form of it truly does. But honestly, once you get elected, or serve in party activities on any level, you’re basically in the establishment. AOC dancing into her office that first day of the new session was anti establishment until she went through the door…then she was establishment forevermore after.

    So in the case of the Dem establishment is it Wall Street? Is it the “military industrial complex”? Is it big oil? Is it “the Clintons”?

    Not taking anything away from your article, Professor. I agree, MSNBC seems rather horrified of Sanders getting the nomination. But I also see a powerful black movement stepping up in a way not as evident in ’16. And seemingly in deep hatred of being lumped together with “the establishment”.

    Bernie, as front runner coming out of Nevada made a series of bonehead mistakes. And history will probably latch on to the them as being key points where “the establishment forces” flipped their lids. Clearly they saw him making a statement that to the press was taken as a ride or die for Fidel Castro. They saw him just booting the state of Florida as a result. They saw him peace out out on the memorial in Selma in order to campaign in California. They saw him make a statement he wouldn’t use Bloomberg’s money. They saw his surrogates often sounding foolish.

    Not being in the “establishment” myself, I can’t speak for them, but I went from being yeah, looks like it’s Bernie…cool, to yeah somebody might have to take the man’s car keys. And some powerful parts of the base i.e. the older black population in the South have thought Bernie’s been yelling at them since ’16. They don’t trust him not to mouth off in a way that makes it easy to campaign against him. And things coalesced around ‘get Trump the f out with the most likely candidate to be able to do it’. Biden has always led the polls on that question, like it or not.

    Also party insiders haven’t been a huge fan of Bernie mocking Trump’s strategy of trying to get the party nomination with 30% support. They wanted to do what they could to prevent that. Trump is not exactly a juggernaut. He’s got maybe, at tops, forty percent support. But he’s got a whole bunch of money this time around and he’s expected by the Repubs to win. No one, including them, thought Trump was going to win in ’16.

    And clearly the “establishment” is okay with the many downsides to Biden, okay enough to suddenly get behind him. MSNBC has a point by saying Biden was broke until South Carolina…he was. Not huge amounts of support. But they also saw Mayor Pete was struggling with black support. So was Elizabeth Warren. And Liz Warren is a girl besides..

    So it goes. One thing in the realm of unintended consequences I find awesome is that Clyburn is coming out of this with a whole bunch of power in the party. Let’s see how the Dems handle that. Eyes are on them. I’m sure this enrages a few of the white nationalists on this blog. Looking forward to the tantrums!!

  9. Americans have been given a voice since President Donald Trump was elected, and oh how the white privileged anarchists hate it. In truth the Dem establishment and their sycophants are not pro-choice or free speech particularly when it undermines their will. Why do they not commit harikari as their ultimate show of principles?



    Friday, March 6 Scoreboard:
    Tucker Carlson Was No. 1 in Adults 25-54
    Sean Hannity No. 1 in Total Viewers

    25-54 demographic (Live+SD x 1,000):
    Total Day: FNC: 333 | CNN: 199 | MSNBC: 177
    Prime: FNC: 437 | CNN: 241 | MSNBC: 275

    Total Viewers (Live+SD x 1,000):
    Total Day: FNC: 2.044 | CNN: 815 | MSNBC: 1.235
    Prime: FNC: 3.112 | CNN: 1.021 | MSNBC: 1.871

    1. @mikeesposito:

      You say that “Americans have been given a voice since President Donald Trump was elected…”

      In your dreams. Trump, like any practiced demagogue, knows how to push your social-issue hot buttons, and you squeal out like a child’s squeaky toy does when squeezed. Mealwhile, while you’re distracted by that, or alternatively, caught up in an unfettered-capitalism social-Darwinistic idealogical love-fest, he and his minions have been looting the country, for himself and his friends and his backers. When/if you finally wake up, you’ll find that there is nothing worthwhile left in this country — no infrastructure, no sense of common good, no social cohesion, and guess what, ultimately no patriotism amongst most of the people, because there won’t be enough worthwhile left to justify being patriotic about.

      1. In your dreams. Trump, like any practiced demagogue, knows how to push your social-issue hot buttons,

        One thing I’ve discovered about the intelligentsia is that they can seldom tell the difference between actual knowledge and the prejudices of their social circle.

  10. Prof. Turley, like Trump, complaint about Sanders’ treatment because they would prefer a Trump-Sanders matchup in the fall. It is not the “establishment” that is voting for Joe Biden, but the rank and file democrats, most of whom are moderate. Establishment voters unite!

  11. While their fear of Bernie shows at least MSNBC is not as “fair and balanced” as trump news, oh wait that is faux not the news, faux propaganda. The show that makes people even dumber than they were. The demoRat corporate blue dawg elites are afraid of FDR, the man that saved America and capitalism at the same time. The Democrat Party was the party of FDR until the Clintons came along and destroyed it. Bernie is no more than a modern FDR yet the establishment fears him.

    Ok, the blue dawgs win again and the result will be the same as when they put Clinton in. That should make all the supporters of fascism on here happy, until they wake up and realize it has bit them in the ass and isn’t letting go. Can you say 3rd world banana republic, get used to it.

  12. Yes, the Demicratic establishment and the mainstream mudia have had it in against Sanders. Not sure, though, that all of the politicians dropping out of the race and endorsing Biden are doing so due to DNC pressure. Equally probable is that they are angling to be chosen as VP, or for a cabinet post. Both factors may be operating.

    Biden’s cognitive problems should disqualify him, but instead are strangely appropriate to the current situation. Just what a country in serious decline needs — a president also in serious mental decline, either cognitive decline in Biden’s case, or a combination of cognitive and mental stability decline, in the case of Trump. (But with Trump there has long been a significant attention deficit (to put it charitably), plus sometimes hard to tell stability problems from just being an a-hole, so his decline is perhaps less obvious). My guess is that both Trump and Biden are likely being propped-up with liberal (no pun intended) doses, perhaps even full-time via infusion pump, of a veritable “cocktail” of caffeine, amphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin, Aricept, and more.


    Of course, none of those drugs, individually or in combination, is a true substitute for cognitive capabilities, and will likely become increasingly ineffective over the course of the four years of the next presidential term of office. So expect increasingly poor, crazy, and dangerous decisions, whether Trump or Biden holds the office.

    No small matter, in fact extremely serious, given that the president could unleash nuclear annihilation or economic ruin, but that mostly pertains to the future.

    While Sanders’ treatment by the Democratic establishment and the mass media are the most objectionable issues to me (and something I won’t forget), still high up on my objectionables list is the “cognitive deficit” of the public and the mainstream media regarding the actual established facts of the actions of Biden, Clinton, Bloomberg, Trump, and countless others in the past, across a range of areas but most notably with regard to them enabling or supporting the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I think future historians will consider that episode of military adventurism to be a major turning point for the worse in the decline and fall of the United States. But there has been no recent mention in the mainstream media, even in passing, of the role of those politicians with regard to Iraq.

    1. ” are likely being propped-up with liberal (no pun intended) doses, perhaps even full-time via infusion pump, of a veritable “cocktail” of caffeine, amphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin, Aricept, and more.”

      and commenters like you……you gotta be inclusive ya know because diversity is our strength

    2. a very boring and somewhat incoherent comment from bio except for this gem, which penetrated my ADD brainfog:

      “amphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin”

      isn’t that kind of redundant?

      I mean if you have a dose of one, what’s the point of dosing another at the same time.

      1. @Mr Kurtz

        Actually, “amphetamine” and Adderall are not exactly the same:

        From Wikipedia:

        “Amphetamine properly refers to a specific chemical, the racemic free base, which is equal parts of the two enantiomers, levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, in their pure amine forms.”

        In contrast, Adderall is a combination of four different amphetamine salts, and with a 3:1 ratio of the “D” and “L” forms.

        Granted, “the term [amphetamine] is frequently used informally to refer to any combination of the enantiomers, or to either of them alone.”

        Does the ratio or the salt chemistry make any biological difference? Here, probably nothing that couldn’t be compensated for by a change in dosage. Often, the “fine-tuning” of medication chemistry or combination formulations is primarily to allow new patent protections or commercial differentiation. You know, your favorite, unfettered capitalism! Convince the rubes that an insignificant difference is actually “so much better”, and worth paying for.

        And actually, that attempt at differentiation can be quite dangerous for the patient, particularly with the plethora of psych meds available, because they will sometimes take multiple medications that might be slightly different but actually operate on the same biological pathway, or to the same physiological effect. It happens — perhaps prescribed by different physicians, or left over from a previous use, or sometimes even prescribed by one physician with insufficient knowledge of pharmacology and too much influenced by pharmaceutical advertising — and can result in ODs.

  13. Not to be picky, but what does this statement really mean, “While I disagree with Sanders, I admire the excitement that he had brought to millions, including a huge following of young voters. ”

    Huh??? So the author disagrees with Sanders, and thinks his policies are bad for the country, yet dissociates the supporters of Sanders from those policies and focuses on their enthusiasm as if that were something good in and of itself.

    It is not that I haven’t heard that analysis applied to Trump supporters ala “I disagree with Trump, but I admire the enthusiasm of the deplorables” but more that I find it hard to admire “enthusiasm” divorced from what the “enthusiasm” is about.

    I mean I guess one could say, “While I disagree with Hitler, I admire the excitement he brought to millions, including a huge following of Hitler Youth!” And true, the Hilter Youth soldiers were pretty darn good little soldiers, yet. . .

    Maybe this is more of a hearkening back to those heady days of the 60s and 70s when college students with a semester or two history and political science under their belt marched out into the streets thinking they had the answer to all the worlds problems! Yeah, because nothing says wisdom like being too young to legally buy alcohol. I mean a bunch of young twerps who never raised a child to maturity, never held a 40 hour a week job for decades, never made their own house payments, never paid their own utility bills, never were in a married relationship for decades – yes, to those people legalizing pot and Free Sex seemed like wonderful ideas!

    No. When kids march in the street and tell you how to run the world, what you get is Childishness writ large.Think Great Thunberg here. If you doubt this, and you have kids, then start letting them advise you how to live and how to conduct your finances. If you do not trust your own kids, perhaps you can find a 9 year-old trans child to advise you. . . 🙂

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky:
      “While I disagree with stachey little Adolph, I admire the excitement that he had brought to millions, including a huge following of young voters. ”
      I beliece Churchill said it. This lookalike Bernie was in Ann Arbor too, I think:

  14. The scary thing is that they have a platform, a vehicle, a means to influence Americans, which is why the Dem establishment needs them.

    If it were for the sake of truth, honor, principles, the Dem Party would be DOA. That anyone defends them is proof cults are alive and well in our “enlightened” society.

    Coranavirus looks like a godsend ala plague of locusts.

  15. I agree that MSNBC is liberal advocacy taken to an ugly extreme for a “news” medium. But I’m trying to remember – has Prof Turley ever criticized Fox News? Fox is the nadir of news “reporting.”

    1. He doesn’t criticize Fox News, the number 1 rated news media in the nation going on 4 years, because if he did, you would leave us forever and deprive us of your excrement all over the pages. Thus we have you again and again because he wants to remind us there is intellectual inquiry and then there is diarrhea of the keyboard

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