Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish was criticized Saturday after introducing a segment by comparing the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders to the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: CNN / Screengrab)

CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish was criticized Saturday after introducing a segment by comparing the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders to the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo: CNN / Screengrab)

CNN Host Michael Smerconish Rebuked for Comparing Sanders Surge to Spread of Coronavirus

"Nice to wake up to discover that CNN is giving a platform to the idea that the left is a disease. That's never led to anything bad happening before."

Jon Queally

Radio personality and CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish came under fire Saturday morning—along with the network—for "casually" portraying the surging prospects of Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders as comparable to the threat of the infectious coronavirus which continues to spread in the United States and around the world.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders' campaign manager, said he just had "to laugh at their foolish panic," but others said it was just the latest example of a snide and potentially dangerous attack by a member of the corporate media's pundit class that remains antagonistic towards the Democratic primary's most progressive candidate.

Watch:

The comments come as South Carolina voters head to the polls in the last of the fourth single-day early voting states and three days before Super Tuesday on March 3.

Author and activist Naomi Klein, who endorsed Sanders last year, said the remarks by Smerconish signal an incredibly dangerous manner of thinking:

Later in his show, Smerconish interviewed Pressley Stutts, the chair of the Greenville Tea Party in South Carolina, who falsely claimed Sanders is a communist and then called his supporters "skulls full of mush." Notably, observers pointed out, the CNN host did not push back on either comment.

With Sanders running as the first Jewish candidate with a very serious chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, Ruben Chandrasekar, executive director of the International Rescue Committee, agreed with others who warned that comparing Bernie's surging campaign to a disease has serious and worrisome anti-Semitic undertones.

"Smerconish comparing the spread of coronavirus to movement leading the Sanders campaign is tone deaf at best,' Chandrasekar tweeted from his personal account in response to the clip. ⁦He said journalist David Doel, who hosts the TRN Show on YouTube, was "right to point out to the historically racist tropes comparing Jews to viruses. ⁦CNN⁩ must apologize."

Following Smerconish's comments, Doel posted a short video in response in which said the remarks were "crazy" and "absurd," and that even though he first laughed when he saw them, the implications of the segment are very serious.

Watch:

"This is indefensible," argued Doel. "If this happened to any other candidate it would be a big deal, but the fact that it happened to the Jewish candidate in the race, makes it completely ridiculous, absurd, and stunning."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

After Getting 'Stealth Bailout' During Pandemic, US Corporations Try to Kill Proposed Tax Hikes

"When it's time to finally put workers first, big businesses are spending millions to maintain their advantage and preserve the status quo," said Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Disgraceful': Just 9 Republicans Join With Dems to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

The vote "reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen" since Trump took control as GOP's de facto leader, said one pro-democracy advocate.

Jon Queally ·


Top Dem Calls on Biden to Toss Legally 'Erroneous' Trump Memo and Ratify Equal Rights Amendment

The renewed push comes nearly 50 years after Congress passed the amendment.

Andrea Germanos ·


'Historic Victory': US Judge Rules Guantánamo Detainee's Imprisonment Illegal

"This is a landmark ruling. For 20 years, successive U.S. administrations have asserted their right to imprison people indefinitely, without charge or trial."

Brett Wilkins ·


Lancet Report Warns Planetary Crisis Will Spur More Infectious Diseases, Climate Refugees

While raising alarm about an "increasingly extreme and unpredictable environment," experts emphasize that "the world is faced with an unprecedented opportunity to ensure a healthy future for all."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo