Readers of this site have a pretty good idea where we all stand on pretty much everything, but in case you're new, I have consistently written that I believe Hillary Clinton to be the better Democratic candidate for president, although I have great admiration, affection, and respect for Bernie Sanders as well, but I also write honestly and unflinchingly about each candidate's shortcomings and/or assets.
That said, the disparity between how Hillary and Bernie were treated on MSNBC Thursday and Friday was absurd. In a somewhat stunning reversal of the norm, Hillary Clinton was granted the softest interview she's ever likely to get from someone not named Chelsea, while Sanders was literally hollered at for 15 minutes by Chris Matthews.
Sanders did an hour-long town hall special with Chris Matthews Thursday night, and questioning there went beyond adversarial and into sneering derisiveness that was just this side of abusive. For good measure, it was also wholly unproductive. Here are the "highlights":
Now, there are ways and there are ways to conduct a “tough” interview, but spending 14 minutes stuck in the same ditch while you yell at a guy is just a waste of everyone’s time. Whether you like Bernie’s answer or you don’t, it shouldn’t take any grown adult fourteen minutes to get it to sink in. Sanders seemed to grasp this as well, because in the highlight of the interview, he finally loses patience with Matthews, gets it back, and loses it again. I love the way he winds up lowering his voice to a near-whisper, as if he’s calming an excited toddler:
Sanders: I have to say this respectfully. You’re a nice guy. You’re missing the point, all right? You’re missing the point. If you look at politics today as a zero sum total, if you’re looking at 63% of the American people not voting, 80% of the young people not voting, billionaires buying elections, you’re right. I’m not looking at that world.
Matthews: How is that going to change the day you’re in office? You won’t have a Supreme Court on your side. You need 60 votes.
Sanders: We’re going around in circles.
Seriously, Matthews says "60 votes" more often than Berniacs say "1963." I seriously expected Bernie to slap the taste out of Matthews' flapping maw.
It amazes me that in all that time, neither of them got around to mentioning that if there really were to be a revolutionary mobilization around Sanders’ message, then there would be 60 votes, since the best way voters can affect a political revolution is by, y’know, voting. I’d find both Democratic candidates’ messages a lot more compelling if they would at least ask for a majority, instead of imagining one or another kind of Jedi magic.
Matthews' treatment of Sanders can't be chalked up to Matthews being Matthews, especially when you consider how he's treated Trump. Whichever candidate you prefer, you should want them both to be treated fairly, and this was not that.