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Supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign criticized CNN and host Michael Smerconish over a Saturday segment which compa...

Supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign criticized CNN and host
Michael Smerconish over a Saturday segment which compared his campaign's rise
to that of the coronavirus spreading across the globe.
Members of the Sanders campaign and his supporters demanded an apology from
CNN and Smerconish after a segment used the chyron, "Can Either Coronavirus or
 Bernie Sanders Be Stopped?" Smerconish was also criticized by Sanders backers
 for not pushing back after Pressley Stutts, Chairman of the Greenville, South Carolina
 Tea Party, described the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner as a "communist."
Sanders campaign national co-chairman Nina Turner later confronted CNN on-the-air
during host Ana Cabrera's program, ridiculing both the chyron and the classification
of Sanders as a communist.
"One of your colleagues on this station compared Senator Sanders' rise and the rise
of his movement to that of the coronavirus and you were just highlighting how important
 that is and dangerous it is and also allow somebody to come on this station and
compare Senator Sanders to his belief in democratic socialism to communism,"
Turner said. Cabrera responded by saying she can't speak for the hosts of other
CNN programs.

One @ninaturner called out @cnn on @AnaCabrera’s shift for @smerconish’s shameful question comparison of “Bernie Sanders rise to the spread of the Coronavirus wise.”

Suffice to say, Cabrera was very nervous of that justified criticism.

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Last week, MSNBC was accused of being overly biased against Sanders after
host Chris Matthews made a World War II comparison he later apologized for.
But CNN was also criticized by Sanders supporters this week, particularly after
the network fact-checked an entire speech the senator gave at the University of
Houston, labeling three of his claims "false" and 18 "mostly true." Six others
could not be verified.
Smerconish's Saturday CNN show focused on a mix of politics and America's first
deadly case of coronavirus being confirmed by Washington state health officials.
Critics accused his "Can either coronavirus or Bernie Sanders be stopped?"
chyron of being anti-Semitic and a juxtaposition of Jewish stereotypes.
"Shame on you @CNN and @smerconish for your lead story's headline, comparing
 @BernieSanders to the Coronavirus," responded Muslim-American activist and
 Fast-a-thon co-founder Tarek El-Messidi.
"Here is @cnn's @smerconish casually linking Corona Virus and @BernieSanders
in the same sentence. Unreal," tweeted Status Coup journalist and founder
Jordan Chariton. Chariton also shared a brief clip of Smerconish's show.
On Friday, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly appeared to make a similar metaphorical
comparison between the rise of Sanders' popularity and the disease. "The truth
about the coronavirus is very important. Also, the emergence of Bernie Sanders
as a threat to our freedom ... listen to my conversation with Glenn Beck about these
 two issues. It is worth your time," O'Reilly tweeted.
Smerconish had initially used the coronavirus analogy to point out that it's a challenge
to Trump's presidency - something the president himself has accused Democrats
and the news media of doing by "weaponizing" coverage of the disease. "Thankfully
for [Trump] and the nation, absent during his tenure has been any national or
 international crisis. That's now changed. As coronavirus spreads, it places the
 president under a microscope while managing a crisis," Smerconish said on the
"I guess comparing Bernie Sanders to Coronavirus is better than comparing his
victory in Nevada to the fall of occupied France, right?" quipped journalist Richard
 Lewis, referencing MSNBC host Chris Matthews making that Sanders comparison
- and later apologizing - last week.

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