This morning Guy Benson pointed out some feedback he got from Bernie Bros after he appeared on Fox News:
After that Fox segment, Bernie Bros already polluting my timeline with stuff like this — plus seething hatred of Israel. Can’t wait to tell even more truth for 3 hours on the radio today. pic.twitter.com/epmmb1hjKe
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 24, 2020
This sort of thing has become routine for Sanders critics no matter how many times Sanders himself claims his supporters wouldn’t or shouldn’t behave this way. Today the Independent published a story about the Bernie Bros and where they are taking their cues. According to several people interviewed, it’s coming from the tone of Sanders’ campaign:
“That’s the tone that has been set by campaign leadership,” said one Democratic strategist, a Bernieworld veteran. He pointed to the campaign’s frequent use of email fundraising solicitations which warn supporters that the “establishment” is trying to keep a rigged system in place by stopping Sanders’ candidacy.
Gun control activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in the Parkland shooting, has been targeted by both Trump supporters and Bernie Bros. He says the latter are worse and are taking their cues from Sanders’ top staffers:
“There are people in this campaign who operate in a very uncivil way… they’re relentless,” he said. In particular, he said three of the most frequent ringleaders from whom Sanders’ online mobs take their cues are national campaign co-chair and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, national press secretary Briahna Gray, and speechwriter David Sirota…
“I used to say the Bernie supporters were just like Trump’s supporters, but I was wrong — they’re worse,” he said. “They’re more confrontational and they’re more aggressive.”
Shireen Mitchell leads a group which tracks online harassment campaigns. She was upset with Sanders’ attempt to blame the bad behavior of his own supporters on a Russian bots.
“He denied everything in 2016, and then all of a sudden he wants to save 2020 when it’s actually his staff who are participating in these activities? Right,” she said, with more than a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“Everybody’s not doing it. They [the Sanders campaign] are doing it and they think it’s acceptable, and so they project it onto everybody else’s campaign.”
Mitchell pointed to a recent tweet by Briahna Gray in which she claimed the “Bernie Bro smear is racist erasure.” In essence, if you talk about the bad behavior of Sanders’ supporters, you’re racist:
The “Bernie Bro” smear is racist erasure. Use it, and you’re complicit. It’s that simple. https://t.co/0op9KCZTXK
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) February 17, 2020
Briahna Gray is the Sanders spokesperson who went on CNN last week and claimed Mike Bloomberg has suffered heart attacks. She later corrected the record on Twitter but never apologized for the false attack.
The story quotes a Democratic activist who says Bernie knows exactly what is happening online in his name:
“Bernie knows exactly what’s happening,” the activist said. “And his campaign is in the loop about this coordinated viciousness.”
Another “veteran Sanders operative” told the Independent, “That’s been the tone that is set by the campaign leadership. And broadly speaking, I don’t think the Senator has a problem with that.”
Sanders has already denounced bad behavior by his excitable fans several times during this campaign. How many more times will he get a pass before the rest of the media realizes the campaign is directing this and encouraging it?