#FireChrisHayes is trending on Twitter right now. On his program last night, the MSNBC prime-time host covered a story outlining allegations of sexual harassment against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by former Senate staff assistant Tara Reade, much to the chagrin of many of his loyal viewers.
“Throughout the entire ‘Me Too’ era there have been movements … when we have heard about accusations against someone that we find ourselves desperately wanting not to believe,” Hayes said during the broadcast. “But part of the difficult lesson of the ‘Me Too’ era is not that every accusation is true and everything should be believed on its face, but that you do have to fight, yourself, when you feel that impulse.”
The host pointed out that this phenomenon applied with respect to Reade and Biden, before laying out the details of Reade’s accusation.
Hayes invited New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister to speak on the issue. Some viewers criticized that decision as well because of an April 27 article she wrote, titled “The Biden Trap.”
Again, this didn’t go over well with a good chunk of Hayes’ audience, most of whom are Democrats and supporters of Biden. In addition to feeling the coverage was one-sided, some said they feel the allegations are not only bogus, but that even giving attention to them would hurt Biden’s chance of beating Trump in the general election. Twitter armies then got the hashtag #FireChrisHayes to trend.
However, journalists from both sides of the political spectrum have vouched for Hayes, and they are defending him and his decision to cover the story:
What Chris Hayes is about to discover is that the people criticizing him for covering a perfectly legitimate story will be the same folks who will become his most fervent viewers without even knowing it. Bucking the hive mentality can only be a good thing: https://t.co/Qh3bg3Vn5P
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) April 30, 2020
I’m not sure there is a more thoughtful, well-read, humane, human, grounded, quick, reflective, curious TV host than @chrislhayes.
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) April 30, 2020
Really, #FireChrisHayes is trending?? Because he covered the sexual assault allegations against a candidate for president? @chrislhayes is a good journalist. This Twitter temper tantrum is absurd, grow up folks.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) April 30, 2020
A reminder that you don’t need to give momentum to dumb hash tags by saying they’re dumb. Attacking them only makes them trend higher.
Also, @chrislhayes is one of the best and most moral voices in media. If more of cable news reflected his example, this’d be a better world.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) April 30, 2020
Also, with this completely deranged backlash against @ChrisLHayes for the crime of covering what a news story – one that just happens to be unfavorable to Dems – you see the extreme career incentives for cable hosts never to tell their audiences anything they don’t want to hear.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 30, 2020
Sickened to see calls for @chrislhayes to be fired. He’s an extraordinary journalist. His TV show is a reliable source of hard-hitting news coverage, from Trump’s corruption to inequality to #climatechange. Biden has to address the accusation. And we need Hayes’s voice on @MSNBC
— Eric Klinenberg (@EricKlinenberg) April 30, 2020