MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, who lost the NBC Nightly News anchor position for fabricating a journalism war story, blasted Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., this week for living in a world “of his own imagination.”
He also attacked Manchin’s fellow West Virginians Tuesday in an apparent display of coastal elitism aimed at opposition to ending the Senate filibuster rule. Williams is among the liberal journalists who have relentlessly attacked Manchin for not getting on-board with left-wing calls to abolish the filibuster and pass far-reaching voting legislation.
In a segment flagged by NewsBusters, the host stated the moderate Democrat was living in a world of “his own making and his own imagination.” He then claimed that, because of the state’s relatively small population, Manchin and its citizens were “punching above their weight” in regards to his opposition to ending the filibuster and essentially dooming Democrat-backed legislation aimed at nationalizing elections.
“The odds of getting any voting rights legislation through Congress are incredibly slim as we have this conversation tonight,” Williams said. “Though we are increasingly a nation of voter suppression enthusiasts, so we have that going for us. Senator Joe Manchin effectively killed the For the People Act when he announced he’ll oppose it.”
With Manchin’s opposition to ending the filibuster, 10 Republicans would have to join every other Democrat to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass the Democrat-backed John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, a co-sponsor of the bill alongside Manchin, is the lone Republican currently supporting the bill, leaving it nine votes short.
“It does seem to a lot of people that a couple of things are true: A, Joe Manchin is loving this. B, He seems to live in a world between Wheeling, West Virginia, and a Frank Capra movie, perhaps of his own making and his own imagination,” Williams continued, without elaborating on his references, but seemingly mocking the small town in the conservative state.
Williams’ slam on Manchin could raise some eyebrows, given the anchor infamously concocted a tale that he was in a helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. He was suspended for six months in 2015, lost the Nightly News anchor job, and joined NBC’s liberal cable arm MSNBC, where he’s hosted his own show since 2016.
Williams also suggested West Virginia deserved less say in the U.S. Senate because of its small population.
“And what about the old standards of party cohesion and party discipline? We also know this is a big time for West Virginia between him and Capito. Home to [half] of one percent of the U.S. population, they’re punching above their weight these days,” he said, also referring to Manchin’s fellow West Virginia Senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito.