If there is a trophy for bad behavior, Bernie Sanders's supporters appear hellbent on taking it from Donald Trump's.
The latest ugly episode involves threatening phone calls to New York Times reporter Amy Chozick and at least one harassing, profanity-laced message directed at NPR's Tamara Keith on Tuesday.
BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer says her email inbox was on the receiving end of similar missives Tuesday.
This comes two weeks after Daily Beast columnist and WNYC radio host Keli Goff chronicled some of the racist mail she receives from Sanders backers. Here at The Fix, our own Janell Ross has written about her experience with racist, sexist messages from so-called "Bernie Bros."
They use a variety of curse words and insults typically reserved for women. More than one has suggested that I deserve to become the victim of a sex crime. They critique the "objectivity" of what is clearly political analysis based on polling data and other facts; they insist that black voters are dumb or that I have a personal obligation to help black voters see the error of their Clinton-voting ways. It is vile. And it stands in sharp contrast to the claim that no portion of Sanders supporters are angry people who sometimes engage in or embrace bigotry.
It's no surprise that Sanders supporters would be in a foul mood on Tuesday. The Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee the night before, based on newly documented commitments by unbound convention delegates.
But it's impossible to ignore another notable moment from Monday. Sanders himself got into a testy exchange with a female Times reporter, Yamiche Alcindor, who posed the following question during a news conference: "What do you say to women who say that you staying in the race is sexist because you're standing in the way of what could be the first female president?"
Sanders initially cut off Alcindor before she could complete her question and tried to move on to CNN's Jeff Zeleny. When Zeleny deferred, allowing Alcindor to finish, Sanders's offered an incredulous response: "Is that a serious question?"
We can't assume that Alcindor's gender was a factor here. It's possible that Sanders is simply sick and tired of questions — from anyone — that suggest he is stubbornly clinging to a shot at the nomination that doesn't really exist.
But as the Vermont senator's undeniably impressive campaign nears its inevitable end, his frustration appears to be rubbing off on supporters. In the past month, Sanders backers have defaced the state headquarters of the Nevada Democratic Party, sent threatening messages to Nevada Democratic chairwoman Roberta Lange, and participated in attacks on Trump rally-goers in California.
Sanders has tried to discourage such hooliganism. On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, he pleaded with supporters to cut it out.
"Any person who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, please, do not in any way, shape or form engage in violence," he said.
Still, there appears to be a pattern. When Sanders complains about party leaders or gripes about the media, some of his supporters go too far. It happened again to female journalists on Tuesday.