After three days of nonstop TV coverage, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki is being lauded as a bright spot while Americans await the results of the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Kornacki, 41, has become somewhat of an internet star in the past week, earning praise for his ongoing air-time and consistent updates, informing audiences on the latest poll numbers and sharing his election analysis.
"Twitter world: anyone know where I can send @SteveKornacki a fruit basket or something to thank him for holding my sanity together the last few days? Seems like the guy has earned it," one Twitter user shared Thursday.
From Kornacki's hometown to where he buys those khakis, here’s what you should know about the longtime journalist.
1. He’s keeping Chrissy Teigen, and many others, updated during the election
Chrissy Teigen, Billy Eichner and Katie Couric are among the celebrities and TV personalities who have praised Kornacki for his election coverage this week.
Teigen shared a photo of herself holding her eyes open with the caption: "I honestly dunno how steve is still going im bout to die."
Added Eichner: "I’m gonna be honest – I don’t like that they let Steve Kornacki take a nap."
"His shirt belongs in the Smithsonian. Unwashed," Couric wrote on a Comments by Celebs Instagram post.
Comedian Leslie Jones also praised Kornacki Thursday night, posting videos of the MSNBC broadcast while offering her own commentary in the background.
“Ok this is next level! I think I love him lol,” she captioned one video in which Kornacki pulled out a calculator to crunch the numbers as votes came in from Pennsylvania.
Jones continued her hilarious commentary when Kornacki left the broadcast for a break and was replaced by his colleague, Chris Hayes. "Wait, Steve gone? Who is this dude?" she asked. "Who is this dude, and is he as good as Steve? Is he going to write on the board? Is he going to pull out a calculator?"
2. Kornacki has rarely taken a break since Tuesday
“Heading up to the studio and not leaving until we’ve got a result,” Kornacki tweeted Tuesday, the day of the election. “Our live coverage starts at 6 — hope you’ll come along for the ride!”
Since then, he has stayed true to his word, rarely taking a break from his signature spot in front of MSNBC’s election map board.
“For those of you #TrackingKornacki he’s been at it for more than 12 hours,” his colleague Ali Velshi wrote on Twitter the next morning. “I’m going on to offer relief (I clearly can’t replace him) by touching the big board sometime after 6aET. That is, IF he will leave and get a nap.”
An MSNBC spokesperson confirmed to The Washington Post that Kornacki did indeed take his first break on Wednesday morning. “He has not slept since he was on ‘Morning Joe’ yesterday,” the spokesperson initially told The Post, adding 30 minutes later that he was finally “taking a break” from screen duty.
On Thursday evening, Kornacki was scheduled to take a break to go to sleep, but the journalist instead headed back to the studio to cover the votes coming in from Pennsylvania.
“Forget grabbing sleep, there's still votes coming in in PA,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’'m heading back to the studio. In the old days, there was USA Up All Night. Tonight, it'll be MSNBC Up All Night. Come on along for the ride.”
3. He’s a longtime political journalist and an author
Kornacki began his career in political journalism as a reporter for a local news website in New Jersey in 2002. In 2010, he began writing at Salon, later being named the site’s politics editor.
He joined MSNBC in 2013 and went on to host several shows, including the 4 p.m. hour of MSNBC Live, the Monday edition of MTP Daily and Up with Steve Kornacki on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He was also a co-host on MSNBC’s ensemble show The Cycle.
He now serves as the National Political Correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC across all platforms.
In 2018, Kornacki also became a published author. His book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, covers the polarization of politics by following the paths of President Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich in the '90s.
Following its publication, famed journalist Tom Brokaw called Kornacki “America’s gift to election years.”
4. He came out as gay in a moving essay in 2011
Kornacki came out as gay in a 2011 essay for Salon, titled "The coming out story I never thought I'd write."
“I’ve read stories from people who say they always knew they were attracted to the same sex, or that they figured it out at a young age. I’m not one of them,” he began in the essay, going on to detail how he denied his sexuality for much of his life, until a relationship with a man prompted him to finally come out to the public.
“I just didn’t fit the stereotypes of gay men,” the political correspondent later added. “I was an ESPN addict as far back as elementary school. I’d also had early crushes on girls. … I fought it relentlessly.”
According to Out, he also used the essay to tell his parents, showing them the article before it was published.
5. He hails from Massachusetts
He grew up in Groton, a town northwest of Boston, and attended Boston University, where he majored in film and television.
After the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Kornacki wrote a heartfelt tribute to the city he called home. He shared that a friend who also grew up in the Boston suburbs had texted him a message reading, “It’s our hometown. It’s our race.”
"For the first 22 years of our lives—the 22 years that shaped us into who and what we are today—our world revolved around Boston. And many of the people and many of the memories that mean the most to us are still there," Kornacki continued in the Salon essay. "The farther our lives have taken us from it, the more it’s come to feel like home."
6. His khakis are from the Gap
As discourse around Kornacki’s election coverage began to take over the internet, his khakis became a topic of interest.
“When this is finally all over, let’s crowd-fund Steve Kornacki a life-time supply of khakis. Or Khornakis? (sorry, I might need a break from the vote counts),” Arianna Huffington wrote on Twitter.
Amid the buzz about his outfit, New York Magazine’s shopping section, The Strategist, reached out to Kornacki’s producer Adam Noboa, who confirmed the signature khakis are from the Gap.
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