Steve Kornacki Felt a ‘Little Squeamish’ With Some Memes About Him

Celebrities often have to get used to being gawked at and adored by their fans, but not everyone who is thrust into the spotlight is expecting it — or ready for it. As more and more of our time is spent consuming news media and as we have a cultural penchant for reality TV, many news anchors are getting the celebrity treatment from fans. Fans are becoming more invested in their favorite news anchors’ personal lives and have even started crushing on some of these journalists. 

Steve Kornacki is the latest news anchor to get such a reaction, and his MSNBC election coverage left fans swooning — and him feeling squeamish. 

Steve Kornacki with a surprised expression
Steve Kornacki | Lloyd Bishop/Getty Images

Around-the-clock news coverage creates new stars

It wasn’t that long ago that most people got their news coverage from their local nightly anchors and did not receive around-the-clock coverage of daily events. As cable news networks continue to dominate the airwaves, however, that has changed. Now news anchors have to bring more and more detailed analysis to keep the cameras rolling, and that has led to fan-favorite networks and specific shows — often centered around the network or commentator’s own political leanings

As the 2020 presidential election proved to be an event that had most of America glued to their seats, the networks’ coverage of the unfolding results received a lot of viewers. Each network had its own flavor of commentator, and — since the results went on for days before networks started calling the race — many commentators had to work under high pressure for long hours, continuing to keep viewers engaged when there simply wasn’t anything new to report. 

Steve Kornacki provided coverage on MSNBC

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While the stress of the election wore on and on, Steve Kornacki — an MSNBC correspondent — seemed unstoppable. Many people commented on his calm and logical demeanor day after day … after day. Fans started to ask about how he was managing to stay awake. Kornacki admitted that he was fueled on caffeine, noting that both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi were his go-to survival tools. He became a fan favorite for his heavy reliance on stats and math and keeping a level head as the chaos swirled around him. 

His fashion choices also drew fans’ eyes. Even on no sleep, Kornacki remained professional and never appeared on screen without a tie. His khaki pants became a type of signature. As the days wore on, Kornacki’s fame and reach grew, aided by support from celebrities like expert social media navigator Chrissy Teigen

Some fans developed a crush on Steve Kornacki

Kornacki, who is a definitively private person, started to grow a following that included several fans admitting their crushes on the news anchor. He became known as “Twitter’s boyfriend,” and some fans started thirsting hard with some steamy tweets of appreciation. 

While there may be some who would love all the attention, Kornacki was a little frazzled by it. He did an interview with Time in which he admitted the waits between votes were when he felt the exhaustion most acutely. “I could feel dead tired, barely holding my eyes open, and then the minute the new vote came in, there was a bit of a rush in something new,” he explained. At first, Kornacki had no idea about his newfound heartthrob status on social media: “it took a couple days to realize that stuff like that was happening.” Eventually, he became aware as friends and family started clueing him into what fans were saying about him. 

As fans started referring to him as “map daddy,” Kornacki took it all in good humor but with a little discomfort. “There are worse fates in life than that. Some of it made me a little squeamish, but it was all coming from a good place,” Kornacki replied with good nature.