The media has been ignoring and dismissing Bernie Sanders since he first announced his candidacy, and that trend continued over a weekend that saw Bernie Sanders winning three out of four states and a majority of the delegates up for grabs amidst a media blackout.
Meanwhile, the New York Times glossed over the victories on Saturday, barely noting the results on their front page story before going straight on to the Republican contest.
“In Democratic contests, Hillary Clinton scored a commanding victory in Louisiana, the state with the most delegates in play on Saturday, while Senator Bernie Sanders won the Nebraska and Kansas caucuses, according to The Associated Press. The results did not alter the contours of a race in which Mrs. Clinton maintains a significant delegate lead.”
Bernie Sanders has now won eight states compared to Clinton’s eleven. Despite pundits calling the race “over” and Clinton’s lead “insurmountable,” the fact remains that only 24 percent of the pledged delegates have been decided so far, and excluding the superdelegates, the count stands at 669-479, a difference of less than 200. 2,383 total delegates are needed to win.
However, the Associated Press and Washington Post have both related the changing delegate counts over the weekend with numbers like 1,121 for Clinton and 479 for Sanders, without bothering to explain or even mention the difference between pledged delegates and superdelegates or providing a separate count of each tally.
A lie by omission is still a lie, and this MSNBC graphic shows that the same logic has been applied to mainstream TV coverage — even in places where Sanders won the popular vote.
This bias extended into the coverage of the last debate in Flint, Michigan, which saw Sanders making excellent points against Clinton for her support of “disastrous trade deals,” such as NAFTA in the 90s, and striking a clear difference between himself and Clinton on climate change, railing against the dangers of fracking in the most outspoken and lengthy critique of current climate change policies yet featured in the debates. However, only one incident was highlighted by every major outlet.
Sanders supposedly “rudely” stopped Hillary Clinton from interrupting him during his allotted time to respond, despite the fact that she consistently went over time in her own answers. Nevertheless, the report of this latest bit of “sexism” and other coverage of the debate was so clearly biased and overblown, it seemed like this brief exchange and the ensuing outrage was the only headline that could be found the next day. Meanwhile, the actual response was far less unanimous than reported by the major outlets, as seen by evidence to the contrary on social media and beyond.
Clinton has to stop being rude and interrupting. If Sanders interrupted her, y’all would be calling him sexist. #DemDebate
— Bougie Black Girl (@BougieBlackGurl) March 7, 2016
Pussyfooting around Clinton during a DEBATE because she’s a woman would have been a hell of a lot more sexist of Sanders. #ExcuseMeGate
— Doof Worrier (@SMLXist) March 7, 2016
Clinton’s answer on fracking vs. Sanders’ answer. pic.twitter.com/MsPWMXB00a
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) March 7, 2016
Furthermore, Sanders has been correcting his own voting record on the auto bailout, which Clinton deliberately mischaracterized during last night’s debate in Michigan, where Detroit’s crumbling manufacturing sector is particularly important to voters. However, this correction has been utterly ignored, as has Clinton’s attempt to smear Sanders’ record.
Meanwhile, actual viewership of the Democratic debates is down due to the mismanagement of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who sidelined the debates to the absolute worst times for viewership and has been facing increased pressure to step down from her role as Chair of the DNC.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 7, 2016
There has also been almost no mention of the continuously record-breaking fundraising that the Sanders campaign has managed. He raised $43 million in February compared to Clinton’s $30 million, and he also outpaced her by $5 million in January.
This trend is likely to continue over the remaining months of the campaign, as well, since Clinton’s “grassroots” efforts have seen about 56% of her funders making the maximum legal donation of $2,700, compared to 2.3% of whom have done so for Sanders. As such, her fundraising abilities are significantly hampered going forward when compared to Sanders.
The future still looks bright for Bernie Sanders, but you would never know it if by listening to most media outlets.