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Nevada Reporter Who Falsely Claimed Sanders Supporters Threw Chairs Just Got What He Deserves


A veteran political reporter who spread a viral lie demeaning Bernie Sanders delegates at the Nevada convention is now looking for a new job.

Jon Ralston, who has been called “The biggest fish in Nevada” by Politico, has been let go by PBS after the network cancelled his show “Ralston Live” on Tuesday.

Ralston became nationally reviled after the Nevada Democratic Convention, in which he famously propagated the oft-repeated lie that Bernie Sanders’ delegates threw chairs in a fit of rage after state party chair Roberta Lange disqualified a large number of delegates from participating and refused to hear their appeals.

While Ralston’s insistence of Sanders supporters throwing chairs was secondhand, as he left the convention early, the claim was still taken at face-value due to his status as a respected journalist in Nevada. Despite the lack of verifiable evidence, national news media ran with Ralston’s claims and printed numerous stories falsely claiming that Sanders supporters threw chairs, including trusted outlets like the Associated Press, the New York Times, and CBS.

However, it was later revealed that no chairs were thrown, as the only video evidence involving a chair showed a man briefly holding one up before putting it down again.

Myth-busting site Snopes thoroughly debunked Ralston’s account, and NPR’s ombudsman admitted the network had made a mistake in trusting Ralston’s reporting.

Ralston’s anti-Sanders bias was on full display throughout the convention, as he continuously mocked and taunted Sanders delegates on his Twitter timeline:

As of this writing, Ralston hasn’t yet announced his next journalistic venture, only hinting that it involved incorporating new technology and that he’d “be back.” However, the cancellation of Ralston’s show could be an indicator that PBS felt enough pressure from aggrieved Sanders supporters that the network needed to take action. His example may also serve as a deterrent to other journalists contemplating riding on their brand and credibility to spread misinformation.

 

Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email: [email protected]



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