May 1, 2016
Bernie Sanders' Supporters Accuse Mainstream Media Of Prejudice Against Him, Flood Federal Regulator With Complaints

Bernie Sanders' supporters are refusing to give up.

The Vermont senator has come a long way since he announced his presidential candidacy, having beaten Democratic party favorite Hillary Clinton in 17 states so far. But ever since the beginning of his underdog campaign, his supporters have felt that Sanders has been unfairly covered by the mainstream media, an accusation that has continued to take more tangible forms as the presidential nomination looms closer.

According to The Hill, which reviewed 850 written complaints that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received from Bernie Sanders' supporters, most complainants alleged that mainstream media houses, like CNN, have been biased in their coverage of the Sanders' campaign.

One of the most common objections from Sanders' supporters appears to have come after the October debate between the Vermont senator and Hillary Clinton, which CNN announced that Clinton had won. However, according to the report, Bernie's supporters allege that the "the cable news network deleted favorable polling that showed Bernie Sanders won the debate."

"CNN hosting the debate while backing Hillary Clinton. There [sic] phony polls and editing of the debate," one of the complaints read. "Bernie Sanders not getting a fair shot!"

Major cable networks, including CNN, have been the target of the ire of Bernie Sanders' supporters over the course of the current campaign. Earlier this month, protesters gathered in front of CNN's headquarters in Hollywood, California, complaining about the lopsided coverage the network has given to Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Sanders' supporters claim that CNN has its own interests in supporting Hillary Clinton, according to PJ Media. The supporters allege that CNN's parent company, Time Warner, has contributed heavily to Clinton's political efforts in the past, and has therefore deflected from truthful reporting to a predetermined coverage that hugely favors Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders has himself been vocal about what he believes is mainstream media's biased coverage of his campaign. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The range of accusations include major news networks skipping packed Bernie Sanders rallies in favor of smaller rallies hosted by Hillary Clinton to wrongly formulate public opinion in her favor. Even celebrities have lent their voice to the accusations, with actor Mark Ruffalo telling Variety that Sanders has faced a "virtual media blackout since the start of his campaign."

In March, Bernie Sanders' supporters had reportedly caused a rush of traffic to the Justice Department's election complaint webpage after Bill Clinton was seen shaking hands with voters inside a Boston polling place.

Not only the major cable networks, but liberal media publications such as the New York Times have also been accused of undermining Bernie Sanders at every turn. Reports suggest that liberal-minded news organizations write fewer times about Sanders vis-à-vis Clinton, and even when they do, they resort to using monikers like "socialist" to describe him.

Despite the alleged mainstream media blackout, Bernie Sanders' supporters have shown remarkable organizational skills on the internet. In fact, much of the solidarity for Sanders' campaign has reportedly been built online, with supporters using social media and micro-blogging sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to spread information generally missing from major news feeds.

While the current rush in complaints by Bernie Sanders' supporters might not really change much in way of how the mainstream media covers the Vermont senator from now on, the realization of internet's increasing role in spreading solidarity and building organization is something that his supporters will not forget anytime soon.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]