In an op-ed penned for The Hill and published on Saturday, progressive pundit Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks warned that the Democratic primary race is being “rigged against progressives.”
Drawing a parallel between media coverage of progressive candidates, like Bernie Sanders, and centrist Democrats, such as Pete Buttigieg, the pundit argued that media organizations such as CNN, the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post smear left-wing Democrats in the race, while heaping praise on those closer to what is considered the center of the American political spectrum.
“This is a form of de-platforming,” he wrote, suggesting that the bias he is accusing the mainstream media of is inherent to its viewpoint. “Their core assumption is that maintaining the status quo is not a perspective,” Uygur said, arguing that those seeking to challenge the status quo are, by default, “treated as a radical and delegitimized” by some members of the press.
Media bias is a form of election meddling, according to Cenk Uygur, who opined that neither the Democratic National Committee nor hostile foreign actors are able to influence elections in the way some media publications impact it.
“The DNC or the Russians couldn’t hope to rig an election anywhere near as well as the American media. If they make up their collective mind to dismiss a candidate, that person will have a near impossible job of breaking through.”
The pundit concluded his column by offering advice to the mainstream media. The media, Uygur wrote, should “put aside” its bias, and give progressive, left-wing voices a platform. It will likely not do so, he predicted, which will result in “outrage and shocked disbelief.”
“Then when they say no one could have seen this coming, you can show them this article.”
Uygur is not the first prominent public figure to warn against media bias and alleged smear campaigns aimed at progressives like Bernie Sanders. Last week, a viral Politico article — in which Sanders’ wealth is discussed — caused widespread outrage.
Just a reminder that this happened pic.twitter.com/gA643DOEKr— David Sirota (@davidsirota) May 30, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, Sanders is described in the Politico piece as a “rich” but “cheap” man. The featured photo of the article is a graphic depicting the Vermont senator standing next to a money tree, and images in the body of the piece show Sanders holding three villas in his arms.
"We have a president who is a racist, who is a pathological liar, who thinks he can win by dividing the American people by the color of our skin or where we were born," Sanders said. https://t.co/avx2xFqQ2e— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 1, 2019
The very substance of the article was questioned, as was the methodology journalist Michael Kruse had used to determine Sanders’ wealth. Apart from being one of the poorer members of Congress, Sanders is the only Jewish presidential candidate, so the outlet was accused of using anti-Semitic language and imagery.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted the publication, as did members of the Sanders campaign, journalists, and activists. Even the Anti-Defamation League weighed in on the issue, accusing Politico of using anti-Semitic tropes.
In this dangerous climate of rising #antiSemitism, all media organizations have a responsibility to be careful not to perpetuate #antiSemitic tropes, such as those about Jews and wealth. pic.twitter.com/s2sTuPpFfk— ADL (@ADL) May 26, 2019
According to a RealClearPolitics average of polling data, centrist Democrat Joe Biden is the clear front-runner. The former vice president has topped virtually every single poll conducted thus far.