During Monday’s edition of The Beat With Ari Melber— available on YouTube — anchor Yasmin Vossoughian covered the viral video of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang crowdsurfing at the AAPI Democratic Presidential Forum in Costa Mesa, California. But as viewers and supporters were quick to point out on social media, the chyron — as well as Vossoughian, likely due to the graphic — referred to the 44-year-old as “John Yang.” In response, his followers, the Yang Gang, pushed the “WhoIsJohnYang” hashtag into the list of top Twitter trends in the United States.
As The Inquisitr reported, Yang can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to his coverage on media networks. Last week, he addressed his mysterious absence from an NBC graphic promoting Thursday’s Democratic debate, which led to the discovery that he was missing from the network’s official page of 2020 Democratic candidates. However, both the graphic and page have since been updated.
Yang has also been excluded from MSNBC graphics many times before, pushing many to believe he’s getting the short end of the stick in terms of media coverage despite being in sixth place in the polls — an impressive feat for an outsider with no political experience. The serial entrepreneur’s relatively consistent exclusion has been a tough pill for his supporters to swallow, which has prompted their use of the “YangMediaBlackout” hashtag and now, in the wake of MSNBC’s most recent flub, “WhoIsJohnYang.”
CNN’s Chris Cillizza recently addressed Yang’s coverage in an article in which he suggested that Yang’s unique candidacy and ideas are the most likely reason that the press is having a tough time giving him fair and accurate coverage. He also addressed his own 2020 Democratic candidate rankings, which didn’t include Yang.
“Why? Not because I hate Yang. (Sorry internet!) Rather because Steyer was poised to make the September debate stage (he wound up missing it by a single poll) and that his massive personal wealth made him slightly more viable than Yang. In retrospect, that was a mistake — one which we will correct in the rankings that come out Thursday.”
Per Axios, Yang is ranked in sixth in the polls but is 14th in terms of article coverage and 13th in terms of cable news mention — although this doesn’t include “John Yang” mentions. The report echoes Cillizza and highlights that it’s not the first time the mainstream media outlets have experienced difficulty covering unconventional candidates, pointing to the Huffington Post’s decision to include news of Donald Trump’s candidacy in its “entertainment” section.