During a recent segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night host poked fun at Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and his purportedly low rally attendance. He used a clip posted by Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann, that shows Yang skateboarding through a nearly empty room. Colbert ribbed Yang for his “sparsely attended rally,” despite the video taking place before anyone showed up, and Yang’ s supporters didn’t take kindly to it.
As pointed out by The Zach and Matt Show — available on YouTube — the rally Colbert commented on was actually a packed house. Whether Colbert was simply trying to make his joke work or was intentionally misleading his audience isn’t clear. Regardless, Yang’s supporters took to social media to attack his representation of Yang’ support, which is already treated dismissively by mainstream media outlets.
“Why is it OK to marginalize America’s first major Asian-American candidate?” one user wrote.
“Corrupt or Dumb: Colbert’s punchline to his Andrew Yang low attendance rally joke,” another asked.
“Knowingly misrepresenting Yang’s rallies is another example of the media blackout,” another chimed in.
In what is another in a long line of media exclusions, Yang was recently omitted from a CNN graphic of the top fundraisers among the Democratic presidential candidates in the third quarter. Although the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur raised an impressive $10 million, he was omitted, while Cory Booker, who raised $6 million, was included. The graphic was later fixed, but only after Yang’s supporters again pushed the “YangMediaBlackout” hashtag, which has become their go-to when Yang is excluded from network graphics.
Yang is currently 6th in the polls with 2.8 percent support. He is set to appear in the October debate and must hit 3 percent or higher in one more DNC-approved poll to qualify for the November debate — the first to have increased requirements that are set to narrow the race.
Per Rolling Stone, Yang’s campaign has been expanding via a hiring spree and appears to be in the race for the long haul. Despite polling in the single digits, his rise has been impressive, considering he began as a political unknown.
“… looked at another way, one year ago Andrew Yang was a little-known author and former test-prep executive, while Beto O’Rourke was the hottest thing in Democratic politics,” the Stone report reads. “Today, Yang leads O’Rourke in many polls.”
According to Yang’s senior advisor, Steve Marchand, the campaign currently has adequate resources to accomplish their goals — the only question now is if they can hit these goals as quickly as their campaign’s plan requires.