The New York Times recently released a photo of the all of the Democratic presidential candidates participating in Tuesday’s debate, and Andrew Yang supporters made a note of something curious. According to Twitchy, some of his supporters are accusing the outlet of making Yang appear shorter than he is in reality.
In the photo, Yang appears to be around the same height as Julian Castro, while other pictures show him looking taller. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg also appear to be the same height as Yang, despite seeming to be shorter than the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur in other photos.
Of course, nobody is certain how tall Yang really is. But given the mainstream media’s dismissive attitude toward’s his campaign, the picture has sparked conversation and speculation over whether Yang was intentionally made to appear shorter.
“So this isn’t just petty. It’s actually important strategically. Height bias is a robustly studied phenomenon. Our brains can’t help but associate height with leadership and social status. This is done to undermine Yang yet again,” one user wrote.
“Look at how disrespectful this picture of @AndrewYang is. This is only the beginning of a campaign of disrespect, mocking, lies, & backstabbers,” wrote American Olympian Mark Schultz.
Others weren’t as convinced that the graphic was intended to be malicious.
“This is a stretch lol. I didn’t see an issue until you pointed it out,” one user tweeted.
Shout out @nytimes for continuing media trends in undercutting Yang, this time by making him shorter on your TV ad ????♂️ Yo, he’s taller than Mayor Pete, Bernie and Castro. I know he’s tall because I met @AndrewYang in LA #YangMediaBlackout pic.twitter.com/HrM2oUm9e8— MANIK (@manik_nyc) October 13, 2019
Regardless of whether the image made Yang appear shorter, he has been excluded from many chyrons and lists from media and cable news outlets, which has kept his supporters on high-alert looking for signs of bias and exclusion.
Yang will appear at Tuesday’s debate alongside Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, and Tulsi Gabbard. According to Brad Bannon, who recently wrote an op-ed for The Hill, the crowded debate stage is a point of concern for many who believe that it will not give candidates enough time to speak or have a productive discussion.
“It’s impossible to have a serious discussion about vital issues when the candidates have only ninety seconds to answer questions,” he wrote.
At the last debate, Yang announced that he would be giving ten families $1,000 per month for one year, essentially making it a pilot program for his campaign’s signature proposal of a universal basic income (UBI) — or Freedom Dividend — of $1,000 per month for every American adult. In addition, CBS News reports that the Democratic dark horse will have another big debate announcement for the October event.