Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders have both had a tough go at getting fair media coverage, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. As pointed out by universal basic income (UBI) advocate and Yang supporter Scott Santens, MSNBC excluded Yang and Sanders from a chyron that appears to show the top contenders in the Democratic presidential primary. In the place of the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur and 78-year-old Vermont Senator are Michael Bennet and Marianne Williamson — both of whom have less than 1 percent in average polling support, compared to Yang’s 2.8 percent and Sanders’ 16.6 percent.
After Santens posted the graphic to social media, his followers reacted.
“Note too that Warren is centered on the screen and the other top polling are near the edge (Biden, Buttigieg, Kamala). It’s even more manipulative than it seems!” one user wrote.
“This is most blatant example of a blackout not only against Yang, but for Bernie too. Most people know who Bernie is, especially since hes always polling so high,” wrote another.
“The establishment doesn’t want us to talk about policy,” another chimed in, likely talking about both candidates’ status quo-shifting policies — Yang’s universal basic income (UBI) and Sanders’ various progressive policies, such as a federal jobs guarantee.
MSNBC: "With Bernie in 3rd and Yang in 6th, wouldn't it be hilarious to exclude both of them, and instead include Bennet and Williamson in 11th & 13th as the top 10 contenders vying to win in Iowa? Reporting news is fun."#YangMediaBlackout #YangGang #Bernie2020 #BernieBlackout pic.twitter.com/bmTS3CvAtK— Scott Santens???? (@scottsantens) November 5, 2019
Most recently, Sanders was swapped with fellow Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren in a CNN chart of likely voters in New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary. Although Sanders was in first with 21 percent support and Warren was in second with 18 percent support, he was swapped with the Massachusetts Senator on the network’s chyron into second, with Warren incorrectly in first.
Another recent omission was observed when Yang was excluded from an MSNBC chyron of candidates’ cash on hand. Yang had $6.4 million cash on hand at the time, while Cory Booker had just $4.2 million, per The New York Times.
Political consultant Charles T. White addressed the omission.
“These graphics are LIES. For five years, I built these types of graphics for network news. My team NEVER pulled this dirty trick, these lies of omission,” he tweeted, calling the practice “despicable” and calling for an end to the “propaganda.”
MSNBC previously referred to Yang as “John Yang” and has excluded him from their graphics on numerous occasions. As for Sanders, a previous Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) analysis found that MSNBC is biased against the candidate via skewed polls and false claims.
Despite the lack of media coverage, Sanders is currently third in the polling average, and Yang is in sixth.