Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang was again excluded from an MSNBC graphic for lesser polling candidates. Not only that, Michael Bloomberg — who has not officially entered the race yet — was included over Yang, which led to understandable frustration from his supporters.
MSNBC eventually apologized and fixed the graphic, but given the many times the network has excluded the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur from graphics and appeared to divert conversation from him during live segments, the damage was done.
“Thank you @MSNBC for making this apology for the 15th time. The #YangGang is very excited for #16,” tweeted Yang’s campaign manager, Zach Graumann.
“Looks like it was just an ‘inadvertent’ ‘mistake’ by @MSNBC for the 30th time. Cool cool. I’m sure it won’t happen again…,” tweeted Scott Santens, a Yang supporter and universal basic income (UBI) advocate.
The exclusion even made Taiwan News, which noted the many times Yang — who is Taiwanese-American — has been excluded from mainstream media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN.
Yang’s consistent exclusion has sparked many theories and explanations. While some believe it is blatant racism against the only Asian-American candidate in the race, others suggest it’s a reflection of bias against outsider candidates that it also seen in the treatment of Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, and Marianne Williamson.
Earlier on UP, we aired a poll graphic that inadvertently left off @AndrewYang. This was a mistake that we've since corrected on air. We apologize to Mr. Yang. Here's the correct graphic: pic.twitter.com/SDoqsxdiiD— Up on MSNBC (@UPonMSNBC) November 17, 2019
In the wake of Yang’s recent exclusion, Santens shared an article from Towards Data Science, which suggests that candidates from coastal cities are favored as opposed to inland candidates.
“This is actually a remarkably consistent division; it’s also understandable given the geography and demography of the major media outlets,” the report reads.
The report concludes that there are certain candidates that have received a disproportionate amount of media coverage, such as Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Bill DeBlasio. Conversely, Yang and Beto O’Rourke, the latter who has since dropped out of the race, received “disproportionately sparse and negative” coverage.
Back in September, Axios ran an article that highlighted Yang’s sixth place polling average and compared it to his rank among the other candidates in terms of articles written about him and cable news mentions — fourteenth and thirteenth, respectively. The report also noted that Yang was the fourth most tweeted about during the debates, suggesting that the mainstream coverage of Yang is disproportionate to his actual support and popularity.
Despite the odds seemingly against him, Yang is currently sixth in the polls with 2.8 percent support. He is set to appear on the debate stage on Wednesday and needs 4 percent or higher in just one more DNC-approved poll to qualify for the December debate.