The success of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang‘s outsider campaign has impressed many with its strong grassroots following, consistent polling, and impressive fundraising numbers. Despite Yang’s success, he has received the cold shoulder from many mainstream media outlets — most notably MSNBC, who gave Yang the least amount of speaking time during Wednesday’s debate and posed him his first question 32 minutes into the event.
Although Yang’s supporters have pointed out such apparent bias many times and Yang himself often politely highlights his exclusion from chyrons on Twitter, the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur took a bold stand Saturday against the constant mistakes and exclusions by the Comcast-owned network.
“Was asked to appear on @msnbc this weekend – and told them that I’d be happy to after they apologize on-air, discuss and include our campaign consistent with our polling, and allow surrogates from our campaign as they do other candidates’. They think we need them. We don’t.”
His supporters appeared to be on-board with his decision to take a stand.
“You rock Andrew,” one supporter tweeted.
“So glad you said this,” another wrote.
“They haven’t been allowing surrogates? It is worse than we think!” another exclaimed.
Yang supporter and universal basic income (UBI) advocate Scott Santens has a Twitter thread dedicated to all of the media exclusions Yang has endured, and many of them appear to be from MSNBC. The thread is continuously updated and also links to a tweet from the non-profit Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which also noted Yang’s exclusion from MSNBC.
Not long before the debate, Yang was left off of an MSNBC graphic in favor of Michael Bloomberg, who had yet to enter the presidential race at the time. Although MSNBC eventually apologized for the exclusion, the apology was received less than favorably after the many times the network had snubbed Yang in the past.
“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.
Despite the lack of speaking time at MSNBC’s recent debate, Yang made the most of his time, and his performance was generally well-received. Per CNN, debate coach Todd Graham said he thought all of Yang’s answers were worthy of an “A” rating, something he claims to have never witnessed before. Although Graham acknowledged the candidate’s lack of speaking time, he said that he doesn’t grade using speaking time as a criterion, noting that it’s not that candidate’s fault.
“His ingenuity was astounding,” Graham wrote, noting that “bold ideas” are a strong suit of Yang’s.