The media is intentionally avoiding accurate coverage of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ run for president, according to Sanders National Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner.
Turner wasn’t the only one to suggest that Sanders wasn’t accurately being covered by media outlets. The discussion was instigated by The Hill‘s Krystal Ball, who asked Turner about her take on the media’s coverage of the candidate. Ball said that the topic of media coverage was something that was discussed regularly on Rising.
“Of course, I mean I see it as part of a much larger pattern,” Ball told Turner, as her co-host Saagar Enjeti seemed to nod along in agreement. “Anyone with working-class support, multiracial working-class support – basically the media doesn’t understand it, either ignores it, or dismisses it – caricatures it. Latest example, PBS, of all people, did a lengthy piece – 13 minutes long plus – on 2020 in general and did not mention Sen. Sanders one time.”
Turner thanked both Ball and Enjeti for their coverage of Sanders’ campaign and went on to explain her view of the media’s coverage of the Sanders campaign.
“Thank you both. I want to thank Rise and thank Hill for just being fair arbiters, and for laying out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Turner, a former Ohio state senator who also worked on Sanders’ 2016 campaign said. “The Bernie blackout is real. It’s not a figment of our imagination. It almost seems like every morning these networks gets a script that says ‘blackout Bernie Sanders,’ even though he’s polling very high — he’s either number one or number two — he’s been durable, he’s gone up in the polls as of late.”
Turner added that she was still waiting for an apology over the apparent Sanders snub in the PBS piece.
Enjeti then interjected that he didn’t believe the media’s coverage of Sanders – or lack thereof – was a result of a “script.” Rather, he said the media’s coverage of the campaign was a result of the media not being “wired” to accept the reality of Sanders’ platform and popularity. Enjenti said the networks “wish cast” what they want to see on-air instead of what is really happening.
Ball then remarked that she also believed these networks did not need a script to avoid coverage of the Sanders campaign. Instead, it was a result of a disconnect, Ball said, adding that many network executives don’t know anyone working at a Walmart or in an Amazon warehouse.
While Turner didn’t completely agree that networks weren’t delivering scripts to avoid coverage of Sanders, she did concede to Enjenti that his “wish cast” theory might be – in part – responsible for the lack of media coverage of Sanders.
Turner said the networks neglect to talk about the Vermont senator’s strengths, citing a “class dynamic.” Turner said the networks are set up to care about the upper-middle class and upper class — not the “working poor.” She added that a President Bernie Sanders would be bad for business at the major networks, which she seemed to suggest was the reason for the lack of coverage.
Sanders isn’t the only candidate to complain about unbalanced media coverage. American businessman Andrew Yang and his supporters have claimed to receive unfair coverage by the media. Late last month, Yang supporters took to Twitter to demand MSNCB tell the truth over the reasons behind how it covered Yang.