December 7, 2019
Bernie Sanders Media Blackout Is A 'Type Of Interference In The Primary,' Says David Pakman

Progressive commentator David Pakman recently appeared on The Hill's Rising and spoke to hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti about the media coverage of Bernie Sanders, also referred to as the "Bernie Blackout." Recently, the Sanders National Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner appeared on the show to suggest that the alleged media blackout is real, and Pakman seems to agree.

In the YouTube video of the appearance, Pakman first touched on the "chicken or the egg" discussion around whether polling support follows media coverage or media coverage reacts to polling support. According to the 35-year-old Argentinian-American, this argument is not as important as the "realization" that the Sanders media blackout is real.

"This is happening. And if you're concerned about someone being left out in perpetuity, then it doesn't really matter figuring out whether the cause or the effect is the decrease in polling. It's a red alert problem that is a type of interference in the primary."
Turner also suggested that Sanders' exclusion from the media is a real problem.

"The Bernie blackout is real. It's not a figment of our imagination," she said.

An In These Times report previously covered two months of MSNBC's coverage of Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden. The report found that the network gave Sanders not just the least amount of coverage but also covered him the most negatively. Although the report notes that the final election results will hinge mainly on voter preferences and turnout from people that aren't in-tune with MSNBC, it said that in the primary, the network is a "powerful bullhorn" as the Iowa caucuses approach.

"In 2016, the Democratic establishment backed the 'safest,' most 'electable' candidate in Hillary Clinton, with disastrous results. It bears asking if they're repeating the same mistake," the report reads.

Jacobin Magazine highlighted the report and noted that MSNBC often frames Sanders' campaign as lacking in detail, being unrealistic, and losing steam. Regardless, the publication noted that his rallies, polls, and fundraising suggest that Sanders is in a good position in early states.

American social critic Noam Chomsky previously suggested that Sanders has "absolutely infuriated the liberal establishment," adding that the Democratic elite are opposed to him both for his policies as well as for the movement of politically engaged activists he has organized. According to Chomsky, this movement conflicts with the desires of the Democratic establishment.

Chomsky also said that Sanders' movement helped New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get a position in Congress — something he believes no figure in the political mainstream wants.