After Andrew Yang called out MSNBC for their coverage of his campaign and refused to return until they issue an apology, the candidate’s supporters trended #BoycottMSNBC and shared their grievances about the network. On Sunday, CNN’s Van Jones took to Twitter to share his opinion on the general coverage of the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur’s presidential bid and called for “basic fairness.”
“No matter who you plan to vote for, everyone deserves a fair shot in this race,” Jones tweeted. “The case that @AndrewYang is facing unfair barriers is strong & hard to ignore. I call on everyone in media & the political establishment to redouble every effort to ensure basic fairness.”
Jones, who has spoken with Yang on multiple occasions, received praise for his comment.
“Van Jones single-handedly defends democracy. Give that man a cape!” one user wrote.
“Oh, Van, just when I thought I couldn’t love you more. I appreciate your integrity, Sir,” wrote another.
Yang thanked Jones and also made a tweet not long after the CNN commentator’s tweet that appears to be referencing the situation.
“Everyone counts,” Yang wrote.
The history of Yang’s exclusion has been compiled on Vocal Media by Yang supporter and universal basic income (UBI) advocate Scott Santens. In addition, numerous reports from publications such as Axios and The Hill have covered Yang’s lack of coverage from mainstream media outlets. Yang has also received the least amount of speaking time at all five Democratic presidential debates, despite polling better than many other candidates that took the stage with him.
— Andrew Yang???? (@AndrewYang) August 1, 2019
Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Marie Myung-Ok Lee suggested that while there’s no way to prove Yang’s treatment is due to his Asian ethnicity, it’s nevertheless “impossible to miss the similarities” with the micro- and macro-aggressions people in the Asian American community regularly experience. Lee went on to highlight the times Yang has been mixed up with other people of Asian ethnicity — Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, NPR journalist John Yang, and writer Jeff Yang.
In an op-ed for The Hill, Krystal Ball suggested that the treatment of Yang, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson at least partly stems from their outsider status.
“They don’t fit the mold. They aren’t in the club. They defy the rules,” she wrote.
Ball claims that mainstream networks would rather smear, mock, or ignore these candidates — who she notes “clearly fascinate the public” — rather than deal with their campaigns, which are often contradictory to the interests of media networks.