In an interview with The Atlantic that was published on Thursday, Briahna Joy Gray — who was the spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders‘ now-suspended presidential campaign — accused the media of protecting presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
According to Gray, Biden’s success in the primary was driven along by “months of concentrated media attention.” She claimed that this media attention focused on the former vice president’s electability, and avoided shedding light on “any of his vulnerabilities.”
“Of course, if you’ve never heard of Tara Reade’s allegations, if it’s never been framed up to you on the mainstream news that Joe Biden has these vulnerabilities on trade, if the only explanation you’ve ever gotten is that Trump won because he’s racist, you are going to believe that Joe Biden is the most electable candidate.”
As evidence for her argument, Gray pointed to Sanders’ win in Nevada — and the subsequent claims by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who then suggested that a Sanders victory in November would pave the way to public executions. She then claimed that it’s “inaccurate” to argue that voters selected their candidate in a “neutral, unbiased media climate.”
“People need information to make informed decisions, and unfortunately the media climate meant that was not the case.”
Nevertheless, Gray acknowledged that the onus was on Sanders to overcome such challenges. She denied that Biden’s win was solely the result of a “media conspiracy.”
“I’m saying that’s a part of it.”
"I’m resisting your framing."
Even Biden supporters should understand @briebriejoy's analysis here. During Obamas first term progressives were told we couldn't oppose his bad policies because it'd help Romney. No one talks about how opposition to TPP started during Obama v Romney pic.twitter.com/0vG2BT2lbU
— Brett Banditelli ????✂️ (@banditelli) April 23, 2020
As reported by Breitbart, Gray faced criticism for revealing that she would not be voting for Biden in the 2020 election. She explained her decision by pointing to Biden’s platform and its seeming lack of many of the ideas on Sanders’ platform — including Medicare for All, a wealth tax, and a proposal to cancel all student debt.
Gray’s position is one that appears to reflect some former Sanders supporters who feel disillusioned with the Democratic Party. As Breitbart notes, some of these voters do not find Biden progressive enough.
A report from Towards Data Science appears to support Gray’s claim of Biden’s media coverage. In particular, it found that Biden received more positive attention than Sanders — both before and after his massive Super Tuesday comeback — when measuring unique articles.
In a segment on The Hill’s Rising, progressive commentator and co-host Krystal Ball attacked MSNBC in particular for its coverage of Sanders. She pointed to a piece from In These Times which found that Sanders not only received less coverage than Biden — one-third the total, over the two month period examined — but that said coverage was more negative in nature.