Why Is Media Ignoring Bernie Sanders?
May 30, 2015

Whenever a 2016 Republican hiccups, we hear about it throughout the echo chamber. Online and off.

We also hear about every invented Clinton scandal on the planet in minute detail. But if you tune all of that noise out and listen very carefully, see if you can find mention of Bernie Sanders' campaign kickoff on Wednesday. Other than a 40-year old paper that they're intentionally blowing up, see if you can find any mention of Sanders as a credible candidate.


Eric Boehlert at Media Matters noticed, too,

On May 26, Sen. Bernie Sanders hosted his first major campaign rally since announcing his presidential candidacy last month. Staged on the banks of Lake Champlain in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, the Sanders rally reportedly drew more than five thousand people, making it one of the largest campaign events of 2015, hosted by either a Democrat or a Republican.

But the sprawling rally didn't cause much of a media stir. Rather than cover it as a major news event, theWashington Post ignored the rally in its print edition the next day, as did the New York Times, according to a search of the Nexis database. The network news programs that night covered the event in just a few sentences.

At a time when it seems any movement on the Republican side of the candidate field produces instant and extensive press coverage, more and more observers are suggesting there's something out of whack with Sanders' press treatment.

And they're right.

As the Vermont liberal spreads his income equality campaign message, the press corps seems unsure of how to cover him. In the month since he announced his bid, Sanders' coverage seems to pale in comparison to comparable Republican candidates who face an arduous task of obtaining their party's nomination. The reluctance is ironic, since the D.C. press corps for months brayed loudly about how Hillary Clinton must facea primary challenger. Now she has one and the press can barely feign interest?

Well, you know the routine here. Bernie Sanders isn't considered a serious candidate by the media-at-large. Wait till Lincoln (who?) Chafee throws his hat in the ring next week. I'll bet you hear more about him. That is, if you hear anything about any Democrat that isn't just more gotcha scandal-mongering.

Furthermore, when they do report on Bernie Sanders, it's through the prism of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

Over and over we see the same media construct: Sanders' campaign only exists as it relates to Clinton's bid for the nomination. There's no justification for such a narrow-minded view of Sanders' run.

No, there really isn't, but for the fact that our media overlords have chosen not to give equal weight to the Democratic primary and the candidates running in it. In the end, that will be their loss, not ours. There are, after all, alternatives to the mainstream.

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