As you may know, I support Bernie Sanders in the primaries and caucuses that start in January. CBS recently produced a graphic that exemplifies the treatment Bernie receives at the hands of the mainstream media. The Harvard Institute of Politics recently did a study of millennials and their positions with regard to the upcoming elections. The numbers in the Harvard study were quite clear that Bernie leads Clinton, 41% to 35%. So why did CBS create a graphic showing that Clinton led Bernie by 41% to 35%? Try to find the graphic now, two or three days after it appeared, and you probably won’t be successful. But many local CBS channels are posting a correction on their Facebook pages or their home web pages. And some of them are removing the correction, and posting instead a correct graphic. But here it is as posted to Facebook as a screenshot thanks to an astute viewer.
Now my first thought on seeing the graphic on TV on CBS was that it was an odd result. So I went to the site of the Harvard study and found that the graphic was incorrect. I returned to CBS and saw the graphic a few more times, and then it stopped. It still exists on Facebook at the link above. Think about how an image like this gets onto a major network. Think of the various editors and fact checkers who are employed specifically for this function. And ask yourself how this could slip through in error. If you come to the same conclusion that I have, you will realize that this was no error. This was allowed to air to give a false impression of Clinton’s strength, to discourage Bernie supporters and to suppress the likelihood that millennials will feel empowered by the Sanders campaign.
A number of newspapers and pundits have questioned Bernie’s recent attacks on the mainstream media. ABC last month gave 81 minutes to Trump and one minute to Bernie. Are Bernie’s attacks unwarranted in light of that statistic and CBS’s perfidy? I needn’t tell the world about the nonstop reporting of Trump’s idiocies and the frequent reference to Hillary Clinton as the presumptive democratic nominee. Listening to the mainstream media, one could be excused for believing that no one was challenging Clinton.
Bernie supporters have assumed that the media’s neglect of him was initially because he was given no chance of success. Once he started drawing large crowds in the summer, there was certainly evidence that his campaign has staying power. After the first two debates, though the pundits claimed Clinton won both, internet and nonaligned polls all suggested that Bernie had won both.
Bernie wins the Google race. He wins the internet. And where do you think most millennials get their news? Certainly not from the mainstream media! I suspect egg on the face of many of the pundits and their media partners when Bernie wins both Iowa and New Hampshire. I will apologize if he doesn’t win both of them. But I bet you’ll never hear it!