During an interview on CNN, Democratic presidential candidate got Chris Cuomo to admit that the media is biased towards Republicans and Donald Trump.
The most telling exchange of the interview came when Sanders confronted CNN and the media about the amount of coverage they give to Trump.
SANDERS: Well, Chris, you are going to have to ask the media precisely why. Trump is a smart guy. He is a media guy. He did a TV show. I’ll give you one example. A recent study showed that on ABC evening news Trump got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why. And I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart.
He knows that media is not interest in the serious issues facing this country. They love bombastic remarks. They love silly remarks. If he says that somebody is sweating well my God, that is a major story, and all that silly business and the personal attacks that kind of works. So I think this is more an indictment of the media, actually, than it is of Trump.
CUOMO: Yeah, I don’t see it. Look. Do we cover him more? Yes. Why? He’s number one in the polls. He’s highly relevant. He drives the discussion.
SANDERS: But, but, but. Chris, Chris. Explain to me how he becomes number one. He boasts of the fact. This is what he says. Hey, I don’t have to pay for commercials. The media is going to put me on all of the time. Explain to me, and I know CNN may be different here, and you have been very generous with me, but you explain how a major network on the evening news has 80 minutes of Trump and 20 seconds of Bernie Sanders, Does that make sense to anybody? In many ways, I think it’s fair to say…
CUOMO: There’s no question that Trump drives ratings and that is always an influence in everything that we do. If you weren’t as handsome and charismatic that you are Senator, maybe you wouldn’t get the time that you get, but you can’t just wipe off all of this popularity that he has with a growing base of the GOP. They’re putting him first in the polls, not because of the media. They say they hate the media. They just love Trump.
Sanders got someone in the mainstream media to the networks base their coverage on several biases. Trump gets coverage because he drives ratings. Issues don’t matter. Whether or not he can win an election doesn’t matter. Trump is entertainment, so he gets coverage.
The big bias that Cuomo revealed was the media’s pandering to Republicans. Cuomo tried to justify all of the coverage of Trump because he is number one in the Republican polls.
His point ignored the reality that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the United States. According to Gallup, 46% of the country identifies itself as Democratic, and 41% identify themselves as Republicans. Democrats have won five of the last six popular votes. If being number one in the polls really does matter, Hillary Clinton should be getting Trump level coverage, because she has higher national polling than the billionaire. Bernie Sanders should be second in coverage to Clinton because his support is higher than every Republican candidate.
Sanders was correct. The Trump coverage isn’t about Trump at all. The tilt in coverage is based on several pro-Republican biases that exist in the media.
The corporate media believes that America is a conservative nation. It isn’t. The United States has been trending in a liberal direction since the Great Recession. Cuomo’s defense of the overkill of Trump coverage was an admission that the corporate press is only interested in ratings, and they think that most of the political viewership is Republican.
Sen. Sanders provided a great service to Democrats and the left by confronting the corporate media and getting at least one person to admit that the pro-Republican bias is real.
Sanders has provided proof that the media is not interested in facts, and that Democrats and the left need to stop believing that they will ever get fair treatment from the corporate owned press.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association