The campaign of Bernie Sanders says that there’s been a “Bernie blackout” on broadcast network newscasts, claiming that they’ve ignored him compared to major presidential candidates.
The campaign issued a press release on Friday — “Why the Bernie Blackout on Corporate Network News?” — and cited figures from the Tyndall Report showing that he has gotten just a fraction of the attention Donald Trump has. Sanders has drawn 10 minutes of coverage to Trump’s 234 minutes.
The campaign makes the point that Trump draws 20%-30% support among primary voters, the same level as Sanders. But ABC’s “World News Tonight” has devoted 81 minutes to Trump’s campaign, compared to just 20 second for Sanders, through the end of November. Sanders drew 2.9 minutes of coverage on “NBC Nightly News” and 6.4 minutes on the “CBS Evening News,” according to the Tyndall data published by Media Matters for America.
The measurement was of time devoted to stories about the Sanders campaign specifically, so coverage of his performance in a debate is not included. So by that measure, Sanders has probably gotten more center-stage exposure on the broadcast networks’ late-night talk shows than on their evening newscasts. He has appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said that the “corporately owned media may not like Bernie’s anti-establishment views but for the sake of American democracy they must allow for a fair debate in this presidential campaign.”