Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Blasts Network Newscasts for Lack of Coverage

Bernie Sanders' Campaign Blasts Network Newscasts
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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.”

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  1. I agree there’s a Bernie Blackout. Stop demonizing Trump, ignoring Bernie, and shoving Hillary down our throats! You are the undoing of democracy.

  2. Veritas says:

    @kern Valley Joe

    Bernie has no foreign policy experience? He opposed the debacle of Iraq using the same info Hillary had when she voted for it. He is now the SOLE VOICE in Washington that is not afraid to correctly identify Wahhabism as the cause of the birth of Islamic terrorism worldwide; while Clinton and others continue to collect Saudi Blood money.

  3. Brad Jones says:

    Enter these keywords in a search engine: Television Network News Lobbyists Hillary Clinton. To learn Clintons top fundraisers are the National Association of Broadcasters. Trump has news time because the Clinton machine is picking and preparing their opponent. The Donald donated $50,000 to Rahm Emmanuel for mayor and $100,000+ to the Clintons whom attended his wedding. The major networks, radio and even many films are not run by or for the people they are a propaganda machine. I find this UNAMERICAN and the kind of situation suited for a fascist country. Hillary had her negative spin and now the media can show her praise, its calculated, given they are mistrusted the media didnt dare make her look good or that would seem suspicious. The Clintons whom set the country up for collapse via deregulation during Bill’s tenure will also be responsible for a ratings crash next year and more problems. Cant say the networks are smart given Sanders millennial pull which means young generations tuning out media for years to come. I think they thought by using teen idols it would control the market, but it didn’t turn out as expected…

  4. Lefty Keys says:

    Trumpy Dumpty built a big wall
    And Trumpty Dumpty’s bluster and gall
    had uptight white ladies and angry white men
    feeling entitled and special again.

  5. Lefty Keys says:

    That Bernie has raised so much campaign money without corporate input or corporate media coverage only proves he is a force to be reckoned with.

  6. The Corporate Media blackout of the Bernie Sanders campaign is undermining democracy. Bill Moyers talked about this.

  7. Peggy James says:

    They are losing their audiences and people don’t appreciate deception. We have caught on to the fact that Trump is running for president to help the Clinton’s move back in the White House. We will not be pushed into voting for the 1% candidate chosen for us. Bernie Sanders is honest and authentic and with the people’s support will put an end to the crooked money games going on within our government and among our public servants.

  8. Kip Howard says:

    Voters by and large are fed up with politics as usual. This explains Trump’s ascendancy on the GOP side, and it explains why Bernie Sanders polls better against all Republicans than Clinton does. The corporate-owned political machine is terrified of Sanders, because he doesn’t have any skin in their game. No super PAC, no corporate control. I love watching them squirm. FEEL THE BERN!

  9. Mikey Garcia says:

    It’s pretty interesting, after each debate, there are live polls on multiple sites, in every one, Bernie takes an overwhelming lead over Hilary, sometimes as much as 90%, yet when the news reports, We don’t hear that, the polls are removed from the websites promptly. I’ve seen it myself, and there are plenty of screenshots still floating around out there. The Polls that are being reported EXCLUDE any voters who did not vote in the past two primary elections, 8 years, so they are wholly inaccurate. The good news is, that Bernie’s supporters show up in mass at his events, and are more passionate than Hillary’s. When it comes down to voting time, Bernie Sanders supporters will be there, and Hillary’s will take her automatic winning for granted, and many will not show. Big Biz and Media don’t want political power in the hands of citizens, but as long as we get out and vote, it is inevitably. If we do not get out and vote, we are by default voting for Oligarchy.

  10. Howard Rubin says:

    I guess America stands for fasicsm over democracy now….so sad

    • charlotte scot says:

      Bernie Sanders is one of the biggest supporters of Democracy I have ever known. That’s why they are keeping him off TV. Perhaps you were referring to Trump.

  11. What’s there to cover? He gives the same stump speech endlessly as if he’s a sophisticated Tarzan: Wall Street, Banks, Corporations All Bad. Bernie Good. Bernie give free stuff.

    He uses the same talking points from the stump speech in the debates. His popularity depends on offering up no holds barred no compromise all or nothing promises he can’t even remotely deliver on. You know things that will never pass the Congress like single payer health care, free college, raising the tax rate on Corporations 500 per cent. Just another big whine from the Bernie campaign but I’ll give them credit for being good at that.

    • charlotte scot says:

      Obviously you base your opinion on what you see in the news… which is nothing. Read the story. The networks don’t report on Bernie Sanders. They, selectively show clips about his core issues, they didn’t show his speeches on Democratic Socialism, How he would pay for the programs he talks about, Global warming, Racial Injustice, et al. The reason you don’t know anything about Bernie Sanders is, the corporate owned press doesn’t cover Bernie Sanders. Because of this, and with all due respect, your comments make no sense to someone who has followed Sanders for thirty years.

      • Nonsense Charlotte. I’ve been following politics longer than thirty years so I’m way ahead of you.. I don’t even watch network news. And I don’t need network news to see and understand the obvious unlike the delusional Bernie supporters.

        The truth is Bernie’s popularity depends on one thing: Gullible followers who believe he is some kind of magic man with pixie dust who can just open his mouth and have everyone succumb to his infinite ability to blow out hot air. And that’s his biggest asset.

        Most Bernie supporters are clueless as to how government works. They imagine this big revolution that will sweep Sanders into office and Congress will be so stunned and shocked by his presence they will bow down and give him and his supporters their every hearts desire. Well, some of us have to live out here in reality land. Bernie supporters are the same ones who were attributing the same attributes to President Obama and thought he could just do what he wanted when he wanted and if he wanted. Then they went into hibernation for the elections that really count: Mid terms, local and state elections. This is absolutely no different. They aren’t interested in what really brings about change. They want the easy way and Bernie promises them the moon. Eventually though, reality sets in. Something they couldn’t cope with eight years ago and still can’t. Ask a Bernie supporter how he is even going to get one tenth of his agenda through Congress and it’s, “duh duh duh duh…he just will…revolution and all that.”

        You want more? Look at the bills Bernie has introduced since he announced he was running. They were all calculated so he could go out on the campaign trail and tout them to his adoring fans. “Look, look, see what I did?” Doesn’t matter that not one of those bills is going to see the light of day. He’s repeated this act time and time again.

        Want more? Look at the Veteran’s benefits bill he couldn’t even get through Congress. And you think he’s going to get single payer health care, free college, an astronomical tax rate on Corporations? Try again.

        For years he proclaimed, “I’ll never run as a Democrat.” Even after they asked him. Even when one Democrat after another campaigned for him. Well, after 30 years, when he decided he wanted to run for president, he not only had a sudden change of heart, he came in and decided he wanted to make the rules as well. Sorry, it don’t work that way.

        For me, Bernie is the worse of the worse. He offers up pie in the sky he’ll never deliver on, endlessly touts his own horn (something he did plenty of where he spent as much time on the talk show circuit as he did in the Senate), and his total inability to compromise on anything will spell doom for him and the Democratic Party. And one other thing: His sthick won’t sell in the swing states in a General Election and I guarantee it won’t matter who is running against him. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, are not Vermont.

        And I didn’t even get into his total lack of foreign policy experience and his wishy washy stance on those issues. No, I’ll gladly stay based in reality and Bernie and Company can just keep on with their Mother Goose tale.

      • Mikey Garcia says:

        Kern, you are an ignoramus by friend. First of all, Bernie does have to repeat some points, because he is still relatively unknown to a lot of voters, and people like you, who don’t take the time to look into the policies of candidates, completely misunderstand his message. If you want more from his speeches, listen to him speak on the floor of the Senate. Bernie also clearly addresses the challenges getting items password through congress, no only is he a legislator, who has worked successfully on many issue and brought together both parties for logical compromise, but he also motivates people to vote. The GOP only holds congress, because of the very low turn out last November. When there is a high turnout, democrats always win, that’s a fact. Before you run your mouth, and make yourself sound like a complete fool, who has taken no time at all to learn about the things they speak on, you should at the very least look into his accomplishments. #FeelTheBern

  12. Andy Brown says:

    We shouldn’t be surprised that in this celebrity driven country full of low information voters all the media covers is Donald Trump. Not much time for other Democrats or Republicans with the media’s obsession with Donald Trump. Media is only interested in ratings, not informing the public about the issues.

  13. pmacdee says:

    Actually all Trump coverage should be handled by Variety alone since the campaign is a sit-com.

  14. charlotte scot says:

    The DNC is largely responsible for the news blackout. Hiding debates on Saturday nights. The last one only had seven million views. How many will show up the Saturday night before Christmas when the next debate will be on. The democratic party has been spreading the word for two years that it next candidate will be Hillary Clinton so when 28,000 people show up to see Bernie more than a year before the election, it isn’t newsworthy: the candidate has been chosen.

  15. mendel says:

    It’s true. Bernie has a huge following, especially considering how little media coverage he gets. He’s getting giant crowds of tens of thousands at his rallies – the only other candidate generating that kind of enthusiasm is Trump. I think media outlets are dismissing him because they think his fans are mainly college students and intellectuals, but he is appealing more and more to working class and poor Americans – which makes sense, as his proposals stand to help them the most. People who want a fair, egalitarian democracy that gives a voice to all citizens are going to support Bernie.

    • charlotte scot says:

      I am a 68 year old millennial. It is amazing how Bernie seems to reach the young, the old and those in between. Today, the former Surgeon General of the VFW endorsed him… you’ll never hear about it. Usually the first thing to go in a crumbling democracy is the press… it is gone. If we don’t fight for a political revolution now, we are sure to witness the American Spring.

      • Kate says:

        Chalotte, I am 67 as well and support Bernie. We hear all the time that older people support Hillary. All my friends support Bernie. Everytime the Media talks…..even on Rachael Maddow’s show they act as if Hillary is the shue in…. not so.

  16. AL says:

    If you’re a Bernie supporter, then likely anything and everything you’ve learned about his campaign you’ve had to search out deliberately online. That’s dedication (this day and age); these are passionate,motivated supporters. Unfortunately, a lot of people get their political/presidential race education off of the nightly/morning news. What Bernie’s campaign has been able to do with very little mainstream media coverage is amazing. I can only imagine how his numbers would increase if the rest of the democrats and independents in this country saw his face half as much as we see Trump’s mug every day on the news. I would LOVE to see more Bernie on ABC, CBS and NBC!

  17. Billy Rubin says:

    Sanders is grumpy. He fixates on very narrow boring issues and has no interest in foreign policy like properly dealing with terrorists.

    • charlotte scot says:

      Bernie Sanders has spoken on a multitude of issues: climate change, racial injustice, ISIS, hourly wage, equal rights, pay equity, Donald Trump, racism, … I could go on Billy Rubin but look for yourself: or The same media that doesn’t cover him has it’s own agenda of what news is reported, what subjects are covered… do some reading before you make a total fool of yourself.

  18. Patriot says:

    There is an especially firey circle in hell reserved for the owners of the US media.

  19. “CBS Evening News,” “NBC Nightly News,” and “ABC World News” gave:

    Donald Trump 234 minutes; Jeb Bush 56 minutes; Ben Carson 54 minutes; Marco Rubio 22 minutes; and Bernie Sanders 10 minutes.

    They’re giving more coverage to Republicans trailing Trump than to Bernie Sanders who has consistently been in second place to Hillary Clinton.

  20. dragondev2009 says:

    The only reason he is bitching is because he is slipping into irrelevance. You don’t play the game and win by throwing the rules out the window. Change it on the off season and not when the game is a foot. Plus I don’t want a commander in chief who darts away from conflict like the stereotype he is living up to be. Just sayin’.

  21. brendanconnell says:

    And it’s true. The networks would rather give coverage to a racist than the only honest candidate.

  22. D. Lester says:

    Truer words were never spoken. The media is corrupt and misrepresents a democracy.

  23. Bernt Out says:

    He’s coming off like a farty, old, kvetching whiner. Stop it Bernie. Stand up straight, stop with the hunchback Old Man pose, stop pointing that finger like you want everyone to get off your lawn, and start running a mature campaign, or just go home. He says the same thing, over and over and over again–and he knows as much about actual economic policy as my pet poodle.

  24. Smart Guy says:

    It’s not about ratings. Who cares about a couple million more selling slots to cereal companies. It’s about control. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep their puppets in the White House and congress which aids them to have a grip on the U.S. and the world’s economy. That’s a multi trillion dollar game. So forget ratings. Trump and ISIS are just a show to mask the true agenda. Operation blackout Bernie at all costs. Bernie had the Internet on fire. Wouldn’t that bring ratings if televised??

  25. Julia Gumm says:

    Did you just say “compared to major presidential candidates”? Bernie Sanders is the second most supported candidate in the whole field on either side, and is the only serious challenger to Hillary Clinton in the primary. Jeb Bush gets more network news coverage than Sanders and he has a tiny fraction of the support Sanders has. What is it with you people, is it his hair? His accent? Why can’t you take him seriously as a news story? Or is it because he refuses to trash talk the way everyone else does?

    I believe it was Jon Stewart who said the media is biased, yes. Towards sensationalism. And I guess there ain’t much sensational about an old white guy from Vermont who won’t slag off Hillary Clinton and consistently sticks to the issues. Pity the media doesn’t take its responsibility seriously enough to give Americans an honest look at him.

  26. Neal Stevens says:

    Network news (and really all news) has never cared about issues. They care about tragedy and death and conflict and controversy and scandals and outrage. That’s how they get ratings and that’s what they care about.

    Sanders, unfortunately, doesn’t understand this. Trump does. That’s why, from even before the beginning of his campaign, right up until now, he makes carefully timed outrageous and controversial statements — because he knows that ever time he does, every media outlet will give him millions of dollars of free coverage — coverage that he then won’t have to pay for. And the outrageous statements he makes are carefully crafted, going all the way back to his “birther” nonsense, to appeal to the far right of the Republican party that he needs to appeal to to leverage the nomination.

    Whether he really wants to win it or not or simply use that support to control who ultimately does is yet to be seen.

  27. I’ve worked in network and cable news. I doubt they are frightened…although the extremely scarce coverage on ABC seems obviously biased.
    More likely, some editor is thinking “He’ll never bump Hillary, so why bother.”
    I can almost guarantee that when and if he wins Iowa and NH, the lead will be “Look how many candidates have won NH then run out of steam.” Matter of fact I believe I’ve heard that already… but in coverage of one Republican or another.

  28. Bernie has also been on the Ellen Degeneres Show… I’d be willing to bet that t.rump will never see that stage.

  29. John P says:

    The oligarchs are terrified

  30. charlotte scot says:

    The lack of coverage has been shocking. While two or three Republicans may be asked their opinions on an current issue, Only one democrat, Hillary Clinton is ever quizzed on the subject of the day . The lack of coverage in the mainstream media, including the NY Times and cable networks would be funny if the issue of electing our next president wasn’t so important. Bernie Sanders is the only candidates has challenged the establishment and the lack of coverage tells me, they are scared to death of him.

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