PBS News was the latest media organization to blatantly erase Bernie Sanders from election coverage during their special election segment covering the Iowa Primary last Monday.
Warren, Biden and Buttigieg were featured centerfold. PBS showed footage of their campaign rallies, played clips of them speaking, and provided commentary on their platforms and stances.
The host even mentioned some Candidates that have already dropped out of the race, such as Joe Sesiak and Steve Bullock.
Yet one of the leading contenders in the Iowa Primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, wasn’t even shown during the segment, let alone mentioned.
“It’s not a coincidence. It’s not an accident. Bernie Sanders was left out of here on purpose. That was a deliberate decision by the PBS team.” Said political commentator Christo Aivalis while speaking about Sanders exclusion from the segment.
Aivalis wasn’t the only one to notice the lack of coverage from mainstream outlets like PBS when it comes to the Sanders campaign.
Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs wrote about PBS excluding Sanders from their election coverage, calling their decision to not feature him “Manufacturing Consent” In Action.
PBS isn’t the only outlet accused of bias against the Sanders campaign. Ryan Grim, DC bureau chief at The Intercept, noted a number of networks that have excluded Sanders from their coverage as an example of what he’s labeled, “The Bernie Blackout”,
“I see it as part of a much larger pattern.” The Hill’s Krystal Ball said during a discussion with Sanders campaign co-chair, Nina Turner. “Anyone with working class support, multiracial working class support, basically the media doesn’t understand it, either ignores it, or dismisses it. Latest example, PBS, of all people, did a lengthy piece, 13 minutes long plus on 2020 in general and did not mention Senator Sanders one time.”
Many fear this blackout will stonewall the grassroots momentum that Sanders has been building, yet some political commentators are more optimistic.
“A pattern has emerged in presidential primaries. A candidate rises and faces media scrutiny and then they drop in the polls.” Ryan Grim explained. “But if Sanders continues to rise in Iowa and the press ignores him. There is a chance he’ll skip the scrutiny phase and climb right into first without being attacked as the front runner.”
Grim concluded by saying “Let’s face it, the corporate media was never going to anoint Bernie Sanders as the nominee. Maybe the best he can hope for, is that they just stay out of his way.”
Sanders continues to rise in the polls with only 50 days left until the Iowa Primary. There may be a point in the near future where outlets that neglected to mention Sanders find themselves reporting on him–not for his status as a candidate in the primary–but for his status as the nominee in the general election.