Andrew Yang Boycotts MSNBC, Demands Apology for Biased Coverage
Andrew Yang has had enough. MSNBC has been suppressing his campaign for months, and the 2020 Democratic candidate announced a boycott this past weekend.
"Was asked to appear on [MSNBC] this weekend - and told them that I’d be happy to after they apologize on-air, discuss and include our campaign consistent with our polling, and allow surrogates from our campaign as they do other candidates’. They think we need them. We don’t," Yang tweeted.
"They’ve omitted me from their graphics 12+ times, called me John Yang on air, and given me a fraction of the speaking time over 2 debates despite my polling higher than other candidates on stage. At some point you have to call it," he explained.
Yang supporter Scott Santens has compiled an impressive Twitter thread and Vocal post cataloging incidents of media bias against Yang. His thread starts with a June MSNBC graphic of all the 2020 Democrats — with Yang omitted. The post starts with another MSNBC graphic from March in which the candidate is nowhere to be found.
After noting yet another MSNBC graphic excluding Yang, Santens claimed that the news outlet's graphics department "should be classified as a PAC."
MSNBC wasn't the only offender, of course. Santens summarized CNN's decision to exclude Yang from its graphic this way:
"CNN: 'We have decided that if [Andrew Yang] didn't exist, these would be the top 6 from the Quinnipiac poll, so despite Yang polling 3% in this poll, there is no point in displaying him in the top 6,'" he tweeted.
Not to be outdone, MSNBC created a graphic of the ten candidates who had qualified for the September debate. Under the heading "10 candidates on debate stage in September," the graphic listed only nine names. At this point, dear reader, you certainly know which candidate was excluded.
Somebody named "John Yang" is "living his best life," according to an MSNBC anchor. John Yang, whoever he is, should thank them for the coverage. Andrew Yang, the 2020 Democratic candidate, should be furious.
The list goes on and on. In fact, some of the worst anti-Yang bias came out in terms of debate speaking time. In the most recent Democratic debate, the "math" candidate spoke for just under seven minutes, the least of all ten candidates — even though he polls in sixth place nationally, above Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker. Debate moderators did not ask Yang a question until 32 minutes into the debate. Unlike some candidates, he did not jump into the fray, patiently waiting for a turn that rarely came.
This dearth of speaking time for Yang fits a broader pattern. A Business Insider analysis found that Yang "has had the least amount of speaking time ... compared to how much we would expect him to speak given his polling numbers."
"MSNBC is trying to suppress and minimize my campaign because there are certain other candidates that they might favor," Yang told Politico in an article published Monday. I'd call this an understatement, but Politico went with the headline "Yang lashes out at MSNBC."
Yang campaign aides called MSNBC to air his complaints. A network source told Politico that MSNBC "offered a broad apology to the campaign while reiterating he has a standing invitation to come on shows."
The candidate called fake news on this. "FYI MSNBC did NOT apologize to the campaign and did not initiate the call. Don’t let them spin it otherwise," he tweeted.
Andrew Yang seems to be a particularly patient and well-mannered individual, especially on Twitter. It would take a great deal to get him to speak out against MSNBC in this way.
I don't agree with Andrew Yang, although I would find his universal basic income tempting — so long as it replaced America's current entitlement programs. His decisions to take a position on hundreds of issues, to emphasize the threat of automation, and to take math seriously are a refreshing alternative to modern politics. He deserves more attention than he's getting.
It is refreshing for a liberal like Yang to call out MSNBC for this obvious bias. Conservatives have long faulted the network — and many other legacy media sources — for its clear bias. The Media Research Center does yeoman's work proving it, time and time again. Perhaps this Democratic candidate's struggle for fair media coverage will wake liberals up to the ridiculous slant of this network and its allies.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.