Is Mainstream Media (intentionally) overlooking presidential candidate Andrew Yang?
NATIONWIDE—Labor Day might be the unofficial end of summer but social media, during the week after the 2019 iteration of national holiday, is heating up with buzz about Andrew Yang’s media slight.
A Twitter hashtag launched during the Labor Day weekend continues to gain momentum into the first week of September. #YangMediaBlackout, a hashtag crafted by the “Yang Gang,” has been protesting Mainstream Media’s coverage of Yang, a presidential hopeful.
One CNN graphic posted the results of a Quinnipiac University Poll, conducted Aug. 21-26. The graphic showed six Democratic Party candidates (with headshots), underneath the header, “Top Choice for Dem. Nominee.” Joe Biden (32 percent) was listed first, followed by Elizabeth Warren (19 percent), Bernie Sanders (15 percent), Kamala Harris (7 percent), Pete Buttigieg (5 percent) and Beto O’Rourke (1 percent).
Missing from the list: Yang. The Quinnipiac survey cited by CNN had Yang polling at 3 percent, which would have put him ahead of O’Rourke.
Yang was mysteriously missing from an NBC News website presenting profiles of Democratic candidates for the White House, according to Yang’s Twitter page.
“Hey I seem to be missing from this relatively exhaustive list of candidates too. Kind of odd given that I’m currently in 6th place,” Yang tweeted on Sept. 5.
Yang’s next tweet stated NBC News would be making a correction and adding his profile to the website. A check of the website – www.nbcnews.com/2020candidates – shows Yang’s profile. The profiles are listed in alphabetical order, with Yang being the candidate who’s last name is farthest from ‘A,’ hence putting him at the end of the list.
Also posted on Yang’s Twitter page on Sept. 5 was a screenshot of an MSNBC graphic, showing the results of a Monmouth University Poll and headlined, “2020: Iowa Choice for President. Eight candidates were listed on the graphic – Yang was not one of the eight candidates listed. Biden, like the Quinnipiac Poll above, was listed first; he was polling at 28 percent, based upon a survey conducted in Iowa between Aug. 1 and 4. Warren was second at 19 percent, followed by Harris (11 percent), Sanders (9 percent), Buttigieg (8 percent), Amy Klobuchar (3 percent), Tom Steyer (3 percent) and Kirsten Gillibrand (2 percent).
Yang tweeted the Monmouth Poll had him polling at two percent, yet he was not listed on the graphic (and Gillibrand, who as also at two percent, was listed).
“Sometimes honest mistakes happen. But NBC and MSNBC seem to omit me on the regular,” Yang said in another Sept. 5 tweet, sharing compilations of polls where he polled at numbers similar to other candidates but was not included in televised graphics.
Another tweet, also on Sept. 5, featured a screenshot from NBC. The screenshot was titled “10 Candidates on Debate Stage in September.” Only nine candidates were listed below the headline: Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, Warren, Cory Booker, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Julián Castro.
“I did the #MATH, looks like @nbc may have miscounted,” Yang tweeted, with the screenshot.
Twitter has been lit since #YangMediaBlackout picked up steam.
“Follow The Money. The continued omission of Andrew Yang in graphics, coverage, and articles goes beyond routine mistakes. Andrew Yang is the Democrat for democracy – and they don’t want you to know it,” Taylor Crawford write in a tweet on Sept. 6.
A Twitter profile going by “Yang is how we beat Trump” stated Yang has been suffering from media suppression.
“Every day I run into more people who either don’t know who @AndrewYang is or don’t even know that he’s qualified for the fall debates. This is the result of media suppression and nothing more. He’s polling 6th. Subtle omissions matter,” @gang4610 tweeted on Sept. 6.
Joe Wong, a Korean Chinese American comedian, called out CNN and NBC for “ignoring Asian American voices.”
“I’m a liberal by many standards, but I’m fed up with the likes of CNN and NBC consistently ignoring Asian American voices and shutting out Asian American candidate! Yang’s opinions aren’t incendiary enough for you?! People want solutions too,” Wong tweeted on Sept. 6.
Scott Santens, a writer and Universal Basic Income advocate, also tweeted about NBC News’s omission of Yang from its webpage of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
“NBC doesn’t even list @AndrewYang on their 2020 Democratic Presidential Election Candidates page,” Santens tweeted on Sept. 5. “He’s MIA. As I write this, Yang is outpolling all but 5 of the candidates on this page of 16 faces.”
So is Mainstream Media overlooking Yang’s presidential run? And when will (negative) comparisons be made between Yang Gang and Bernie Bros (especially in response to #YangMediaBlackout).
Yang, 44, founded Venture for America, a job creation nonprofit. The New York native and graduate of Brown University (BA) and Columbia University (law degree) advocates for Universal Basic Income and campaigns against corporate tax avoidance. He regularly speaks about the dangers of automation on the U.S. economy, supports a “carbon tax” and calls for the United States to insert itself back into the Paris Climate Agreement.
Yang would also seek to make Election Day a national holiday and call for legislation making it illegal to discriminate against someone based upon gender identity or sexual orientation.