Bernie Sanders is one of the Democratic Presidential candidate running alongside Hillary Clinton. He gets the bigger crowd at campaign events and the Democratic base is energized about his campaign. But you will never know that if you watch the major news where Sanders’ name is not even mention. It’s as if he’s not even running.
MediaMatters looked into this and confirmed that a Bernie Blockout is in effect.
Does that ratio seem out of whack? That’s the ratio of TV airtime that ABC World News Tonight has devoted to Donald Trump’s campaign (81 minutes) versus the amount of TV time World News Tonight has devoted to Bernie Sanders’ campaign this year. And even that one minute for Sanders is misleading because the actual number is closer to 20 seconds.
For the entire year.
That’s the rather stunning revelation from the Tyndall Report, which tracks the various flagship nightly news programs on NBC, CBS and ABC. The Report’s campaign findings cover the network evening newscasts from January 1 through the end of November.
The results confirm two media extremes in play this year, and not just at ABC News. The network newscasts are wildly overplaying Trump, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support, while at the same time wildly underplaying Sanders, who regularly attracts between 20-30 percent of primary voter support. (Sanders’ supporters have longcomplained about the candidate’s lack of coverage.)
Obviously, Trump is the GOP frontrunner and its reasonable that he would get more attention than Sanders, who’s running second for the Democrats. But 234 total network minutes for Trump compared to just 10 network minutes for Sanders, as the Tyndall Report found?
Andrew Tyndall provided the breakdown by network of Sanders’ 10 minutes of coverage, via email [emphasis added]:
CBS Evening News: 6.4 minutes
NBC Nightly News: 2.9 minutes
ABC World News: 0.3
But how can they be? ABC News, for instance, clearly devoted more than 20 seconds to covering the Democratic debates, which featured news of Sanders, right?
As Tyndall explained to me, the number “counts stories filed about the Sanders campaign or from the Sanders campaign. Obviously he is mentioned in passing in other coverage of the Democratic field overall, specifically his performance in the debates.”
So in terms of stand-alone campaign stories this year, it’s been 234 minutes for Trump, compared to 10 minutes for Sanders. And at ABC World News Tonight, it’s been 81 minutes for Trump and less than one minute for Sanders.