Previous Blog Post (08/23/2015): Readers Tell the Times: NYT Coverage of Bernie Sanders is Biased & Unfair

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-bernie-sanderss-campaign.html#permid=15915315

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "The NYT has been my daily newspaper for nearly 50 years and for the first time I find myself questioning the integrity of this paper. The Times is consistently failing to provide adequate levels of objective, explanatory reporting of Sanders' positions on issues... The amount and type of coverage given to Sanders, compared to Clinton, Trump and other candidates, is inexplicable…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-bernie-sanderss-campaign.html#permid=15916297

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "…I would be genuinely interested in an objective take on this approach: how does Sanders' coefficient compare to the other candidates from either party? Unfortunately, beyond being a poor comparison, the numbers used aren't contextualized in a comparison with other candidates. We are left with a poor analysis from a writer intent on slamming Sanders' from the beginning. This is lazy coverage. The NYT should be embarrassed..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...we are six months away from the first election, and it's far too soon to definitively declare a winner… So instead of telling us how Sanders… can't win, use your quantitative skills to tell us more interesting things... effect of each candidate's proposals would be on net student loan debt, on the climate... on the sustainability of Social Security... On election night, every year, media networks have a policy. They will not project a candidate to be the winner until every state has finished voting… This is because they respect the process of democracy... please follow their lead. Use numbers to sketch the story of policy, instead of pretending you have a crystal ball."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...Yes, Sanders must win minority support and diversify his base in order to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders, his campaign and his supporters recognize this. But it is very different to suggest that Sanders needs to widen his base (reasonable) than to suggest Sanders cannot widen his base (unsupported by the data.)... The silver lining is that [NYT’s] columns on Sanders can be used in statistics and quantitative analysis classrooms as a lesson on the misuse of aggregate data. What's unfortunate is that the readers of the Times aren't being offered something better."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Might I suggest another set of reasons: Sanders is virtually unknown among a lot of people. And that's not really the fault of the Sanders' campaign: If somebody had been reading the New York Times daily for the last 3 months... He's Clinton's top challenger but has no chance of winning, because all his support is well-meaning liberal white people… And as to whether he can win or not, I consider it very strange for so many media outlets to be in such a rush to declare a winner that they don't bother waiting until a single ballot has been cast by anybody. I don't know if he can win. That's up to the voters."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent

  • "As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interest it serves… The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely to impose necessary illusions to manipulate and deceive [the] majority and remove them from the public arena… The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided." Noam Chomsky

David Sirota: http://www.ibtimes.com/reporters/david-sirota

  • @davidsirota: "No voter has voted, but Dem Party bosses have reportedly already given Clinton 20% of the delegates needed to win." [Bloomberg News]
  • @palan57: "Oh, yeah. Superdelegates. One more way to remove democracy from the process."
  • @pbloombk: Labour's Voter 'Purge' [in the U.K.] Proves Moderates Can Be Authoritarians Too: "In a shocking development, it has been revealed that the Labour Party [in the United Kingdom] is apparently excluding already-registered voters from voting in its leadership election... a large number of students, prominent public figures and long-time party members... This follows in the wake of an ongoing campaign by Labour moderates to publicly discredit Corbyn and his supporters, including the threat of a potential political “coup” in the event of his victory..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-bernie-sanderss-campaign.html#permid=15910406

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Another perspective is to look at how Sanders's support is growing, and measure that against the ultimate deadline--the actual start of caucus and primary voting. In the Real Clear Politics running summary of national poll averages, two months ago Sanders was behind Clinton by 57 points. One month ago... by 40 points. In the latest summary... by 21 points. And there is no statistical sign that the speed with which he is gaining is [decreasing]. At the present rate of change, Sanders and Clinton should be even in about a month..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "So many media outlets spend so much time telling us that Bernie cannot win. WE, as voters, control who wins, not the media. If we say he wins, that's all it takes. Mr. Cohn, why - in the face of an electorate whose greatest weakness is disillusionment, are you trying to further propagate the myth of ineffectuality? The only thing you can accomplish with your message is further disillusionment of the American voter… Is that really what you want?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "… Just endless reasons why anyone other than Hillary Clinton is a fool to even try for the Democratic ticket. It's not the NYT's business to tell us who… shouldn't bother to run. That's up to the voters to decide…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "…the numbers from NH (a relatively conservative state by New England standards) suggest [Hillary Clinton] is actually appealing most to those earning >$100K/year, while Sanders appeals to everyone else. His support is strong even among moderates. This article is basically just a variation on the same tautology used in an earlier article by the same author about Sanders' house parties. "Activist support for Bernie Sanders is limited to activists." ...I have no illusions about Sanders' candidacy, but really this trope that he only appeals to the latte-Subaru set is as tiresome as it is premature. (He's currently only four points behind in West Virginia, for example, where Hillary cleaned Obama's clock.)"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "If it was three months before an election, or represented a stable trend, this would provide a decent analysis… the distribution value here only reflects how just about any candidacy will look in its early stages… A candidate typically starts with strong support in regions where the candidate is already well-known, and builds from there. Gov. Kasich, for example… Gov. Christie almost certainly… The Upshot should be a place for sophisticated evidence-based arguments. Instead we get… prognostication masquerading as wisdom at a time when any such analysis is premature."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...[Sanders'] uphill battle is right here in this article. The established news that is already speaking to everyone telling them to stop supporting Bernie Sanders. And just why are you writing this article? What is the purpose? It sounds like you are mad that people are excited and talking loudly about a Presidential candidate and you want to stop that. America's political apathy is a HUGE problem so why on Earth did you feel the need to publish YET ANOTHER stop supporting this candidate he doesn't have a chance article? These articles are not good for America and [it’s] not news."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "[NYT's] latest... is cleverly disguised as comparative “data analysis” - as if that is a legitimate sphere not only to judge the totality of one candidate and campaign but summarily dispose of it without further question even before the race has heated up… This is the same press (and only named industry) given First Amendment protections that now fully abdicates its duties to citizens by unilaterally suppressing those voices, platforms and truths it doesn’t like."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "The point of a campaign is to get a candidate known. Sanders is better known and has broader support than many of the Republican candidates who get a lot more space in the newspapers and time on television. Every article I read about Sanders includes a statement like "He has no chance for the Democratic nomination." …Cover the man's speeches and take him seriously as a candidate -- at least as seriously as you take Jeb Bush."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "The Times has been covering the Republican field, but it has been largely ignoring Sanders (and O'Malley, Chafee and Webb). The Times' Sanders coverage has been largely skewed toward "why Sanders can't win" pieces and fluff... The capstone was when the Times failed to cover Sanders' West Coast rallies, which attracted some 70,000 people in the space of 3 days. Times' readers don't want the Times to become a mouthpiece for Sanders. They just want fair, balanced coverage."

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/251860-3-rea...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Within a surprisingly short time period, increased name recognition and an energized base of Democratic voters have allowed Sanders to compete and even surpass Clinton in various polls… Quinnipiac University issued a report in July… explains that Sanders now performs as well, or even better than Clinton, in various scenarios: In several matchups… Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker... [already] competitive with all Republican candidates… In contrast, greater name recognition and the ability to debate Clinton on television will only help Sanders and continue to energize an ever-growing base of extremely loyal supporters across America…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "I am not a Bernie fanatic - frankly, I am one of the few Biden fans if anything - but from the NYT I expect actual analysis of the issues and fair coverage of the candidates. Perhaps the Upshot could follow up by tracking just how much coverage Sanders is getting consistently versus Hillary or Donald Trump (in the NYT and elsewhere) and checking whether constant media exposure could potentially be correlated with popularity. Btw, calling someone "socialist", if you're the NYT, should be followed by an actual analysis of whether Sanders' policies have in fact anything to do with socialism (even if he adopts that moniker for whatever reason)…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "…another misleading article trying to convince folks he doesn't have a chance, even though every new poll that comes out has him gaining ground on Hillary, and he has gained 10 points in the last month… Unlike Hillary who has been in the public spotlight for 25 years, Bernie is relatively unknown…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-bernie-sanderss-campaign.html#permid=15912261

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Bernie is getting a higher proportion of NYT articles on his futility than the equivalent proportion of the GOP primary candidates. What is up with that?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "OK. Come clean... NYTimes…Why can't you do an informative article that clearly lays out why Sanders support keeps growing and the differences between Bernie and Hillary instead of one more 'Bernie will never make it article'?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...And why doesn't Mr. Cohn address the name recognition that Mrs. Clinton's 20+ years of national media exposure have on her early polling numbers?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "…wouldn't a critical factor in this analysis be the response rates of "never heard of the candidate?" Wouldn't a factor be the percentage of airtime and column inches each candidate has received? Clinton is one of the most famous women in the country, and the press has been pathologically covering Trump…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-bernie-sanderss-campaign.html#permid=15914103

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...Trump poses no threat because he divides working and middle class interests with racial rhetoric; the same method the Republican Party has always used to maintain class hegemony. Sanders economic message has the potential to unite the working and middle class across cultural barriers…When an individual accumulates a certain amount of wealth their orientation shifts from seeking change to benefit themselves to seeking security to protect what they have accumulated... Those who have wealth and have a low tolerance for uncertainty want to maintain the status quo. The only candidate running now who threatens the status quo, who proposes real change to benefit those who are working more and are falling behind, is Bernie Sanders."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...So what is the similar "Gini" coeffient on all other candidates. This article… is it written to undermine Sander's candidacy ignoring all others?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Another hit piece I see. How do these distribution curves play out for other candidates? Hard to tell in the vacuum you created…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "...To distort data in a way that Sanders is pictured as the candidate of inequality and/or the candidate of the rich/upper middle class is the apex of technocracy/orwellianism… people in the USA don't prefer Sanders over Clinton simply because they don't know he exists…"

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/upshot/the-inequality-of-support-in-be...

  • NYT Reader Comment:
  • "Fellow Bernie supporters: this keeps happening. Establishment media types tell us Bernie can't win due to X, and we respond that he can, due to Y. Then we question their character, agenda and financial interests... [but] what the Bernie campaign needs from us more than our indignation is our informed effort. Cohn isn't [all] wrong about existing polls. Bernie doesn't have the support we would want among various constituencies, including nonwhite, various regions... OK, so let's organize. Every time you read one of these articles, take it as a call to action to donate to Bernie [or] to engage in volunteer activities -- just go to his web site, plenty to do..."

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