Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New York Time bias bungles story of Bernie and Hillary in Portland

First, a disclosure. I’m an active supporter of Bernie Sanders for President and I am seeing media coverage through that lens.

What I see is coverage of his campaign by The New York Times that has been stunningly biased.

Item: Sanders draws the biggest crowd of any candidate yet. It happened right here in Portland on Sunday. Somewhere in excess of 25,000 converged on the MODA Center. The Times noted that the crowd was large but doesn’t point out that it is far and away the largest yet for any candidate. Instead the Times focuses on characterizing Sanders’ base as narrow — predominantly white and liberal. The paper ignores that Sanders support is also overwhelmingly young, enthusiastic and committed. We are talking about ENERGETIC. The Times also fails to see that Sanders is staking out positions well to the Left of Hillary Clinton on “youth” issues like college debt.

Item: A study in contrast goes unreported. The Times ignores that four days prior to Sander’s big rally in Portland, Hillary Clinton quietly comes to town and heads straight to Dunthorpe, an exclusive sanctuary for the wealthy where homes are mansions often gated off and hidden from the public. There Clinton gathers a reported 140 supporters capable of ponying up the required $2700 to hob-nob with Hillary. Clinton stashes the cash, says not one word to the citizenry beyond Dunthorpe, and leaves. It’s on to the next deep-pocketed, secluded enclave. In short, Clinton is practicing political business as usual. While she was pandering to the rich in Dunthorpe, Sanders’ scruffy local team works out of a warehouse scrambling to rent the cavernous MODA Center. The young organizers fill the place. There is no entry fee. The overflow spills out into the surrounding plazas in the thousands.

Item: Hillary’s poll numbers, which still run around 50 percent, are in steady decline.  Her “negatives” poll high and reveal a lack of basic trust. Sanders’ numbers continue to climb. He’s above 20 percent and rising. If Clinton is the “front runner,” as the Times likes to remind us, she’s starting to fade (as The Times fails to report). Moreover, this campaign is just “out of the starting gate.” Will Hillary even make it to the “finish line?” Ignoring the question, The Times focuses on an prospective Biden-Clinton contest. Sanders isn’t mentioned.

(Update, Aug. 12: A Boston Herald poll released yesterday shows Sanders moving ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire.)

I see another dimension to this. The New York Times brings a myopic East Coast bias to events on the West Coast. The Times portrays events here as suspect, slightly bizarre, misguided and removed from East Coast perceived wisdom, in this case political perceived wisdom. If 25,000 people pack the MODA Center to hear Bernie Sanders, it is just another West Coast aberration. The real “truth” resides in New York and Washington, D.C.

We’ll see about that….

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