19 votes

Andrew Yang Gets Media Cold Shoulder

26 comments

  1. [24]
    Sahasrahla
    Link
    Back in the primaries before the 2016 election I had reason (personal circumstances etc.) to be watching a lot of CNN after having seen very little of American cable news before. One thing that...

    Back in the primaries before the 2016 election I had reason (personal circumstances etc.) to be watching a lot of CNN after having seen very little of American cable news before. One thing that really stood out was the difference in coverage between Sanders, Clinton, and Trump. For the former two (and I know this is still a contentious point in American politics) there was a clear bias against Sanders; most obviously, graphics with "super delegates" included were frequently shown with little context that made it look like Sanders had already lost when only a few states had voted, and this paired nicely with the narrative being pushed that Sanders should drop out ASAP to avoid harming Clinton. For Trump's part, though no one took him seriously at first or wanted him to win, he was still reported on ad nauseam because he was entertaining in a rubbernecking-at-an-accident kind of way.

    Now, four years later, I don't think the argument could be made that American political reporting is any fairer or more responsible. In the case of Yang I don't think there's a bias against him in the sense that anyone is trying to put him down (I would argue that was the case with Sanders four years ago); rather, I think the media has decided Yang doesn't count as a "real candidate" and there's nothing particularly entertaining about him (like there was with Trump last time around) so he simply doesn't get much attention. That kind of decision isn't necessarily a bad thing since every media organization has to draw the line somewhere about what's newsworthy, but in this case the media isn't only reporting news but is also driving public opinion (and necessarily putting their thumb on the scales of the presidential race) with their editorial decisions, and that should invite close scrutiny.

    Whether the media has made the right decision or not here is something Americans will have to decide. What should qualify a candidate as worthy of attention? Poll numbers, prior expectations, their stated politics, something else? Personally, though I'm not American, I support the idea of UBI (though not necessarily as Yang has proposed it) and I hope that Yang can do well and get enough attention to bring UBI more into the public consciousness (just like Sanders did with universal healthcare in the US). So, though I would like to see Yang get more (and fairer) press coverage, I have my own biases here. Trying to look at it from a neutral standpoint though I think American political media has a lot of room for improvement. They hold themselves up nowadays as defenders of democracy against tyranny in the age of Trump ("democracy dies in darkness", etc.) but that doesn't mean they're above criticism. Hopefully they can find a way to do better but I don't know what the path to that looks like.

    26 votes
    1. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I've been interested in UBI for years as well, and have been pointing out to people for years the coming wave of automation. There was a fair amount of talk in the last election about how the...

      I've been interested in UBI for years as well, and have been pointing out to people for years the coming wave of automation.

      There was a fair amount of talk in the last election about how the shrinking coal industry had devastated small rural towns. The coal industry at it's peak employed some 80,000 or so people.

      I work close to the AV space. There are approximately 3 million truck drivers. If even a fraction of those jobs get replaced by self driving trucks, we're going to have a problem many times worse than we did with coal. And the disruption will happen (is happening!) far far faster.

      I've been telling people this for a few years, and pushing UBI. Then Yang come out of nowhere and starts advocating for the same thing. I cannot express how strongly I support this guy. Which is why the media neglect is so infuriating.

      If you haven't watched his closing remarks from the last debate about the reality show of modern politics, take two minutes now: https://youtu.be/aHzDeUqlGpc

      16 votes
    2. [12]
      Douglas
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure about everyone else's views, but as an American, to me it feels that although the mainstream press may depict themselves as defenders of democracy, I've felt a growing desire to look...

      Trying to look at it from a neutral standpoint though I think American political media has a lot of room for improvement. They hold themselves up nowadays as defenders of democracy against tyranny in the age of Trump

      I'm not sure about everyone else's views, but as an American, to me it feels that although the mainstream press may depict themselves as defenders of democracy, I've felt a growing desire to look for news sources that don't have such heavy capitalist backings, as it's often felt like the ones with businesses behind them can't be trusted to be impartial.

      My local PBS station has been OK, but NPR's political coverage has felt tone-deaf and irritatingly centrist in that they don't press hard enough back on some bigoted, racist, or misinformed opinions expressed on their shows. Watching BBC's interviews and coverage just feels like such a well-oiled machine by comparison.

      The only thing reliably impartial we have over here is the PBS Newshour, which is boring as hell and that's just how I like it. I couple that with Popular Information and checking in on some Vox reporters on Twitter

      16 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        It's unfortunate that TV news has any influence at all. I stopped watching any news on TV a long time ago, and I don't think I missed anything. Whenever there's a talking head, you can be pretty...

        It's unfortunate that TV news has any influence at all. I stopped watching any news on TV a long time ago, and I don't think I missed anything. Whenever there's a talking head, you can be pretty sure it's a waste of time and you'd be better off reading something. Particularly live. Whenever nothing is happening, they'll just keep talking to fill air time. Don't touch that dial!

        Video can be good when it showing pictures of something actually happening in the real world that's interesting to look at, like raw footage on YouTube. Even raw footage gets partially ruined when they surround it with professional editing, adding music and so on.

        6 votes
      2. [10]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        By the way, I checked out Popular Information and the first article was based on a common logical fallacy: Politician A supports terrible policy P. Corporation C gave money to A. Therefore, C...

        By the way, I checked out Popular Information and the first article was based on a common logical fallacy:

        • Politician A supports terrible policy P.
        • Corporation C gave money to A.
        • Therefore, C supports terrible policy P.

        It's a fallacy because corporations might give money to politicians for many different reasons. They might just give money to whoever they think will win, in order to gain influence. Sometimes they give money to both sides, to hedge their bets. To prove that they support any particular policy, you'd need more than that, and we don't usually have it.

        4 votes
        1. [5]
          Diet_Coke
          Link Parent
          That's very logical, but it also relies on a very strict definition of 'support' - if Corporation C continues giving money to Politician A regardless of their position on P, they are tacitly...

          That's very logical, but it also relies on a very strict definition of 'support' - if Corporation C continues giving money to Politician A regardless of their position on P, they are tacitly supporting Politician A's advancement of P. You're right, maybe P is not a primary concern and maybe in some cases maybe all politicians hold P to be true. That does not change the fact Corporation A's money is hiring staff or buying commercials to ultimately enact P.

          7 votes
          1. Douglas
            Link Parent
            An example of this is Netflix publicly condemning Georgia's abortion ban, but still having bankrolled the politicians who wrote the bill; when confronted about it, the CEO claims it was to help...

            An example of this is Netflix publicly condemning Georgia's abortion ban, but still having bankrolled the politicians who wrote the bill; when confronted about it, the CEO claims it was to help the politicians further their support for privatized schools (which is also icky).

            So... great, Netflix doesn't support policy P, they just support policy Q, which is also shitty.

            6 votes
          2. [2]
            patience_limited
            Link Parent
            Having worked for a healthcare corporation with a PAC (political action committee) that gave equally to both Republicans and Democrats, I can tell you that regardless of the parties' position on...

            Having worked for a healthcare corporation with a PAC (political action committee) that gave equally to both Republicans and Democrats, I can tell you that regardless of the parties' position on any other issue, the point is to buy access and influence on specific policies that benefit the corporation's market position in healthcare. It's purest self-interest, not an endorsement of either party's global positions or specific candidates.

            4 votes
            1. Diet_Coke
              Link Parent
              I work in insurance which is an industry that heavily, heavily lobbies. I am even a member of trade associations that solicit members donations to their PACs and publish lists of donors so it...

              I work in insurance which is an industry that heavily, heavily lobbies. I am even a member of trade associations that solicit members donations to their PACs and publish lists of donors so it could help me professionally to donate. I don't, because it would end up going to politicians with some really noxious views. I get that we only expect corporations to act like money hungry sociopaths, but that doesn't change the fact that giving support to a politician on the basis of one policy is implicit support of the rest of their positions.

              6 votes
          3. skybrian
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Well, yes, it's true that giving them money will help them get elected, and then they can do whatever they're going to do. You could certainly say that these politicians are no good and these...

            Well, yes, it's true that giving them money will help them get elected, and then they can do whatever they're going to do. You could certainly say that these politicians are no good and these companies shouldn't support them.

            But if you want to understand why some companies decide to give money to some politicians, I don't think it's enough to look at which contributions they make and speculate? Tempting though that is. Making the connection raises questions but doesn't answer them, and it bugs me when people pretend it does.

            1 vote
        2. [4]
          burkaman
          Link Parent
          You are making an extremely narrow semantic argument about the definition of "support" that I don't think is useful. Claim 1: Money donated to political candidates (through campaigns or...

          You are making an extremely narrow semantic argument about the definition of "support" that I don't think is useful.

          Claim 1: Money donated to political candidates (through campaigns or organizations) helps candidates win.

          Claim 2: If a candidate wins an election, the policies they support are more likely to be implemented.

          Therefore, money donated to political candidates increases the likelihood of their policies being implemented.

          If you don't like the word "support", we can use something different. How about "financially backs", or "reluctantly supports"?

          1. [3]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            I see what you mean. My point is really about attributing motivation. Usually when we say when C supports policy P, we mean that C wants P to happen and is pursuing a strategy to help pass P. To...

            I see what you mean. My point is really about attributing motivation. Usually when we say when C supports policy P, we mean that C wants P to happen and is pursuing a strategy to help pass P. To say that someone supports a policy is usually taken as implying they endorse it.

            Maybe the best way to avoid attributing motivation would be just to say that C gave money to A, who supports P?

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              burkaman
              Link Parent
              That's a fine way to phrase it, but I don't think discussing motivation is particularly important when the results of an action are obvious to anybody. For example, if you were allergic to...

              That's a fine way to phrase it, but I don't think discussing motivation is particularly important when the results of an action are obvious to anybody. For example, if you were allergic to peanuts, and I served you a dish made with peanuts, it would be quite important for you to know my motivations. If I didn't know about your allergy, it would be reasonable to assume I didn't intend to hurt you. However, if I donate to A, but publicly claim that I don't support P, who cares? I and everyone else knew the consequences of my actions before I did it. Even if I claim in my heart of hearts I don't really want P to happen, I'm still helping. I am knowingly providing material support.

              1. skybrian
                Link Parent
                Well, it's up to you what you want to be curious about, but I do find attempting to understand motivations to be useful when reading about politics or history. And attributing false motivations is...

                Well, it's up to you what you want to be curious about, but I do find attempting to understand motivations to be useful when reading about politics or history. And attributing false motivations is misleading.

    3. xster
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This was very diplomatically put :) I think it's a bit more blood boiling than this but then, I'm not American either. Looking back at a couple of DNC chairs, Tom Perez and Donna Brazile are both...

      This was very diplomatically put :)

      I think it's a bit more blood boiling than this but then, I'm not American either.
      Looking back at a couple of DNC chairs, Tom Perez and Donna Brazile are both on WikiLeaks saying they want to "put a knife in Bernies' back" and "cuss them [his supporters] out". Tim Kaine no-prior-arrangements-made, well we know where he stands. The Florida court case where DNC supporters wanted their money back? They flat out said no reasonable person can expect to donate and think that it was supposed to be a fair contest. The DNC has all the rights to just pick a candidate in a backroom while smoking cigars and the supporters should knowingly agree to this when they gave their money.

      That's just generally true for non-corporate candidates whether it's Ron Paul who just never showed up in the polling on TV (and there'd just randomly be 3rd place missing in the ranking), Jill Stein who gets handcuffed to a chair for a couple of hours for attempting to get into the national debate venue, Gabbard who gets branded as a Russian spy etc etc. This goes all the way back to the 1944 DNC convention where the DNC bosses stopped the convention right before Henry Wallace wins the Vice Presidency nomination for the bosses to appoint (a more controllable) Truman who polled at only 2% and only met Roosevelt twice in private before he died.

      7 votes
    4. [9]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      Honestly, this shit happened to Ron Paul and Howard Dean as well. The media has their own favorites, they always have. I was expecting it to happen to Yang and they didn't disappoint. Thing is, a...

      Honestly, this shit happened to Ron Paul and Howard Dean as well. The media has their own favorites, they always have. I was expecting it to happen to Yang and they didn't disappoint. Thing is, a lot less people give a damn what's on television these days. The news media has a smaller reach than internet media for the first time. I also get the impression people aren't taking television news in general seriously anymore, the media seems to have lost the trust of the younger generation. It's all infotainment now, there's no 'real' news on television. It's also worth noting that, of all places, Fox News is still giving Yang positive coverage. I never thought I'd be in a position to think well of that network for anything. :P

      Meanwhile, Yang's picking up endorsements from pro wrestlers, scientists, engineers, tech entrepreneurs, CEOs, television hosts, radio and talk show hosts, podcasters, and that's just in the last three weeks. I honestly don't think Yang has anything to worry about when it comes to coverage. He's getting plenty of it through non-traditional channels. The yang gang seems to have twitter locked down.

      I'm looking forward to the wave of Yang hit pieces that will start popping up soon enough. That's the next phase of this oh so predictable cycle of dark horse candidate coverage. I expect it'll really ramp up after the next debate.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        There are at least two significantly better candidates in this race than Yang. Three by my count. Four if we count the current poll leader. Better policies, better experience, better recognized...

        There are at least two significantly better candidates in this race than Yang. Three by my count. Four if we count the current poll leader. Better policies, better experience, better recognized names with the associated better chance to win.

        And yet, on tildes (at least since alyaza went down), it's made to seem like this is Sanders all over again. It's not. Sanders was a strong candidate, popular, with decades of experience, in a head to head race. While this response is not unexpected considering the tildes demographic, it's still interesting to see 2016 get rehashed. The "media" only has so much real estate to work with. There were, at one point, twenty candidates in this race, now there are ten. They also have to report on the President's daily antics, and actual news, and whatever the Kardashians are doing. All the while worried about their ratings. Not every dark horse in a twenty person race is going to get fair coverage. That's not a media conspiracy. This isn't 2016. We don't need to ouija the ghost of 2016 every time our favourite low polling candidate isn't gettong the CNN time we think they deserve.

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          Amarok
          Link Parent
          Heh, I'd debate that. His policies are a vastly better fit for me than the rest of the field, and seem more forward thinking. With him I get everything I like about Bernie or Warren and a whole...

          Better policies, better experience, better recognized names with the associated better chance to win.

          Heh, I'd debate that. His policies are a vastly better fit for me than the rest of the field, and seem more forward thinking. With him I get everything I like about Bernie or Warren and a whole buffet of other good policies. He's got more of them on offer than anyone else with new ones going up all the time, and so far they haven't disappointed. He's also the only Ivy league on the stage. I view decades of experience inside the beltway as negative, and business experience as positive.

          I expect I'll be voting for Bernie or Warren after they win the nomination, but I'm not going to make that easy for them. I've got plenty of friends/family already registered for the democratic primary in my state, we're planning a little voting party. This will be the first time any of us have ever voted in a primary as opposed to a standard election.

          6 votes
          1. Loire
            Link Parent
            What? That's unequivocally false. Gillibrand went to Dartmouth. Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar that went to Harvard (and Oxford). Booker went to Yale (and Oxford). Klobuchar went to Yale. Castro...

            He's also the only Ivy league on the stage.

            What? That's unequivocally false.

            Gillibrand went to Dartmouth.

            Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar that went to Harvard (and Oxford).

            Booker went to Yale (and Oxford).

            Klobuchar went to Yale.

            Castro went to Harvard.

            Delaney went to Columbia.

            O'Rourke went to Columbia.

            Moulton went to Harvard.

            de Blasio went to Columbia.

            Inslee went to Stanford.

            Bennett went to Columbia.

            Many of those candidates are still on the stage including Booker, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Castro and O'Rourke.

            16 votes
        2. [3]
          JeanBaptisteDuToitIV
          Link Parent
          Yang has been the 6th best polling candidate since the first debate. I agree with you that there isn't some Big Journalism™️ trying to suppress his campaign, as he never had that great of a chance...

          Yang has been the 6th best polling candidate since the first debate. I agree with you that there isn't some Big Journalism™️ trying to suppress his campaign, as he never had that great of a chance at the nomination in the first place, but he definitely isn't some fringe candidate, as you seem to be implying here.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            "Sixth place" equates to 1 - 3% on every poll. He doesn't have a single endorsement. Two of his key proposals are moving the largeat population centers of America inland and UBI. You don't have to...

            but he definitely isn't some fringe candidate, as you seem to be implying here.

            "Sixth place" equates to 1 - 3% on every poll. He doesn't have a single endorsement. Two of his key proposals are moving the largeat population centers of America inland and UBI. You don't have to be a moonbat candidate like Williamson to be "fringe".

            You may be letting your tech bias direct you here. Yang is a fringe candidate. Most Americans don't know who Yang is and will never know who Yang is. That's not a comment on the guy or his policies, but simply a fact. He is not as big as Reddit or the Yang Gang make him out to be.

            10 votes
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              I agree that Yang isn't well-known, but a minor correction for exaggeration, both yours and Yang's to some extent: the "higher ground" part of Yang's policy is about subsidies for people who want...

              I agree that Yang isn't well-known, but a minor correction for exaggeration, both yours and Yang's to some extent: the "higher ground" part of Yang's policy is about subsidies for people who want to move or elevate their homes. There's also money for sea walls and flood control.

              That doesn't strike me as a fringe idea. For example, the recently released San Francisco Bay Shoreline Atlas goes into extensive detail about what can be done to prepare for sea level rise. It's going to take a lot of money to protect those million dollar homes.

              Also, "will never know who Yang is" is a prediction, not a fact, and could be wrong. Presidential campaigns can do a lot for a candidate's name recognition. :-)

              3 votes
        3. [2]
          determinism
          Link Parent
          I wasn't aware that happened again. Any notion of why?

          at least since alyaza went down

          I wasn't aware that happened again. Any notion of why?

          3 votes
          1. Keegan
            Link Parent
            Banned. Most likely due to poor behavior in arguments, which she was warned several times about.

            Banned. Most likely due to poor behavior in arguments, which she was warned several times about.

            3 votes
  2. tunneljumper
    Link
    wait, am I reading this right? oh.

    ...the press is in unfamiliar territory in covering a candidate from outside the political world...

    wait, am I reading this right?

    who keeps a low profile.

    oh.

    2 votes