After CNN on Monday reportedly twice displayed a six-week-old poll from Iowa showing Bernie Sanders in fourth-place among hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to viewers, ignoring more recent polling showing the Vermont senator climbing to a strong second behind South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, progressives struck back.
CNN, which brands itself as “the most trusted name in news,” used a CNN/Des Moines Register survey from mid-November showing Sanders in fourth place with 15% of Iowans backing his bid. Real Clear Politics shows the senator with support of 22% and 21%, second to Soouth Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in more recent polling.
Sanders rival Julián Castro was among those who took to Twitter to decry the choice, saying that just because it was CNN‘s poll, that didn’t justify presenting the old information to viewers in late December.
“Publish a timely poll instead,” Castro added. “Journalistic integrity shouldn’t be sacrificed for corporate interests.”
If @CNN actually aired this poll today, it’s unacceptable to use a poll from six weeks ago simply because they paid for it. Publish a timely poll instead.
Journalistic integrity shouldn’t be sacrificed for corporate interests. https://t.co/6Fj7kEE08m
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) December 23, 2019
Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray pointed to recent troubles for other top-line campaigns as a possible motivation for the use of the poll and said that Sanders would happily soldier on without the help of the corporate media.
“Honestly, this is just embarrassing for the campaigns that need this kind of boost to appear competitive after having a bad week,” said Gray. “Looking forward to winning this thing without the assist.”
For at least the 2nd time today, @CNN just used the SAME Iowa poll from the BEGINNING OF NOVEMBER to show @BernieSanders in 4th place. Meanwhile, in reality, he is CURRENTLY in a close 2nd place according to the Real Clear Politics Average of polls in Iowa. pic.twitter.com/4fbZit62Rr
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) December 23, 2019
The CNN poll wasn’t the only instance of perceived bias against the Sanders campaign from the mainstream media, dubbed the “Bernie Blackout” by the senator’s supporters.
As Common Dreams reported over the weekend, Sanders held a 14,000-person-strong rally in Los Angeles Saturday with supporters including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), professor and activist Cornel West, actor Tim Robbins, and others.
But the Los Angeles Times did not do much in the eyes of observers to cover the event, despite the size and Sanders’ top-place polling in California.
— Florida for Bernie (@FL4Bernie2020) December 22, 2019
“This is irresponsible, and will help Trump get re-elected,” tweeted Sanders supporter Eric Erdman. “Bernie is the best candidate to take on Trump.”