From the beginning of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, a popular conspiracy story was that the media was biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. Even as “alternative media” sources promoted this narrative, the mainstream media did not give Bernie Sanders much attention, but it wasn’t because of some giant conspiracy.
Here is a little secret that most people don’t seem to understand: the media covers stories that are guaranteed the best ratings and web traffic. Whether it is some small-time blogger or MSNBC, the media generally focuses on candidates and news that are grabbing the general public’s attention at the time.
Remember Harambe the gorilla and the anger over his killing just last week? How about Cecil the lion, or just about any fleeting news story that lights up social media until people move on to the next shiny outrage? Why did the media spend so much time on those stories instead of covering others? It’s simple, those hours of coverage get more ratings and traffic from the general public.
Aside from public broadcasting, the vast majority of news and opinion outlets rely on advertising revenue to stay in business. This is why they’ve covered every single bizarre statement from Donald Trump while not giving equal coverage to Bernie Sanders, or even Hillary Clinton.
If anything, reporting on Hillary Clinton has been negative with the continual cooked-up scandals like Benghazi, or her emails. Right-wing media sources like Breitbart, Daily Caller and others have spent their time hammering her while gushing over Trump.
On the left, MSNBC has been pretty fair in their coverage of the Democratic Party, even though they have spent way too much time on Trump and his antics. Yes, there are websites like Blue Nation Review, DailyNewsBin or my old site Forward Progressives which consistently and unfairly supported Hillary Clinton while bashing Bernie Sanders – but those are blogs aimed at a pro-Hillary echochamber audience, not mainstream media sources.
There are just as many (if not more) blog sites, some owned by foreign entities, that have done the same on the behalf of Bernie Sanders. This includes the sites Common Dreams, Inquistr, The Nation and conspiracy blog The Mind Unleashed.
That isn’t to say that the primary rules tilted the tables in favor of Hillary Clinton. I am not going to dispute that fact, but it would have done the same to any other candidate who had broad support from independent voters. I hate the closed primary system, but those are the rules that were in place before Bernie Sanders decided to run – and yes, they need to be changed.
The mainstream media pursues ratings at nearly any cost. That’s why you have Fox News spinning the news the way conservatives want to hear it, and MSNBC spinning the news in a way liberals want to hear it. That’s why you have Infowars and Glenn Beck catering to conspiracy fanatics, or liberal blogs promoting unfounded allegations of voter fraud in every primary that Bernie Sanders lost.
I understand my fellow Bernie Sanders supporters are angry. But you should be angry at the Democratic Party, not the media. They’re little more than vultures circling over the political landscape, looking for the next outrage to profit on.